Burgess People Care Hosted Food and Supplies Drive

Burgess People Care hosted a ‘food drive’ breakfast in the cafeteria at Burgess Health Center on Wednesday, April 19.  Egg bakes, muffins, and fruit were served to staff in return for non-perishable food and cleaning supplies.

Employees from the hospital and area clinics came together to donate hundreds of non-perishable food items and cleaning supplies.  In addition, $350 in cash donations were brought in as well. Burgess People Care members Janie Schlitter, Brooke Mills, Sharon Taylor, and Lori Jensen were on-hand to receive the donations.

All food and cash donations were given to West Central’s food pantry for Monona County.

PHOTO: (L to R) Lori Jensen, Di Lenz, Brooke Mills, and Sharon Taylor.

Local Mayors Proclaim April as Child Abuse Prevention Month

On April 22, 2021, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a Proclamation recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Monona County mayors from the cities of Whiting, Ute, Soldier, Rodney, and Onawa joined with the Monona County Child Abuse Prevention Council to recognize the importance of protecting children and families. Mayor Tom Marr (City of Whiting), Mayor Richard Hagemann (City of Ute), Mayor John Larson (City of Soldier), Mayor Shawn Hamann (City of Rodney), and Mayor Lonnie Campbell (City of Onawa) also signed Proclamations recognizing April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The proclamations acknowledged that more than 1,540 children die each year from child abuse.  It stated that both locally and nationally, child abuse is considered to be one of the most serious public health problems with links to a wide range of medical, emotional, psychological, and behavioral disorders.  By promoting family functioning and resiliency, social support systems, concrete supports, nurturing and attachment as well as having knowledge of parenting and child development, can help to prevent child maltreatment and strengthen families.  The proclamation acknowledged community responsibility and encouraged all their citizens, community agencies, religious organizations, medical facilities, and businesses to partner in the efforts to prevent child abuse and neglect, thereby strengthening the communities in which we live.

For more information or to become involved with the Monona County Child Abuse Prevention Council please call 712-423-9253.  If you or a friend would like to learn how to participate in educational early childhood home visits that will help your child’s growth and development, please contact Sara Keenan or Debie Lahr with Burgess Health Center’s Learning for Life Program, at 712-420-0054.  The Learning for Life Program is a free home visiting program for families with children prenatal through kindergarten entry. The Learning for Life Program is funded by grants from the Harrison, Monona, and Shelby Early Childhood Iowa Board and the Harrison, Monona, and Shelby Decategorization Board and ICAPP grant funding.

Burgess to Close Obstetrics Department

Burgess Health Center will be closing the obstetrics department, Family Beginnings, on December 31, 2021. The closure is a joint decision made between the team of providers at Family Medicine Clinic (FMC) and the Burgess Health Center board of trustees.

The leadership team, board of trustees, and physicians devoted serious time reviewing and deliberating the obstetrics services to determine what restructuring is necessary to ensure Burgess continues to offer high quality, effective and efficient healthcare services for the communities we serve.

“This decision is no reflection upon the quality of care delivered to our Family Beginnings patients by our OB physicians and nurses,” stated Carl Behne, CEO of Burgess Health Center. “Over the last 5 to 7 years, we have seen a trend in low patient volumes, and the ability to attract and retain appropriate nursing talent has caused years of increased and costly contract nursing labor.”

Burgess Health Center and Family Medicine Clinic providers will continue to provide obstetrical services, such as labs, ultrasounds, and emergency visits. Mother and newborn care will continue to be provided at all FMC and Burgess Family Clinics.  FMC will work with each expectant mother to provide a smooth transition to an OB provider at a facility of her choice. Together with FMC, we will work with Dr. Hamburger, Siouxland Women’s Healthcare P.C., to see expectant mothers in the OB/GYN specialty clinic at Burgess.

“We will use this opportunity to focus on the preventative care and health needs of our communities and continuity of care for emergent situations that may arise with a mom and unborn baby,” said Paul Dudley, MD at Family Medicine Clinic.

“As health care continues to face challenges, we are making decisions that will strengthen our organization, enable us to better serve patients in the future, and allow us to continue to provide quality care for our communities,” adds Behne.

Westergaard Retires from Burgess Governing Boards After 15 Years

Jim Westergaard, chairman of the Burgess Health Center Board of Directors, retired in September of 2020 after 15 years of service.  Unfortunately, due to COVID and gathering restrictions, celebrating his tenure was delayed to Monday, March 22, 2021.

“Burgess has been very fortunate to have Jim serve on our board the last 15 years,” stated Carl Behne, Chief Executive Officer of Burgess Health Center. “We appreciate his strong leadership and commitment to our organization, and we are grateful for his many contributions to Burgess’ success. We extend our gratitude and best wishes to him.”

Westergaard was present through the navigation of numerous healthcare legislations, physician recruitment, hospital and service line expansions, to name a few. He also fully supported the Foundation Board and their goal of donating $1 million dollars for the purchase of new equipment at Burgess Health Center over the last 5 years.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Monona County Child Abuse Prevention Council is working to provide education and awareness to effectively address the needs of children and families in our communities.

Child Abuse Prevention Month recognizes the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect and promotes the social and emotional well-being of children and families. April is a time to help people understand that safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are necessary to ensure that children grow up happy and healthy. We all play a role in supporting the well-being of others during this time.

We are asking community members to join Prevent Child Abuse Iowa and wear blue on Thursday, April 1st.  We would love it if you would take a picture of yourself wearing blue with the hashtag #wearbluemonona.  Let’s rally together to bring awareness to this important cause.

You may also notice the blue pinwheel gardens around our Monona County communities and businesses.  The blue pinwheel is a symbol for child abuse prevention.  If you would like to display blue pinwheels at your place of business, please let Burgess Health Center’s Learning for Life program know, and they can bring them to you or provide directions on how to make your own.

The Monona County Child Abuse Prevention Council meets regularly to ensure that EVERY CHILD has a safe childhood free of violence. The Council is actively seeking members. For information on how to be involved, you may contact (712) 423-9253.  If you or a friend would like to learn how to participate in educational early childhood home visits that will help your child’s growth and development, please contact Sara Keenan (712) 420-0054 or Debie Lahr (712) 420-0060 with Burgess Health Center’s Learning for Life Program.  The Learning for Life Program is a free home visiting program for families with children prenatal through kindergarten entry. The Learning for Life Program is funded by grants from the Harrison, Monona, and Shelby Early Childhood Iowa Board and Iowa Child Abuse Prevention Program grant funding.


Burgess Public Health Hosts Successful Vaccination Clinic

More than 1,100 Monona County residents received vaccinations against COVID-19 on March 15 at a vaccination center created by Burgess Public Health at the Onawa Community Center.

“Thanks to Rex Pharmacy in Atlantic, Iowa, we were able to expand our vaccinations from 100 per week to over 1,100 in one day,” said Adam Hadden, Public Health Promotions Coordinator at Burgess Health Center. “And now we are well on our way to slowing the spread of the virus and putting an end to this pandemic.”

Citizens of Monona County with conditions listed in Phase 1 A-C (all tiers) received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. They will receive their second dose in a subsequent vaccination clinic at the Onawa Community Center on April 5, 2021.

“We had a large influx of vaccines and knew counties throughout Iowa were in great need,” Colby Rueschenberg, Pharmacist at Rex Pharmacy. “So we partnered with Burgess Public Health, set the date, and put the plans in motion to run a successful clinic.”

Rex Pharmacy is part of the network, CPESN Iowa (Community Pharmacy Enhanced Service Network), responsible for gaining access to the Pfizer doses.

Burgess is Accredited by ADCES to Provide Quality Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support

The Burgess Diabetes Center has achieved the significant milestone of accreditation by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES). Accreditation represents a high level of quality and service to the community, and the ability to better meet the needs of Medicare recipients and others affected by diabetes in Monona County and beyond.

“This accreditation confirms that we not only care about the health of the people in our communities but that of our diabetes population,” said Michele Kirkendall, Certified Diabetes Educator and Registered Dietitian at Burgess Health Center. “With the correct education and proper use of the newest technologies, patients can understand and manage their diabetes and overall well-being.”

The Burgess Diabetes Center will be offering individual diabetes education sessions in person at 1600 Diamond Street or from the comfort of your home via telehealth every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday by appointment only.

Diabetes education services utilize a collaborative process through which people with or at risk for diabetes work with a diabetes educator to receive individualized care to help them reach their health goals. Diabetes education is a covered Medicare benefit when delivered through an accredited program.

“Evidence shows diabetes education and support is helping people with diabetes to lower their A1c’s and obtain the knowledge and skills to better self-manage their condition,” said Sacha Uelmen, Director of Accreditation at ADCES. “That is why we need programs like the Burgess Diabetes Center to make these services available in their community.”

ADCES is a National Accredited Organization (NAO) for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Accredited programs must meet the 2017 National Standards for Diabetes Self-Management Education and Support; 10 standards that are revised every 5 years by a group of diabetes educators representing both ADCES and the American Diabetes Association and approved by CMS. Programs must maintain compliance with the Standards during the 4-year accreditation cycle.


About ADCES:
ADCES, formerly known as the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE), is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through innovative education, management and support. With more than 14,000 professional members including nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, exercise specialists, and others, ADCES has a vast network of practitioners working with people who have, are affected by or are at risk for diabetes. Learn more at www.diabeteseducator.org, or visit us on Facebook (Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists), Twitter (@ADCESdiabetes) and Instagram (@ADCESdiabetes).

Burgess Honored by The Chartis Center for Rural Health as a 2021 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital

Burgess Health Center today announced it has been recognized as a 2021 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital. Compiled by The Chartis Center for Rural Health, this 11th annual recognition program honors outstanding performance among the nation’s rural hospitals based on the results of the Hospital Strength INDEX®.

“We are beyond grateful for this recognition,” said Carl Behne, CEO at Burgess Health Center. “Amidst a pandemic, our teams rose above with relentless bravery and service providing our patients with the best health care possible to Monona County and beyond.”

“The Top 100 program continues to illuminate strategies and innovation for delivering higher quality care and better outcomes within rural communities,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health. “We are delighted to be able to spotlight the efforts of these facilities through the INDEX framework.”

Over the course of the last 11 years, the INDEX has grown to become the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Based entirely on public data and utilizing 36 independent indicators, the INDEX assesses rural hospitals across eight pillars of performance, including market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge, and financial efficiency. The INDEX framework is widely used across the nation by independent rural hospitals, health systems with rural footprints and state offices of rural health, which provide access to INDEX analytics through grant-funded initiatives.