Petersen Family Wellness Center Celebrates 25th Anniversary of National Senior Health & Fitness Day®

2018 Logo2018 Event Theme: “Active Today…Healthier Tomorrow!”

Petersen Family Wellness Center (PFWC) will join an estimated 1,000 local groups to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of National Senior Health & Fitness Day® (NSHFD) on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 to help promote active, healthy lifestyles through physical activity, good nutrition, and preventive care.

As an official event site, the Petersen Family Wellness Center (PFWC) will hold a health fair, physician presentations and other activities on Wednesday, May 30th from 8:00-10:30 a.m. Admission will be free to all non-members of the PFWC for this event.

According to Todd Alberti, Director of the PFWC, “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.”

The Senior Health and Fitness Day will include:

  • Health Fair booths promoting wellness for seniors
  • Three physician speakers discussing the following:
    • Heart Health by Dr. Smer, Cardiologist at CHI Health and Myrtue Medical Center Specialty Clinic
    • Colon Health by Dr. D. Bendorf, General Surgeon at Myrtue Medical Center
    • Maintaining Your Mobility by Dr. Davidson, Family Physician at Myrtue’s Harlan Clinic
  • Healthy snacks
  • Cooking Demonstration
  • Prizes and Giveaways

Join us on Wednesday, May 30th from 8:00-10:30 a.m. at the Petersen Family Wellness Center for a morning of health, education and well-being.

Dr. Scott Markham Honored as Emergency Room Provider

MarkhamAt the 23rd annual Iowa Emergency Nurses’ Association (ENA) Conference, Dr. Scott Markham was recognized with the Emergency Provider Award. Recipients of the Emergency Provider Award are Emergency Department (ED) physicians or mid-level providers who consistently demonstrate excellence in emergency room care and they have made significant contributions to the profession of ED nurses.

Dr. Markham actively fills the roles of ED Medical Director, Trauma Medical Director, EMS Medical Director, Shelby County Coroner, and ACLS instructor. He has been instrumental in maintaining Myrtue’s Level 4 Trauma designation and encouraged the continuation of the Trauma Nursing Core Course program being taught in our rural location of Harlan. He is a strong advocate and promoter of community involvement. Dr. Markham has most recently become co-sponsor of the community Stop the Bleed campaign and is an advocate for providing Narcan to law enforcement and EMS responders.  In addition, he is a Board Member of the Shelby County Medical Corporation and the Ambulance Commission of Shelby County.

“Dr. Markham is a constant role model, mentor and patient advocate in the ER.  The ER Staff values his experience and is grateful that he shares his knowledge to improve patient outcomes.  Dr Markham is a valuable member of the ER team and is fully deserving of this award,” said Jenny Lefeber, Manager of the Emergency Department at Myrtue Medical Center.

The Emergency Nurses’ Association (ENA) mission is to advocate for patient safety and excellence in emergency nursing practice. They are the global emergency nursing resource and advocate for Safe Practice and Safe Care.


Shelby County Public Health Takes Holistic Approach to Mental Health and Well-being

PH WeekAbout one in every five U.S. adults experience mental illness in a given year. Additionally, one in five youth aged 13-18 will experience a severe mental disorder at some point in their lives. Despite the prevalence of mental health illness, less than half receive behavioral health care to address this important health care need.

At the forefront of today’s behavioral health concerns is an epidemic of opioid addiction, which kills 91 Americans each day, overwhelming law enforcement, health and child protective systems. This epidemic is the main factor driving the recent decline in average American life expectancy.

Shelby County Public Health recognizes the need for access to holistic care, including behavioral health support. Some Public Health initiatives that focus on mental health promotion includes:

  • Our partnership with Behavioral Health to provide Mothers and Babies Support Groups in Shelby County.
  • Collaboration with Behavioral Health to create “Lean into Life”, a local widower/widow support group.
  • Opioid Overdose Training for Law Enforcement and Responders
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) Community Conference on the lifelong impact of ACES on the entire health spectrum.
  • Shelby County Wellness Alliance partnership, including the “Feel Better” component to improve holistic wellness in Shelby County.
  • Improving access to behavioral health services for people experiencing mental illness as needed.
  • Working with the newly-created Shelby County Prevent Child Abuse Council to provide education and programming that strengthen families.

With the support of Myrtue Medical Center, the Shelby County Board of Health and our community partners, Shelby County Public Health continues to advocate and promote access for mental well-being as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Working together, we can build healthier communities and eventually, the healthiest nation, changing our future for generations to come.

NAMI Southwest Iowa Announces Meeting

namiThe National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Southwest Iowa is developing as an affiliate in the nine-county Southwest Iowa Region – Mental Health and Disability Services (MHDS). All consumers and stakeholders are invited to attend an informational meeting on Friday, April 6, 2018 from 10 am – 12 pm. The meeting will be held in the Auble Conference Room at Myrtue Medical Center, 1213 Garfield Avenue, Harlan.

NAMI envisions a world where all persons affected by mental illness can experience resiliency, recovery and wellness. NAMI values support, education, advocacy and research.

For more information, contact MMC Behavioral Health at 712.755.5056.

Hungry for Health: Eating Towards a Happier You


Each year in March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics asks that we focus our attention on the importance of making informed food choices. The 2018 National Nutrition Month theme is “Go Further with Food” – a nutrition education and information campaign to raise awareness on eating real food to enjoy a healthy life.

Food IS Fuel

So consider this: the human body is a finely-tuned biological machine, capable of incredible feats of strength, intelligence, memory, powers of deduction, learning, balance – the list goes on. Like any finely-tuned machine, clean and constant fuel – in our case, food, in the form of protein, carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins, and minerals – needs to be readily available and ingested. If not, this machine will slow down, perform poorly and ultimately, stop running.

One Size Does NOT Fit All

Just as every person is unique, so are their dietary needs. Athletes, students, parents, vegetarians/vegans, people on the go – no matter your situation, everybody needs to eat right for their lifestyle.  The key is finding a way to get nutrient-rich foods into your body. Whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, whole fruits and vegetables, and plenty of protein are common factors among all healthy diet plans.

Don’t Believe the Hype

Certain food and drink have been unfairly demonized. The truth is they can be very healthy. The key, however, is moderation.

  • Coffee: This delicious brew is high in antioxidants. Studies also show that coffee drinkers live longer, and have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and numerous other diseases.
  • Saturated Fat: Although it is true that saturated fat raises cholesterol, it also raises HDL (the “good”) cholesterol and changes the LDL from small to large, which is linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Eggs (including yolks): Whole eggs, also referred to as “nature’s multivitamin”, one of the most nutritious foods on the planet! Studies show that they have no effect on blood cholesterol in the majority of people, and the yolk is where almost all of the nutrients are found. Telling people to avoid consuming the yolk is among the worst pieces of advice in the history of nutrition.

Here’s to making healthy and nutritious choices when meal planning and at snack time. You’ll have more energy and be in a better mood because of it!

For information about Myrtue Medical Center and all of our medical and health services, visit our website, or call (712) 755-5161.

Myrtue Medical Center Named a 2018 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital


Top 100 CAH - 7 Time Recipient - 2018Myrtue Medical Center was recently named one of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals in the United States by The Chartis Center for Rural Health.

“This achievement is very gratifying and validates our daily commitment to providing the best healthcare possible to our community, while maintaining an efficient and effective facility. I am especially proud of being a seven-year recipient of this award. ” said Barry Jacobsen, CEO Myrtue Medical Center.  “Very few hospitals, big or small, can make that statement. I also know we have received this recognition repeatedly because we have a tremendous staff comprised of dedicated, competent, and caring individuals.”

Myrtue Medical Center scored in the top 100 of Critical Access Hospitals on the iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®. The INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural provider performance and its results are the basis for many of rural healthcare’s most prominent awards, advocacy efforts and legislative initiatives. The list of the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals can be found on the Chartis Group website.

The Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals play a key role in providing a safety net to communities across America – and the INDEX measures these facilities across eight pillars of hospital strength: Inpatient Share Ranking, Outpatient Share Ranking, Cost, Charge, Quality, Outcomes, Patient Perspective, and Financial Stability.

“I am incredibly proud of Myrtue and all my co-workers for this honor, but it does not surprise me,” said Dr. Hannah Johnk. “I see excellence on a daily basis from every department, with patients always at the center of our efforts. You can see the care each person puts into their work in order to make this such a great place.”

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart HealthDid you know heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US? It is also one of the major causes of disability. According to the American Heart Association, 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each day. That’s an average of 1 death every 38 seconds! These numbers may seem overwhelming, but heart disease is preventable.

The term heart disease covers all heart-related conditions including diseased vessels, structural problems, and blood clots. Some of the most common types of heart disease are high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, arrhythmia, stroke, congenital heart disease, and congestive heart failure.

The first step to prevention and management is to know your risks. Have your heart checked by your doctor on a yearly basis and regularly monitor your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and weight. Knowing your current health status will help you determine a strategy for prevention and maintenance.

Making healthy lifestyle changes is a key to lowering your risk of developing heart disease. Even if you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, healthy choices can make a big difference. Here are some ways to lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight and eat healthy
  • Quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Limit alcohol use
  • Be more active
  • Manage your stress levels

Click here for more tips and advice from the American Heart Association.

How’s your heart health? Need a checkup? Don’t know your numbers? Call Myrtue Medical Center at 833-662-2273 to schedule an appointment today!

For information about all our medical and health services, visit our website.


Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

January-New Years ResolutionsAre you going to beat the odds?

Nearly six weeks ago, almost half of us made New Year’s resolutions. Many of those resolutions were commitments to our health and well-being such as eating healthier, getting more exercise and taking better care of ourselves in general. However, statistics show that nearly 80% percent of those vows will already be abandoned by the second week of February. It is easy to make light of New Year’s resolutions and our inability to keep them but when it comes to our health and wellness we may want to strengthen our commitment to really make it stick this time. There’s no time like the present, right!? So, how can we help ourselves beat those odds? Here are a few tips.

Create a Plan

How are you going to achieve this goal? Define why you created the goal in the first place. Most of us would agree that it would be great to lose 10 pounds, but that is the objective, not the reason for the goal. Think about the real reason behind your goal.  Write out your goal and visualize your strategy for achieving it. Set frequent benchmarks throughout the year and check in with yourself on a regular basis to make sure you are staying on target.

Set a Few, Realistic Goals

Having too many goals can be overwhelming and discouraging. If you have a lot of goals you’d like to reach, prioritize the top two. Work on them, and when you’ve accomplished them, stop – celebrate, and then move on to the next two. You may find that accomplishing these initial goals will give you extra motivation and make it easier to accomplish more goals in the future.

Even one goal can be quite the undertaking when you consider the number of behavior changes that are required. Make sure your goals are reasonable and achievable. Goals should be challenging but not impossible! If you have a big goal, such as losing 100 pounds, set smaller intermediate goals and remember to celebrate each time you achieve an intermediate goal before moving on to the next one.

Use the Buddy System

Having a friend or colleague help you with your resolution could be the extra inspiration or encouragement that is essential to your success. Voicing the goal to someone works to cement the goal in your mind and create accountability.

Even if you didn’t make an official New Year’s resolution, you might still be looking for some new ideas to rejuvenate your health and wellness. Many of these are fun and quite manageable:

Try drinking more water, getting at least seven hours of sleep, or scheduling your annual primary care visit.

Here’s to making positive health and wellness changes and to beating the odds!

For information about Myrtue Medical Center and all of our medical and health services, visit our website or call (712) 755-5161.

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.