Save the Date to Join Our 13th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner

Need a family to share dinner with on Thanksgiving Day? Please make plans to join Burgess People Care and the family and friends of Nancy Broer as they host the 13th Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. As in years past, we will serve traditional Thanksgiving dinners to area residents, assuring no one misses out on this traditional feast because they are alone or unable to prepare a meal.

The Thanksgiving Community Dinner will be held on Thursday, November 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., serving a Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing, salads, vegetable dishes, other sides, pies, and more.

Over 150 volunteers, children, adults, and senior citizens in previous years enjoyed this time of fellowship. The meal will be served at First Christian Church, 722 15th Street in Onawa, IA. Freewill donations are appreciated but not expected.

People who wish to attend should make a meal reservation by noon on Friday, November 18, 2022, to ensure there is more than enough food. Please call Burgess Human Resources at 712-423-9200.

Harvest Season: Opportunity for Farmers to Give Through Gift of Grain

Burgess Health Center is a proud supporter of our community and our agricultural producers whom we rely on to help keep our small towns thriving. We want to make our agricultural leaders aware of the benefits not just on donating to the Burgess Foundation, but simple ways they can make a lasting difference.

Donating grain is an easy way to save on your taxes while investing in the future of Burgess at the same time.  This can be done by providing a part of what you have grown into the Burgess Foundation.  A Foundation that gives back to your own community by investing in updated medical technology, equipment, and resources that help to keep Burgess providing the best patient care possible.

Last year, the Gift of Grain donations received by the Burgess Foundation went to the purchase of a new ambulance for the Emergency Department.

The Benefits of Donating Grain

If the farmer chooses to donate grain, the farmer can then exclude the grain sale from income, which can result in saving on your taxes. Here are some examples of how you can save by donating.

  • State income tax savings (up to 8.98% in Iowa)
  • Self-employment tax savings (15.3%)
  • Federal income tax savings (up to 37%)

How can you donate?

The best way to start is by contacting Bobbi Johnson, Burgess Foundation Director, at (712) 423-9374.

Keep a copy for your records. (This should be unsold crop with no prior sale commitment.)

Transfer the grain as a gift to the Burgess Foundation.  Your elevator can send a warehouse storage receipt to the Foundation. The grain should be put in the name of the Burgess Foundation.

The Burgess Foundation will then sell the grain and receive the proceeds.

Each agricultural producer’s situation is different. Please consider consulting with a tax professional before donating to make sure this is the right choice for you. Remember, no gift is too small.

Guardian Angel Recognized at Burgess Health Center

Burgess Health Center is proud to announce the nomination of Brooke Barnett, RN and Critical Care Paramedic in the Emergency Department, for the Burgess Foundation Guardian Angel Award.

Shari Pithan recognizes and thanks Brooke for going above and beyond in providing exceptional care. Pithan was involved in a car accident, and Brooke was one of the first paramedics on the scene.

“It was a very scary situation, and Brooke calmly answered and explained all my questions,” said Pithan. “She is very kind and helpful and rode all the way to Omaha with me. Burgess is lucky to have her”.

Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program provides patients, family members, and friends a chance to show their gratitude to a physician, nurse, or another caregiver who has played an exceptional role in their lives. The Guardian Angel received an acknowledgment letter announcing that a donation has been made in their honor and given a custom-crafted lapel pin to wear proudly.

Did a caregiver at Burgess make a memorable difference for you or your family? If so, you can honor that special person in a highly visible way through Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program. It is more than a pin. When you take advantage of our Guardian Angel program, you also help ensure the future of outstanding health care in the region.


Photo: Bobbi Johnson, Foundation Director, Karla Copple, Director of Emergency Services, Brooke Barnett, and Mona Pithan, Shari’s daughter-in-law.

Burgess Mental Health Celebrates 35 Year Anniversary

The team at Burgess Mental Health celebrated 35 years of providing a broad range of outpatient counseling and therapy services to individuals, families, and couples of all age groups. Founded in 1987, the department started with one therapist and has spent the last 35 years advancing the behavioral healthcare services offered. Today, the department has 13 employees and serves over 600 patients in over 5,000 sessions annually.

“We could not be happier to celebrate thirty-five years of service in Monona County and surrounding areas,” says Jenn Skaff, Director, and Therapist at Burgess Mental Health. “The work we do isn’t always easy, but it’s essential for our family members, community members, and neighbors that struggle with mental health. We want to help our communities to become a happier, healthier place to live.”

In addition to the primary location on the Burgess campus in Onawa, a satellite office is located in Mapleton. Walk-in clinics are held every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on a first come, first serve basis. Psychiatric services are also provided in person and via a secure live-video telehealth connection by a board-certified psychiatrist and a psychiatric physician’s assistant.

If you or someone you know could benefit from an appointment with one of our Burgess Mental Health team members, please call 712-423-9160 or seek a referral from your primary healthcare provider. For more information on the services offered, please visit


Photo (Front L to R): Jessica Gross, Sara Keenan, Jayna Woolridge, Jenn Skaff, Director of Mental Health, Greg Nooney, Dr. Kelsey Sigler, Amber Jones, Jessica Cox. (Back L to R): Bobbi Johnson, Foundation Director, Geri Johnson, Erin Brekke, Carl Behne, CEO of Burgess Health Center, Rob Meyer, and Tori Vogt.


Learning for Life Received Excellent Reviews from Families

The Learning for Life Program received excellent reviews from participating families. All families who completed the anonymous Parent Satisfaction survey strongly agreed or agreed that the Learning for Life program has helped them understand their child’s development, handle stress, find resources, and has motivated them to try new parenting techniques when needed. Many families stated the program has helped them manage stress, meet other families, and work toward goals.

Parents were given an opportunity to leave comments on the survey.

Here are a few of the things they had to say about their parent educators:

  • “She is very kind and helps me understand my kids more. I love having my meetings with her”
  • “Helping my children with sharing, fighting/ working with others, and working with developing their sensory and motor skills”
  • “Knowing the development of my children and where they are at”
  • “Helping me understand how to help my child learn things and also how to act when they have an upset moment”
  • “We love Sara she always has great ideas and is always very helpful with any questions or concerns I have about my son.”

Way to go, parent educators Sara and Kaylee!!

Enroll now – openings are available! Learning for Life is a free home visiting program for anyone in Monona County with children prenatal-5 years old. Our parent educators assist parents in giving their children the best possible start by building strong relationships and helping parents increase their confidence. Our staff bring fun educational parent-child activities, provide support and encouragement, as well as complete developmental assessments to be sure the children are school ready when that time comes. Enrolled families have access to passes to the LaunchPad Children’s Museum and the Henry Doorly Zoo. Families also earn incentives such as diapers, wipes, and other child care items.

The Learning for Life Program is funded by grants from the Harrison, Monona and Shelby Early Childhood Iowa Board, Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program grant funding and the Monona County Board of Supervisors.

For more information or to join Learning for Life, call 712-423-9175.


Grief Support Group Offered

Grief is a journey that doesn’t have to be traveled alone. Often, talking or being with someone else who has experienced a loss can be helpful.

Burgess Home Health and Hospice is offering a 5-session grief support group for adults. Sessions will be September 15, September 22, September 29, October 6, and October 13, 2022 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. The support group will meet at the Onawa Public Library in Onawa, Iowa.

There is no charge to participate. Please bring a photo of your loved one for the first meeting. ­

This support group is for any adult who has experienced a loss through death. It is designed to offer members a safe and understanding atmosphere where support can be drawn, and feelings, fears, and frustrations can be shared with others traveling the same “road of grief.”

While there is no time frame for when you experienced the loss of your loved one, it is recommended the loss have occurred at least two months before the start of the grief group.

Participants must pre-register by Thursday, September 1, 2022. A minimum of four members is required for the group to take place. If you have questions or would like to register, please contact Carrie Conley at Burgess Hospice by calling 712-420-0716.

Burgess Auxiliary Awards Five Scholarships

Five scholarships of $500 each are awarded each spring to area high school seniors and first-year college students that wish to pursue a career in a health-related field.

The 2022 recipients are as follows: Emma Gross, graduate of Whiting Community School plans to attend the University of South Dakota for Radiological Technician; Cole Halverson, graduate of West Monona High School plans to attend Morningside College for Pharmacy Biochemistry; Calliyah Mareau, graduate of MVAOCOU High School plans to attend WITCC for Nursing; Caden Nielsen, graduate of Boyer Valley High School plans to attend the University of Iowa for Nursing (Nurse Anesthetist); and Sydney Seward, graduate of Westwood High School plans to attend WITCC for Nursing.

Applications are available January through March online at or at the Burgess Health Center front desk and accepted until April 1.


Burgess Teams Recognized for Excellent Care

Every day at Burgess Health Center, our emergency crew responds to numerous 911 calls, whether a patient transfer or stand-by at a house fire. They show up ready and willing for what they are about to face. And they did just that, and more recently when a call came that a family was injured in a motor vehicle accident on I-29. Not only did the emergency crew respond, but upon return to the hospital, several departments offered assistance to keep everyone involved in the accident cared for and safe.

“In healthcare, you always hear it is a team sport. Here at Burgess, we talk a lot about our team and how great our team is. Then something like this happens where 16 individuals selflessly focus on a patient, their family, and everything impacting them,” Carl Behne, CEO at Burgess Health Center.

A recognition event was held at Burgess Health Center on Thursday, July 7, honoring those who exemplified incredible teamwork and commitment to three patients involved in the motor vehicle accident.

“Our staff members are all amazing clinicians, but they are also some of the most caring and compassionate staff I have ever worked with,” said Karla Copple, ER Director at Burgess Health Center. “They go above and beyond for all the patients they care for.”

Those honored this morning for their teamwork, collaboration, and unwavering commitment were Patrick Prorok, Sarah Solberg, Kelsey Gray, Steve Gordon, Jon Pinkelman, Elsa Roslansky, Jenny Coble, Brad Prescott, Jessica Renz, Dawn Bonham, Dr. Waseem Alounk, Melissa Allen, Morgan Ridder, Rachel Pinkelman, Duane Renz and Sara Keenan.

“You begin to really understand why the word team is used the way it is. Individually each of them did great things. Collectively they were amazing,” added Behne. “We are very proud of them.”


Photo: Back left to right: Carl Behne and Rachel Pinkelman

Front left to right: Morgan Ridder (holding Logyn and Lincoln Ridder), Karla Copple, Kelsey Gray, Steve Gordon, Sarah Solberg, Jon Pinkelman, Dr. Waseem Alounk, and Sheriff Jeff Pratt

Not pictured: Patrick Prorok, Elsa Roslansky, Jenny Coble, Brad Prescott, Jessica Renz, Dawn Bonham, Melissa Allen, Duane Renz, and Sara Keenan.