The Clay County Board of Supervisors approved by a 3-2 vote a regulation that requires people to wear face coverings when in public and unable to stay six feet from others and when in certain indoor public settings. The regulation applies to all townships and incorporated cities in Clay County. However, those municipalities can opt out by approving ordinances of their own. The regulation will go into effect following publication in the Spencer Daily Reporter. It contains no penalty for violations.
The Spencer Regional Healthcare Foundation has provided a $1 million gift toward a technology enhancement for radiation oncology services offered by the Abben Cancer Center of Spencer Hospital. The generous gift represents contributions from hundreds of donors who have supported the cancer center in recent years, along with proceeds from the annual Abben Cancer Center Golf Classic. The $1 million gift makes up approximately 25 percent of the project costs.
“The foundation board was thrilled to make a substantial contribution to this project, as Spencer Hospital further advances cancer treatment in the region,” commented Pat Reno, foundation president. “In the mid-1990s, foundation leadership and community volunteers orchestrated a major fund-raising campaign to build and equip the cancer center. The cancer center is truly a gift for the community, by the community.”
Since Abben Cancer Center opened in 1997, Spencer Hospital has continually upgraded technology to offer patients optimal care.
Spencer Hospital’s Clinical Instructor, Jeff Messerole, was a recipient of the Experienced Provider award presented by Wings Air Rescue – a private air medical helicopter service operating out of Sioux City, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. Wings Air Rescue provides air medical transport for critically ill and injured patients from referring hospitals and accident scenes to tertiary care facilities. The Experienced Provider award is presented each quarter by the company to an experienced provider in their respective services areas and acknowledges their contribution in advancing the education of EMS providers by sharing their experiences. Messerole was chosen in March, but due to COVID concerns, Wings Air Rescue was unable to present the award until now. “To me, it is an honor when recognized by my peers, as there are so many educators out there doing great work,” said Messerole.
Next week Spencer Hospital will reintroduce some health services that were suspended two months ago as a precaution during the initial stages of the COVID-19 public health emergency. “The hospital will carefully reintroduce additional services on June 1 after suspending certain non-essential services out of an abundance of caution,” said Spencer Hospital president Bill Bumgarner. “Service expansion plans have been advanced in consultation with hospital’s medical staff and are consistent with generally accepted public health guidelines. While risk of exposure still exists, healthcare providers have learned more about COVID-19 and how to incorporate mitigation practices over the past two months.”
Essential services have continued at Spencer Hospital throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency although many elective services were suspended. Service expansion plans entail reintroducing a range of elective services to include outpatient diagnostic, rehabilitative and screening services based on a patient’s needs and risk factors. Surgical services will be further expanded to include inpatient procedures. Limited outpatient elective surgeries were restarted in measured process two weeks ago.
“Our planning calls for an incremental increase in service access, to be followed by monitoring to ensure there’s not a significant increase in COVID-19 infection in the community, before considering expanding additional services,” said Bumgarner. “Non-essential services could be restricted or suspended again if there is a concern about the level of community spread.”
Services which will be reopened or expanded effective June 1 include the following:
· Cardiac and pulmonary rehab services will be offered in-person with number of attendees limited and safety restrictions in place. · Diagnostic imaging and laboratory services will be increased based on patient needs, identified by ordering physicians.
Bethany Johnson knew exactly what to do last month when her water broke. Her first baby was on the way. So, shortly after 7:30 a.m. on April 11, Johnson and her husband, Ryan, went to Spencer Hospital, which is just across Grand Avenue from their house. Unfortunately, that’s when other things stopped going according to plan.
Ryan had been experiencing symptoms of a common cold. Normally, that’s no big deal, but in a time when COVID-19 was just starting to show up in Clay County, the hospital was beginning to take every precaution necessary to protect patients and staff.
Spencer Hospital Surgery Center will resume same day surgical procedures on a limited basis Monday, May 11. “The hospital and its medical staff have developed a plan which takes measured steps to reopen elective procedures,” explained hospital president Bill Bumgarner. “We’re anxious to meet the health needs of our patients, yet with a first priority to focus on patient and healthcare provider safety during the COVID-19 public health emergency.”
Safety protocols will include, but are not limited to, the following:
· All patients considered for elective surgery will be carefully prescreened. In addition to a traditional physical and health history assessment, each patient will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms.
· Upon entering Spencer Hospital or any of the clinics for a scheduled procedure, patients will be asked to wear cloth masks and will be screened again for COVID-19 symptoms.
· All care team members will wear surgical masks and protective eye wear or face shields, as well as other necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) as needed when caring for a patient. · Current temporary visitor restrictions remain in place.
Spencer Hospital nurses Carol Hartig, Dee Hoger, Beth Hopkins, John Lyon and Margaret Molitor have been selected as three of Iowa’s 100 Great Nurses for 2020. They were to be honored at a special celebration in Des Moines on May 3; however, the event was canceled due to the current COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’re so proud of these five outstanding nurses,” commented Brenda Tiefenthaler, VP of Patient Care and Informatics at Spencer Hospital. “It’s disappointing they won’t have the opportunity to enjoy the special celebration held in their honor and for the other 95 honorees this year, so we encourage our coworkers and community members to let them know how much they’re appreciated.”
The 100 Great Iowa Nurses program identifies 100 outstanding nurses every year whose courage, competence, and commitment to patients and the nursing profession stand out above all others. These nurses go above and beyond to contribute significantly to the profession of nursing. Collectively, these five Spencer Hospital nurses have 148 years of experience, yet rather than counting the years, they remember the moments.
What do a distillery, fire apparel company and a print shop all have in common? In addition to being northwest Iowa businesses, when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted their operations, they were able to be flexible and change their production models to help fulfill needs at Spencer Hospital. Veridian Fire Protective Gear
Based in Spencer, Veridian Fire Protective Gear manufactures protective clothing for fire fighters and emergency first responders internationally. By having the right equipment available combined with skilled staff, the Veridian team was able to adjust their production model to make a different highly needed item for Spencer Hospital and other healthcare organizations – medical isolation gowns. “The current need nationally and locally for medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is substantial,” commented Veridian president Bill Van Lent.
On April 27, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds shared a list of businesses which could reopen with restrictions beginning May 1. This list included fitness centers. Jason Trierweiler, director for the Athletic Enhancement & Adult Fitness, and director for Cardiopulmonary Services, said that with positive Covid-19 cases continuing to increase in Iowa, those services will not open May 1. “We miss our clients – both our cardiopulmonary rehab members and our AE members,” Trierweiler said. “Yet, we feel it’s in the best interest of those very people that we wait until we can see a downward trend in positive Covid-19 cases in the Midwest.
On April 24, Iowa’s Governor Kim Reynolds announced that under certain parameters, Iowa hospitals could begin re-offering elective surgeries as of Monday, April 27. Spencer Hospital will be taking deliberate steps in re-initiating elective procedures. “Spencer Hospital, in collaboration with its medical staff, is evaluating a plan to reinstate elective surgeries in a measured way,” commented hospital president Bill Bumgarner.
“Currently, it’s not anticipated elective procedures will be resumed before May 11. Patients will be prescreened in a careful manner for COVID-19 symptoms and other potential risk factors before being eligible to be scheduled for an elective surgery,” Bumgarner stated. The hospital’s surgery center has continued to provide urgent and emergency surgeries. Bumgarner added: “The safety of its patients and healthcare team is the hospital’s priority during this public health emergency. Spencer Hospital will communicate significant updates about elective surgeries and other services to keep the public informed.”