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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


Shelby County Community Health Hospice Department Named a 2017 Hospice Honors Recipient

Myrtue Medical Center
Shelby County Community Health Hospice Department
 Named a 2017 Hospice Honors Recipient

 Myrtue Medical Center Hospice – Shelby County Community Health Department has been named a 2017 Hospice Honors recipient by Deyta Analytics. Hospice Honors is a prestigious program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view.

“We are humbled to be named a Hospice Honors recipient for the second straight year. It shows the commitment over time that Myrtue Hospice has to our clients and their family. We will continue to work hard to exceed client expectations,” said Dr. Timothy Brelje, Hospice Medical Director.

Award recipients were identified by evaluating performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Performance scores were aggregated from all completed surveys and were compared on a question-by-question basis to a National Performance Score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in the Deyta Analytics’ Hospice CAHPS database. Hospice Honors recipients include those hospices scoring above the Deyta Analytics National Performance Score on 20 of the evaluated questions. Deyta Analytics holds a special recognition, Hospice Honors Elite, to honor hospices scoring above the Deyta Analytics National Performance Score on all 24 of the evaluated questions.

“Hospice Honors is a landmark compilation of hospices that provide the best patient and caregiver experiences,” said J. Kevin Porter of HEALTHCAREfirst. “I am extremely proud of Myrtue Medical Center’s Hospice Department for achieving this highest of honors and I congratulate them on their success.”


Hospital Creates $22 Million Impact on Local Economy

Hospital Creates $22 Million Impact on Local Economy

In all, Iowa’s Health Care Sector Provides Nearly 325,000 Jobs Across State

DES MOINES – Myrtue Medical Center generates 582 jobs that add $22 million to the region’s economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association.  This generates $3 million in retail sales and contributes $183,000 in state sales tax revenue.

“We are known for delivering on the promise of better health and quality care, yet our contributions to our community extend even further when considering the positive impact we have on our local economy,” said Barry Jacobsen, CEO of 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 72,008 people and create another 55,492 jobs outside the hospital sector.  As an income source, hospitals provide $4.5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.3 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, Iowa’s 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 $16.6 billion to the state economy while directly and indirectly providing 324,977 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.

“Through the many changes in health care, there is one certainty: That hospitals and health care are vital to Iowa’s economy,” said IHA president and CEO Kirk Norris. “With nearly 325,000 jobs, health care is one of Iowa’s largest employers and hospitals remain, by far, the biggest contributor to that number. In Iowa cities and counties, hospitals are uniformly among the largest employers.

“As our political leaders in Washington, DC and Des Moines consider legislation and regulations that impact hospitals and health care, they need to keep these facts in mind. As providers of high-quality, low-cost health care, good jobs and economic stability, there is no replacement for community hospitals.”


Betty Keane Selected as “Phlebotomist of the Year”

Betty Keane Selected as “Phlebotomist of the Year”

Every year the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science-Iowa (ASCLS-IA) recognizes individuals, whom have been deemed by their peers as showing outstanding service and dedication to their profession, co-workers and patients. Myrtue Medical Center’s Betty Keane was selected as “Phlebotomist of the Year” from ASCLS-IA.
This award serves to recognize the phlebotomists who are both the legs and the public face of the lab. The quality of our lab testing depends a great deal on their skills. Plus a patient’s impression of the laboratory and of their work is mostly determined by his or her interaction with the phlebotomist.
“Betty is truly compassionate to her patients’ needs and provides the highest quality of customer service. She has a natural ability to understand and feel what the patients are experiencing, and she is able to meet their needs effectively. I am proud to have Betty as a Phlebotomist on our Lab team,” said Jason Eckermann, Lab Director at Myrtue Medical Center.
The award will be given at the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science Annual Spring Meeting at the University of Iowa on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017.


Deb Larson Selected as one of “The 100 Great Iowa Nurses”

Deb Larson Selected as one of “The 100 Great Iowa Nurses”

Myrtue Medical Center’s Oncology Nurse, Deb Larson RN, of Harlan, was selected as one of “The 100 Great Iowa Nurses”. Nurses selected for this honor represent many sectors of health care, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and school and office nurses. These nurses are selected based on their concern for humanity, their contribution to the community and to the nursing profession, their leadership, and mentoring.
According to the nomination form, Deb’s expertise and relationship with the patients, co-workers and management staff, were acclaimed and praised with the following statements: Deb’s most significant contribution to the nursing profession has been her care of oncology patients for the past 23 years. She is meticulous in her care and treats every patient as if they were a family member. Deb puts her patients first and provides exceptional customer service. Our community is blessed and lucky to have Deb providing oncology nursing care right here in our community.
Deb and 99 other nurses will be honored during “The 100 Great Iowa Nurses” program May 7th at the Iowa Events Center – Grand Ballroom in Des Moines. The 13th annual celebration is a prelude to National Nurses Week.
This year, the 100 honorees represent 39 Iowa counties, and were selected from a pool of more than 400 individuals who were nominated by colleagues, patients, doctors, friends, and family members. The field of nominees was narrowed to 100 by a panel of reviewers, including nursing professionals and previous honorees.




A laboratory-confirmed case of measles with exposures in Omaha, Nebraska has been reported. While there are no confirmed or suspected cases in Iowa at this time, measles is a highly contagious disease. Now is the time to make sure you/your child’s immunizations are up-to-date. Please call Shelby County Public Health at 712.755.4422 or your health care provider to determine if you/your child is up-to-date with the measles vaccine.


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