Medical Clinics

Right here, in your own communities, you will find compassionate and skilled professionals trained to provide preventive medicine, ongoing treatment and complex surgeries dedicated to improve your health and comfort. Myrtue Medical Center operates medical clinics in five locations for your convenience: Harlan, Earling, Elk Horn, Avoca and Shelby.  No matter which clinic you visit, the medical providers will have access to your medical records which enables them to give you the best of care in a timely manner.

As well as providing care for all ages, six of our board certified family medicine physicians provide expert obstetrical care including three who perform C-sections. Dr. Sarah Devine specializes in internal medicine and pediatrics and practices in our Harlan Clinic. Dr. David Bendorf, our full-time surgeon performs an extensive list of procedures including utilizing laparoscopic (non-invasive) techniques. Please call 712.755.5130 for an appointment. Our clinics are dedicated to meeting your needs in the most compassionate and professional way, right here at home.

A Word From Our Clinic Director

Donald Klitgaard, MD Dr. Don Klitgaard, MD, Medical Director of the Rural Health Clinics at Myrtue Medical:

The Myrtue Medical Center Clinics have undergone substantial changes in the past several years. As one of 36 practices from around the country selected to participate in the TranforMED National Demonstration Project, we accepted the challenge to change many aspects of our medical practice. Our overall goal is to transform our practice into a patient-centered medical home, where patients can have their vast variety of medical needs effectively and compassionately met.

Beginning in 2007 the clinic completely changed how we dealt with medical information by adopting Electronic Health Records, where all our patients’ health information can be stored, organized, and accessed efficiently. We have put health coaches in place to assist patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart failure in dealing with their illnesses more effectively. Electronic prescribing has made prescription writing more accurate and secure without patients needing to carry written prescriptions to the pharmacy and then waiting to get them filled.

Recently we have added Computerized Physician Order Entry to the list of changes here to allow us to better track lab tests and x-ray studies, as well as referrals to specialists. This will allow more timely and complete notification of results and needed follow up.

With an ever-increasing focus on wellness, we hope to have a proactive impact in the health of our patients. Whether discussing needed lifestyle changes such as smoking cessation or dietary modification, or offering screening for preventable chronic diseases and cancers, we strive to keep our patients well. This community wellness goal led to the planning and construction of the Petersen Family Wellness Center, which gives us all a wonderful venue to exercise regardless of Iowa’s brutal summer heat or bitter winter cold.

In the past four years our efforts, although far from perfect and often slightly chaotic during times of rapid transition, have been described in articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, the AARP Bulletin, and many other national publications. I have presented at national meetings of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Physicians, to academic researchers and large business and insurance groups, as well as multiple times to policymakers on Capitol Hill. These physician, business and governmental leaders are all interested in learning from the many ways we are transforming our practice to better meet the needs of patients.

As I’ve had the opportunity to speak to this diverse group of people associated with healthcare at many levels, I’ve come to appreciate how unique and special the healthcare community we have built here in Harlan is when compared to the rest of the country. We pledge to continue to adapt to a rapidly-changing health care environment using new technologies, combined with hard work and an innovative spirit, to provide our patients with world-class primary health care delivered with small town values.

~~Dr. Donald Klitgaard