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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.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Immunization Awareness Month 2017 News Graphic

A Healthy Start Begins with On-Time Vaccinations

Immunizations give parents the safe, proven power to protect their children from 14 serious and potentially deadly diseases before age 2.

To celebrate the importance of immunizations for a healthy start and throughout our lives—and to make sure children are protected with all the vaccines they need— Myrtue Medical Center’s Department of Public Health is joining with partners nationwide in recognizing August as National Immunization Awareness Month. The first week of the month focuses on babies and young children and emphasized a healthy start for little ones beginning with on-time vaccinations.

“Children who don’t receive recommended vaccines are at risk of getting the disease or illness and of having a severe case,” said Lori Hoch, Public Health Director. “Every dose of every vaccine is important to protect your child and others in the community from infectious disease. Talk to your doctor or other health care professionals to make sure your child is up-to-date on all the vaccines he or she needs.”

Today’s childhood vaccines protect against serious diseases, including polio, measles, whooping cough, mumps and chicken pox. There are many important reasons to make sure your child is vaccinated:

  • Immunizations can protect your child form 14 serious diseased by age 2.
  • Vaccination is very safe and effective.
  • Immunizations can protect others you care about and the community as a whole.
  • Immunizations can save your family time and money.
  • Immunizations protect future generations by reducing prevalence of serious diseases.

When children are not vaccinated, they are at increased risk and can spread diseases to others in their family and community—including babies who are too young to be fully vaccinated and people with weakened immune systems due to cancer and other health conditions.

Parents can find out more about the recommended immunization schedule at or MMC’s Department of Public Health at 712.755.4422.

National Senior Health & Fitness Day®

2017_NSHFD_Logo_color_RIBBON_EDITABLE Myrtue Medical Center and Petersen Family Wellness Center will celebrate the 24th Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day (NSHFD) on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 with honored guest, Chuck Long, former Iowa Hawkeye football quarterback legend. As an official host site, the Petersen Family Wellness Center will hold health and fitness activities from 8-10:30 a.m. in a mini-health fair format. All adults 50 and older are welcome to attend. Throughout the day, there will be wellness activities, free senior group exercise programs, snacks and refreshments, prizes, guest speakers covering orthopedic and foot care, hearing screenings and autographs from Chuck Long.

On this day, the Petersen Family Wellness Center will join with seniors to help promote active, healthy lifestyles through physical fitness, good nutrition and preventive care. According to Todd Alberti, the Petersen Family Wellness Center Director, “Our Senior Health and Fitness Day is a wonderful opportunity for seniors to make, renew, and revitalize their commitment to live healthier lives through better health and fitness.”

For more information about the Senior Health and Fitness Day, please contact Pat Hemminger, The Petersen Family Wellness Center, 712-755-4374,

National Senior Fitness Day 2017


Shelby County Community Health Hospice Department Named a 2017 Hospice Honors Recipient

Myrtue Medical Center
Shelby County Community Health Hospice Department
 Named a 2017 Hospice Honors Recipient

 Myrtue Medical Center Hospice – Shelby County Community Health Department has been named a 2017 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.

“We are humbled to be named a Hospice Honors recipient for the second straight year. It shows the commitment over time that Myrtue Hospice has to our clients and their family. We will continue to work hard to exceed client expectations,” said Dr. Timothy Brelje, Hospice Medical Director.

Award recipients were identified by evaluating performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Performance scores were aggregated from all completed surveys and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a National Performance Score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in the Deyta Analytics’ Hospice CAHPS database. Hospice Honors recipients include those hospices scoring above the Deyta Analytics National Performance Score on 20 of the evaluated questions. Deyta Analytics holds a special recognition, Hospice Honors Elite, to honor hospices scoring above the Deyta Analytics National Performance Score on all 24 of the evaluated questions.

“Hospice Honors is a landmark compilation of hospices that provide the best patient and caregiver experiences,” said J. Kevin Porter 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.”


Hospital Creates $22 Million Impact on Local Economy

Hospital Creates $22 Million Impact on Local Economy

In all, Iowa’s Health Care Sector Provides Nearly 325,000 Jobs Across State

DES MOINES – Myrtue Medical Center generates 582 jobs that add $22 million to the region’s economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association.  This generates $3 million in retail sales and contributes $183,000 in state sales tax revenue.

“We are known for delivering on the promise of better health and quality care, yet our contributions to our community extend even further when considering the positive impact we have on our local economy,” said Barry Jacobsen, CEO of Myrtue Medical Center.

The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector.  The study was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.

The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 72,008 people and create another 55,492 jobs outside the hospital sector.  As an income source, hospitals provide $4.5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.3 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, Iowa’s health care sector, which includes offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners, nursing home and residential care, other medical and health services and pharmacies, contributes $16.6 billion to the state economy while directly and indirectly providing 324,977 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.

“Through the many changes in health care, there is one certainty: That hospitals and health care are vital to Iowa’s economy,” said IHA president and CEO Kirk Norris. “With nearly 325,000 jobs, health care is one of Iowa’s largest employers and hospitals remain, by far, the biggest contributor to that number. In Iowa cities and counties, hospitals are uniformly among the largest employers.

“As our political leaders in Washington, DC and Des Moines consider legislation and regulations that impact hospitals and health care, they need to keep these facts in mind. As providers of high-quality, low-cost health care, good jobs and economic stability, there is no replacement for community hospitals.”


Betty Keane Selected as “Phlebotomist of the Year”

Betty Keane Selected as “Phlebotomist of the Year”

Every year the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science-Iowa (ASCLS-IA) recognizes individuals, whom have been deemed by their peers as showing outstanding service and dedication to their profession, co-workers and patients. Myrtue Medical Center’s Betty Keane was selected as “Phlebotomist of the Year” from ASCLS-IA.
This award serves to recognize the phlebotomists who are both the legs and the public face of the lab. The quality of our lab testing depends a great deal on their skills. Plus a patient’s impression of the laboratory and of their work is mostly determined by his or her interaction with the phlebotomist.
“Betty is truly compassionate to her patients’ needs and provides the highest quality of customer service. She has a natural ability to understand and feel what the patients are experiencing, and she is able to meet their needs effectively. I am proud to have Betty as a Phlebotomist on our Lab team,” said Jason Eckermann, Lab Director at Myrtue Medical Center.
The award will be given at the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Annual Spring Meeting at the University of Iowa on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017.


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