Burgess Public Health Reminds Residents Social Distancing is Important Outdoors, Too

Burgess Public Health thanks all residents that are following social distancing guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s important to remember to follow these guidelines even when outside.

“We encourage residents to spend time outdoors when possible because it’s beneficial to mental health, and physical activity is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle,” said Burgess Public Health Director Erin Brekke. “Everyone needs to continue following social distancing guidelines when outdoors because close contact, even outside, can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.”

When spending time outdoors, all people should:

  • Maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone you encounter outdoors.
  • Spend time outdoors alone, or only with members of your household. This is not the time for team sports or recreation.
  • Avoid popular parks and trails that are frequently crowded.
  • Avoid touching surfaces like crosswalk buttons, park benches, etc. Carry hand sanitizer with you so you can clean your hands while outside, and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home.

In addition, everyone should follow these recommendations:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If you must go out for essential errands like getting groceries or prescriptions, go alone if possible and maintain social distancing.
  • Practice social distancing by staying 6-feet away from other individuals. Avoid groups of more than 10 people.
  • Consider wearing a cloth face covering when running essential errands to protect others in case you are infected with COVID-19 and have no symptoms, or have not yet developed symptoms.
  • No travel outside of Iowa, even though we are a border community.

As of today, April 21, there are 7 cases of COVID-19 in Monona County. The Burgess Public Health Department continues to work closely with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the IDPH webpage at https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus and follow the department on Facebook at @IowaDepartmentOfPublicHealth and on Twitter at @IAPublicHealth.

Burgess Foundation Golf Tournament Success

Thank you to all the teams that helped raise funds to benefit patients and enhance local healthcare at Burgess Health Center at this year’s Burgess Foundation Golf Tournament. The tournament in Mapleton was held June 7 and in Onawa on June 8.


Championship Flight

1st   Fister Farms – John Fister, Zach Maule, Butch Sorenson, Terry Sandmann
2nd  Hoffman Agency – Beau Hupke, Chris Blake, Nick Holverson, Cory Johnson
3rd  Great Southern Bank – Scott Brekke, Ben Brekke, Rich Lamoureaux, Elijah Lamoureaux

A Flight

1st Bank First – Rob Meyer, Randy Lamprecht, John Greuniesen, Clint Weaver
2nd Bayer Seeds – Craig Harris, Rob Collison, Atalie Simpson, Luca Meyer
3rd  The Warner’s – Grady Warner, Cooper Warner, Larry Sessions, Owen Collison

B Flight

1st  WinnaVegas – Michael Musselman, Barrett DeFax, Ray Thomas, Mayan Beltran
2nd McKinvens – Monty McKinven, LaRae McKinven, Steve Heide, Michelle Heide
3rd  Bayer Seeds – Lisa Pruitt, Kelly Crosgrove, Michelle Rapp, Katie Henneman



Championship Flight

1st   Hardison Kennel – Carl Miller, Tommy Miller, Brenda Miller, Jaimie Murray
2nd  US Bank – Scott McCandless, Tyler Sandmann, Cody Stuckenholtz, JJ Gray
3rd   Frannie’s Café – Alex Maule, Gabe Madsen, Wayne Rock, Terry Sandmann

A Flight

1st  Continental Fire Sprinkler – Scott Beckner, Chet Olson, Dustin Lawrence, Robert Greis
2nd Bayer Seeds – Craig Harris, Rob Collison, Alex Klein, Ben Bayers
3rd Bramley’s – Lyle Bramley, Tammy Bramley, Brian Croker, Brenda Croker

Foundation, Burgess People Care, and West Monona High School Team up to Provide Comfort to Children in the ER

In early December, Burgess Foundation and Burgess People Care teamed up with the West Monona High School Family Career and Community Leaders of America class (FCCLA) to provide 30 hand-made fleece blankets for the children that are seen in the Burgess Health Center Emergency Room.

Karla Copple, Director of Emergency Services at Burgess Health Center, accepted the blankets from the students. Copple and the ER staff are now ready to provide additional comfort to children entering the ER.

“We were excited to hear of this project and what it would mean to our younger patients,” said Copple. “The children that come in with injuries or sickness are already scared. With this donation, we are able to provide them with a comfort item they will be able to take home after discharge.”

The cost of the fabric was approximately $1,000 but is priceless according to Burgess People Care member, Janie Schlitter.

“We are glad that we could help fund a service project like this,” said Schlitter. “It not only comforts the children in our ER, but it also provided the students a chance to give back to the community.”


PHOTO front row from left to right: Abby Wessel, Emma Black, Amber Disney. Middle row: Laura Heisterkamp, Morgan Warner, Ally Darwin, Maggie Lage, Joanna Koenig, Kloie Lester, Skyla McClure. Back row: Kelsey Gray, Janie Schlitter, Lori Jensen, Averie DeBartolo, Jayleigh Anderson, Devyn Beck, Tasha Miller, and Karla Copple, Director of Emergency Services.


About Burgess Foundation:
Burgess Foundation is committed to seeking community partners whose time, talent and treasures ensure the future of Burgess Health Center.

About Burgess People Care:
Burgess People Care is a long-time employee committee of Burgess Health Center that raises funds to support community drives, events and fellow employees.

About Burgess Health Center:
Burgess Health Center, located in Onawa, IA, is a rural acute care hospital that is accredited by the State of Iowa, and also has family clinics that serve the communities of Dunlap, Sloan, and Mapleton, IA as well as Decatur, NE. The staff is committed to improving the quality of life for the people and communities served, by providing excellent healthcare and exceptional patient experiences.

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 April 3, 10, 17, 24 and May 1 from 6 – 8 p.m. The support group will meet in the conference rooms at Burgess Health Center 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 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 Friday, March 29. A minimum of four members is required for the group to take place. If you have questions or would like to register, please contact Sandy Beechy at Burgess Hospice by calling 712-423-9265.

Grief Support Group

Whiting Clinic Hosts Annual Hat, Mitten, and Scarf Drive

The Burgess Clinic in Whiting hosted the 3rd annual “Hat, Mitten, and Scarf” drive for the holidays.  Nearly 50 items were collected and donated to the Whiting Community School for children who are in need of warmth during the cold Midwest winters.

“We want to provide warm winter items that children need to stay safe and healthy throughout the season,” says Kris Wulf, Whiting Clinic registrar, and coordinator for the annual project. “But none of it would be possible without so much help from our communities.”

The “Hat, Mitten, and Scarf” drive is open to the community and the success of it depends on the generosity of our citizens. Please visit www.burgesshc.org or call us at 712.455.2431 to learn more about our work and the patients we serve.

Burgess Receives 2018 Employer Award

Burgess Health Center was named 2018 Employer of the Year as part of Monona County Economic Development Partnership’s (MCEDP) business recognition program. Burgess was nominated by community leaders and chosen as the award recipient by the Board of Directors for MCEDP.

Burgess has been providing health care to the Monona County area since 1963 and employs a diverse group of professionals, including those with extensive clinical degrees and those in nonclinical support positions. Burgess is one of the leading employers in the area, employing approximately 260 people and offering attractive benefits, including competitive salary, generous PTO, health plan, 403(b) with company match, professional development, tuition assistance, and health club membership discounts.

“On behalf of MCEDP, I congratulate this year’s Major Employer of the Year Award winner, Burgess Health Center, for their demonstrated commitment to partner with local workforce and education partners in support of the local economy,” said MCEDP Executive Director, Jessica Carrier. “Preparing our future healthcare workforce is crucial, and I commend Burgess for their innovative and valuable work.”

Burgess is actively involved with Monona County’s workforce initiatives by means of a partnership with MCEDP. Burgess also is an active community partner with various civic and community organizations. Through the Burgess Auxiliary organization, scholarships 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. Burgess’s support of the county workforce system aligns with its mission to continue improving the quality of
life for the people and communities they serve by providing excellent healthcare and exceptional patient experience.

Monona County Economic Development Partnership (MCEDP) is a public-private partnership dedicated to helping Monona County employers, workers, and communities prosper economically.

Burnout: How to Keep It From Happening to You

Constant exposure to stress can leave you mentally and physically depleted. Feeling helpless in the face of insurmountable problems can rob you of the energy to even care, let alone solve them. The resulting exhaustion, known as burnout, causes you to lose motivation and interest in whatever undertaking may have led to the condition. Here are some strategies to help avoid burnout.

Turn to Others

One of the quickest ways to relieve stress is to talk to someone, especially face-to-face. Even if they don’t know how to fix your problems, it’s comforting to share them with someone who will listen. The best choices are family and friends since they are less likely to feel burdened and will probably want the best for you. Confiding in someone also has a way of strengthening the existing bond.

Reframe Your View of Work

The best remedy for burnout is to switch careers and find something more rewarding. However, this isn’t always possible and you may need your job to stay afloat. It may help to focus on the impact your job has on the lives of others, especially if it provides needed products or services. You can also choose to focus on whatever aspects of the job you do enjoy, even if it’s sharing laughs with your coworkers. Remember that your experience at work is partly the result of the attitude with which you approach it.

Take Time Off

The value of a much-needed vacation should not be overlooked. The more hours you work, the more quickly your energy stores will be depleted and the less time you’ll have to recover before you’re back at work again. No matter how young you are, you won’t be able to keep this up indefinitely. If you’re not due any vacation time, use up your sick days or request a leave of absence. The point is to take time away to relax and recharge, before returning to the grind.

Reassess Your Priorities

Burnout indicates that something in your life is out of balance. Maybe you’ve neglected your hopes and dreams while ascending the career ladder. Maybe you’ve neglected your family. This can be an ideal time to begin setting boundaries and learn to say “no” to unreasonable demands on your time. Don’t be afraid to turn off your phone and quit checking your email after hours. Spend more time pursuing hobbies that feed your creative side, taking care of your health and getting enough sleep.


You may not feel like exercising when you’re burned out, but it may be what your mind and body need. It’s one of the best ways to combine stress and improve your mood. All you need is 30 minutes per day to begin feeling better, both physically and mentally. If you can’t get in the entire half-hour at once, break it up into 10 or 15-minute sessions. Any type of exercise is beneficial, so don’t be discouraged if all you have the energy for is walking. Consistency is what’s really important.

Fix Your Diet

What you get out of your body is the direct result of what you put into it. Your energy levels and mood will reflect this the most. Refined carbohydrates, sugar, and caffeine can lead to crashes as the day goes on. Hormones and preservatives are known to adversely affect people’s moods. Cut back on these foods, along with alcohol and nicotine, which can increase anxiety levels. Seaweed, flaxseed, and salmon are all rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Working them into your diet can help boost your mood.

There may be other things you can do to avoid burnout, but these tips cover the basics. Good health, a reassessment of your priorities and an honest conversation with loved ones will help ensure that you can make those decisions. If you do have to quit your job or move to another city, you’ll be able to do so from a position of strength.


New Versacare Beds at Burgess

Thanks to the generous donation from Burgess Foundation, the Burgess Health Center medical-surgical department now has 13 new, state-of-the-art Versacare Beds. Each bed is equipped with several features designed to keep safety and prevention at the forefront of care. Features like the Bed Exit Alarm System will alert staff to patients exiting the bed without assistance. The new Versacare Beds are also equipped with Active Integrated Response®. This feature alleviates pressure points by continuously regulating the amount of air in the mattress. Another feature designed to protect the skin is the Advanced Microclimate® Technology. This wicks moisture away from patients keeping them dry and comfortable. In addition to these notable features is Turn Assist. Turn Assist hyper-inflates one side of the mattress making it easier for patients to reposition. This dramatic upgrade is the latest equipment addition that will help to continue the advancement of care at Burgess Health Center.


Burgess Emergency Room entrance door to be locked 24 hours a day

Effective September 1, the outside door to the Burgess Emergency Room will remain locked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure patient privacy and safety. After 8:30 p.m., patients with an emergent medical condition are urged to go through the ER door, press the call button and speak with the operator for entry. All other patients and visitors, please use the main entrance of the hospital from 5:30 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. We understand the inconvenience but believe this new regulation is the kind of approach needed to foster the privacy and safety in our healthcare facility.

As an award-winning critical access hospital, Burgess Health Center is committed to improving the quality of life for the people and communities served, by providing excellent health care and exceptional patient experiences. We are always considering new and creative approaches to patient care.

Karla Copple, Director of Emergency Services states, “This is a collaborative effort to safeguard our patients and ensure they receive the appropriate and timely care they deserve.”

Burgess Emergency Service’s staff have begun the transition with current patients and will continue to implement the change with future patients. We feel that this new process will allow staff to provide adequate care, retain patient privacy, and prevent potential intruders from reaching patients.

“Our emergency department’s caseload is unpredictable and we want to provide the quality care necessary for our patients,” Fran Tramp, president of Burgess Health Center said. “We are pleased that Burgess is taking additional steps to ensure all emergent patients are examined effectively in a private and safe environment.”

The Burgess Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for the treatment of emergent and urgent medical conditions.

Here are some examples of emergent conditions:

  • Head injury
  • Signs of a heart attack or stroke
  • Bleeding that will not stop
  • A health issue that is getting much worse very quickly

For more information please call, 712-423-2311.


Burgess Health Center, located in Onawa, Iowa, is a rural acute care hospital that is accredited by the State of Iowa. Burgess Family Clinics serve the communities of Dunlap, Sloan, and Mapleton in Iowa as well as Decatur, Neb. Burgess has retail family pharmacies in Dunlap and Whiting, Iowa. The staff is committed to improving the quality of life for the people and communities served, by providing excellent health care and exceptional patient experiences.