Keeping You Well

Page 1

Keeping You Well

FALL 2020

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics

Audrey’s Story PAGE 4

Partnering with Mark on his Heart Health Journey PAGE 6

Grateful PATIENT “

The entire Rehab

staff was wonderful. They were very

informative, helping

me understand more about my sudden cardiac arrest.

They helped me get

back to me again.” A GRATEFUL PATIENT

Message from Tim I’m not even sure where to start when I reflect on 2020. What a year! As you can imagine, Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics has been navigating through the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 Timothy Ahlers CEO virus. I realize it has had a profound impact on all of us in different ways. Our work at GMHC has been focused on keeping up to date with the latest ways to diagnose and manage the virus, so we can keep our patients and community safe and healthy. Earlier this year we postponed routine appointments and canceled elective surgeries. But please know that we have re-opened all of our services and will continue to partner with you on your health and wellness journey in a safe and caring way. We have amazing people that work at GMHC! All of our staff have dedicated their time, talent and energy to taking care of our patients and community during this pandemic. I am very proud of how they all stepped up and am honored to serve alongside them. During this pandemic, we asked staff to take on additional roles as we responded to the virus. And they did so without hesitation. I especially want to thank Dr. Michele Dikkers, Cornerstone Family Practice, for her leadership. As chair of the Clayton County Board of Health, she stepped up to coordinate a response for all of Clayton County, wrote many articles to keep you informed of the virus, and offered ways to mitigate its spread to protect you. Our medical staff added another physician this year when Dr. McCaw joined us in March. He is an exceptional physician who is uniquely warm and caring and has been a great addition to our care team. He joins the seven other providers that staff our clinics in Guttenberg, Garnavillo and Edgewood. In January of 2021, GMHC celebrates its 60th Anniversary! We are excited about the work of the new Foundation of Cornerstone Communities, which will both strengthen and build our communities to become vibrant, healthy places where top-notch health care can be accessed for the next 60 years. Finally, I want to recognize a local hero. Donna Hinzman went right to work when the pandemic started. Her tireless efforts have helped protect our providers and staff during this pandemic. She personally sewed over 1,000 cloth masks and donated them to GMHC and others throughout our community. I can’t thank her enough and we are blessed to have her in our community.

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics

2 The Update | Fall 2020


Timothy Ahlers

Cornerstone Family Practice

Clinic Hours


MON – THURS: 8am - 7pm FRI: 8am - 5pm SAT: 8am - Noon


MON & TUES: 8am - 5pm WED: Closed THURS & FRI: 8am - 5pm


MON – WED: 8am - 5pm THURS: Closed FRI: 8am - 5pm

Introducing Dr. Guy McCaw Cornerstone Family Practice is pleased to welcome Dr. Guy McCaw. With over 30 years of experience as a family medicine physician, Dr. McCaw welcomes patients of all ages, but especially enjoys working with children and adolescents.

Call 563-252-2141 to schedule an appointment.


I especially love working with kids and enjoy keeping up with many whom I’ve cared for over the years. It is also great fun meeting seniors and hearing their interesting life stories.” GUY MCCAW, MD

Choose GMHC Skilled Care for Recovery Recovering from a recent stroke, heart attack, orthopedic injury or joint replacement surgery? You have a choice! Choose GMHC, an optimal setting for patients who are medically stable but still require specialized care on a daily basis. Led by our physicians, the GMHC Skilled Care Team includes professionals from rehab services (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy), respiratory therapy, dietary, nursing, social work, care coordination, and health coaching. We assist our patients in planning their transition from the hospital to the next level of care, whether it be home, assisted living, or care center. We will also help coordinate any additional resources they may need for a full recovery. Our priority is to help our Skilled Care patients reach their highest potential for health and independence before transitioning home. For more information on GMHC Skilled Care services, please call a Care Coordinator at 563-252-5522.

Audrey’s STORY

Audrey is a bright-eyed spunky toddler who lights up a room. Like most children, Audrey’s first words were “Momma” and “Dadda”. When “Momma” and “Dadda” were the only two words in Audrey’s vocabulary, and she began using them less and less after she turned one, her parents, Kayleen and David LaShelle, were concerned. At Audrey’s 18 month well-child checkup, Kayleen expressed their concerns about Audrey’s lack of speech to her primary care provider, Dr. Michele Dikkers. Dr. Dikkers confirmed that a child Audrey’s age should be using at least 6 to 10 words consistently and referred her to speech therapy at GMHC for an evaluation. The purpose of a speech and language evaluation is to determine a child’s strengths and challenges in their skills to communicate effectively with others. The assessment may include: oral motor assessment (how the mouth and face move while speaking), standardized assessment for expressive language (words the child produces), receptive language (what the child understands), speech production (articulation), social skills, and feeding and swallowing abilities.

4 The Update | Fall 2020

Speech Pathologist Beth Mescher evaluated Audrey and determined that she had challenges understanding language. Mescher developed a treatment plan and in February 2019, Audrey began weekly speech therapy sessions with Beth to build a foundation for her language skills. Sessions included activities to increase Audrey’s attention span, turn taking skills, pointing, playing, making gestures, and using sign language. After building this foundation, Beth introduced activities to help Audrey model words and to increase her understanding of those words, growing her vocabulary. Kayleen attended every session. “It is necessary to have a parent attend each session to learn the specific language building strategies so they can pratice at home,” said Beth Mescher, “this is significant to the success of the child.” “Beth was great! She recommended toys, and gave us tips for home, and reassured us that Audrey would get

caught up,” said Kayleen. “We’re so happy with Audrey’s progress. She’s now pulling five-word sentences together and her vocabulary has increased to over 300 words.” “After one full year of speech therapy, Audrey has made great gains in meeting developmental milestones and her communication skills continue to improve daily,” reports Beth. “If parents are concerned about a child’s delay in speech, I encourge them to visit with their primary care provider right away. Please don’t “wait and see.” Communication milestones develop quickly during the first years of a child’s life. The earlier children can be assisted in developing language skills if a delay is identified, the quicker they’ll reach their ageappropriate goals.”

Seniors Save with SHIIP

Last year Jim Solomon, volunteer counselor with SHIIP, helped local Seniors save a total of $118,160 by comparing Medicare Part D Plans. Where do I start? What are my options? Am I making the right decision? What will it cost me? Is there help if I can’t afford my insurance? If I’m still working do I have to sign up for Medicare? If you have questions, SHIIP can help. SHIIP is the abbreviation for Senior Health Insurance Information Program. SHIIP provides free informational materials as well as one-to-one assistance at no cost to persons who are retired or over the age of 65.

Jim Solomon, SHIIP Volunteer Counselor

Over the last three years SHIIP volunteer Jim Solomon has helped answer questions and solve problems related to: Medicare coverage, Medicare supplemental insurance, long-term care insurance, Medicare and insurance claims and other related issues.

We’re so happy

“We are so grateful to have a SHIIP Counselor right here in Guttenberg,” said Family Resource Center Coordinator Kari Harbaugh, “Jim is a great asset to our community!”

with Audrey’s

Trained by the State of Iowa Insurance Division, Jim answers questions and provides impartial information to help people on Medicare make well-informed decisions.

now pulling five-

Open Enrollment closes on December 7, 2020. Call 563-252-3215 to set up a private appointment. Appointments are held at the GMHC Family Resource Center, 514 South River Park Dr., Guttenberg.

progress. She’s

word sentences

together and her vocabulary has

increased to over 300 words.”


Family Resource Center Expands Food Pantry The Food Pantry recently expanded into the space beside the Family Resource Center, creating more storage for food and a better experience for those using it. In addition to food, the pantry is stocked with hygiene items, diapers, and formula. No referral is needed, appointments can be made and donations are welcome. Guttenberg Hours: Mon: 8a - 4p, Tues: 8a - 6p, Wed: 8a - 4p, Thurs: 8a - 6p, Fri: 8a - 12p Edgewood Hours: Please call for an appointment at 563-252-3215 or 563-880-8461

GMHC Rehab helped heal my heart, giving me more energy for the activities I enjoy.”

MARK MATHER Grateful ED and Rehabilitation Patient



It started as slight uncomfortable pressure in his chest the evening of August 28, 2019. Nothing too serious. He thought perhaps it was indigestion from his supper. He took one aspirin with two Tums. And then, Mark Mather began sweating, and the pressure didn’t subside. He and his wife Becky decided it was time to visit the Emergency Department at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics. “When I arrived in the ED, the discomfort was greatly reduced,” recalls Mark. “In fact, I apologized for taking up their time. ED Provider Beth Sadewasser assured me that I’d made the right decision to come get checked out and I was

immediately taken to an emergency room for tests.” Mark was evaluated with blood tests and an EKG. Beth consulted with a cardiologist confirming that Mark had indeed had a heart attack and he was transported by ambulance immediately to Dubuque. At 7:30 a.m. on August 29, Mark had an angiogram which revealed he had partial blockage of two coronary arteries, and was corrected with the placement of two stents. “I’m so thankful I knew the warning signs and went to the ED at GMHC right away,” said Mark. After one night in the hospital and a week of recovery, Mark began cardiac rehabilitation at GMHC three days a week for the next six weeks. “The entire staff was very helpful and caring during my rehab.

They thoroughly answered all of my questions and worked closely with my cardiologist in Dubuque. The level of professionalism and knowledge was very comforting,” said Mark. “GMHC Rehab helped heal my heart, giving me more energy for the activities I enjoy.” Amanda Miller, one of Mark’s therapists, commented, “My job as a therapist at GMHC is so rewarding. It is great to inspire patients like Mark to work hard, knowing that together as a staff, we make a real difference in our patients’ health.” Other than being older, Mark had no other risk factors for a heart attack. “Knowing the warning signs and symptoms may have saved my life,” says Mark. “I knew to get checked out, and I’m very pleased with the emergency services I received at GMHC. Our community is fortunate to have the hospital right here.”




attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back.| ItFall can2020 feel like uncomfortable 6 The Update pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

DISCOMFORT IN OTHER AREAS OF THE UPPER BODY: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

without chest discomfort.

OTHER SIGNS: may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.


Guttenberg: Kathy Lansing Sue Osterhaus Penny Hansel Rose Kann Dan Kuempel Robyn & Dorothy Tangeman Julie Parker Garnavillo: Shirley Schmelzer Bill Robinson Shirley Balk Stephanie Ostrander

For a healthy & vibrant today! Foundation Awards Grants and Announces Ambassadors

In 2019, community leaders identified two challenges facing our local healthcare; the decline of rural populations and recruitment/ retention of healthcare professionals. The Foundation of Cornerstone Communities was born to sustain our local healthcare by building vibrant and healthy communities for current and future residents. Funded by members who have a common goal of protecting the future of local healthcare, the Foundation supports initiatives and programs that directly impact the everyday health and vitality of residents of all ages in communities served by Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics.

GRANTS AWARDED - $3,500 to the City of Guttenberg to help fund playground equipment at Darwin Duwe Field


Edgewood: Jackie & Art Johnson

GRANT playground equipment

Steve & Donna Brady Colesburg: Jan & Ruth Lueken The work of the FCC Ambassadors is extremely important and we thank these community members for their commitment.


GRANT Guttenberg video

- $1,000 to the Guttenberg Chamber of Commerce to help fund the Guttenberg promotional video project “As we grow our membership, we are excited to partner with more organizations and visionary leaders in other communities served by GMHC on projects that will keep their community healthy and strong,” said Jackie Lee, Grantmaking Committee Chair.

AMBASSADORS The purpose of the FCC Ambassador Program is to spread awareness of FCC through personal connections, helping to advance the mission. FCC currently has Ambassadors in Guttenberg, Garnavillo, Edgewood & Colseburg.

“Protecting the future of our local healthcare will involve building up our communities and growing our populations. I’m pleased to be part of the founding board of the Foundation of Cornerstone Communities.”

MEMBERSHIP Become a member of the Foundation of Cornerstone Communities with a year-end gift, or an endowed gift or pledge. Partner with us to provide funding for grants to organizations who have projects that align with our mission of creating a healthy and vibrant today. Send gifts to Foundation of Cornerstone Communities (FCC), PO Box 550, Guttenberg, IA 52052. Learn more from any board member, by visiting the website: https://www., or call 563-252-5516.


Coaching You to Better Health Could you use some assistance in successfully managing medical conditions, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma and other health issues? The Health Coaches at Cornerstone Family Practice Clinic partner with patients to develop a personalized plan to reach their goals for healthy living, helping patients understand their diagnosis, medical conditions, and their doctor’s treatment plan.

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics

200 Main Street Guttenberg, IA 52052 (563) 252-1121

Stay Close to Home with Surgical Services at GMHC You can rest assured you are in good hands with our team of experienced professionals, including skilled surgeons, anesthesia providers, registered surgical nurses and operating room technicians.

Meet the GMHC Health Coaches:

Rachel Fritz, RN, Joan Parker, RN, BSN, Sara Phelps, RN and Amy Sadewasser RN, BSN

Health Coaching is offered in Guttenberg, Garnavillo and Edgewood. Call 563-252-2141 to make your appointment.

“I had my hernia repaired with robotic-assisted surgery at GMHC and was pleased to be in and out the same day. With three small incisions, a week later, I didn’t feel like I’d even had surgery.” A GRATEFUL PATIENT

Call 563-252-1121 to learn more about Surgical Services at GMHC.

Cornerstone Family Practice

Partnering with you on your health and wellness journey Trained to care for patients of all ages, the Cornerstone Family Practice board-certified family medicine physicians and nurse practitioners diagnose and treat most medical issues, from infections and sprains to diabetes and asthma. Our team will partner with you on preventative and routine care for the entire family, working together to understand your unique health and wellness journey.

GUTTENBERG 563-252-2141 Like usMain on Facebook 200 Street

Andrew Smith, MD

Lana Erion, DNP, FNP-BC

Jeffrey Hoffmann, DO

Amber Wessels, FNP

GARNAVILLO 563-964-2608 101 E Watson Street

Michele Dikkers, DO

Guy McCaw, MD

Hayle Bockenstedt, DNP

Taylor Fassbinder, DNP

EDGEWOOD 563-928-6435 The Update | Fall 2019 3 101 S Washington Street

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