HomeArchives November 2010


The American Hospital Association (AHA) announced that Timothy J. Zeutenhorst has been elected to the Committee on Governance (COG). His term will begin January 1, 2011. The COG is a specialty committee of the AHA Board of Trustees. The committee is responsible for leading effective involvement of the nation’s hospital trustees in grassroots advocacy, providing input into the AHA’s policy development, enhancing communication with and involvement of trustees in the AHA and providing advice on AHA’s trustee initiatives.

Tim Zeutenhorst is a native and resident of Orange City, Iowa. He is a Partner and Certified Insurance Counselor with Van Engelenhoven Agency, where he specializes in health insurance and commercial insurance. Zeutenhorst has served on the Board of Trustees for Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) since 1998, taking the reins as Chair in 2006. During his tenure on the board, OCAHS became the first new critical access hospital built in the state of Iowa, in 2006. OCAHS is a comprehensive health system including medical clinics in three communities – served by 15 medical practitioners – a 25-bed critical access hospital, a surgery center, a diagnostic radiology suite, specialty outpatient clinics, home health and hospice, a retirement community, and two nursing homes.

In addition to the health system board, Zeutenhorst has served on the Northwestern College Alumni Board as president, the Benefits Board of a national non-profit organization, and the local Community Chest organization. He is a graduate of Northwestern College in Orange City, and also worked in the masters program for higher education administration at Iowa State University.

Two of Orange City Area Health System’s team members were recognized at this year’s Iowa Hospital Association (IHA) conference in October. Nan Reinking (second from left) was honored as a “Shining Star” among hospital volunteers. Mary Plathe, Volunteer Services Manager, (second from right) was recognized for serving as Chair of the IHA Auxiliary/Volunteer Board this past year. In addition, CEO Marty Guthmiller (left) spoke and COO Dan McCarty (right) led the prayer during the auxiliary board recognition luncheon. Mary said this about Nan: “She is a natural, nurturing person and has an eye for detail and accuracy. Nan’s strong commitment to OCAHS sets her apart.”

Congratulations to both of these exemplary team players who truly make a difference for our patients, their families, and our communities.

Over 1,800 mammograms done this past year

Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) was adorned with pink throughout the month of October as it observed Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October also marked the one year anniversary of offering full-field digital mammography to the women in Northwest Iowa.

According to the National Cancer Institute, both digital and film mammography use X-rays to produce an image of the breast. While standard film mammography is very good, it reports, it is less sensitive for women who have dense breasts. Prior studies have suggested that approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of breast cancers that were detected by breast self-examination or physical examination are not visible on film mammography. A major limitation of film mammography is the film itself. Once a film mammogram is obtained, it cannot be significantly altered; if the film is underexposed, for example, contrast is lost and cannot be regained.  Digital mammography takes an electronic image of the breast and stores it directly in a computer. Digital mammography uses less radiation than film mammography. Digital mammography allows improvement in image storage and transmission because images can be stored and sent electronically. Radiologists also can use software to help interpret digital mammograms.

“The increase in image quality with digital mammography is dramatically improved,” reports OCAHS radiologic technologist Lynn Glasser. “The visibility of small calcifications is far superior to film.” Lynn also reiterates that digital mammography reduces patient radiation dose up to 30 percent.

Gloria Zylstra is a testament to digital screening mammograms. “I went in for a routine mammogram this spring,” she says. “I did not expect to find anything abnormal. I had no history of breast cancer in my family. I did not feel any lumps. I felt great.” According to Gloria, a spot showed up on the mammogram. She went back (to OCAHS radiology/diagnostic imaging) for follow-up testing, and it was positive for breast cancer. “Can I positively say that this would not have been found without digital mammography?” she says. “No, but I do know it was found and was able to be treated in its very early stages.”

Over 1,800 mammograms are performed annually at OCAHS. Mammography is one tool in the fight against breast cancer. The health system offers a continuum of care in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, including stereotactic breast biopsy, breast cancer surgeries, sentinel lymph node biopsies, and chemotherapy. Zylstra, a registered nurse, works in the chemo department at OCAHS.

“I am thankful to the radiology department,” says Zylstra, “for their care and professionalism in offering digital mammography.”

More information can be found at ocHealthSystem.org.

Turning 90 in October did not give Jeanette Van Voorst an excuse to stop helping out at Orange City Area Health System. Although she did retire from employment with the health system at age 85 — after almost 38 years working in surgical services, as well as 21 years as an EMT with the ambulance — Jeanette says she “didn’t really like retirement.” So she decided to start volunteering, which “gives me a reason to get up in the morning.” Jeanette is part of Orange City Area Health System’s team of 200+ volunteers, and she is still “working” in the surgery department ” with many of the same gals as before.” Recently her family — kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and spouses, totaling 77 people — helped her celebrate her 90th birthday with an open house.

November is National Hospice Month, “Tree of Remembrance” ornaments offered

The holidays are just around the corner, and once again Orange City Home Health & Hospice is offering custom-crafted Christmas ornaments to memorialize loved ones who have passed away this past year. The ornaments will be placed on the Tree of Remembrance in the lobby of the Orange City Area Health System, and everyone is welcome to a special lighting ceremony on Thursday, December 2 at 7pm.

November is also Hospice and Palliative Care Month, a time to raise awareness about high-quality end-of-life care. “Hospice offers a holistic approach to end-of-life care focused on comfort, hope, dignity, and respect,” explains Jeanne Jungers, Orange City Home Health & Hospice Nurse Manager. “Hospice concentrates on helping people be free from pain and as comfortable as they want to be, so they can make the most of the time that is left. We try to give people the tools and resources they need to alleviate their fears and live each moment with dignity and comfort.”

The Orange City Hospice team includes 7 registered nurses, 11 aides, and 2 social workers. This staff — together with 44 volunteers — provided care to 67 patients last year.

“The hospice team was outstanding,” says the family of a patient. “They were knowledgeable, caring, and couldn’t have done a better job. They made us feel important and needed. They were so tender to Mom’s needs in her last hours and days.”

To learn more about Hospice or about volunteering — or to order a memorial ornament for the Tree of Remembrance — call Orange City Home Health & Hospice at 737-5279.