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Road to Recovery Training


Volunteer Drivers Needed to Transport Cancer Patients to Treatment

Getting to and from medical treatments is one of the greatest concerns cancer patients face during treatment. To ensure patients get to those much-needed treatments, the American Cancer Society provides free rides through its Road To Recovery® program.

The Society is currently looking for volunteer drivers in Shelby County so that all patients have transportation when they need it. An estimated 16,600 Iowa residents will learn that they have cancer this year; however getting to their scheduled treatment may be a challenge.

“One cancer patient requiring radiation therapy could need anywhere from 20 to 30 trips to treatment in six weeks,” said Suzie Mages, Senior Communmity Manager for the American Cancer Society. “A patient receiving chemotherapy might report for treatment weekly for up to a year. In many cases, a patient is driven to hospitals or clinics by relatives or friends, but even these patients must occasionally seek alternative transportation. That’s where the Road To Recovery program comes in.”

“The program not only helps patients, but is also rewarding for the volunteer. Several of our state wide drivers have volunteered for a number of years,” added Mages.

For additional information about the Road To Recovery program or to volunteer,  call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit There will be a group training meeting on October 24, 2016 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm in the Auble Room at Myrtue Medical Center. Those interested in becoming drivers will need to bring their drivers license and a copy of their vehicle insurance card.  Participants are encouraged to RSVP to or by calling 712.579.1878.  If participants have laptops, tablets, e-readers, or other mobile devices with internet access capabilities they are also encouraged to bring them for hands on real time experience.


Barry Jacobsen name to “50 Critical Access Hospital CEOs to Know”

Becker’s Hospital Review recently recognized Myrtue Medical Center’s CEO as one of its “50 Critical Access Hospital CEOs to Know.”

JacobsenHARLAN – Myrtue Medical Center’s CEO Barry Jacobsen has been named one of the top “50 Critical Access Hospital CEOs to Know 2016” in the U.S. by Becker’s Hospital Review.  According to Becker’s Review, under the guidance of the leaders on this list, “their hospitals have been recognized nationally for their quality of care and patient satisfaction.”  Mr. Jacobsen was appointed CEO of Myrtue Medical Center in 2009 after dedicating more than a decade to the hospital.  Prior to his current role as hospital CEO, he served as Myrtue’s CFO for 11 years.

“This recognition is really a reflection on all of our staff, doctors, nurses, trustees and auxiliary. Their dedication and commitment to quality patient care, satisfaction, and safety provide our community with exceptional healthcare service,” Jacobsen said. “I am grateful to be a part of this team and all the tremendous work being performed at Myrtue Medical Center.”

This is the second year Becker’s Hospital Review has published a version of this list.  Jacobsen has been on the list both years.  He is one of five Iowa hospital leaders named to the list.

“This recognition is very deserving for Barry and his leadership of Myrtue Medical Center,” said Allan Hjelle, Myrtue Medical Center’s Board of Trustee Chair. “We are extremely pleased with Barry’s administration of the hospital and his ability to lead a highly-trained, caring and talented healthcare team. He is a dedicated leader who is committed to quality healthcare for our community.”

To learn more and see the complete list of the top “50 Critical Access Hospital CEOs to Know” from Becker’s Hospital Review, go to

Welcome Sarah Mgonja, ARNP


Welcome New Nurse Practitioner
Sarah M. Mgonja, ARNP


Myrtue Medical Center announces the addition of Sarah Mgonja, DNP-FNP, a Nurse Practitioner.  Sarah joined Myrtue on August 1, 2016.

Sarah Mgonja received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Creighton University and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Upper Iowa University.  For the past eight years, Sarah has worked as a registered nurse in the emergency department for Unity Point Health in Des Moines, IA.  Sarah will be offering after hours and urgent appointment services Monday through Friday until 8:00 pm.

Sarah and her husband, Gervas, and their seven-year-old son, Henry, moved to Harlan in July. Gervas works as a Vice President at Town & Country Credit Union. Growing up with four brothers, Sarah enjoys playing sports and outdoor activities. In addition, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, bird watching with Henry, boating with friends, and traveling to her husband’s homeland of Africa. 

“I was born and raised in the small town of Lamoni and always knew rural Iowa was where I wanted to practice and raise my family. As a student at Myrtue, I had the pleasure of learning from the finest medical group around. I consider it an honor to work here, and I am excited to start practicing. Providing after hours and urgent care services to this community will give people the access to healthcare they deserve. Because I attended school in Omaha and worked in Des Moines, I’m often asked how Shelby County compares with the big cities. The truth is, there is no comparison.  Myrtue stands alone in the quality of staff and services that are provided.  The people of Shelby County make this community one of the greatest places to live and raise my family. I have an overwhelming sense of pride when I say I work here.”

“We are excited to have Sarah join our team and practice in our service area on a full-time basis, while offering extended hours to our community,” commented Barry Jacobsen, CEO.

Welcome Dr. Hannah P. Johnk, DPM


Welcome New Podiatry Specialist
Dr. Hannah P. Johnk, DPM


Myrtue Medical Center announcea the addition of Dr. Hannah Johnk, DPM as Podiatric Specialist.  Dr. Johnk joined Myrtue on August 1, 2016.

Dr. Hannah Johnk received her Doctor of Podiatric Medicine from Des Moines University College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery in Des Moines, IA.  She received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University. Dr. Johnk is currently completing her residency at Unity Point Health – Trinity Regional Medical Center in Fort Dodge, IA.  As a Podiatric medical practitioner, she is trained in diagnosing and treating conditions of the foot and ankle using non-surgical and surgical procedures for children and adults.

Dr. Johnk and her husband, Ryne, graduated from Walnut High School in 2005. They live in Walnut and have one daughter, Ivy, who is 7 months old. Dr. Johnk enjoys volleyball, travel, gardening, and assisting with her in-law’s farm south of Walnut.

“I grew up in Omaha before moving to Walnut, IA when I was 15. I have wanted to return to rural Iowa since leaving for college. I am thrilled to be able to practice medicine and raise my family in such a wonderful community. There is overwhelming pride that residents of Shelby County feel toward their hospital, schools, and towns. I am passionate about providing excellent care to an area that stole my heart 15 years ago,” stated Dr. Johnk.

 “We are excited to have Dr. Johnk join our team and to live and practice in our service area on a full time basis,” commented Barry Jacobsen, CEO.


Myrtue Medical Center Named “50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know”

Myrtue Medical Center Named “50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know”

Becker’s Hospital Review recently recognized Myrtue Medical Center as one of its “50 Critical Access Hospitals to Know.”

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. This is the second year Becker’s has published a list recognizing 50 outstanding critical access hospitals from more than 1,300 critical access hospitals in the nation. Myrtue Medical Center received the honor both years.

Becker’s selected the 50 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,  and the Leapfrog Group.   Myrtue Medical Center was recognized as a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital in the U.S. by the National Rural Health Association and Top 100 Critical Access Hospital by iVantage Health Analytics. Myrtue also received the Patient Safety Grand Prize award from the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative.

“It is exciting for me personally to see our health care system recognized this way. It validates all the hard work I see being done by our medical staff, administration, nursing and other departments in trying to improve the safety and quality of the care we deliver. I hope our county and the communities we serve can see the significance of what we are accomplishing as we continue to move forward in providing them the best health care possible,” stated Dr. Bret Heileson.

Hospice Department Named 2016 HOSPICE HONORS Recipient

LogoMyrtue Medical Center Hospice-Shelby County Community Health Department has been named a 2016 Hospice Honors recipient by Deyta Analytics. Hospice Honors is a prestigious program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.

“I’m proud of our team. Myrtue Hospice is the only hospice organization in the area to receive this honor. It shows our commitment to go above and beyond for clients and their families,” said Dr. Timothy Brelje, Hospice Medical Director.

Award recipients were identified by evaluating hospices’ performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Individual hospice performance scores were aggregated from all surveys with a final survey status of “complete” for the evaluation period and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a national performance score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in Deyta Analytics’ Hospice CAHPS database.

“Hospice Honors is a landmark compilation of hospices that provide the best patient and caregiver experiences,” said Bobby Robertson, President and CEO of HEALTHCAREfirst. “I am extremely proud of Myrtue Medical Center’s Hospice Department for achieving this highest of honors and I congratulate them on their success.”

Deyta Analytics is a division of HEALTHCAREfirst, the leading provider of Web-based home health and hospice software, outsourced billing and coding services, and advanced analytics.

Hospice Honors Pic

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