Myrtue Medical Center and Harlan Community School Meet with Governor Reynolds Second Time to Discuss Innovative Approaches to Mental Health in the Schools

School based Therapy-Governor ReynoldsSchool-based therapist, Katie Sandquist, and Harlan Community School High School Principal, Scott Frohlich, were invited to the Governor’s Teachers Cabinet to discuss mental health in schools.  The Teachers Cabinet is a group of educators that advises the governor on education policy for the state. The Governor reached out and asked Frohlich and Sandquist to share their innovative approach of removing barriers for kids and building collaboration between the school and Myrtue Medical Center in addressing mental health issues for students and staff in the school district.

The school-based therapy program got the attention of Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg when they visited Harlan Community Schools earlier this year. Governor Reynolds was interested in the success of Myrtue Medical Center’s unique permanency model within the school versus mobility of care that others tend to offer across the state.  With the Governor’s recent bill covering recommendations for establishing an Iowa children’s mental health system in Iowa, the state board will take a comprehensive look at current resources and create a strategic plan with specific recommendations to implement a better approach to help children with mental health issues.

“If we are going to effectively address mental health in schools, we have to come together in a collaborative and mutually supportive way,” said Katie Sandquist, Myrtue’s School-Based Therapist for 6th through 12th grade students. “Partnership and service are two of the core values of Myrtue Medical Center, so this program is a natural extension of our mission.”

Sandquist shared with Governor Reynolds and the Teachers Cabinet ways to creatively remove barriers to evidence-based treatment and grow a school culture that is trauma-responsive and promotes holistic wellness for students and staff.

School-based mental health services are outpatient services delivered in schools to work through behavioral, emotional and social challenges that impact success at school and at home. Families have the option for greater collaboration between the therapist and other supports at the school. With the parent/guardian’s support, the child’s therapist can work with school staff such as school counselors, administrators and teachers to develop a plan for support that will help the student thrive in and outside of school.  Therapy provided at the school mirrors therapy provided at the main Behavioral Health office, including use of the same process for intake, diagnosis, and planning goals for treatment.

“The partnership with Myrtue has been a seamless transition to better meet our student’s mental health needs,” said Mr. Scott Frohlich, Harlan Community High School Principal. “The support and collaboration has been a crucial link in making this a successful program. This partnership provides service to our students much quicker than if they would schedule with an outside clinic. Students are scheduled on a regular basis either weekly or bi-weekly within the school day, which reduces instructional time missed from the classroom.”

If you want to learn more about school-based therapy services, please call Myrtue Medical Center’s Behavioral Health at (712) 755-5056.

Charge Nurse – Night Shift

Medical/Surgical Department

Full-time position (36 hours per week).  Works 7:00 pm to 7:00 am various days.  Works every third weekend.  Responsible for planning, directing, supervising, and managing nursing activities in the delivery of quality, cost-effective patient care in the Medical/Surgical inpatient, outpatient, SNF, and SCU areas.  Coordinates activities and programs with other hospital services and involved physicians.  Assumes shift clinical and management responsibility for the Med/Surg inpatient, outpatient, SFN, and SCU areas.  Responsibilities include but are not limited to policies and procedures; quality improvement/quality assurance activities, and membership in committees as assigned.  At least one year experience including Med/Surg and SCU required.  Must possess technical skills and knowledge of equipment mechanisms necessary to deliver quality nursing care.  Must be a Registered Nurse currently licensed in Iowa.  Must be a graduate from an approved Professional Nursing program.  Current certification in Basic Life Support and Advanced Cardiac Life Support for RNs required.  Utilizes and builds upon knowledge acquired through formal education.

Rabies Remains a Health Threat for Iowans

RabiesEvery 10 minutes someone in the United     States is treated for possible exposure to rabies, accounting for about 55,000 people each year. About 5,000 animals that have tested positive for rabies each year in the U.S. Seven out of 10 Americans who die from rabies in the U.S. were infected by bats.

Any mammal can be infected with rabies, but in Iowa, rabies is most commonly identified in skunks and bats, accounting for 78% of the animals that have tested positive for rabies over the last 10 years. Cats, cows and dogs are the next most commonly identified rabies-infected animals in Iowa.

Rabies is spread when the virus from an animal’s saliva or neural tissue gets through a person’s skin via bite, contact to wounds, or contact with the eyes, nose or mouth. In addition, people known to be in the same room as a bat, but do not know for certain that they were bitten or had direct contact with the bat, may have been exposed to rabies. This would include persons who awaken to find a bat in the room or children alone with a bat in the room.

Prevention Tips

Leave all wildlife alone, including injured animals. If you find an injured animal, don’t touch it; contact local authorities for assistance.

Because pets can get rabies from wildlife and then could spread it to humans, preventing rabies in pets is also an important step in preventing human rabies cases. 

If Exposure Occurs

If you do come into contact with a rabid animal, rabies in humans is 100% preventable through prompt appropriate medical care. If you are bitten, scratched, or unsure, talk to a healthcare provider about whether you need post exposure treatment.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) provides 24/7 rabies consultation and receives about 500 rabies-related calls each year. IDPH can be reached at 800-362-2736 during business hours or 515-323-4360 after hours.