Burgess Hospice Volunteer Recognized

Burgess Hospice of Onawa, Iowa is pleased to share that the Hospice and Palliative Care Association of Iowa honored volunteer Cathy Stephens of Onawa, IA. She was recognized for her efforts as a hospice volunteer with a local family.

Stephens has been a hospice volunteer for four years and has gone above and beyond in her work. Not only does she companion patients on their end of life journeys, but she also makes prayer and pocket shawls, volunteers to help with community events and helps with administrative tasks.

Cathy is a wonderful advocate for hospice as she has had family members utilize the program and knows the value of the hospice care. Burgess Hospice is grateful for all that Cathy does. She is truly a wonderful volunteer!


10 Ways to Protect Yourself from the Flu

The dog days of summer have given way to the changing leaves and cooler nights of autumn, and pretty soon the winter season will be here in earnest. That winter weather will bring snowstorms and icy roadways, but there is another danger lurking behind the scenes.

The winter season is also prime time for the flu, and every year thousands of people die from the disease. And while many of those deaths are related to compromised immune systems and underlying illnesses, influenza can also be deadly for those who are in otherwise perfect health.

So before flu season arrives, it is important to protect yourself whenever and however you can. Here are 10 ways to protect yourself this flu season.

  1. Get a flu shot. It may not provide perfect immunity, but a flu shot is an essential first line of defense. Get your annual flu shot early in the season, so you can enjoy long-lasting protection.
  2. Wash your hands often. Hand washing is a vital line of defense, not only against the flu but for the common cold and other illnesses as well. Wash your hands several times a day, using soap and hot water.
  3. Eat a healthy diet. The healthier you are, the easier it will be for your body to fight off the flu. You should always eat a healthy diet, but taking good care of yourself is even more critical during flu season.
  4. Get plenty of exercise. Regular exercise can also boost your immune system and improve your overall health. Flu season gives you another excuse to hit the gym, so grab your workout clothes and get going.
  5. Quarantine yourself. If friends or family members are sick with the flu, put yourself in quarantine. Isolating yourself from flu sufferers will reduce your chances of catching the disease.
  6. Avoid touching your mouth and nose. Those airborne flu particles must enter your body before they can make you sick. Touching your hands to your nose and mouth could give the flu virus a way in, so keep your hands at your side – and wash them often.
  7. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. It is easy for infection to spread during flu season, so protect yourself and others by covering your mouth and nose.
  8. Track the spread of the flu. Once the flu begins to spread, it can move quickly, so keep your eyes open and watch for updates from the CDC and other governmental agencies. If the flu is widespread where you live, it is time to redouble your efforts to stay well.
  9. Get plenty of sleep. Insomnia can sap your immune system and leave you vulnerable to colds and flu, so do what you can to get a good night’s sleep. From avoiding caffeine in the evening to banishing screens from the bedroom, there are things you can do to improve your sleep quality and reduce your odds of getting sick.
  10. Ask about antiviral drugs if you get the flu. If you think you have the flu, it is important to see your doctor right away. Antiviral drugs can shorten the duration of certain flu symptoms and reduce the risk of a serious complication. These drugs must be taken quickly, so see your doctor at the first sign of illness.

Flu season will be here before you know it, and now is the time to get ready. Once it gains a foothold, the flu virus can spread quickly, so the sooner you start protecting yourself, the better off you will be. The 10 tips listed above can help you protect yourself and your family from this serious and at times life-threatening viral illness.

New Therapist Joins Burgess Health Center

Onawa, IA – Burgess Health Center is pleased to announce the addition of therapist, Lia Clausen, LMHC to our Mental Health Department. She joins the dedicated staff and doctors in Onawa and Mapleton, providing quality care you can believe in.

Lia brings 9 years of experience working with children, adults, families, and couples and is trained in PCIT, CBT, and EMDR.  After earning a bachelor’s degree in Family Services from the University of Northern Iowa, she attended Walden University to attain her master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.

She grew up in Nashua, IA and currently lives in Ida Grove. In her spare time, Lia enjoys spending time with her children and husband.


Burgess Diabetes Educators Renew Educator Status

The National Certification Board for Diabetes Educators (NCBDE) announced that Burgess Health Center’s Michele Kirkendall, registered dietitian, and Sue McLaughlin, registered nurse, have renewed their Certified Diabetes Educator® (CDE®) status. Being certified demonstrates they possess the distinct and specialized knowledge, thereby promoting quality of care for people with diabetes. Currently, there are over 19,500 diabetes educators who hold NCBDE certification.

Kirkendall and McLaughlin educate through a diabetes support group and also a diabetes self-management plan. These programs offer an experience for diabetes patients to learn how to live successful and fulfilling lives while managing their diabetes. They also provide specialized outpatient programs for children and teens, women with gestational diabetes and adults.

Diabetes is a disease that will not go away—but it can be managed by taking the proper and necessary steps to control it. For more information please call 423-9268.

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.

Diabetes Update – FREE

Anyone who wants to prevent diabetes or wants to obtain information on how to live with diabetes, this is the class for you! Support persons are welcome.

5 – 7 p.m. at Burgess Health Center

Pre-registration is required and can do so by calling 702.423.9268.

No cost.

New Type of Therapy at Burgess

Those in pain now have one more option available to help relieve what ails them. Physical therapists at Burgess Rehabilitation Services are offering a new form of therapy. Josh Lander, MPT in Onawa and Jenny Miller, MPT, in Mapleton and Dunlap are now offering dry needling.

Dry needling is a physical therapy technique that decreases pain in your muscles. The technique uses a “dry” needle, one without medication or injection, inserted into areas of the muscle.

Dry needling is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Headaches
  • Tissue adhesions
  • Back pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Hamstring pain
  • Knee pain
  • Sciatica
  • Fibromyalgia pain

A typical fear that some people have involving needles is “does it hurt?” Lander answered this question by saying, “Dry needling is known to be relatively painless. Generally, the needle insertion is not felt, and the local twitch response only provokes a very brief pain response, feeling more like a shock or cramping sensation. Following the treatment, patients may be sore for about a day but may experience an immediate improvement in range of motion and strength, as well as a decrease in pain.”

There is more to this technique than just sticking a dry needle into your skin and magically making you feel better. There is science involved. Let’s say you’re suffering from shoulder or neck pain; the therapist will insert needles into detected trigger points. The needles will release tension, inflammation, and pressure in the muscles that has caused the pain. Overall, what makes needling effective is that it encourages your body to fix the injury and reduce the pain by naturally healing itself.

Both Lander and Miller have specialized training and certification in dry needling therapy. For the most effective treatment, this service is performed as part of a complete rehabilitation plan rather than a standalone treatment.

“Patients with musculoskeletal dysfunction are the majority of our clients. Dry needling gives us another way of addressing these issues,” said Miller.

Burgess accepts most insurances, and your insurance benefits can be checked before your evaluation. For questions or more information about how you may benefit from dry needling therapy, call Burgess Rehabilitation Services in Onawa at 712-423-9287 or Mapleton at 712-882-2343.