HomeArchives February 2013


Public invited to join the conversation March 20

Teen Depression is the topic being discussed at the fourth Circle of Support session, held Wednesday March 20 from 6:30-8pm at the Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City. Recent surveys indicate that as many as one in five teens suffers from clinical depression. Depression can destroy the very essence of a teenager’s personality, causing an overwhelming sense of sadness, despair, or anger. This important discussion and presentation will be led by Joan Andres, LMFT, LMHS, student therapist at Northwestern College, along with local parent Melissa Oolman. The session, open to the public, is hosted by Bethesda Christian Counseling. Light refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend. Circle of Support is a collaborative series of free sessions — sponsored by Orange City Area Health System, the MOCHA Kiwanis Club, Community Health Partners, and Creative Living Center — revolving around the critical cultural issues impacting our youth today. These sessions offer strategies and resources for adults invested in teens and pre-teens, presented by experts and offering time for questions and conversations. For more information contact Barb Den Herder, Education Coordinator at Orange City Area Health System, at 737-5260.

Laird assumes new leadership, liaison role with health system

Marty Guthmiller, CEO for Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS), announced the appointment of Alan Laird, MD, to the position of Chief Medical Officer (CMO). This is a new role for the health system, and involves serving on the administrative leadership team, participating in strategic planning, developing and maintaining quality and patient safety initiatives, and serving as a resource and advisor to the medical staff.

“The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is uncertain in many respects,” reports Guthmiller. “But one thing is certain — health care access and financing will change.  As part of our commitment —  our mission — of providing quality healthcare to our region, Dr. Laird, in this new position, will be instrumental in navigating the various wellness aspects of the many programs and insurance plans that healthcare consumers will face.”

Dr. Laird has served as a family practice physician with OCAHS since 1991. A native of Storm Lake, Iowa, Laird graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City, and received his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. As part  of a team of 16 family practice doctors and advanced level practitioners serving in four OCAHS medical clinics, Laird will continue to see patients in the Hospers Family Practice Clinic in addition to serving in the new role of CMO.

“Putting a trusted physician in a leadership position is key to developing and implementing new ‘wellness’ models called for in the ACA,” said Guthmiller, “including a patient-centered, coordinated care approach to wellness across the populations we serve.”

Orange City Area Health System is a comprehensive health system including three family practice clinics; a medical clinic on the campus of Northwestern College; a sports medicine clinic; critical access hospital; diagnostic imaging, OB, and surgical services; physical therapy; home health and hospice; a senior living facility; and nursing homes. More information can be found at ocHealthSystem.org.

Sioux County Diabetes Support Group session March 13

Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) will host the March 13 Sioux County Diabetes Support Group with a session called “Partnering with your Doctor.” The public is invited to attend this event, at which OCAHS family practice physician Harrison Hanson, MD, will discuss ways to enhance the doctor-patient relationship to empower individuals and families in the care of diabetes. The session starts at 7pm, and is located in the lower level of the OCAHS main campus at 1000 Lincoln Circle SE in Orange City. There will time for questions and conversations. For more information contact Kate Then, RN, Diabetes Care Coordinator at OCAHS, at 712-737-5311.

The Auxiliary of Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) presented a check for $50,000 to the health system during its February board meeting. The monies have been allocated to purchase new chairs for the hospital’s birth center/OB wing ($7,700); new tables for dinners, meetings, and lobby sales ($2,300); and  to satisfy a portion of the Auxiliary’s $200,000 pledge to the new Prairie Ridge Care Center ($50,000).

“Making a contribution of this amount is definitely a team effort,” reports Mary Plathe, Volunteer Services Manager for OCAHS. “The Auxiliary Board and our volunteer team deserve a special thank you for the tremendous amount of work — planning and organizing our monthly fund-raisers and staffing the Gift Garden hospital gift shop.”

Health system volunteers and Auxiliary members bake desserts and breads, embroider dish towels and pillowcases, make over 2,000 saucyjies for the annual holiday open house, manage the spring plant sale, work at numerous lobby sales throughout the year, prepare and serve food at fund-raising events, and staff the gift shop. Community support of these activities helps raise monies that directly benefit health system patients, residents, and families.

“On behalf of the Auxiliary Board, we want to thank the public for generously supporting our events and activities,” said Marilyn Van Engelenhoven, board chair. “Without their support, a gift of this size would not be possible.”

For more information about the health system and volunteering or serving on the Auxiliary, visit ocHealthSystem.org

Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) will host a Prediabetes Class on Monday, March 11, from 5-7pm in the lower level training room on their main campus at 1000 Lincoln Circle SE in Orange City. Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar level is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent through changes to their lifestyle that include modest weight loss and regular exercise. The prediabetes class, led by OCAHS Diabetes Care Coordinator Kate Then, RN, will offer help and advice in preventing diabetes. Cost is $25 and includes dinner. Pre-register is required.  [gfpage form=”other” name=”prediabetes march 11 2013″]  or by calling Then at 737-5311.

Medicaid expansion highlights hospital economic impact

Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) generates nearly 700 jobs that add $26.8 million to the region’s economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). In addition, OCAHS employees by themselves spend $6.4 million on retail sales and contribute nearly $387,000 in state sales tax revenue.

“Once again, we are reminded of the significant economic role played by health care locally, regionally, and nationally,” reports Marty Guthmiller, CEO of Orange City Area Health System. “Although a ‘by-product’ of our core mission of providing healthcare to the region, this impact cannot be overlooked.”

The IHA study examined jobs, income, retail sales, and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s healthcare sector. The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 71,169 people and create another 62,198 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, Iowa hospitals provide more than $4 billion in salaries and benefits, and generate another $2.2 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

According to the IHA, as Iowa lawmakers continue to debate expanding Iowa’s Medicaid program to cover more low-income residents, one aspect of the debate is the economic impact of expansion on both the state and its community hospitals. According to IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris, in terms of overall impact, there is no bigger economic issue in Iowa than Medicaid expansion. “Medicaid expansion would bring as much as $600 million a year to Iowa’s economy,” reports Norris.

By insuring as many as 150,000 low-income Iowans, Medicaid expansion would also help alleviate the growing amount of charity care and bad debt among Iowa hospitals, according to IHA reports. In 2012, Iowa hospitals provided more than $1 billion in uncompensated care.

Orange City Area Health System is a comprehensive health system consisting of a critical access hospital, four primary care clinics, OB, radiology, and surgical services, physical therapy, home health and hospice, a senior living facility, and nursing home care. More information can be found at ocHealthSystem.org.

The Auxiliary of Orange City Area Health System will host its popular “Masquerade” Jewelry and Accessories Sale on Wednesday, December 11, from 8am to 6pm in the front lobby of the health system’s main campus at 1000 Lincoln Circle SE in Orange City. Thousands of items will be for sale, and everything is just $5, with proceeds directy benefitting patients and families served by the health system.

Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) announced the naming of the four resident cottages in the Prairie Ridge Care Center.  According to Dan McCarty, Orange City Area Health System COO and project director, naming ideas were solicited from current residents of the health system’s two existing nursing homes, their family members, and OCAHS senior care staff. “It was very important to us that residents be involved in the naming process — as well as families and our senior care employees,” said McCarty. “We also took some of the names that were originally suggested for the Prairie Ridge Care Center name. We then pulled together members of the Design Team (McCarty, Director of Plant Operations Mark Pottebaum, Director of Senior Care Char Ten Clay, and Director of Nursing Laura Woelber) and voted on the top 15 suggestions.”

The four suggestions were reviewed by health system CEO Marty Guthmiller and McCarty, and approved. They are: Grandview Cottage, Pheasant Run Cottage, Countryside Cottage, and Sunrise Cottage.  

“The names relate directly to the location,” explains McCarty, “as you will be able to see pheasants running from the windows of Pheasant Run, be able to watch the sun rise from Sunrise Cottage, etc.” 

“Our efforts on the Prairie Ridge Care Center project continue to be focused on resident-centered care,” continued McCarty. “With this facility we hope to create a culture that focuses on our residents and their needs.” 

McCarty added that their team continues to be overwhelmed by community support and interest in the Prairie Ridge Care Center project. Plans are to move residents from the two health system nursing homes (Long Term Care and Heritage House) into the new facility in mid-October 2013, which will include a grand opening ceremony and community tours.

More information about Orange City Area Health System and its senior care services can be found at ocHealthSystem.org.

Orange City Home Health & Hospice is offering a Grief Support Group five consecutive Monday afternoons from February 25 – March 25 from 12:30 to 2:30pm in the lower level conference room of the health system’s downtown campus at 400 Central Avenue NW in Orange City. Bereavement support groups offer a safe place and supportive environment for those who are grieving a recent death, to talk about their feelings of loss. The five-week program provides directed group support within an educational format. There is no cost to attend the Grief Support Group, but donations are accepted and appreciated. Pre-registration is required. Call Orange City Home Health & Hospice at 712-737-5279.