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.

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