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Myrtue Medical Center Named Among Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals in America For Second Year In A Row


Myrtue Medical Center has been named one of the 20 highest-ranked Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in the country by National Rural Health Association, as scored by iVantage Health Analytics.

“Being recognized as one of the Top 20 Hospitals in the nation is a great reflection on the quality care our staff provides. Receiving this award for the 2nd year in a row shows we are committed to maintaining the care we provide to our patients, families and friends,” Patrick Pucelik, ARNP.

The determining factors for the Top 20 Critical Access Hospitals were based upon overall hospital performance which considers quality care, patient satisfaction, market strength, and financial stability. The medical center was one of seven critical access hospitals to repeat this recognition two years in a row. Myrtue is ranked in the Top 20 nationally and selected to the elite group from a list of more than 1,300 critical access hospitals in the United States.

“It is truly gratifying to be recognized nationally for our outstanding performance in quality patient care, outcomes, and financial stability. I commend our leadership team for providing guidance and support in order to achieve this high level of performance,” said Dr. Erlbacher, Chief of Staff.

“Myrtue Medical Center is proud of the efforts of its Board of Trustees, medical staff and team members who have contributed to our hospital achieving these recognitions,” said Barry Jacobsen, CEO of Myrtue Medical Center. “We are honored to be rated in the top 2% of Critical Access Hospitals in the nation and receiving this award two years in a row. Being named a Top 20 Critical Access Hospital means our community can count on us to deliver the quality services they need now and in the future.”


Educational Scholarships Available

Applications being accepted for health care educational grants

Applications for healthcare educational grants from the Endowment for Education are now being accepted.  The grants are made available through the Lucille Petersen Endowment Fund, which was established in 1988.  The funds will be distributed to selected applicants seeking short or long-range educational assistance to pursue healthcare occupations.  An April 15th deadline has been set for applications to be submitted.  Applications must be for course work not yet taken.  These funds will be for the summer semester.

Application forms and more information are available by contacting Ruth  Pitkin, Myrtue Medical Center, 1213 Garfield Ave., Harlan, IA, 51537, phone 712-755-4316 or email  The grants can be for new, entry-level, or advanced training.

The funds will be distributed as grants—loans that will be forgiven if the recipient is employed within a 20-mile radius of Harlan in his or her specialized healthcare occupation.  If a recipient cannot fulfill the service terms under which the loan will be forgiven, the money is subject to a five percent interest rate and repayment of principal.

Click here for Educational scholarship application.

Myrtue Medical Center Receives Grand Prize in Healthcare Safety

Myrtue Medical Center Receives Grand Prize in Healthcare Safety

Outstanding work in Myrtue Medical Center garnered the Patient Safety Grand Prize award. The 2016 Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) Patient Safety Awards were recently announced and will be featured at the statewide Patient Safety Conference.

This award is presented to healthcare providers and/or healthcare organizations who have
demonstrated outstanding leadership and achievement in patient safety. The Patient Safety Award aims to raise the standard of healthcare in Iowa by promoting a culture of continuous improvement in quality, safety, and value.

This award honors patient safety champions that support the following initiatives: improve patient safety; reduce the risk of harm; and keep patients at the center of care.

The passionate team developed a multi-angle approach to safety. Interventions ranged from simple changes, such as updating labeling on medications to TaLLman lettering, to more involved changes, like a new high-alert medications monitoring system integrated into electronic documentation.  Myrtue Medical Center amended the medication administration policy by requiring documentation of practitioners’ notification date and time in the medical record; a tubing misconnection prevention labeling system; and reevaluation of “rights,” which were posted on the floors. Through these outstanding interventions and implementation by healthcare providers, the number of medication errors reaching patients were reduced by 84% in eight months from November 14, 2014, to July 15, 2015.

“We’re very proud of the work being done in Iowa,” said Dr. Tom Evans, President and CEO of IHC.  “Patient safety is about eliminating unintended consequences of medical care. This award allows us to highlight some of the best efforts in our state as we work toward our vision of delivering the most effective and efficient healthcare in the nation.”

Five categorical award recipients were also announced:

• CHI Health Mercy Council Bluffs (Person and Family Engagement Award)
• Community Memorial hospital, Sumner (Hospital Acquired Conditions Award)
• Great River Medical Center, West Burlington (Healthcare-associated Infections
• Mercy Medical Center Sioux City (Improving Culture of Safety/Safety Across the
• Regional Medical Center, Manchester (Care Transitions)

The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) is a provider-led and patient-focused nonprofit
organization dedicated to promoting a culture of continuous improvement in healthcare. IHC’s mission is exceptional healthcare in Iowa. IHC plays a unique role in putting healthcare providers (doctors, nurses and hospital executives) in a leadership position to drive clinical improvements and accelerate change. By encouraging communication, collaboration and transparency, IHC ultimately raises the quality, patient
safety and value of healthcare in Iowa.

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of death from cancer. Colorectal cancer affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people ages 50 and older. There is a higher risk for people of African-American descent, those who smoke, or people with a family history of colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.

Statistics from show that there were 424 people diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Shelby County from 1973-2008. That averages out to be 12 people per year in our county alone. The best prevention method for colorectal cancer is to get regular screenings starting at age 50. There are often no signs or symptoms of colorectal cancer. If caught in the early stages, colorectal cancer is very treatable, which makes screening a very important part of your personal health care plan.

Everyone can take these healthy steps to help prevent colorectal cancer:

  • Get regular screening for those over 50 years of age.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Get plenty of physical activity and eat healthy.

To schedule a screening, please contact your primary care provider at Myrtue Medical Clinic by calling 712.755.5130. For more information on this topic or other health promotion strategies, please contact Shelby County Public Health by calling 712-755-4423.

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