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.

Watson Successfully Earns Certification

The Burgess Health Center Pharmacy Department is pleased to announce employee Leah Watson successfully challenged the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) exam this month.  Leah is joining a group of health care certificate holders that is nearly 700,000 strong nationally.

PTCB certification is not a given, as evidenced by an exam pass rate of less than 60%.  Leah has been receiving on-the-job training at the Whiting Pharmacy for the past few months, as well as taking the time to study the various areas that are tested on her own time.  Her dedication to improving her skills is undoubtedly deserving of commendation.

Congratulations Leah!

COVID-19 Vaccination Phases

Currently, we are in Phase 1a in the state of Iowa under direction of Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) order. This means that we can administer vaccines to eligible individuals that fall in Phase 1a only. The Phase 1a group consists of health care personnel and long-term care residents. Health Care Personnel (HCP) are defined as paid and unpaid persons serving in health care settings who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials and HCP working in residential care or long-term care facilities. Residents and employees of long-term care facilities include nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities.

By end of day January 8, 2021, we will have vaccinated roughly 200 healthcare workers through our public health clinic. There are several more vaccinations scheduled in the coming weeks. This number does not include the vaccinations taking place in each of our long-term care facilities that are focusing on both the staff and residents.  All long-term care facilities in Monona County have partnered with a national pharmacy chain and have their own vaccination plans in place.

We do not have a date of when vaccines will be available to start Phase 1b. As soon as we receive the authorization to expand to Phase 1b and have the vaccines to support it we will communicate with all in Monona County.  Phase 1a, 1b, and 1c are all listed below in the table. Once IDPH gives authorization to move forward with Phase 1b, we will work with local partners to administer the vaccine.

Phase Who is included in each phase
1a Health Care Personnel and Long-term Care Facility Residents and Employees, some of those would include but are not limited to, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, chiropractors, physical therapists, EMS, optometrists, dentists, massage therapists, and supporting roles to those practices. This would also include any volunteers or students supporting these roles.
1b Firefighters, police officers, correctional officers, food and agricultural workers, USPS workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector.

People aged 75 years and older.

1c People aged 65-74 years-old.

People aged 18-64 years-old with underlying medical conditions.

Other essential workers.

Until the vaccine is widely available to all, it is critical that Iowans continue to practice the mitigation measures that can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus:

  • Wear a mask or face covering
  • Practice social distancing with those outside your household
  • Clean your hands frequently with soap and water or hand sanitizer
  • Stay home if you feel sick or if you have been instructed to isolate or quarantine

This information is as of 1/7/2021. We do know that this is rapidly changing and by print date, this guidance may have changed. For the most up-to-date information please follow Burgess Public Health on Facebook.


Guardian Angel Recognized at Burgess Health Center

Burgess Health Center is proud to announce the nomination of Susan Mann, purchasing assistant in the Materials Management Department, for the Burgess Foundation Guardian Angel Award.

Mann was nominated by Grady Warner, Director of Information Technology, who also serves on the Incident Command team for COVID-19 at Burgess.

“When we were made aware that COVID-19 was a growing threat to the well-being of all lives, Susan jumped in to help identify, organize, purchase, and distribute necessary supplies to ensure the safety of those at the hospital, clinics, home health, our providers, our EMT’s, and our patients,” said Warner.

Grady said she ensured the hospital had accurate inventory of personal protective equipment and helped setup secure storage. Mann also assisted in developing a minimal distribution model that would help ensure the staff had what they needed to continue providing patient care, as well as helping maintain other daily operations.

“Susan worked with our vendors, as well as new resources to get gloves, masks, eye protection, gowns, cleaning supplies, and much more,” added Warner. “She never gave up.”

Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program provides patients, family members, and friends a chance to show their gratitude to a physician, nurse, or another caregiver who has played an exceptional role in their lives. The Guardian Angel received an acknowledgment letter announcing that a donation has been made in their honor and given a custom-crafted lapel pin to wear proudly.

Did a caregiver at Burgess make a memorable difference for you or your family? If so, you can honor that special person in a highly visible way through Burgess Foundation’s Guardian Angel program. It is more than a pin. When you take advantage of our Guardian Angel program, you also help ensure the future of outstanding health care in the region.

Visit www.BurgessHC.org/about/foundation/guardian-angel/ or call 712-423-9374 to make your nomination(s).

Photo: (left to right) Carl Behne, CEO, Susan Mann, Grady Warner, and Bobbi Johnson, Foundation Director.

Learning for Life Giving Tree

The West Monona Community Schools put together a giving tree where employees and students could donate items to provide to families involved in the Learning for Life Program. A special Thank You to Cheryl Holiday for organizing this event. We would also like to thank the Blencoe Community Center for donating fun Christmas crafts and Sally Hartley for donating books.

Learning for Life is a free home visiting program for families with children prenatal through age 5, or kindergarten entry. Through educational activities and helpful information, this program focuses on your child’s growth and development to create an eager learner that’s ready for school. If you’re interested in joining our program, please contact Burgess Health Center’s Public Health, Learning for Life Program at 712-423-9153. Sara Keenan or Debie Lahr would be happy to talk to you about this exciting and beneficial program available in Monona County!

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.