Myrtue Medical Center Named a 2018 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital


Top 100 CAH - 7 Time Recipient - 2018Myrtue Medical Center was recently named one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“This achievement is very gratifying and validates our daily commitment to providing the best healthcare possible to our community, while maintaining an efficient and effective facility. I am especially proud of being a seven-year recipient of this award. ” said Barry Jacobsen, CEO Myrtue Medical Center.  “Very few hospitals, big or small, can make that statement. I also know we have received this recognition repeatedly because we have a tremendous staff comprised of dedicated, competent, and caring individuals.”

Myrtue Medical Center scored in the top 100 of Critical Access Hospitals on the iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. The INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural provider performance and its results are the basis for many of rural healthcare’s most prominent awards, advocacy efforts and legislative initiatives. The list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals can be found on the Chartis Group website.

The Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals play a key role in providing a safety net to communities across America – and the INDEX measures these facilities across eight pillars of hospital strength: Inpatient Share Ranking, Outpatient Share Ranking, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspective, and Financial Stability.

“I am incredibly proud of Myrtue and all my co-workers for this honor, but it does not surprise me,” said Dr. Hannah Johnk. “I see excellence on a daily basis from every department, with patients always at the center of our efforts. You can see the care each person puts into their work in order to make this such a great place.”

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart HealthDid you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US? It is also one of the major causes of disability. According to the American Heart Association, 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. That’s an average of 1 death every 38 seconds! These numbers may seem overwhelming, but heart disease is preventable.

The term heart disease covers all heart-related conditions including diseased vessels, structural problems, and blood clots. Some of the most common types of heart disease are high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, arrhythmia, stroke, congenital heart disease, and congestive heart failure.

The first step to prevention and management is to know your risks. Have your heart checked by your doctor on a yearly basis and regularly monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. Knowing your current health status will help you determine a strategy for prevention and maintenance.

Making healthy lifestyle changes is a key to lowering your risk of developing heart disease. Even if you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, healthy choices can make a big difference. Here are some ways to lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight and eat healthy
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Limit alcohol use
  • Be more active
  • Manage your stress levels

Click here for more tips and advice from the American Heart Association.

How’s your heart health? Need a checkup? Don’t know your numbers? Call Myrtue Medical Center at 833-662-2273 to schedule an appointment today!

For information about all our medical and health services, visit our website.


Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

January-New Years ResolutionsAre you going to beat the odds?

Nearly six weeks ago, almost half of us made New Year’s resolutions. Many of those resolutions were commitments to our health and well-being such as eating healthier, getting more exercise and taking better care of ourselves in general. However, statistics show that nearly 80% percent of those vows will already be abandoned by the second week of February. It is easy to make light of New Year’s resolutions and our inability to keep them but when it comes to our health and wellness we may want to strengthen our commitment to really make it stick this time. There’s no time like the present, right!? So, how can we help ourselves beat those odds? Here are a few tips.

Create a Plan

How are you going to achieve this goal? Define why you created the goal in the first place. Most of us would agree that it would be great to lose 10 pounds, but that is the objective, not the reason for the goal. Think about the real reason behind your goal.  Write out your goal and visualize your strategy for achieving it. Set frequent benchmarks throughout the year and check in with yourself on a regular basis to make sure you are staying on target.

Set a Few, Realistic Goals

Having too many goals can be overwhelming and discouraging. If you have a lot of goals you’d like to reach, prioritize the top two. Work on them, and when you’ve accomplished them, stop – celebrate, and then move on to the next two. You may find that accomplishing these initial goals will give you extra motivation and make it easier to accomplish more goals in the future.

Even one goal can be quite the undertaking when you consider the number of behavior changes that are required. Make sure your goals are reasonable and achievable. Goals should be challenging but not impossible! If you have a big goal, such as losing 100 pounds, set smaller intermediate goals and remember to celebrate each time you achieve an intermediate goal before moving on to the next one.

Use the Buddy System

Having a friend or colleague help you with your resolution could be the extra inspiration or encouragement that is essential to your success. Voicing the goal to someone works to cement the goal in your mind and create accountability.

Even if you didn’t make an official New Year’s resolution, you might still be looking for some new ideas to rejuvenate your health and wellness. Many of these are fun and quite manageable:

Try drinking more water, getting at least seven hours of sleep, or scheduling your annual primary care visit.

Here’s to making positive health and wellness changes and to beating the odds!

For information about Myrtue Medical Center and all of our medical and health services, visit our website or call (712) 755-5161.

Myrtue Medical Center Shelby County Home Health Department Named as Prestigious 2017 HHCAHPS HONORS Recipient

hhcahps-honorsMyrtue Medical Center Shelby County Home Health Department has been named a 2017 HHCAHPS Honors recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, HHCAHPS Honors is a prestigious award recognizing home health agencies that continuously provide the highest quality care as measured from the patient’s point of view. The HHCAHPS Honors program honors Home Health agencies who are dedicated to providing high quality of care in a patient-centric approach.

HHCAHPS Honors acknowledges the highest performing agencies using survey results from more than 1,200 partnering home health agencies.  HHCAHPS Honors recipients include those agencies scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Average on at least 85% of the evaluated questions.

We are excited to be named a 2017 HHCAHPS Honors recipient for the third time. It demonstrates continued commitment to the quality home health care services we provide to our community,” said Dr. Anderson.

Myrtue Medical Center Rehab Services Department Welcomes an Additional Clinician

Sam1The Rehab Department at Myrtue Medical Center is thrilled to welcome Sam Arentson, Physical Therapist, to its group of clinicians. Sam grew up in Harlan and had his first exposure to physical therapy as a post-surgical patient after a football injury during the 2004 state championship game.

“Before that, I didn’t know anything about PT,” Sam said. “I enjoyed going for my appointments—they were pleasant people to be around. Turns out they still are.”

Sam was inspired to study physical therapy and received his doctorate degree from the University of Iowa in 2011. His first job was for Montgomery County Hospital in Red Oak. From there he was promoted to rehab director at CHI in Corning.

Although happy in Corning, Sam and his wife, Katie, wanted to be closer to family. Both Sam and Katie’s parents are still in Harlan along with grandparents on both sides. So when the Physical Therapy position opened at Myrtue Medical Center, the timing was right to make the move.

Sam said he is excited to be returning home to be around family but also to experience working in a bigger therapy department. “I think it’s always healthy to have more people to bounce ideas off of,” he said.

Sam started work at the Myrtue Medical Center’s Rehab Services on September 25. He and Katie have three children, ages six, five and three.

MMC Joins New Opioid Guardianship Project

Opioid HeadIn participation with the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative Myrtue Medical Center has rolled out its latest innovative project; the Opioid Guardianship Quality Improvement Project. This project is designed to ensure all patients being sent home with opioids have a treatment care plan aimed at utilizing non-opioid treatment options, and decreasing the need for opioid use. As part of the Opioid Guardianship Project, Myrtue Medical Center will be holding a Community Meeting on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at the Therkildsen Center 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.  There will be information on what safe and effective comfort management looks like. Community members, which include patients and families, are invited to join us for a round-table discussion during the event.

Dr. Tom Evans, President and CEO of IHC states, “In alignment with CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids, Iowa Healthcare Collaborative is initiating the Opioid Guardianship Project across Iowa communities. This effort will be spread by way of partnerships with participating Compass Hospital Improvement Innovation Network hospitals around the State. Through this work, IHC is facilitating improved communication between healthcare providers, patients, and families about the safe and effective use of opioids for realistic comfort management.”

It is no secret that America is in the grips of an opioid crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, opioids were involved in 33,091 deaths. Nearly half of all those opioid overdose deaths involved a prescription opioid (

Join us on Thursday, Sept 21, 2017 at the Therkildsen Center from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. to learn more about the opioid crisis.

Fight the Flu…Flu Vaccination Clinics

Time for Flu Vaccine!

Protect yourself, your family and community this season with an annual flu vaccine for everyone in your family who is 6 months and older. Influenza remains a top 10 leading cause of death in Iowa, yet can be prevented by receiving yearly flu vaccine.

Some people are at higher risk for complications of influenza which makes receiving the vaccine very important. People at higher risk include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children, particularly those younger than 2 years of age
  • Adults age 65 and older
  • People who have certain medical conditions like asthma, high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes and lung diseases.

Individuals with these risk factors are protected when they receive the flu vaccine and also when those around them are immunized. Additionally, infants under six months of age are not old enough to receive the flu vaccine. The best way to protect young infants is to vaccinate family members and caregivers in order to provide a “cocoon of protection”.

While the timing of flu season is unpredictable, seasonal flu activity usually occurs in late fall and winter, but can last as late as May.  It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against influenza virus infection, making fall a great time to get the flu vaccine.

You have the power to protect your family against flu this season. Get yourself and your family a flu vaccine. Fight the Flu!  More information about available flu vaccines for the 2017-2018 season can be found at:

To schedule your appointment for the flu vaccine or for questions, call Shelby County Public Health at 712-755-4422.

Click here for Child Consent Form

Click here for Adult Consent Form

Click here for Vaccination Information Sheet

Click here for Spanish Vaccination Information Sheet

2017 Flu Clinic - Web - Flattened

Myrtue Medical Center Named “62 Critical Access Hospitals to Know” Three Years in a Row

Top 62Becker’s Hospital Review recently recognized Myrtue Medical Center as one of its “62 Critical Access Hospitals to Know.” This is the third year Becker’s has published a list recognizing outstanding critical access hospitals from more than 1,300 critical access hospitals in the nation. Myrtue Medical Center received the honor all three years.

The hospitals included on this list serve a variety of regions across the United States. Due to their predominantly rural locations, these organizations play a crucial role in the health and well-being of their respective communities.
Becker’s selected the 62 outstanding critical access hospitals based on rankings and awards from respected organizations, including iVantage Health Analytics, Healthgrades, the National Rural Health Association, Truven Health Analytics, Women’s Choice Award, the Leapfrog Group and Medicare star ratings. The team also considered the hospital’s community impact and reputation for innovation. Myrtue Medical Center was also recognized in 2017 as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital for the past 6 years by iVantage Health Analytics and Hospice Honors for the past 2 years by Delta-Analytics.
“I am proud to be part of this healthcare community that gives quality, personal care. I’ve always felt the care we give to patients is exceptional, and it is nice to to be recognized for our positive outcomes and quality measures,” stated Dr. David Bendorf, General Surgeon at Myrtue Medical Center.

Myrtue Medical Center Welcomes Behavioral Health Nurse Practitioner

Nicole Thomas

Myrtue Medical Center announced the addition of Nicole Thomas, MSN, MHed., ARNP, PMHNP-BC,  a Behavioral Health Nurse Practitioner.  Nicole will join Myrtue on July 31, 2017.

Nicole Thomas received her Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Allen College. For the past three years, Nicole has worked as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Plains Area Mental Health Center. In addition, Nicole worked as a registered nurse in the Mental Health Unit for Allen Memorial Hospital in Waterloo, IA.  Nicole’s hours at Behavioral Health will be Monday and Tuesday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. and Thursday  8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (via Telehealth).

“I was born and raised in Le Mars, IA. I love small town living and enjoying life’s simplicities.  I have always had a devoted interest in mental health and whole body wellness.  Psychiatry is truly my passion and I feel blessed and honored to serve the individuals within Shelby County and the Myrtue Medical Center community,” said Nicole Thomas.

MMC and Behavioral Health are committed to excellence and providing the most up-to-date, evidence-based practices in the field of mental health and substance abuse. Behavioral Health offers a wide variety of services provided by highly qualified and committed staff.   “We at MMC Behavioral Health are eager to have Nicole join our expanding team.  She brings with her experience, energy, and passion for mental health and helping those in need.  Nicole is committed to providing much needed behavioral health services to rural Iowa residents.  She will not only bring enthusiasm and energy to the clinic, Nicole will also be offering extended hours at the Behavioral Health department 3 evenings a week,” said Deb Meissner, Behavioral Health Director.


“Lymphedema” is the buildup of abnormally thick lymph fluid creating swelling most often in one or both of the arms or legs. This condition typically develops when lymph nodes or lymph vessels have been damaged, removed, are impaired or even missing resulting in the blockage or interruption in the flow of the lymph.

Symptoms of lymphedema include:

• Persistent swelling in part or all of your arm(s) or leg(s) including fingers or toes
• Heaviness, constriction or tightness in the affected limb
• Limited mobility due to swelling
• Aching or discomfort
• Recurring infections or open wounds
• Discoloration, hardening and thickening of skin

Therapists can help manage lymphedema and provide relief from some of the symptoms.  Therapy sessions may include:

• Specific exercises for the affected limb
• Manual lymphatic drainage technique (a form of gentle skin massaging intended to encourage typical drainage of lymph)
• Decongestive therapy with the use of compression stockings or sleeves, or specialized wrapping techniques
• Wound care in coordination with primary care providers
For your certified Physical or Occupational Therapists, please call 712-755-4342.