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Compass Memorial Healthcare Gets $22M USDA Loan

By: BRATHJEN on MARCH 27, 2015

MARENGO - The City of Marengo acting on behalf of Compass Memorial Healthcare received a $22.6 million direct loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development.

The funding, announced Friday, March 27, will assist in the renovation and expansion of the existing building, the project for which was announced late last summer.

"The project size and scale continues to be examined by the board of trustees and the administration," reported Jeff Ritchie, Compass Memorial Healthcare's Board Chair. "The hospital definitely needs more space as we look toward the future growth of the services we offer" continued Ritchie.

Nearly every corner or the hospital will see improvements. Notable planned renovations include: a single entry point and registration/waiting area, expansions of emergency, surgical, physical therapy, imaging and dietary services and new space for administrative and support services. The hospital also plans to introduce obstetrics services back to the community.

While the scope of the project is yet to be defined and finalized, total cost for the project is expected to be around $27.7 million and should be completed by September 2017.

"Iowa County is blessed to have access to quality healthcare provided by Compass Memorial Healthcare," said Marengo mayor Joe Seye. "The hospital is a major employer in the area as well as providing services locally that customers would have to drive miles to attain elsewhere. We are very fortunate to have this facility in our midst."

Bill Menner, USDA Rural Development state director, said that access to quality health care is critical for rural Iowans, as well as the communities in which they reside. For rural residents, accessibility to a nearby hospital is often a matter of life or death, particularly in life-threatening situations.

"For the communities - like Marengo and other towns this hospital serves - it's an economic development opportunity," he said. "There are jobs, services and more that add millions to the local and regional economy every year. Our investment ensures that health care access is preserved while the hospital's economic footprint grows."

USDA Rural Development's funding continues to have a dramatic impact on rural communities across Iowa. Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested more than $3 billion on essential public facilities, small and emerging businesses, water and sewer systems, and housing opportunities for Iowa families.

During the last seven years, USDA Rural Development has supported nearly 50 rural hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes and/or assisting living facilities with more than $307 million in direct loans, guaranteed loans and grants to make needed facility and equipment improvements.

This past year USDA Rural Development's investment in Iowa helped create or retain more than 1,000 jobs, aided 2,600 families in buying their own homes and assisted more than 60 communities as they made improvements to their facilities, services and infrastructure.

"Along with providing imporant services to rural Iowans, rural hospitals can be an extremely vital part of the local economic engine," said Menner. "Many times these important healthcare facilities are the community's largest employer. The econmic impact hospitals have on our rural communities and their surrounding areas is very significant."

CMH BOARD OF TRUSTEES - Board Elects Officers at January Meeting

By: JANE BIGBEE February 25, 2015

Jeff Ritchie was elected chairman of the Compass Memorial Healthcare Board at its meeting Jan. 21. Ritchie, and the other officers, will be installed at the April meeting for 2015-2016 term. Ritchie, who has been vice chair, will succeed Cindy Tindal, current chairman.

Daryl Russ was elected vice chair, and Adam Grier, elected to a second term as secretary-treasurer. Tindal recommended the slate of officers, noting she had talked with other board members who have not had a position on the executive board. Motion to elect officers as suggested by Tindal, was made by Wayne Parizek with second by Lyndsey Jergens. Terms are for one year.

Charles Merritt was sworn in as a board member by Ritchie. He will complete the term held by Randy Fry who resigned from his term earlier. Merritt, who previously served on the board 20 years before retiring from it several years ago, attended the meeting via telephone.

Chief Executive Officer Barry Goettsch reported USDA had received the hospital's application for a loan for building expansion and remodeling but at the date of the meeting had no further word.

The Iowa Hospital Association Legislative Day will be Feb. 25 in Des Moines. Board members were urged to attend.

Attending an earlier meeting earlier that week in Des Moines, from CMH will be Goettsch, Matt Murphy, chief financial officer; Joyce Schumacher, business office; Teresa Sauerbrei, chief nursing officer, and Joanna Shade, social services. They will meet with Representative Dawn Pettingill who is facilitating a meeting with representatives Dave Heaton, health and human services appropriations chairman, and Linda Miller, policy chair, and personnel from Health and Human Services to work on Medicaid concerns. This includes improvements for patients and hospital. The CMH personnel will be explaining the disparity between timely payment reimbursment from the programs, getting them to back from harassing families to remove patients from the hospital who need this level of care to cheaper levels of care, etc.

Goettsch said he and Murphy have done some telephone interviews with commercial contract consultants and feel they have a good possibility.


Murphy reviewed both November and December financial reports with board members. Because of the holidays, one meeting was held in early December and covered October financials. No meeting was held later in December.

The November balance sheet showed total cash and investments were $3,433,604, up from $3.2 million in October. Cash was a little lower in November with reduction in gross revenues while trying to collect outstanding net accounts receivable, $3,268,535, related to Medicare and Medicaid issues. On the liability side the estimated third party settlements, $389,507, down almost $400,000, related to Medicare cost report adjustments. Since volumes have been lowered for the year, the adjustments reflect what they can expect to see on the cost report. Total liabilities and net assets were listed at $17,742,297 for November.

The income statement showed a positive bottom line of total net income of $3,392, compared to a budget of $26,000 with volume "significantly lower than planned" for November. Year-to-date for November there was a loss of $210,590.

Revenues for inpatient - acute and skilled, inpatient ancillary, and both medical clinics were lower than budgeted. Outpatient was stronger for the month.

Murphy said there was a negative variance on operating revenue of about $250,000.

For November patient service revenue was $1,689,103, net operating revenue $1,397,166. (Deductions for contractual allowances were $206,297 and for bad debts/charity care $142,672.

There was cost savings in expenses, however, he said, including savings of $129,065 on salary costs. This included reduction of overtime.

The Marengo Family Medical Clinic (MFMC) revenue was lower than budget and volumes were lower at both Marengo and Williamsburg Clinics for the November. Marengo had 870 visits including lab.

The MFMC showed net operating revenue of $656,775, direct expense of $422,637, indirect expenses of $311,950, for total expenses of $787,873, and a net loss of $131,098. There were 18 provider days missed for the month due to vacation and time off.

Williamsburg Family Medical Clinic (WFMC) had 270 visits with lab and X-ray for November. Net operating revenue was $169,850, direct expenses, $276,368, indirect expenses $179,590, for not net income loss of $286,108.

On the hospital's monthly dashboard Murphy noted there were 80 days of cash on hand.

He also highlighted the statistical report for November noting lower volumes are reflected in the financial reports but pointed out they had done a good job seeing volumes, reducing costs to make a positive bottom line.

December was better, he said, with a little more volume on the inpatient side.

The balance sheet operating cash, $590,768, was improved by about $200,000 due to work in the business office and getting some of the outstanding account receivables paid. Total cash and investments were $3,991,660.

The balance sheet for December showed a net income of $4,585; volumes were better including outpatients, and other areas which showed loss were not as significant as November, he noted. Loss for the fiscal year to date was $206,005.

Patient service revenue totaled $1,831,042 with net operating revenue of $1,420,425.

Expenses totaled $1,414,381. They did a good job of managing expenses, he continued, pointing to salaries, other expenses including contracted services, all focused to reduce expenses. They put a freeze on travel expense, mileage and seminars.

The MFMC had better volumes were 1,062 patients including labs; provider salaries and drugs were two favorable variances.

There was a bottom line net income loss of $135,691.

The WFMC saw 324 patients. Again provider salaries and supplies were the two largest variances on expenses. The net income line showed a loss of $330,036 for December.

The hospital dashboard for December showed 93 days cash on hand and 67.9 days net accounts receivable.

The statistical report showed acute patient days of care were ahead of budget for the month although skilled days were behind budget. Operating/surgical procedures were better than November but somewhat behind budget, radiology mixed, lab, respiratory therapy and physical therapy were favorable. Volumes have started to improve.

Increased reimbursement is expected through the Rural Health Care to be in effect by Feb. 1. Murphy said he is hopeful there will be a positive bottom line by the end of the year. Auditor Brian Green has estimated the adjustment for RHC at the clinics here will make an additional reimbursement of about $20,000 per month, expected to begin in March.

Goettsch noted they had done staffing adjustments department by department and have continued to focus on good management.


Teresa Sauerbrei, chief nursing officer, said the sale in December of casserole dishes by the nursing staff had resulted in $1,028, enough to fund two $500 scholarships for seniors in the service area. Applications have been sent to high school guidance counselors.

At medical staff the day of the board meeting, she reported, there was discussion on chronic pain management at the clinics, testing and on drug screening at the point of care.

Mikaela Gehring, chief operating officer, said assessment surveys have been done for the RHC, now subject to approval by Medicare. They will then be able to bill, at least by Feb. 1, for increased reimbursement through RHC. Jalissa Schanbacher had done a lot of work on this, Gehring said.

Changes to the medical staff include Katie Anderson will be leaving for a job closer to her home in Cedar Rapids, and Nicole Topliff is leaving and taking a position closer to her home.


Reporting on the patient satisfaction results, Jalissa Schanbacher, organizational performance assistant, pointed out the December report would be the last month they will be reporting to Press-Ganey with the exception of the inpatient HCAHPS (an inpatient consumer assessment of health care roviders designed to measure patients perception of level) survey done under Press-Ganey) All of the areas increased the score or stayed the same, Schanbacher said, adding it was a good way to end this survey.

Since starting internal surveying Jan. 1, she continued, they had great response and positive scores. Going through each area she gave mean scores as they stood to that date: Emergency department, 20 surveys returned, mean score 97 - the highest with the exception of one other month with Press-Ganey;

Marengo Family Medical Clinic: 16 surveys returned, mean score 93.3;

Williamsburg Family Medical Clinic: 12 surveys returned, mean score 99.2;

Lab: 23 surveys returned, mean score 96.47;

Imaging: 17 surveys returned, mean score 97.8;

Outpatient therapy: 6 surveys, mean score 85.4, lower than historically

Respiratory therapy: 4 surveys, 100;

Surgery: 3 surveys, 98.3;

Orthopaedic: 1 survey, mean score 100.

Organization wide the mean score was 96.4, Schanbacher said. One of the biggest contributing factors to the higher scores is that they are handing the patient the survey so they can do the survey there or take it home, and the patient also knows where the survey is going rather than mailing it to a site in Indiana. Return time is shorter returning the surveys locally. The number of questions was narrowed to five. More comments have been added.


Natasha Haushilt, director organizational and patient access compliance, reporting on the monthly report card for December, gave the following results:

Service: increase for all areas to 96th percentile, ending at a steady 64thpercentile. In January they will change service organization goals. There will be two service goals for the organization, one for all outpatient areas with internal survey and a separate goal for the inpatient area where they are contining the HCAHPS survey.

Quality: Goal is for 100 percent of the departments meet their quality goal. Currently they are at 76 percent. She meets with the departments individually and said a lot of the goals not being met AR and medication process goals. She meets with both areas to work on processes and meets one-on-one with department managers.

Finance: maintain a 2 percent margin at the end of fiscal year 2015. Currently they are at negative 2.52 percent.

Growth: Goal for total visits and tests is to have an average 6,607 per month; had 6,515 for December. Committee meets monthly to look at numbers, works with providers and staff.

People: Goal is to have 100 percent of employees attend quarterly forum, to meet employee engagement expectations at 100 percent and have 100 percent round on managers monthly. December overall was at 33 percent: 67 percent because a couple of employees did not attend forums, then one of the managers missed bi-monthly rounding with staff. Three goals in one can bring averages down quickly, she said.

Community: Goal is to do 60 service/health related programs in the community for the year. In December they did eight which brings the number for the year to 64.


Giving the Unity Point report Eric Briesemeister said they were working on 2015, and wrapping up numbers for the end of the year. It was a "fantastic year for the region" including the affiliation and relationship with CMH, he said.

It is a big year for Unity Point breaking in care coordination and trying to help or guide the patient in his/her journey throughout health care.

A major milestone was the affiliation announced earlier in 2014 with Mayo Clinic; it's been an overwhelming success and came to the patient at no additional cost, was driven by physicians and endorsed by insurance. Thus far through 2014 this was used 90 times, meaning, he explained, 90 times patients did not have to drive to Rochester, Minn., to get special care and could get its counsel at home.

Jones Regional, Briesemeister's home hospital, has the number one capital expansion project in the region to be completed by the end of the year.

The Life Guard relationship has been changed to a different service. Previously when the helicopter was down for maintenance, it was down three to four weeks. With the new company they will bring a spare helicopter so there is no down time and calls are up 60 percent this year.

On the clinic side, Briesemeister continued, the patient-centered medical home project, on which they have been working, have two patient-center medical infection-certified this year, one in Mount Vernon and the other in the Cedar Rapids medical district. Both are patient-centered medical homes. They hope other clinics in the region will reach this milestone. He added it is centered on a much more proactive approach for the patient.

St. Luke's received several Joint Commission specific certifications in palliative care, joint replacement, etc. and was voted Best in the Corridor by area residents.

Also UP is considering "costs to the care" and is looking at the system to regionalize resources. An example was marketing where there was one in Cedar Rapids, and other cities, now grouped by region with one head of marketing with fewer in other locations to eliminate duplication and reduce cost.

The Linear Accelerator certificate of need was approved and the equipment should be on line by the end of the year.

One of the highlights of his job, Briesemeister added, is coming to Compass Memorial Healthcare to spend time to work on ways to deliver as much care locally as humanly possible.

The board also met in closed session after the regular meeting to discuss strategy with counsel in matters in litigation or where litigation is imminent.

CMH BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Charles Merritt returns to board; two re-elected to serve as trustees

Following the resignation of Randy Fry from the board of trustees for Compass Memorial Healthcare, the board's Governance Committee recommended Charles Merritt fill the remaining time of Fry's term. The recommendation was made at the Dec. 3 meeting, and was approved by the board. Merritt will be installed at the January meeting, to be held Jan, 21.

Merritt served on the board previously from 1992 when he filled out a term, then was elected to serve from 1996 to 2007.

Adam Grier and Cindy Tindal were reelected to the board, each of their applications for another term having been consistent with board bylaws, according to Wayne Parizek, Governance Committee chair. Grier abstained from voting on the motion to approve the reelection. Tindal was absent. Their new terms will begin in April.

Marengo City Council approved the election of all three to the CMH board Dec. 8.

CEO Reports
Chief executive Officer Barry Goettsch told the board the application has been submitted to the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) for the rural development loan to fund the hospital's addition and renovation program and a two to three week turn around was expected.

He also reported Joshua Stubblefield, DO, has accepted a position as a provider for the Emergency Department. He will begin work here sometime from March 2 to the middle of March and comes from Broadlawn Hospital, Des Moines. He also serves as an adjunct clinical faculty member at the University of Iowa's School of Medicine. The Stubblefields' have purchased a home in Marengo, and the family will move after the school year is finished.

Goettsch told the board the hospital received a request for proposal (RFP) from Iowa County's new transportation director Aaron Sandersfeld. Health care needs of Iowa County employees fall under that position. Goettsch reported they had responded to the request to be presented to the board of supervisors. It proposed an exclusive arrangement with the county for all health care needs for their employees. It is fairly comprehensive, he noted. There were other health care entities approached to submit RFPs.

The hospital submitted an RFP for work on payer contracts to four organizations, one of whom backed out because of the scope of the work. Replies have been reviewed and telephone interviews will follow. Another firm probably will be ruled out because of cost. There also may be onsite interviews and a final review will come to the board because of the investment for such a project, Goettsch said. They particularly want to look at the top three payers. Goettsch felt there is room to grow with these contracts which have not been negotiated.

In answer to a query about number of patients being seen at the new Williamsburg Clinic, Goettsch said the system did not seem to be capable to count the number of patients at the end of October. This is basic and numbers should be available, he added. Counting manually, there were 557 charts. Of this number 261 transferred to the clinic from the Marengo Clinic. Some of these may be patients who have followed Katherine Anderson, ARNP, who was in the Marengo FMC for several months while awaiting the opening of the Williamsburg FMC. Numbers do not indicate fewer patients at the Marengo FMC however, he said.

Count is now being made of the number of patients per provider per day at the WFMC. The 557 number was probably a reasonable at the time when there was one mid-level provider at the clinic four days a week, he added. They are seeing pretty steady growth with the addition of Dr. Gregory Neyman at the WFMC.

CMH has signed up for the Iowa Home Based Program for businesses, a program in which a community or county commit to hiring veterans. "We would need to have a position open and they would need to be qualified," Goettsch explained. CMH has a two year commitment to the program.

Financial reports
Matt Murphy, CFO, reviewed financial reports for board members noting there was a positive $55,191 income for the month ending Oct. 31, the time period for the this meeting. This is still running below budget for the fiscal year by $313,000. They had, however, outpaced budget for the month by about $26,000.

The monthly balance sheet comparison showed total cash and investments - $3,279,506 - were down about $829,808, with cash outlays for the large projects of EPIC and the Williamsburg Family Medical Clinic. On the liability side also showed third party settlements of $444,249, a decrease of $319,994, on the estimated third party settlements, a cost report adjustment.

Referring to the statement of revenue and expenses, Murphy said revenues were significantly stronger than they had been, especially in September. Total patient service revenue was $2,004,363, including inpatient revenue although still below budget. Outpatient revenue was strong. The Williamsburg Clinic also was closer to budget than it had been, he noted.

Net operating revenue, after deductions for contractual allowances, bad debt/charity care and adding other operating revenue, totaled $1,522,660.

Expenses, Murphy said, showed salaries favorable due to some furlough and reduction for overtime. Some other expense reductions plans have been implemented and they are starting to see results. Professional fees were favorable due to legal and consulting fees being less than budgeted, advertising and marketing were slightly above budget due to invoices for the pink out days. Expenses totaled $1,469,059.

The result, Murphy pointed out was the favorable $55,191 bottom line, with a 3.62 percent margin.

Marengo Family Medical Clinic report showed revenue running below budget and down a little on volume, he said. Provider salaries were favorable. Supplies were unfavorable to budget, but drugs were favorable to budget.

Net operating revenue was $588,766; direct expenses were $399,523, with indirect expenses of $259,627. The bottom line showed a loss of $70,384, compared to the budgeted $37,678 loss; a loss of 11.95 percent.

Volumes for the Williamsburg Family Medical Clinic were much stronger for the month, Murphy said. They had a budget of 466 patients and saw 446, including lab and X-ray. This new clinic had 181 patients in August, 253 in September. Volumes are growing. The report, he noted, is on a year-to-year basis, so revenues are lagging behind where they had been expected.

The net loss at the clinic was $215.495, compared to a budgeted loss of $151,016.

Dashboard showed the net operating margin was improving. Cash days on hand will be helped by several things with account receivables high then, but dropped by .4 over the month with which, Murphy said, they were happy given implementation of EPIC at the clinic although they continue to work through some issues outside of their control.

The statistical report showed patient days of care were below what had been budgeted, but were better. Operating room procedures were flat, ENT was strong, WFMC numbers increasing. Murphy noted radiology was running better than a year ago, CT scans were significantly favorable; laboratory turning around; respiratory therapy inpatient, physical therapy and cardiac rehabilitation all looked favorable for the month.

In summary, Murphy said, they were looking at stronger volumes than they had including CT scans which helped with reimbursement, inpatient days were not quite to the budget, WFMC continued to improve, account receivables remained high.

Discussing Rural Health Clinic reimbursement for clinics, CEO Goettsch said, the question had been asked about Williamsburg and Marengo clinics status from July 1 to the present. Murphy explained with Rural Health reimbursement for clinics is based on cost for Medicare patients. They had worked with financial consultant and auditor Brian Green for some figures. Bottom line, Murphy continued, they would have received an additional $20,000 per month. In four months they would have seen additional $85,000 revenue. The clinics are running behind budget by about $100,000, so when they are able to capture the additional revenue, they would expect to be closer to the budget. Rural Health should have a substantial effect on the budget, about $255,000 in today's numbers. There is no difference in care, only how the claim is made. Mikaela Gehring, in her chief operating officer report, noted they had been busy with the application requirements for the Rural Health status for the clinics.

The board approved the financial reports.

Other reports
Teresa Sauerbrei, chief of nursing operations, said Kelly Peterson is the new occupational therapist.

The board approved the fiscal year - July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014 - CMH Critical Access Hospital annual review. Information will be included in a future article. Also to be covered in another article will be information from the patient satisfaction process review, survey processes and proposed updates.

Unity Point
Eric Briecemeister reported for UnityPoint has had a busy year in the region. St. Luke's Hospital has been named one of the top 50 heart institutions in the U.S. for the fifth time. This is an award based on data and quality outcome, he pointed out.

A lot of effort has been spent in the region on preparation should treatment be needed for patients with Ebola. Should there be patients at hospitals in the region, such as CMH, they would be transferred elsewhere. At the time of the meeting he said there were 16 people in Iowa under surveillance for the disease, none of whom were confirmed. He said they were happy with the response of hospitals in the region preparing for it.

Ground has been broken for the Linear Accelerator in Cedar Rapids and it is anticipated that by October 2015 it will be open and patients will be treated. The advantage of the facility, he continued, is that it is not hospital based. Co-pay and out of pocket costs will be significantly less than with a hospital-based facility, he said. This will reduce costs to patients. They have received a $500,000 donation from Helen G. Nassif, who has been a benefactor for St. Luke's and Cedar Rapids.

As a region they are going through Medical Home implementation and with all of the primary care clinics will continue in 2015. In addition they will look forward to EPIC, medical record keeping system now on the hospital side, continuing to the clinics. Different interfaces between hospitals and clinics currently do not always work with systems, he added.

Volumes, year to date in the region, inpatient numbers have been down a little, outpatient visits and emergency department volumes are a little ahead of last year but not what they would like it to be in terms of budgeting but they have kept staffing expenses down. Overall, however, he concluded it has been a great year for UnityPoint Cedar Rapids. They are preparing and putting a lot of effort into what they see ahead in three years when they go under full capitation, to be paid, for example, $500 per month, a kind of per member per month payment.

Jeff Ritchie presided at the meeting in the absence of Cindy Tindal, chair.

The board had two closed sessions on its agenda - one for Iowa Code 21.5 (1) (c) to discuss matters either presently in litigation or where it is imminent and were scheduled for a telephone conference with legal counsel.

The other closed session was for Iowa Code 21.5 (1) (l) to discuss patient care quality and process improvement initiatives.

Guidelines on Ebola protection

by DHAYES on OCTOBER 17, 2014

With the Ebola virus drawing concerns in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have distributed informational briefs for the public.

"Ebola is a serious virus that can spread if precautions are not taken but it is not as easy to catch as the national news coverage may suggest," says Patty Hinrichs, Grinnell Regional Public Health director. "We want to educate the public on what to watch for and, most important, how to avoid contracting the virus."

The CDC provides these guidelines:

- Ebola is only transferred through contact with bodily fluids such as sweat, saliva, urine, feces, semen, vomit or blood. This means that an individual must actually come in contact with bodily fluids from an individual who is infected, their used linens or clothing, or a used needle syringe, for example. Ebola is not spread through the air, water, food, or casual contact.

"Some viruses that are transferred through the air include seasonal flu, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella, mumps, measles, bacterial meningitis, among other heavy hitting illnesses. We have developed vaccines against these illnesses because they are easily spread," Hinrichs says.

- At this time, there is no FDA-approved vaccine to address the Ebola virus. Therefore, prevention through hygiene is the best strategy to avoid the virus.

- Avoid travel to countries where the Ebola virus is present.

- If you have come in contact with an individual who has traveled to an area with the Ebola virus, follow these guidelines:

- Practice careful hygiene. For example, wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and avoid contact with blood and body fluids.

- Infected people typically don't become contagious until they develop symptoms.

- Family members are often infected as they care for sick relatives or prepare the dead for burial.

- Medical personnel can be infected if they don't use protective gear, such as surgical masks and gloves. Medical centers in Africa are often so poor that they must reuse needles and syringes.

- Do not handle items that may have come in contact with an infected person's blood or body fluids (such as clothes, bedding, needles, and medical equipment).

- Avoid contact with bats and nonhuman primates or blood, fluids, and raw meat prepared from these animals.

- Avoid hospitals in West Africa where Ebola patients are being treated. The U.S. embassy or consulate is often able to provide advice on facilities.

- After you return, monitor your health for 21 days and seek medical care immediately if you develop symptoms of Ebola.

Symptoms of Ebola include
Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
Severe headache
Muscle pain
Abdominal (stomach) pain
Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days.

Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient's immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.

"Since these symptoms also are common for many other illnesses - viral and bacterial - the public must self-evaluate their risk exposure. Unless an individual has traveled to or met with someone who has been in an Ebola-infected area, the risk is probably low," Hinrich says.

"However, if you are at an increased level of risk you need to be honest with all healthcare workers and explain your risk immediately. To avoid further exposures to the virus, healthcare workers will need to have proper protective gear when caring for a suspected Ebola infected patient."

Individuals who are at high risk and have symptoms must not enter healthcare facilities without proper notification. Most medical clinics and facilities will want these patients to enter an isolation area. Before arriving at a healthcare facility, call the clinician and explain your risk and symptoms.

If a person does not develop symptoms after 21 days of the exposure, they will not become sick with Ebola.

Good hygiene practices include staying home until a person is symptom free for 48 hours. This is good common sense for any illness but especially contagious illnesses.
Common questions and answers about Ebola are available at http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/outbreaks/2014-west-africa/qa.html.

Partnering for Hope

Compass Memorial Healthcare's Pink Out, the partnership with area schools and others that successfully helped raise awareness for breast cancer, is back for another year.

For Iowa Valley freshman Kyra Alexander, the connection is personal.

Her mother, Julie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, when Kyra was just 7. She went through chemotherapy for two years and has since recovered.

"It's going for a good cause and just to go to pink out games is the other thing. Be aware of everything and just come to the games," said Kyra.

Organizers and others in Williamsburg shared the same sentiments. Kellie Bodeker, a Pink Out lead mom for Williamsburg High School, said the athletic community at Williamsburg is excited to be a part of the campaign.

"To make Pink Out successful takes the power and perseverance of many Raiders as well as the dedication of a centralized coordinating center (like Compass Memorial Healthcare)," Bodeker said.

But the pink shirts and pink balloons seen at football games don't just get there by themselves.

Bodeker described the behind the scenes activity as "a controlled chaos."

Senior mothers are central to coordinating the pink balloons for the memorial release, which involves ordering, purchasing and storing them until they are released, she said. The mothers also fundraise, prep the football field pink - as well as prepping the pink flags - for the balloon release game.

But, Bodeker said, it's all worth it.

"While Pink Out focuses on breast cancer awareness, we also use this opportunity to honor all cancer survivors and raise awareness of cancer and cancer prevention," Bodeker said. "Fundamentally, Pink Out becomes not only a rally for the community, but an educational and reflective experience for all those involved."

Later this month and continuing into October, athletes at Iowa Valley, HLV, Williamsburg, English Valleys and Belle Plaine will sponsor Pink Out events at various volleyball, football and other sports events.

"Cancer leaves no one untouched and, perhaps for this reason, all five Iowa County schools will provide a united front against this disease during the month of October."

In addition to regularly scheduled events, the senior mothers of Williamsburg High School leading the Pink Out event are considering having luminaries with names of survivors and those lost to cancer, selecting four mothers or grandmothers as co-captains for the coin toss on the field and having a silent auction to 50/50 raffle ticket sales.

There will also be a photo booth sponsored by Mercy Family Medicine Williamsburg at the football game on Oct. 17. The Pink Out group will also be selling pom poms to raise money for the cause.

Later this month and continuing into October, athletes at Iowa Valley, HLV, Williamsburg, English Valleys and Belle Plaine will sponsor Pink Out events at various volleyball, football and other sports events.

"Compass Memorial Healthcare is a community hospital and what better way to take on the challenge of fighting breast cancer than to include our youth," said Mary Warwick, CMH director of administrative services and marketing.

The hospital brought together students from all five schools in CMH's service area for a photo shoot to visually illustrate the organizations joining together for this important cause. Those photos have been posted at CMH's Facebook page.

The money that students raise for the Hope Fund stays local for free mammogram screenings of patients, said Warwick. These people could be neighbors, friends and family, she pointed out.

"We hope the members of our community embrace the opportunity to support our youth by attending their Pink Out events," she said. "We add events every year, this year is swimming and cross country, last year was softball and baseball. Hopefully we can add more next year."

Game dates are as follows:


Tuesday, Sept. 23: HLV volleyball.

Friday, Sept. 26: English Valleys football.

Tuesday, Sept. 30: Williamsburg cross country.


Thursday, Oct. 9: Belle Plaine volleyball.

Friday, Oct. 10: HLV football, Belle Plaine football.

Monday, Oct. 13: Williamsburg swimming, English Valleys volleyball.

Tuesday, Oct. 14: Williamsburg volleyball.

Thursday, Oct 16: Iowa Valley volleyball.

Friday, Oct. 17: Iowa Valley football, Williamsburg football.



A team-autographed volleyball will be auctioned off at each home volleyball game along with an CMH duffel bag. Small pink volleyballs with team autographs will also be available for purchase.

Pink football jerseys will be donated by CMH and worn by players at their home pink out football games. An autographed team football will also be auctioned off with an autographed team pink jersey.

A unified design "Pink Out" T-shirt was designed by Elite Sports and is being sold throughout all five schools and communities. Also new this year is pink dry-fit shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, and black sweatpants, each with the new logo on them. Elite Sports is partnering with Compass Memorial Healthcare and all schools by donating a large portion of clothing sales back to the Hope Fund. Orders for the T-shirts are due by Wednesday, Sept. 17, at each school office; one may also order online at stores.teamelitesports.com/hopefund.

For more information on the Hope Luncheon or the pink out united efforts, call the Compass Memorial Healthcare at (319) 642-8068 or go to www.MarengoHospital.org.

CMH, area schools team up for Pink Out


Compass Memorial Healthcare's Pink Out, the partnership with area schools and others that successfully helped raise awareness for breast cancer, is back for another year.

T-shirts, designed by Elite Sports, are available for you to show your support for breast cancer awareness and research. Orders are due by Sept. 17, and may be made at any of the five participating schools.another year.

Later this month and continuing into October, athletes at Iowa Valley, HLV, Williamsburg, English Valleys and Belle Plaine will sponsor Pink Out events at various volleyball, football and other sports events.

Game dates are as follows:


Tuesday, Sept. 23: HLV volleyball.

Friday, Sept. 26: English Valleys football.

Tuesday, Sept. 30: Williamsburg cross country.


Thursday, Oct. 9: Belle Plaine volleyball.

Friday, Oct. 10: HLV football, Belle Plaine football.

Monday, Oct. 13: Williamsburg swimming, English Valleys volleyball.

Tuesday, Oct. 14: Williamsburg volleyball.

Thursday, Oct 16: Iowa Valley volleyball.

Friday, Oct. 17: Iowa Valley football, Williamsburg football.


A team-autographed volleyball will be auctioned off at each home volleyball game along with an CMH duffel bag. Small pink volleyballs with team autographs will also be available for purchase.

Pink football jerseys will be donated by CMH and worn by players at their home pink out football games. An autographed team football will also be auctioned off with an autographed team pink jersey.

A unified design "Pink Out" T-shirt was designed by Elite Sports and is being throughout all five schools and communities. Also new this year is pink dry-fit shirt, a hooded sweatshirt, and black sweatpants, each with the new logo on them. Elite Sports is partnering with Compass Memorial Healthcare and all schools by donating a large portion of clothing sales back to the Hope Fund. Orders for the T-shirts are due by Wednesday, Sept. 17, at each school office; one may also order online at stores.teamelitesports.com/hopefund.

For more information on the Hope Luncheon or the pink out united efforts, call the Compass Memorial Healthcare at (319) 642-8068 or go towww.MarengoHospital.org.

CMH makes a 'prudent investment' for the future with expansion


The Compass Memorial Healthcare board of trustees approved proceeding with the facility project according to plans not to exceed $27.7 million contingent upon the approval of U.S. Department of Agriculture loans at the Aug. 27 meeting.

Chief executive officer Barry Goettsch explained that of the total amount, $3 million will be used to refinance 2012 bonds that will be called in 2017. The expansion and renovation project is called for $24.7 million.

Trustees voted 5-2 in favor of the project. Voting in favor were board chairman Cindy Tindal, and trustees Jeff Ritchie, Lindsey Jergens, Daryl Russ and Wayne Parizek. Randy Fry and Adam Grier cast the dissenting votes.

The vote to proceed with the project, stressed Goettsch, is contingent on the hospital being approved for $22 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Community Facilities Loan/Grant program. The remainder will come from operating capital.

This project represnts CMH's committment to the residents of the hospital's service area, about a 20-mile radius from the hospital's main Marengo campus, which spans roughly from Belle Plaine and Blairstown to the north, Amana to the east, Victor to the west and North English to the south. He said the vote to proceed is the culmination of months of planning, discussions and assessments of the hospital's and community's needs.

"There was a process in place shortly after I got here where we asked what our future needs were," said Goettsch. "Over the last five to six months we worked through discussions, had construction management folks and architects in to work with us to present the final product to the board.

"It (the discussion) just revolved around the future of our organization - who we are and what do we want to be?" he continued. "We want to be the best and this is the best investment to take us into the future. It's a prudent investment to secure the future (for CMH)."

Tindal added, "It's been a long road but we are immensely proud of the positive vote to proceed with the facility project. Our goal at Compass Memorial Healthcare has always been to offer state-of-the-art services to those we serve, and always strive to provide those services with a high standard of care.

"We look forward to what the future brings for CMH and those in the communities we serve," she added.


The current CMH building was completed in 1958, and the renovation represents the largest to date.

The most recent of the many renovations and expansions through the years was finished in 2006 at a cost of $10 million. That expansion included a new emergency room, expansion in the size of the inpatient rooms, laboratories and radiology/surgery departments. These will be part of the renovation project this time around, said Goettsch.

Because CMH is a critical access hospital, the hospital will remain at 25 beds.

Plans for this new expansion have been in the works for the past year. They call for 22,000 square feet in new construction, with a new surgery department, obstetrics, therapy, kitchen and cafeteria, and larger patient rooms. Non-clinical services and dialysis will be moved into the current Marengo Family Medical Clinic building.

Goettsch, in his presentation to the Marengo City Council earlier in the week, said the timeline calls for six months to prepare for the project as they continue to fine-tune documents, prepare bid packages and submit them for bidding and award contracts. Construction could begin next spring, with the project taking about two years.


The project was taken before the full CMH board of trustees for the first time at a closed meeting Wednesday, Aug. 20, and discussed in another closed session lasting nearly an hour and a half preceding the Aug. 27 open meeting. No further discussion on the project took place at the Aug. 27 meeting.

Previously the board toured the hospital in December and in January reviewed needs and approved going ahead with master planning and pre-construction phase. At that time Tindal appointed herself, Jergens and Parizek to be part of the master planning and pre-construction phase. In February Auditor Brian Green reviewed financing for a project, current indebtedness.

The project team consists of Hoefer Wysocki Architects, Kansas City, Mo.; Graham Construction, Des Moines, construction manager; Lancaster Pollard, manager of the financial structure and USDA application process; and Seim Johnson, with financial analysis and forecasting.


The Marengo City Council approved the hospital's plan to file the application at its Aug. 25 meeting.

The USDA will have three responses to the loan application: Fund part of the project this year, fund it for next year, or decline. If approved, the USDA will issue a 40-year, 4.5 percent loan.

Goettsch said he hoped the USDA application will be approved, and should hear word by late September or early October.

HOSPITAL NEWS - CMH Board hears report on roles, responsibilities


Compass Memorial Healthcare's Board heard a presentation on board roles and responsibilities presented by Emily Reiners, J.D., an attorney.

During a meeting earlier this summer, Reiners told the board has been doing strictly health care law the last four years and works half-time with UnityPoint Health with senior affiliates and half time with 16 critical access hospitals affiliated with UPH as a resource for legal issues for rural hospitals.

She gave background on responsibilities of board members, some of which come from corporate law, but under a nonprofit corporate act in state law.

CMH is established by Code of Iowa and is under City Ordinances, is licensed as a hospital under Chapter 135B Iowa Code and certified as a Medicare Access Hospital under federal regulations. All govern the hospital. Authority for regulations comes under Iowa Code chapters 37, the Veterans' Memorial Act and under county hospital regulation, and Code 347 and also the bylaws of CMH Board of Trustees.

Code Chapter 347 says the board has a duty to manage, control and govern the hospital. It also states the board has a duty to employ, or contract with, an administrator (chief executive officer) who has authority to oversee day-to-day operations of the hospital and its employees.

Board bylaws, she continued, say governance powers of the hospital are vested in the board with powers and duties necessary to manage, control and govern the hospital as permitted by law, the same wording as the state statute. The board appoints a CEO who is responsible for administration of the hospital in its activities and departments subject to policies adopted and orders issued by the board.


Fiduciary duties as board members, as applied to any nonprofit board - not specifically hospitals - were: Duties of loyalty, care, compliance oversight, obedience and confidentiality. These were spelled out from Code 504.833. They include: Placing interests for the hospital before director's private interests, including transactions in which the director has a personal financial interest; providing no loans from the hospital to directors and/or family members, avoiding use of opportunities for personal gain and management versus conflicts of interest, Reiners continued.

It also described conflicts where personal interests of an individual may conflict with the hospital or be perceived to conflict, including household members. Reiners outlined conflict of interest disclosures initially, annually and ongoing, and determination if it is so serious to prevent further participation in deliberations or it is of little or no significance if disclosed.

Gifts and business courtesies were outlined. Those offered by or to an employee or board member cannot be used to improperly influence decision making with the hospital, what is appropriate to community standards and whether there is cash or cash equivalent.


Duty of care, code 504.831, states board members are charged with exercising responsibilities in good faith, with diligence, attention, care and skill and in the best interests of the hospital. Fulfilling the duty calls for attending board meetings regularly, entering discussion, reading minutes, learning about hospital programs, maintaining oversight of finances and questioning unclear or troubling activity.

A business judgment rule says members of the board when becoming informed will discharge duties with care as a person in like position would reasonably believe appropriate under similar circumstances. A director is entitled to rely on information from officers or employees to the board, reasonably believing to be reliable and competent (the administrative team, accountant, etc.), also to rely on legal counsel, public accountants the director reasonably believes within the person's competence and merits confidence. The reliance is not warranted where the director has knowledge that makes reliance unwarranted.


According to Reiners there is also duty for a director to make inquiry comes when presented with information or circumstances which a reasonable person should have suspected wrongdoing. Information triggering this includes financial improprieties, self-dealing, fraud, embezzlement, sexual misconduct and discrimination.


Duty of compliance oversight arises from a director's duty of care and is a good faith standard to assure the corporate information and reporting system which the board concludes is adequate, exists. Failure to do so under the circumstances may, in theory, render a director liable for losses caused by non-compliance with applicable legal standards. It is called the Caremark standard.


Code of conduct ensures compliance with antitrust laws, tax-exemption, fraud and abuse, false claims act, lobbying/political activity, environmental issues, discrimination issues, business ethics and confidentiality, honesty and integrity, she said.

Duty of obedience includes carrying out the purposes and mission of the hospital, complying with applicable federal and state laws, doing required filings, complying with hospital governing documents, articles and bylaws.


Duty of confidentiality includes not only of patient information but also other confidential/proprietary information, presented to the board, in accordance with legal and ethical standards, she said. It includes maintaining confidentiality regarding salary, benefits and personnel information, disciplinary matters in accordance with hospital policy and applicable laws.

Most board meetings are open, but minutes and records in closed session are confidential. Members of public have the right to be at the open meeting. It is access that open meetings try to comply with, Reiners said, but if members of the public are not at an open meeting she suggested members maintain confidentiality of items discussed. If people have questions, they can ask the board member who can feel free to answer that, she continued, but an obligation of confidentiality exists even for open meetings. The public can access it, come and listen but if they don't, try to keep it confidential, she said.

She also covered shields from liability. Generally speaking, she said, a nonprofit director is shielded from liability so long as the director does not: Receive a financial benefit not entitled to receive; intentionally inflicts harm on the corporation or its members; permits an unlawful distribution of the organization's funds or intentionally violates a criminal law.

To recover against a director a person must prove: Action was not in good faith, an action the director didn't believe in the corporation's best interest or not informed, lack of objectivity or independence, failure to devote attention and ongoing oversight of activities or receipt of financial benefit to which the director was not entitled.

CMH run draws 130; more than $6,000 raised

by BRATHJEN on AUGUST 19, 2014

Over 130 participants ran and walked in the Compass Memorial Healthcare Foundation 5K Run/Walk and Kids Fun Run Saturday, Aug. 16 in Marengo.

More than $6,000 was raised for the CMH Foundation. Funds from this event go toward supporting the many services offered by Compass Memorial Healthcare.

Awards were handed out at the Marengo American Legion free will pancake breakfast following the event. Winners of the eighth annual event were:
  • Fastest Female 14 and Under: Emily Jensen, Williamsburg 25:15.

  • Fastest Female 15 and Older: Maddie Jensen, Williamsburg, 22:41.

  • Fastest Male 14 and Under: Ryan Becker, Marengo, 24:01.

  • Fastest Male 15 and Older: Nick Nordiem, Williamsburg, 17:50.

The 2015 event will take place on Saturday August 15.

Sponsors for this year's event included the following local and area businesses: Graham Construction Company, Seim Johnson, Stiefel Insurance of Victor, RehabVisions, Cornerstone Apothecary of Marengo, Belle Plaine and Van Horne, Dr. John Wollner, Dermatologist, Grinnell State Bank-Marengo, Claypool Law Office, Back Porch Flowers and Gifts, Brown's Hardware, Brooklyn Elevator, Victor Oil and Rohrer Bros., Dr. Eva Goettsch Family Dentistry, Thys Automotive Group, Victor Lumber Yard, Augustine Johnston Insurance-Holly Disterhoft, Brown Construction-Victor, Garcia Carpet-North English and Elite Sports-Parnell.

* *


  • 14-under: 1. Emily Jensen 25:15; 2. Peyton Grafft 31:44; 3. Jestine Megchelsen 33:36; 4. Zoe Hulseberg 35:16; 5. Alexandra Loffer 38:09; 6. Taylor Heitman 39:02; 7. Graceyn Uhlmann 44:05; 8. Anna Weldon 45:28; 9. Morgan Reif 47:09; 10. Alexi Kimm no time.

  • 15-19: 1. Maddie Jensen 22:41; 2. Belle Hartman 22:46; 3. Miranda Doehrmann 24:31; 4. Abby Zollinger 26.49; 5. Mackensie Sauerbrei 31:24; 6. Katelyn Richard 54:58; 7. Carly Schabaugh and Belle Kanagy no time.

  • 20-29: 1. Clara Hugill-Bailey 23:43; 2. Jillissa Schanbacher 25:15; 3. Tiffany Kriegel 25:23; 4. Ellen Carlson 28:08; 5. Melanie Heitman 39:33; 6. Abby Fish 43:11; 7. Ashley Meek 44:28; 8. Amber McCaw 48:52; 9. Roxanne Kasal 49:04; 10. Natalie Fry 49:07; 11. Jenny Gasper and Jena Dolmage no time.

  • 30-39: 1. Amy Fleming 25:22; 2. Christina Kriegel 27:05; 3. Samantha Esche 28:28; 4. Deanne Girling 34:40; 5. Kim Hulseberg 35:34; 6. Brooke Uhlmann 44:04; 7. Jennifer Olson 48:33; 8. Amy Richard 54:58; 9. Emily Pirkl 66:15; 10. Michelle Kimm and Jamie Detweiler no time.

  • 40-49: 1. Cathy Sondag 27:16; 2. Deborah Kennedy 27:28; 3. Monica Wessels 31:01; 4. Bridget Ellingson 31:12; 5. Teresa Sauerbrei 31:21; 6. Mindy Slaymaker 31:50; 7. Jill Wallace 33:43; 8. Becky Loffer 37:01; 9. Brenda McCaw 48:38; 10. Jeni Murphy 51:29; 11. Stacy Ritchie 58:24; 12. Jodi Garrett 58:50; 13. Colleen Fraham 59>01; 14. Breck Kurtz 60:00; 15. Mindi Gorgenson 60:30; 16. Rita Hinrichs 66:16; 17. Kelly Beck, Eva Goettsch and Cathy Sondag no time.

  • 50-59: 1. Jane Fry 26:42; 2. Lisa Flahrety 29:06; 3. Donna McWilliams 43:10; 4. Sandy Koenig 45:29; 5. Cindy Kinzenbaw 59:03; 6. Brenda Ledvina 59:05; 7. Becky Daily no time.

  • 60-older: 1. Jutta Denson 48:53.


  • 14-under: 1. Ryan Becker 24:01; 2. Josiah Zook 26:41; 3. Mitchell Klaas 29:19; 4. Wes Hulseberg; 5. Pierce Kienitz 36:13; 6. Robert Drayfahl 37:26; 7. Riley Kienitz and Ben Lamparek no time.

  • 15-19: 1. Josh Zollinger 19:25; 2. Steven Slechta 21:26; 3. Drake Healey 22:04; 4. Patrick Sukawattana 59:57; 5. Declan Broeg no time.

  • 20-29: 1. Trevor Abernathy 21:33; 2. Lance Von Ahsen 26:51; 3. Brad Becker 28:07.

  • 30-39: 1. Nick Nordheim 17:50; 2. Jeremy Kriegel 19:43; 3. Brandon Kienitz 22:08; 4. Kyle Chvala 22:46; 5. Joe Kriegel 23:22; 6. Cory Jensen 23:24; 7. Matthew Murphy 51:37; 8. Patrick Murphy no time.

  • 40-49: 1. Andrew Simmons 20:52; 2. Rick Lamparek 21:44; 3. Tom Megchelsen 22:21; 4. Tony Young 23:30; 5. Adam Grier 23:53; 6. Kevin Bammgatrwer 25:55; 7. Michael Kuntz 25:59; 8. Clark Skaggs 26:46; 9. Jeff Ritchie 58:24; 10. Jeff Jorgenson 59:55; 11. Glen Kurtz 59.58; 12. Barry Goettsch no time.

  • 50-59: 1. Jeff Peterson 21:16; 2. Jeff Becker 24:03; 3. Dave Wallace 24:55; 4. Tom Erickson 31:26; 5. Tony Weldon 32:10; 6. James Barnett 49:22; 7. Dale Kinzenbaw 58:23.

  • 60-older: 1. Len Winkle 25:32; 2. James Peterson Sr. 27:25; 3. Charles Hoehnle 44:53; 4. Steve Wilhelm 48:28; 5. Morrie Denson 48:37; 6. Harold Schuler 48:55.

Reed begins ENT outreach at Compass Memorial Healthcare

by BRATHJEN on AUGUST 13, 2014

Michael Reed is the new outreach physician for ENT at Compass Memorial Healthcare.

For those not into alphabet soup, "ENT" stands for ears, nose and throat, the three parts of the head that have common issues such as ear infections, sore throats and allergies.

Reed started his outreach work at the hospital earlier this month. He will be at the hospital on the first and third Fridays of the month as an outreach and will spend one day a month in the operating room.

"The main things will be kids, tubes and tonsils … allergy problems, sinus problems, any kind of mass of the head or neck like lumps and bumps," said Reed. "Any of those things we treat. I'd love to see and treat any of those.

"It's loving the head and neck population and elements that go along with it," he continued.

A native of southern Louisiana, Reed completed his undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University's Health Services Center. He did his ENT training at the University of Iowa.

When not at CMH, he is at ENT Medical Services, Iowa City. He and his wife have two daughters and live in Coralville.

To contact Dr. Reed, call (319) 642-8099.

Horseshoe league donates funds to hospital

by BRATHJEN on AUGUST 13, 2014

The Marengo Horsehoe Club donated $2,340 to Compass Memorial Healthcare during a brief presentation last week. Front row (l-r): Vicki Cobb, Harold Joseph, Gary Hanchett, Ron Stanerson, Margaret Staman, Barry Goettsch and Henry Trumpold. Back: Larry Ochs, Gary Hinrichs, Robin Hobbs, Larry Gnewikow, Lloyd Schropp, the Rev. Andrew Gray, Darrell Haack and David Rackow. PHOTO: Brian Rathjen

Ron Stanerson, the Marengo resident who's been heading up the town's horseshoe league, was beaming Monday night, Aug. 4.

It's not every day the league raises nearly $4,700 and is able to split the proceeds with Compass Memorial Healthcare. Yet, that was the result of the league's successful 24-hour pitching marathon as part of Marengo Third of July.

Stanerson, the longtime leader of the group, said that 1,642 ringers - pitched shoes that encircle the post on the opposite side of the court - were recorded. As promised, only 1,000 ringers were counted toward the pledges.

There were 183 contributors who donated a total of $4,680. Half of the proceeds - or, $2,340 - went to CMH. Chief executive officer Barry Goettsch and CMH Foundation director Margaret Staman were on hand to accept the check. The rest will go to the Horseshoe League.

GUEST OPINION: Economic impact - CMH makes a difference

by BRATHJEN on JULY 9, 2014


Compass Memorial Healthcare is a good example of something that is so vital a part of our immediate environment that it is easy to take for granted. Yet, its excellence is enormously important to our communities and region.

Having first-rate medical care close at hand is essential to the quality of life of every resident. The availability to our communities of a superb medical facility also makes Iowa County and the surrounding area more competitive as it seeks the economic growth that is so important to the future of the communities and region. It's no secret that two of the factors that are of critical importance in corporate decision-making about site selection are the quality of a town's schools and the ready availability of comprehensive, top-quality health care.

Consequently, it is no exaggeration to assert that Compass Memorial Healthcare's excellence helps its communities achieve their dreams for tomorrow.

But there's more to the story.Read More