Iowa Hospital Association Awards Scholarship

DES MOINES – The Iowa Hospital Association’s (IHA’s) Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF) has awarded $182,000 in scholarships to college students from all parts of Iowa. Among those receiving a $3,500 scholarship is Robin McLey an employee at Burgess Health Center who is enrolled in the occupational therapy doctorate program at University of South Dakota.

Since its inception 14 years ago, the IHERF scholarship fund has provided support to about 34 students each year. This year, that number was increased to 52. Similarly, in 2016, the scholarship amount was increased from $3,000 to $3,500. Each recipient is also eligible for an additional $3,500 award. Seven of the students are repeat recipients from 2017.

IHA established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of healthcare professionals and encourage young Iowans to establish or continue their careers with Iowa hospitals. The first scholarships were awarded in 2005, and more than 450 students have now benefited from the program. To date, the scholarship program has provided more than $1.4 million in direct support to students since its inception.

Iowa hospitals also benefit from the scholarship program. In exchange for financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award. Today, 250 past scholarship recipients are working in hospitals across the state.

IHA staff, the IHERF Board, hospital leaders and IHA Auxilian/Volunteer Board members from throughout the state evaluated scholarship applications from 165 students, who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference and extracurricular, community, and health care-related activities.

“We are very proud to support these high-achieving students who will help Iowa hospitals continue their tradition of high-quality health care throughout the state,” said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris.

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government, and consumer audiences.  All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.



Photo: Burgess Health Center staff members Teresa Butler, VP of clinical services; Robin McLey, occupational therapist and scholarship recipient; Josh Lander, director of rehabilitation services.

Youth Mental Health First Aid Training

Burgess Mental Health has received a grant to provide an international mental health training program. Adults are invited to participate in the training, free of charge.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis.

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. Topics covered include:

  • Common mental health challenges for youth, and typical adolescent development.
  • The potential risk factors and warning signs for a range of mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.
  • A 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources, and knowledge to assess the situation, to select and implement appropriate interventions, and to help the individual in crisis connect with appropriate professional care.
  • The professional, peer, social, and self-help resources available to help someone with a mental health problem.

The Youth Mental Health First Aid program is interactive and runs 8 hours. Training is scheduled for Saturday, June 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room of the Onawa Public Library, 707 Iowa Avenue. Staff from Burgess Mental Health will provide the training.

For those who would like to participate in the training, please register by Friday, June 1. Space is limited to the first 20 people who register. To register or ask questions, please call 712-423-9160.

Visit to learn more about this program.

Live Healthy Iowa 5K Walk/Run

Live Healthy Iowa has selected 19 communities across Iowa as host sites for the 5th annual Live Healthy Iowa 5K events. The events, scheduled for Saturday, April 14, will be held in Asbury, Bondurant, Britt, Carroll, Decorah, Dike, Fairfield, Grinnell, Hiawatha, Montrose, Onawa, Perry, Rathbun Lake, Red Oak, Sergeant Bluff, Sibley, Spencer, Story City, and Waukee. Proceeds from the events will benefit local wellness efforts in these communities, as well as Live Healthy Iowa Kids initiatives.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with these 19 local communities to co-host this year’s events,” said Iowa Sports Foundation CEO and Executive Director, Chuck Long. “These events not only serve as a time of celebration for challenge participants but as a way for Iowans to come together in support of local communities and their wellness efforts.”

Onawa 5K

The Onawa event will begin and end at the Lewis & Clark State Park Visitor Center. The 5K run/walk will begin at 8 a.m. with the 1K kid’s run following at 9 a.m. Early packet pickup and registration will be in the Visitor Center at Lewis and Clark State Park on Friday, April 13 from 4-5 p.m. Day of the event packet pickup and registration will be Saturday, April 14 from 6:30-7:45 a.m.

All participants will receive a Live Healthy Iowa 5K T-shirt (if registered by April 2), race number, finisher medal, and the opportunity to win age-group awards. The cost is $20 online until April 2; and $25 up to the race. Participants in the 10 Week Wellness Challenge can receive a $10 discount on registration by redeeming the coupon code from the weekly email or by showing their LHI Access Card during on-site registration. The 1K kid’s run for ages 12 and younger is $5 through race day. For additional event details, or to register, visit

“Onawa is excited to partner with Live Healthy Iowa to offer this fun and healthy event,” said Michele Kirkendall, Onawa event co-coordinator. We look forward to welcoming area participants to our community and celebrating the efforts of all on race day.

Live Healthy Iowa and Live Healthy Iowa Kids provide challenges and events throughout the year to promote healthy and active lifestyles. To learn more about these programs and find more information about the Live Healthy Iowa 5K, please visit or call (888)777-8881.

Grief Support Group

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 on Tuesdays, April 3, 10, 17, 24, and May 1 from 6 – 8:30 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 timeframe 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 30. A minimum of four members is required for the group to take place. If you have questions or would like to register, please contact Sandra Beechy at Burgess Hospice by calling 712-423-9183.

New Telemedicine Technology at Burgess

Burgess Auxiliary made a generous donation toward the purchase of telemedicine technology for Burgess Health Center. The first specialist who will use the technology is Dr. Jennifer Gibert, an endocrinologist from Omaha. Endocrinologists treat things like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, disorders of menopause, PMS, and pituitary disorders. Many people in the area will benefit from endocrinology appointments close to home.

If you don’t know what telemedicine is, keep reading.

Telemedicine is a fast growing field of medicine. Telemedicine improves access to medical specialists. In the past patients may have had to travel a long way to see a specialist. Now they have the option of being treated by those same doctors, close to home.

The introduction of video conferencing has made a big difference, allowing doctors and patients to see one another. Burgess will use technology that allows patients to talk with Dr. Gibert using a secure live video feed. During the appointment, the doctor can get a medical history from the patient, talk to the patient about current symptoms, do an evaluation, and then recommend the best course of treatment. There will also be a nurse or medical professional in the room with the patient to help by taking vitals and getting the technology set up.

Ongoing conditions like diabetes or thyroid disorders are ideal candidates for telemedicine. The Burgess lab will carry out tests and report the results back to the doctor, allowing her to monitor the patient’s condition and recommend any necessary changes to their treatment plan.

While telemedicine can’t completely replace traditional forms of medicine, it is a valuable addition which can vastly improve quality of life for both patients and healthcare providers.

Telemedicine is changing the way healthcare works. Patients can now access high-quality, timely, specialist care wherever they are in the world. While telemedicine isn’t a complete replacement for traditional face-to-face visits, it’s an extremely valuable way to supplement existing care.

If you would like an appointment with Dr. Gibert, please ask your primary care provider for a referral to Burgess Specialty Clinics.

Importance of House Numbers During Emergency

House numbers are not only convenient for finding addresses but necessary for emergency responders to locate those in need. Minutes matter so be sure that fire, ambulance, and police personnel can quickly find your address.

Burgess Health Center’s ambulance drivers are equipped with many tools to shorten their arrival time. However, house numbers are imperative for a quick reference. The harder it is to find the numbers, the longer it will take emergency personnel to arrive at the scene.

Take a moment to drive around after the sun has gone down and try to find a particular address that is unknown to you. It is not very easy. Emergencies can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any time – including during a blizzard or in the middle of the night.

Area residents are encouraged to take a few moments to install house numbers or examine existing house numbers. According to the Live Safe Foundation, here are some of the basic requirements:

  • Must be Arabic numerals. Fancy numbers or numbers that are spelled out may be aesthetically pleasing but are very difficult to read from the street.
  • Need to be a minimum of four inches high and in a contrasting color to their immediate background. Brass or bronze numbers are difficult to see.
  • Must be displayed on the front of the dwelling and visible from the street.
  • If the dwelling is located more than 45 feet from the front lot line, the number should be displayed on a gate post, fence, mailbox, or another appropriate place that will make it visible from the street from all directions.
  • Cannot be obstructed by shrubs, trees, decorations, etc.

Do your part to help yourself and have your house numbers displayed near the front door, under a light in a size and color that is easily visible from the street. And if you live in a rural area maintain your house number sign that is near your driveway. Don’t let it get covered with snow this winter.

If the numbers on your house are not visible or easy to read, it will take emergency personnel longer to reach you. Those extra minutes spent trying to locate a property can mean the difference between life and death, so take the time now to be sure your house numbers may be seen from the street.

Burgess Emergency Department Receives Award Five Consecutive Years

Burgess Health Center is pleased to announce its Emergency Department has been named a 2017 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey. The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing healthcare organizations that have consistently achieved the 95th percentile or above of performance in Patient Experience. The Emergency Department at Burgess has received this award for five consecutive years.

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement in health care. Presented annually, the award honors clients who consistently sustained performance in the top 5% of all Press Ganey clients for each yearly reporting period.

“This achievement demonstrates the commitment our employees make to our patients,” notes Fran Tramp, President and CEO, Burgess Health Center. “Providing a positive patient experience is top-priority along with providing quality care. Our exceptional staff members genuinely care about the health and well-being of our patients and their families – and it shows.”

“We are proud to partner with Burgess Health Center,” said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. “This award is a testament to the organization’s leadership in delivering patient-centered care. By achieving and sustaining this level of excellence, Burgess continues to demonstrate their commitment to reducing patient suffering and advancing the overall quality of health care.”

Find out more about Burgess Emergency Services.