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.

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.