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.

Burgess Grateful for Donation to Family Beginnings

Burgess Health Center’s Family Beginnings Department received nine hand-made afghans from Annette Cloud of Oto, Iowa. Each of these afghans is specially made with unique colors and patterns and will be gifted to families of newborns after delivery and discharge at Burgess Health Center. 

“We love receiving these kinds of donations because they come from the heart,” said Family Beginnings’ Supervisor Amy Card. “The families appreciate knowing someone put special time and attention into the blankets.” 

Burgess Family Beginnings provides a warm, homelike experience for expecting mothers and their families. With a dedicated and compassionate, fully trained staff, Burgess’s obstetrics department adds a sense of comfort to a joyous occasion. For more information, please visit www.BurgessHC.org.


PHOTO: Kris Justice, Family Beginnings nurse at Burgess Health Center, and Annette Cloud.


Wear Red Event Cancelled for 2021

Burgess Health Center’s annual Wear Red for Heart Health event for 2021 has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

“Unfortunately, due to current COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to host the popular Wear Red event this year,” said Marketing Director, Katie Ramm.

Burgess Health Center has hosted the luncheon event for 13 years, promoting cardiac health through presentations, educational booths, and a heart-healthy meal.

“We are already looking forward to welcoming back all attendees again in 2022,” said Ramm.

The event was originally scheduled for Friday, February 12, 2021. The date for the event in 2022 will be announced in the winter months when the date is chosen.

First Baby of the Year Born at Burgess Health Center

Burgess Health Center welcomes the New Year with the announcement of its first baby of 2021. On January 12 at 7:57 a.m., a baby boy, Hudson Alan Blatchford, was born to Kurtis and Hannah Blatchford at Burgess Family Beginnings in Onawa. He weighed 7 lbs., 10.4 oz. and was 20.25 inches long.

As the Burgess Family Beginnings New Year’s Baby, Hudson and his parents received a personalized work of art made by Sue Cutler, a member of Burgess Health Center Auxiliary New Year’s Baby Gift Committee. In addition, the Kiwanis Club of Onawa presented baby Hudson with a hand-made quilt.

If you would like to find out more about Burgess Family Beginnings or the Burgess Auxiliary, visit www.BurgessHC.org.


Photo: Kurtis, baby Hudson, and Hannah Blatchford.