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.

Medical Technologist (Night Shift)

Laboratory Department

Full-time position (36 hours per week). Works 6:00 pm to 6:00 am (six days on; eight days off).  Performs various chemical, microscopic, and bacteriologic tests to obtain data for use in diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Receives or obtains specimens for laboratory analysis and prepares tissues to be sent for pathology.  Applies techniques used in fields of bacteriology, hematology, serology, blood banking, and chemical and morphological examinations.  Records and charts laboratory test results.  Is responsible for specimen processing, test performance, and reporting of results.  No experience is necessary other than that received in a medical technology school.  Must be a graduate of an accredited school of approved medical technology, and it is recommended to be registered by the ASCP, NCA, HHS or equivalent as an MT or MLT.

Myrtue Medical Center-The First Critical Access Hospital in the state of Iowa to receive American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline Silver Referring Achievement Award

Lifeline STEMIMyrtue Medical Center has received the Mission: Lifeline® Silver Referring Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association for the treatment of patients who suffer severe heart attacks. Myrtue is the first Critical Access Hospital in the state of Iowa to receive this elite cardiac care designation.

Every year, more than 250,000 people experience an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), the deadliest type of heart attack, caused by a blockage of blood flow to the heart that requires timely treatment. To prevent death, it’s critical to restore blood flow as quickly as possible, either by mechanically opening the blocked vessel or by providing clot-busting medication.

The American Heart Association’s Mission: Lifeline program’s goal is to reduce system barriers to prompt treatment for heart attacks, beginning with the 9-1-1 call, to EMS transport and continuing through hospital treatment and discharge. The initiative provides tools, training and other resources to support heart attack care following protocols from the most recent evidence-based treatment guidelines.

Myrtue Medical Center earned this award by meeting specific criteria and standards of performance for promptly diagnosing STEMI patients and transferring them to hospitals that provide emergency procedures to re-establish blood flow to blocked arteries when needed.

“Every second counts in these types of critical situations. This recognition for our level of cardiac care is truly an honor,” said Jenny Lefeber, manager of Myrtue’s Emergency Department.

“We commend Myrtue for this award in recognition for following evidence-based guidelines for timely heart attack treatment,” said Tim Henry, M.D., Chair of the Mission: Lifeline Acute Coronary Syndrome Subcommittee. “We applaud the significant institutional commitment to their critical role in the system of care for quickly and appropriately treating heart attack patients.”

Myrtue Medical Center’s Economic Impact on Local Economy Tops $29 Million in 2019

Economic Impact-Myrtue Medical Center-5.19

In all, Iowa’s Healthcare Sector Provides 342,914 Jobs Across State

DES MOINES – According to the latest economic impact study by the Iowa Hospital Association, Myrtue Medical Center generates 613 jobs that add $29.7 million to Shelby County’s economy. A multiplier methodology is used to determine the level of impact, which means that the health sector and employees in the health sector purchase a large amount of goods and services from local businesses, having a multiplying effect in the community. It is also estimated that Myrtue Medical Center’s employees by themselves spend $4.3 million on retail sales and contribute $259,832 in state sales tax revenue.

“At a time when many rural hospitals throughout the country are struggling financially, with some closing, this report is critical in illustrating the enormous impact that hospitals in rural areas have on the economies of the communities they serve,” said Barry Jacobsen, CEO-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 76,203 people and create another 64,453 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.7 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

“Hospitals positively influence their local economies not only with how many people they employ and the salaries of those employees, but also through hospital purchases from local businesses as well as the impact of employee spending and tax support,” said Kirk Norris, IHA president/CEO. “Whether at the local level or statewide, there are few Iowa employers that generate economic activity comparable to hospitals.”

In all, the 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 $18 billion to Iowa’s economy while directly and indirectly providing 342,914 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences. All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.

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