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As 10 Million Baby Boomers Develop Alzheimer’s,
Early Detection of the Disease Becomes Critical to Future Planning

(Harlan, IA) – Current data suggests that because of the increasing number of people age 65 and older in the United States, the annual number of new cases of Alzheimer’s and other dementias is projected to double by the year 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association Know the 10 Signs: Early Detection Matters workshops provide attendees with information about the difference between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease, the benefits of early detection, as well as tips for attendees who may be concerned about themselves or a loved one.

“Here in Iowa, we have the third highest Alzheimer’s death rate in America,” said Marsha Williams, Program and Event Coordinator at the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Iowa Chapter. “Those that attend these workshops learn that if they receive a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or another dementia, there are things families can do together to plan for the future and work towards receiving the best help and care possible.”

The Alzheimer’s Association
The Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Our mission is to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health. Our vision is a world without Alzheimer’s. For more information, visit or call 800.272.3900.

Governor Terry Branstad is declaring January as “Radon Action Month” in Iowa

Radon III images (3)The state of Iowa is believed to have the largest percentage of homes in the U.S. with radon levels above “acceptable” range. That’s why experts are encouraging Iowans to test their homes.
Radon test kits are inexpensive and available at the Shelby County Environmental Health Office. The cost is $8.00. Please contact Terri Daringer, Director of Environmental Health to purchase a radon test kit at 712-755-2609.


A disaster can occur at any time, in many different forms.  We may have a flood, a tornado, drought, community wide illness.  Now, when things are going well, is the time to prepare for when they are not. Just as you buy home and health insurance, you should prepare yourself, your family, and your community for a disaster.  There are several things you can do toward this goal:

Develop a plan: 
Where will you go if your home is flooded or hit by a tornado?  What will you do if your family is separated?   Who will need to be contacted to know you are OK, or in need of help?  Do you have the basics that you will need to get by for a few days on your own?

Have a go-kit: 
Set aside a bag that you can grab as you run out the door with back-up medications, a change of clothes, something to keep the kids entertained, extra batteries, a flashlight, or your insurance policy numbers.

Share your plans:
Let people know how to respond if they are with you, or where to find you.  Does your babysitter know the best evacuation route for your home? Plan a contact outside of the area everyone can reach to get updates on your status.

Practice your plan:
Practicing your plan will help you and your family to remember it, as well as identify areas that may need improvement.

Stay informed: 
Be aware of approaching weather, pay attention to the warnings that are issued.

Remember your neighbor: 
A community will recover better by relying on its members.  Does your neighbor need help evacuating?  Will your community need help cleaning up or rebuilding?  Volunteer.  Register at I-SERV to join Iowa’s list of volunteers willing to pitch in when needed.

Here are some resources you may find helpful:

Myrtue Medical Center Receives Outstanding Patient Experience Award

HG-Awards-Master-RGB-2014Myrtue Medical Center Receives Outstanding Patient Experience Award

On the heels of recognition as a HealthStrong Hospital, Myrtue Medical Center has been named by Healthgrades as a 2014 recipient of the Outstanding Patient Experience Award. We were identified as providing outstanding performance in the delivery of positive experiences for patients during their hospital stay, according to Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals.  Myrtue Medical Center is one of eleven hospitals in the State of Iowa to be recognized with this award.  The Outstanding Patient Experience Award recognizes hospitals for patient satisfaction based on a survey of questions about doctor and nurse communication, hospital cleanliness, noise levels, medication and post discharge care instructions.

We are honored to receive the Healthgrades Outstanding Patient Experience Award this year as it is a testament to the tremendous efforts our physicians, staff, and volunteers make every day to provide outstanding medical care and a hospital experience that exceeds our patients’ expectations.  Thank you to all our team members for the outstanding care you provide to our patients.                                                                       ~~Barry Jacobsen

Myrtue Medical Center Named 2014 HEALTHSTRONG™ Hospital


Myrtue Medical Center Named 2014 HEALTHSTRONG™ Hospital

The 2014 HEALTHSTRONG Hospitals, including Myrtue Medical Center highlights top performing hospitals rated as part of iVantage’s Hospital Strength INDEX™.  The Hospital Strength INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive rating system of hospitals and the results recognize the top performing hospitals – measuring them across 66 different performance metrics, including quality, outcomes, patient perspective, affordability and efficiency. More information can be found at

“iVantage seeks to help hospitals meet the demands of the new healthcare by providing a new level of transparency into the internal and external metrics which drive more informed decision making,” said John R. Morrow, executive vice president of iVantage Health Analytics. “The Hospital Strength INDEX analysis reveal that geographic variation, population health and superior performance are interrelated, and that they can result in lower cost, better outcomes and healthier communities nationwide.”

About iVantage Health Analytics

iVantage is a leading advisory and business analytic services company applying Accelerated Healthcare Transformation™ and the VantagePoints™ platform to drive sustained, evidence-based results. The company’s unique combination of technology, content, and expert advisory services accelerates decision making for the new healthcare.

Myrtue Medical Center Designated as BLUE ZONES Worksite


Designated BLUE ZONES Worksites


Myrtue Medical Center is the first worksite in Harlan to earn the designation as a Blue Zones Worksite.  “By completing the designation process, Myrtue Medical Center has demonstrated their commitment to create a healthier work environment by supporting the well-being of their employees,” said Harlan Program Manager Margie Schenck.

Myrtue Medical Center completed the designation criteria in the areas of leadership, purpose, habitat/physical environment, engagement, creation of policies and benefits, and well-being solutions.

Some of Myrtue Medical Center’s accomplishments towards achieving designations as a Blue Zones Worksite include:

            Implementation of an Employee Wellness Incentive Benefit Program

            Successfully registering more than 25 percent of employees to pledge and take

            action on

Adopting policies that promote health and well-being

“It was a real team effort to attain the Blue Zones Worksite designation,” said Karen Buman, Myrtue Medical Center’s Blue Zone Worksite Chair.  “The Blue Zones Worksite designation was a great way to document all the good things we have done to help make Myrtue Medical Center a healthier place for our employees”.

“With the cost of healthcare continually rising, we believe that personal accountability for one’s own health is critical. We believe our role as an employer is to provide the infrastructure to help our staff to be more accountable for their health.  Becoming a Blue Zones Worksite is an excellent way to meet this responsibility,” says Barry Jacobsen, Myrtue Medical Center CEO.

Brought to Iowa through an innovative sponsorship by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in collaboration with Healthways and Blue Zones, Blue Zones Project is a community-by-community well-being improvement initiative designed to make healthy choices easier through permanent changes to environment, policy, and social networks.

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