Floyd Valley Healthcare News

5 Tips to Prepare Kids for Back to School During the Pandemic

Even though we’re deep in summer mode, now is the time to start preparing our children for a back-to-school routine, especially since that routine may look different than it has in years past.


Here are five tips to help make the transition back to school a smooth one:


  • Make sure children are going to bed early enough and have a morning routine.
  • Start preparing children for the idea that school may look a little different this year (including the possibility of closing again) and that these changes are to keep everyone safe and healthy.
  • Be honest and open. Even if you haven’t discussed the pandemic a lot, your children may have overheard things and may not have accurate information. It is okay to tell them that you don’t know or that you wonder the same thing.
  • Use these conversations as an opportunity to check in with your children about any fear and anxiety they may be experiencing. Ask them what they are looking forward to about going back to school – or what makes them nervous. Be prepared for them to have some strong feelings about the return to school – and help normalize them.

Not sure where to start? Avera has education on how to talk with children about COVID-19.


  • Model good habits for your children, including good hand hygiene, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home if you don’t feel well and wearing face masks in public.


For younger children, Bates offers several ideas for hands-on learning to supplement modeling good habits:


  • Put flour on your child’s hands and show them how it settles into the cracks and creases of our hands; explain this is what germs do, also, and why it is important to scrub carefully for 20 seconds when washing hands.
  • Put glitter on your child’s hands and have them wash with just water to show them how much glitter stays on their hands. Then have them wash again with soap and show them how this gets the glitter off our hands. Explain this how germs work, too, which is why we always should wash with soap and water.
  • Teach children a song to sing while washing hands. The PBS Kids website has some great resources, and there’s a handwashing song with Elmo called the “Washy Wash Song” that might be a good place to start.
  • Get a water spray bottle and show children how far germs can spread if we don’t cover our sneezes. Pretend to sneeze and spray the water to show them have far the droplets can travel.
  • While there are still certainly unknowns about what the school year will hold, it’s important to be positive. Kids are smart. They know when parents are stressed and worried, but if we do our best to present information in a positive manner, kids will be fine with it.


Breastfeeding Support

August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month.  There are many benefits of breastfeeding for both the child and the mother.  When you choose to breastfeed, your baby will be healthier, you will bond with your baby, you will give your baby the very best nutrition and you’ll even save money.


Breastfeeding may not always be easy, but you can count on the support you’ll receive at Floyd Valley Healthcare during and after your hospital stay and for as long as you breastfeed.


Breastfeeding Tips:

  • Breastfeed as soon as you can after your baby is born.
  • Breastfeed when your baby is hungry, usually eight to 12 times every 24 hours, and as long as baby wishes.
  • Watch for hunger cues: opening and closing eyes, licking or smacking lips, turning head to the side, opening mouth, making fists. Remember, crying is a late sign of hunger.
  • Hold your baby skin-to-skin as much as possible.
  • Choose a position that is comfortable to you. Try the football hold and cross-cradle hold.
  • Make sure your baby has an effective latch, or mouth position. Does your baby open his or her mouth wide? Can you hear your baby swallow?


To learn more about breastfeeding, please contact one of our Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC):



A CLC appointment as well as a follow up will be offered to you as part of your prenatal education. Please talk to your provider for more information.


Give it a Shot

August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the importance of getting recommended vaccines throughout your life. You have the power to protect yourself and your family against serious diseases (like whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and pneumonia) through on-time vaccination.


During NIAM, Floyd Valley Healthcare encourages you talk to your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional to ensure you, your child(ren), your family are up to date on recommended vaccines.


We also encourage you to visit CDC’s Interactive Vaccine Guide, which provides information on the vaccines recommended during pregnancy and throughout your child’s life.


As your children head back to school this fall, make sure vaccination is at the top of your checklist. August is also a key time to make sure you are up to date on all the vaccines you need to stay healthy. Use CDC’s adult vaccine assessment tool to see which vaccines might be right for you.


Test Iowa Clinic Opens at Floyd Valley Healthcare

Beginning Monday, July 20, Floyd Valley Healthcare will be hosting a free Test Iowa Clinic site.  Any Iowan can be tested for COVID-19 through Test Iowa. The FVH site will be located in the north parking area and is open Monday - Friday from 1-5 p.m. by appointment only.


To receive an appointment, an assessment needs to be completed at TestIowa.com. Once on the site, click “START NOW,” complete the assessment and choose Plymouth County under Test Iowa Clinics. The QR Code generated from this assessment will be necessary to be screened. Please park in the spaces reserved for Test Iowa screening designated by the Test Iowa signage.


If you have additional questions, you may go to TestIowa.com/faq.


Floyd Valley Foundation’s Benefit Golf Tournament

Due to the corona virus pandemic, The 23nd Annual Helping Children Benefit Golf Tournament was rescheduled from June 16th to July 14th, 2020 at Willow Creek Golf Course in Le Mars, IA.  The event was once again sponsored by the Floyd Valley Foundation and chaired by Shane and Peggy Sitzmann of Le Mars.


First Place Winners of the 18-hole championship flight were Team Schultz with a score of 58. Team members were, Brian Schultz, Shauna Schultz, Jason Meins, and Bill Mathers.


With business cash or in kind sponsorships and team contributions, the golf benefit grossed nearly $26,000.00  The net proceeds will be used towards the assistance of the purchase of a wireless fetal heart monitor for the obstetrics’ department.


Hole and door prizes were once again generously donated by area businesses. Light breakfast and lunch for the golfers was provided by The Floyd Valley Cafe, Bellisimo and Wells’ Enterprises.


“On behalf of everyone at Floyd Valley Healthcare I would like to thank our co-chairs Shane and Peggy Sitzmann and the golf tourney committee, for their continued support of Floyd Valley. Even in this unprecedented time, “The Helping Children” Benefit Golf Tournament continues to exceed our expectations because of the generous support of our entire community. The dollars will be utilized to enhance our services and support our mission of keeping healthcare local.” Dustin Wright CEO.


Calling all Photographers

With COVID-19 taxing our communities, Floyd Valley Healthcare has decided it would like to feature local photographers in our 2021 calendar. We would like to see submissions from all of our communities, so be sure to snap pictures of local landmarks, nature scenes or anything you find eye catching. It can also be something you have in your archives! Pictures need to be:


  • High resolution, 300 dpi, 8.5 x11"
  • jpg format
  • If you are taking photo on a phone, the original, unaltered photo is acceptable. Please DO NOT resize image.


Please email submissions, along with the name of the photographer and a little bit about the shot, to Ann Cole-Nelson by September 1, 2020. “We were looking for a way to provide something uplifting to the communities we serve and using our calendar to showcase our local talent seemed like a great way to do that,” states Dustin Wright, Floyd Valley Healthcare CEO. “We see amazing photography all the time on Facebook, so we felt this would be a great time to add a more community-based taste to our calendar. I am really looking forward to seeing some great submissions from the talented photographers in our area.”


Properly Disposing of Medicine

Have you organized your medicine cabinet lately?  Did you find expired medicine, over-the-counter medications or supplements? Some medication can become toxic the longer that they are overdue. And it is not safe to give prescription medicines to others. Floyd Valley Healthcare encourages you to dispose of unwanted or expired medicine at their new MedSafe collection point located in the entry vestibule inside the West Entrance.


This drop-off can dispose of

  • Prescription medicines
  • OTC medicines
  • Dietary supplements
  • Inhalers


To properly dispose of medications and supplements:

  1. Identify expired medications. Put them aside and out-of-reach of children
  2. Follow label instructions for proper disposable as some medicines may have special instructions.  DO NOT flush any medicine down the toilet or pour into a sink or drain.
  3. Take the unwanted medication drop-off, such as the one at FVH.
  4. Medications do not need to be in their original container to dispose of them.  If you do bring in their container, please remove all personal details, such as name and address label, from the medication before dropping it off.  If you cannot remove, black out this information.
  5.  This is NOT a drop off for sharp containers.


It is essential to dispose of any unwanted medication safely to protect other people and animals from taking them by mistake. Disposing of medications properly protects others AND the environment by:

  • Preventing drug abuse and health risks
  • Protecting the environment by keeping contaminants out of lakes, rivers, streams and other natural resources
  • Ensuring that wildlife will not have accident ingestion if they rummage through your garbage.


“In the wake of the opioid epidemic, it is more important than ever to dispose of medications properly,” states Dr. David Wolff, Addiction Medicine Physician with Floyd Valley Clinics. “Without a doctor’s supervision,

pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs. Unused medications that are thrown away can find their way into the wrong hands and may lead to abuse or overdose. Disposing of medications improperly could also place children or pets at risk for accidental poisoning.”


Floyd Valley Community Health Recognized Among Top 5% Nationally

Floyd Valley Community Health (FVCH) was recently recognized as a 2019 Premier Performer by SHPBest.  This is the fourth consecutive year that FVCH has received this honor and was one of just four programs to receive recognition this year.


The annual SHPBest™ program was created to acknowledge home health agencies that consistently provide high quality service to their patients. With the largest Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS®) benchmark in the nation, SHP is in a unique position to identify and recognize organizations that have made patient satisfaction a priority and have been rewarded for their efforts with high marks on the HHCAHPS survey.


SHPBest award recipients are determined by ranking the overall score for all SHP HHCAHPS clients. The providers that rank in the top 5% receive the Premier Performer award.  In addition, all award recipients must have scored better than or equal to the SHP national average for the period for each of the 5 publicly reported domains.


Tara Geddes, Community Health Manager adds, “This recognition is a direct reflection of the care and compassion Floyd Valley Home Health staff demonstrate to our patients each and every day. Our staff is committed to ensuring our patients meet their individual goals while in the comfort of their own home.  We are very proud to have received the Premier Performer award for patient experience for the fourth consecutive year and are grateful to have the privilege to provide high quality home health services to our community.”


Floyd Valley Community Health FVCH is committed to making your home and community a healthier place to live.  Clients can receive home health services such as nursing care and therapy in the convenience of their home. Homemaker services are also available to provide help with activities of daily living to allow clients to stay in their home independently and safely.  More information can be found at FloydValley.org or by calling (712) 546-3335.


About Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP)

Strategic Healthcare Programs (SHP) is a leader in data analytics and benchmarking that drive daily clinical and operational decisions. Our solutions bring real-time data to post-acute providers, hospitals and ACOs to better coordinate quality care and improve patient outcomes. Since 1996, SHP has helped more than 6,500 organizations nationwide raise the bar for healthcare performance. For more information, visit SHPdata and follow SHP on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @SHPdata.


Floyd Valley Healthcare Offers COVID-19 Serology Testing

Floyd Valley Healthcare is now offering COVID-19 serology (antibody) testing to the general public. Testing is by appointment only and can be made by calling (712) 546-3426.  There is an $80 fee due at the time of the lab draw. The COVID-19 serology (antibody) test will not be submitted to your insurance by Floyd Valley Healthcare, but this may be reimbursable under most FSA/HSA plans; call the number on the back of your insurance card to verify. Also, results will be sent to the patient and they are responsible for sharing with their provider if they choose.


If you’re exposed to COVID-19, your body may develop antibodies starting a week after infection. An antibody is a protein in your blood that your immune system uses to fight viruses and bacteria. Antibody tests – sometimes

 referred to as IgG, IgM, IgA, or serology tests – may be able to detect whether you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.


Here are some things that are important to know about your antibody test:

  • Testing for these antibodies is new and the usefulness is still being evaluated.
  • We don’t yet know whether having antibodies means you’re immune to COVID-19
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says these tests are most useful in watching the
  • spread of COVID-19, because they can show how many people in a given group or area might have
  • been infected.
  • The CDC does NOT recommend that antibody tests be used in making health care decisions.
  • Antibody tests cannot tell you whether you currently have COVID-19.




Program Awards 62 Health Care Careers Scholarships

Stacey Petersen of Le Mars, an employee of Floyd Valley Healthcare who is pursuing an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) degree at Morningside College, has been awarded a $3,500 scholarship from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), which is supported by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). She is among 62 outstanding students from all over Iowa who have received assistance this year from the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program.


IHA established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of health care professionals and encourage young Iowans to establish or continue their careers with Iowa hospitals. The first scholarships were awarded in 2005 and now over 560 students have benefited from the program.


In exchange for that financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award.  In this way, the scholarship program helps stabilize and enhance Iowa’s hospital workforce. Today, more than 327 scholarship recipients are working in Iowa hospitals.


Due to these unprecedented times with COVID-19 IHA staff, evaluated scholarship applications from 180 students, who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference and extracurricular, community and health care-related activities


“Because of the generosity of Iowa hospital leaders and other supporters of this program, we have presented more than $1.8 million in scholarships,” said IHA President and CEO Kirk Norris. “We are proud to help these high-achieving students fulfill their career goals at Iowa hospitals.”


Jacob Manley Receives

Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship

Jacob Manley has been awarded the 2020 Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship. The Musson family established the Steven H. Musson Emergency Services Education Endowment in 2003 to recognize and honor Steve for his passion for emergency care. This year, the committee was able to award a $600 scholarship.


Jacob is a certified EMT and is a member of the area Le Mars Ambulance Services. He is currently working shifts with Le Mars Ambulance and would like to further his career in EMS by attending the Sioux Falls School of EMS to become a paramedic. Jacob stated in his application, “I have found a great passion for helping people in my community through the ambulance services.  My personal goals in delivering emergency care are always to provide the absolute best care no matter the situation.”


The Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship application outline is available annually through Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars, IA.  Scholarship funds may be used for either the fall or spring semester to cover direct expenses related to pursuing an education in emergency care including tuition, book, transportation costs, etc.  All applicants must reside in Plymouth County and actively engage in or pursue emergency care in Plymouth County.  This can include persons interested in paramedic, first responder, or emergency medical technician (EMT) training.


For more information about the Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Education Endowment, please contact Amy Harnack, Foundation Manager, Floyd Valley Healthcare at 712.546.3348.


Time for An Appointment?

Summer is an excellent time to get an athletic physical checked off the “to do” list.  An athletic physical can help find and deal with health problems that might interfere with an athlete’s participation in a sport. It's important to note that a sports physical does not take the place of a regular annual checkup, but should be done in conjunction with a well child exam. Advice received at these visits assists with keeping a student healthy and in return a better, stronger athlete. As part of the well child exam, the provider will make sure the student is up-to-date with immunization. There are age-specific recommendations and requirements for school, so it is important to make sure they are current and ready for the upcoming school and athletic year. Please call your provider today to schedule your well child exam.  Immunizations can be provided then or through Floyd Valley Community Health for eligible families.


Floyd Valley Healthcare Begins Allowing Limited Visitors

Beginning June 1, Floyd Valley Healthcare will be allowing limited visitors in the hospital, surgery center, emergency department and outpatients clinics during regular visitor hours. Visitor restrictions are still in place for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. There will continue to be no visitors at Park Place Estates Assisted Living to protect this very vulnerable population.


Adequate supply of protective equipment, including masks, is now available so that Floyd Valley Healthcare can begin allowing more visitors. One visitor will be allowed with a clinic or outpatient appointment.  One visitor per patient per day will be allowed for the inpatient floor, with the visitor in OB being a birthing partner. In end-of-life care, the spouse and/or children will be allowed to visit.


Patients and visitors must wear masks within a Floyd Valley Healthcare facility, and will be screened for temperature and symptoms of COVID-19 before entering the building. For those wishing to visit an inpatient, you will need to enter the facility via the East Entrance.  Patients and visitors are urged to wear a cloth face mask when arriving to Floyd Valley Healthcare. If you do not have a mask, one will be provided.


Patients and visitors alike are still asked to observe social distancing of at least 6 feet between people whenever possible, for example, at registration areas and in waiting rooms. It may be necessary for care providers to be closer than 6 feet in order to conduct examinations.


“We thank our patients and their families for their cooperation and patience during the time when we needed to restrict all visitors. We know this was difficult for everyone, but it was necessary in order to protect patients and staff while preserving valuable protective equipment,” said Dustin Wright, CEO.


“The health and safety of our patients and our employees continues to be our highest priority. We know visitation is very important in the healing and recovery process. Because COVID-19 is still present in our population, we are taking additional measures toward ensuring the safety of our facilities,” Wright added.


Customers, patients and visitors will see these extra measures of safety:


  • Industrial-grade cleaning practices in all Floyd Valley Healthcare facilities.
  • Spacing barriers at registration areas.
  • Distance between waiting room chairs.
  • Streamlined processes at registration to result in shorter visits to a facility.
  • Face masks worn by staff and other protective equipment as needed.
  • Hand sanitizer available in waiting rooms.


For the latest information on testing for COVID-19, please click HERE. General information about Floyd Valley Healthcare services is available by clicking HERE.


Annual Helping Children Benefit Golf Tournament

Floyd Valley Healthcare’s Foundation is hosting the Annual 23rd ”Helping Children” Benefit Golf Tournament on Tuesday, July 14. Tee times are available at the Willow Creek Golf Course by calling the golf course at 546-6849.  The Benefit is an 18-hole, 4-person scramble. The benefit golf fee, which includes 18 holes of golf and light breakfast and lunch is $300 per team. In 2019, over $20,000 was raised for pediatric speech assistive equipment and to re-locate and renovate the nursey. This year’s proceeds will be used to purchase a new wireless fetal heart monitor for the obstetrics department.


As with every tournament year, there will be hole prizes and incentives, including the chance to win $10,000 towards the purchase of a car sponsored by Total Motors for making a hole-in-one on 4 Green. Perspective Insurance will be sponsoring a chance to win $5,000 cash on 2 Red. There will also flight prizes for the winning foursomes. The famous hospital sticky rolls and a light lunch will also be served.


The Foundation golf tourney was founded in 1997. Past chairs have been Fred and Susie Sitzmann, Craig and Cristi Bauerly, and Jack and Kathy Frus. Shane and Peggy Sitzmann accepting the role as tournament chairs in 2018.


“The Helping Children Benefit Golf Tournament has consistently impacted our community by making a difference in the lives of local children. We are proud to be part of such a great cause and a fun event to enjoy a day of golf and comradery. The community involvement and generosity in this event is truly a blessing and we look forward to another successful benefit!” expressed Peggy & Shane Sitzmann.


Since its inception, the golf tourney has raised over $220,000 for pediatric services at Floyd Valley Healthcare with 1000’s of golfers taking part.  Thanks to the dedicated committee, sponsors and golfers for their support an important cause!


To schedule a tee time, please call the Willow Creek Golf Course at 712.546.6849. For additional questions you may have about the golf tournament, and to provide team information, please call Amy Harnack at 712.546.3348 or email  amy.harnack@floydvalley.org at Floyd Valley Healthcare. We look forward to seeing you on the course to help support pediatric services at Floyd Valley Healthcare.


Floyd Valley Auxiliary Awards Two Scholarships

Two $1,000.00 scholarships will be awarded to area students by the Floyd Valley Auxiliary.  The 2020 Auxiliary scholarship winners are Gretchin Ruba of rural Granville and Amanda Schwarz of Le Mars.


Gretchin is a senior at MMCRU & the daughter of Jim and Lori Ruba. She will be attending Northwest Missouri State University in the fall and pursing a degree as a registered dietician. Amanda, daughter of Mark and Susan Schwartz, will be graduating from University of South Dakota and then is planning on attending University of Kansas Medical Center in the fall and pursing a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy.


A formal presentation to Gretchin and Amanda will be made at a later date yet to be determined.


The Auxiliary will also contribute $1,000 to the Floyd Valley Education Department to be used for staff and community training, including basic and advanced cardiac life support, neonatal resuscitation and trauma nursing courses.


Each Spring Floyd Valley Auxiliary awards scholarships each year to students in the Floyd Valley Healthcare service area who are pursuing a health related career. For more information on the scholarship, click HERE.


Destiny Miller, MD Joins Floyd Valley Healthcare Medical Staff

Floyd Valley Healthcare CEO Dustin Wright announced that Dr. Destiny Miller will be joining the medical staff at Floyd Valley Clinics in September.  As a family physician, she will provide all facets of family healthcare services from pre-conception to end of life services. She has special interest in obstetrics, preventative medicine, joint injections and dermatology procedures.


Dr. Miller brings a wealth of education and training experience with her. She earned her undergraduate at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City. She worked as a CNA and nurse at Manning Regional Healthcare Center. Dr. Miller then attended medical school at Ross University School of Medicine in Picard, Dominica. She is currently finishing her residency and will be spending time in May working at Floyd Valley Clinics.


Dr. Miller grew up in Vail, Iowa and attended Ar-We-Va High School.  She and her husband, Brandon, have two cats named Roo and Lincoln. She is an avid Iowa Hawkeyes fan. She enjoys photography, gardening, fishing, target shooting and spending time with friends and family.


Wright states, “Dr. Miller grew up in rural Iowa and is passionate to serve a rural community. Her professional training along with her compassionate care and personality is going to be a great fit at Floyd Valley Healthcare. The entire team at Floyd Valley Healthcare is looking forward to her practice beginning this fall."


Floyd Valley Healthcare Enhances Local Emergency Services

Floyd Valley Healthcare provides emergency services to thousands of patients in the community each year. Open 24/7, the ER is equipped to handle any patient that comes through the door. However, access to a second set of eyes and ears can be beneficial in critical cases.  Beginning at noon on April 22, the new eCARE Emergency service will provide that extra support to Floyd Valley Healthcare’s clinicians when needed.


At the push of a button, local physicians and emergency room staff have immediate, virtual access to a team of physicians and nurses who specialize in emergency medicine.

  • eCARE Emergency supports patient care in several ways:
  • Access to board-certified emergency physicians 24 hours a day
  • Connects rural communities to highly trained specialists
  • Activation of emergency transport teams as early as possible
  • Additional support during multiple emergencies
  • Fewer transfers so patients can stay close to home
  • Collaborative approach allows local caregivers to focus exclusively on patient care


“eCARE Emergency gives us the ability to extend and enhance the level of health care in our community,” said Dustin Wright, CEO. “It gives us access to the same type of specialists available in Sioux City or Sioux Falls, enabling us to deliver better care, right here in our community, and keep patients here whenever possible.”


Avera eCARE offers one of the largest telehealth networks in the United States, supporting more than 380 health centers, clinics, long-term care centers and correctional facilities within a fourteen -state region.

Please call 712.546.7871 to learn more about health care services at Le Mars. To learn more about Avera eCARE go to Avera eCare Here.


Floyd Valley Senior Life Solutions Begins Seeing Patients in Le Mars

Floyd Valley Healthcare is pleased to announce a partnership with Senior Life Solutions. Senior Life Solutions will be located in the lower level of Floyd Valley Healthcare. The program opened on April 24, 2020 and is serving seniors via telehealth. Once social distancing is lifted, the staff at Senior Life Solutions is excited to be offering services in person.


Senior Life Solutions is an intensive outpatient therapy program. Patients are typically seen in groups; however, they also provide individual and family therapy. Senior Life Solutions is designed to meet the unique needs of senior adults struggling with symptoms of depression and anxiety, stress from age-related health concerns, or difficult life transitions such as the loss of a loved one.  Individuals may benefit from the Senior Life Solutions program if they are experiencing any of the following common indicators or triggers of depression and anxiety:

  • Recently experienced a traumatic event
  • Lost a spouse or close family member
  • Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of energy
  • Feelings of sadness or grief lasting more than two weeks
  • Feelings of worthlessness or hopelessness


Following an individual assessment, patients meet up to three times per week in a supportive, encouraging group setting. The program staff includes a board-certified psychiatrist, licensed social workers, a registered nurse, and other healthcare professionals dedicated to the emotional well-being of the seniors in our community.


Lori Johnson, RN, Senior Life Solutions Program Director, said, “Senior Life Solutions is an exciting program to offer mental health services to the seniors in our community and surrounding areas. Mental health is important at all ages and stages of life.  We look forward to inviting the community to an open house once it is safe to do so.”


Referrals to the program can be made by anyone, including a patient’s physician, family member, the patient them self, or another healthcare professional.


During the COVID-19 outbreak, Senior Life Solutions has been helpful in providing valuable information in the communities it serves. Along with Floyd Valley Healthcare, they are encouraging people to engage in meaningful, productive activities to help boost mood and maintain their overall emotional health and well-being.


Johnson added, “It is important to find ways to connect and engage in activities to help mitigate symptoms of anxiety and depression during this time. We put together these quick tips to share with our communities and hope they will encourage self-care and support.”


Quick Tips for Older Adults Experiencing Social Isolation

  1. Find or keep a sense of purpose. Take up a hobby such as growing an herb garden, crossword puzzles, knitting, or other activities.
  2. Age-appropriate workouts can help you not only stay in physical shape but in mental shape as well.  Gentle exercises such as walking are suggested.  It is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional or primary care physician first.
  3. Manage medication. Do you have enough to last you for the next 30-60 days? If you need help managing medications, contact your doctor or a loved one who can help you.
  4. Keep a routine that includes consistent sleep/wake cycles. Incorporate talking to family or friends in that routine Whether it be writing them a letter or calling them on the phone.


Quick Tips for Families

  1. Stay active, and do it together!  Walk the family dog, take a bike ride, or a walk together.
  2. If your church has temporarily closed, check-in with them to see if they are offering virtual services that your family can attend together from home.
  3.  If you have kids home from school, make a video (on your smartphone!) and send it to a loved one who lives far away.  A fun interactive way to simply say, hello.


Quick Tips for Caregivers

  1. Take five to refuel.  Make a list of things that help you relax and take 2 to 3 breaks throughout the day.
  2. Call or write a friend who can lend a sympathetic ear, make you laugh, and remind you that you are not alone.
  3. Pursue other interests. Hobbies, sports, crafts, and other pursuits are not frivolous.  They help you clear your mind of worry – if only briefly.


How to Care for Yourself

  1. Nourish your body.  Ensure you are eating a balanced diet and drinking plenty of water.  If produce is hard to come by right now, check to see if local farmer’s markets are delivering.
  2. Take a break from the news.  Although it is important to stay updated, it is recommended to take at least a 15-minute break.


Johnson notes it is also important to stay connected to your loved ones or a mentor using your phone, or applications like Facetime or Skype to speak to them virtually.


For more information, call Floyd Valley Senior Life Solutions program at 712-546-3700.


If You are Experiencing Shortness of Breath

Spanish Version


Coping with Anxiety or Panic Attacks During COVID-19

Spanish Version


COVID-19 Resources for Businesses


County Public Health Raises Awareness of Alcohol Abuse amid COVID-19 Stress

In light of the ongoing challenges related to COVID-19, Plymouth County Public Health encourages residents to be aware of drinking in excess to alleviate stress or to cope with isolation. In addition, excessive use of alcohol can compromise a person’s immune system and possibly put them at greater risk for COVID-19.


“Alcohol is the most frequently used substance in Iowa. Alcohol use in the past 30 days is higher for Iowans compared to the national rate,” said Plymouth County Public Health Director. “It’s important to be aware of how much alcohol you are consuming, because not all drinks are equal.” Keep these tips in mind for alcohol awareness:

  • Know what a standard “drink” is: 12 ounces of beer (5% alcohol content); 5 ounces of wine (12% alcohol content); 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits or liquor (40% alcohol content).
  • Know the alcohol consumption guidelines for healthy adults: one drink a day for women of all ages and up to two drinks a day for men under age 65.
  • Don’t binge drink. Binge drinking is defined as consuming four or more drinks for women, and five or more drinks for men during a single occasion.


If you or someone you know is struggling with alcohol or substance use, visit YourLifeIowa.org for free and confidential phone, chat and text services, as well as links to treatment providers. Many providers are offering tele-services during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In addition, for up-to-date information on COVID-19, visit the Iowa Department of Public Health and follow the department on Facebook and on Twitter.


Plymouth County Gives Tips to Deal with COVID-19 Anxiety

The outbreak of COVID-19 and the changes in daily life it has caused can be stressful. Fear and anxiety about the virus can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Plymouth County Public Health reminds residents coping with stress with make you, the people you care about, and our community stronger.


“Stress reactions can include changes in sleep or eating patterns, difficulty concentrating, worsening of chronic health problems and worsening of mental health conditions,” said Plymouth County Public Health Director. “This can sometimes lead to increased use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs.”


It’s important to take care of yourself and your family. Here are some tips for coping with stress:

  • Stay calm: recognize when other people’s emotions are influencing your own.
  • Unplug: information, real or fake, is a constant in today’s society. It’s important to have facts and stay up-to-date, but it’s also important to take breaks and unplug from the information stream.
  • Make good sleep, exercise and healthy eating your priorities: take time to prepare healthy food, be active and get 8 hours of sleep.
  • Be educated: one way to address anxiety is to focus on what you can control, like washing your hands and practicing social distancing. Being in control of your own behavior helps lessen the stress caused by fear of the unknown.


When symptoms associated with your anxiety affect your ability to function in some part of your life, it’s time to reach out to people you trust to talk about your feelings. You can also find free, confidential help 24/7 online at YourLifeIowa.org with live chat, text at 855.895.8398 or phone at 855.581.8111.


For more information about COVID-19, visit Iowa Department of Public Health. The Plymouth County Health Department continues to work closely with IDPH, and other state and local partners to respond to this ongoing pandemic.


County Reminds Residents Social Distancing is Important Outdoors, Too

Plymouth County Public Health thanks all residents that are following social distancing guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s important to remember to follow these guidelines even when outside.


“We encourage residents to spend time outdoors when possible because it’s beneficial to mental health and physical activity is a necessary part of a healthy lifestyle,” said Plymouth County Public Health Director. “Everyone needs to continue following social distancing guidelines when outdoors because close contact, even outside, can spread the virus that causes COVID-19.”


When spending time outdoors, all people should:

  • Maintain social distancing by keeping a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and anyone you encounter outdoors.
  • Spend time outdoors alone, or only with members of your household. This is not the time for team sports or recreation.
  • Avoid popular parks and trails that are frequently crowded.
  • Avoid touching surfaces like crosswalk buttons, park benches, etc. Carry hand sanitizer with you so you can clean your hands while outside, and be sure to wash your hands as soon as you return home.


In addition, everyone should follow these recommendations:

  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • If you must go out for essential errands like getting groceries or prescriptions, go alone if possible and maintain social distancing.
  • Practice social distancing by staying 6-feet away from other individuals. Avoid groups of more than 10 people.


What to do if You are Sick with Coronavirus.


How to Isolate at Home with Coronavirus Symptoms.


Guidelines for Families of Patients in Home Isolation due to Coronavirus Symptoms.


HELP Requested to Sew Gowns for Healthcare Providers, Instructions Here.


Healthcare Protective Caps Needed, Instructions to Sew Here.


Virtual Clinic Visits

You now have the option to see your family medicine provider virtually. You will need a computer with a web camera and speakers .


  • Call your provider directly to schedule, or call 712.546.8111.
  • Let the PSC know you would like to schedule a Virtual Visit.
  • Your appointment link will be sent to your email. Fifteen minutes prior to your appointment time, please click on your visit link. There will be some questions you will need to answer prior to your appointment.
  • Once finished, you will be placed in the virtual waiting room and your provider will be alerted that you are waiting.
  • As soon as the provider can join you, they will open their session with you and your visit will begin.


Floyd Valley Healthcare Recognized by The Chartis Center for Rural Health as a 2020 Top 100 Critical Access Hospital


Floyd Valley Healthcare today announced it has been named a 2020 Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital by The Chartis Center for Rural Health. This annual award honoring rural hospital performance is determined by the results of iVantage Health Analytics’ Hospital Strength INDEX®, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary in 2020.


”Our entire healthcare team is committed to making sure every patient is taken care of with not only the highest standard of care but also with compassion for them and their entire family,” states Dustin Wright, CEO.  He continues, “Nationally there are 1,350 Critical Access Hospitals, with 82 in the state of Iowa.  We are proud to be listed among the 14 hospitals recognized from Iowa.  Every year we strive to be the trusted healthcare partner for our communities and this distinction ensures we are not only among the best in our service market but nationally. I could not be more proud of entire team for their tireless dedication.”


Based entirely on publicly available data, the INDEX is the industry’s most comprehensive and objective assessment of rural hospital performance. Utilizing 50 independent indicators, the INDEX assesses performance across eight pillars of performance that span market-, value- and finance-based categories. Hospitals recognized as a Top 100 facility had one of the 100 highest overall scores among all Rural & Community Hospitals nationally.


“The Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital award program reminds us that rural providers haven’t lost touch with their mission and are committed to delivering better quality, better outcomes and better patient satisfaction. It’s a pleasure to be able to not only recognize this year’s recipients, but our larger group of top 100 alumni as we celebrate 10 years of The Hospital Strength INDEX,” said Michael Topchik, National Leader, The Chartis Center for Rural Health.


Top 100 Hospital Resources:

The list of this year’s Top 100 Rural & Community Hospitals as well as the INDEX methodology can be found at www.ivantageindex.com/top-performing-hospitals.


To learn more about The Chartis Center for Rural Health or to speak with someone regarding the INDEX and the Top 100, please email Billy Balfour at wbalfour@chartis.com.


Cronin Announces Retirement

Floyd Valley Clinics would like to announce the upcoming retirement of Cheryl Cronin, PA-C effective August 28, 2020.  Cheryl started in 1986 as a nurse at Medical Associates (now Floyd Valley Clinics) with Dr. Daryl Doorenbos. During that time she furthered her education and began her physician assistant career at the clinic in 2000.  We appreciate the nearly 35 years of patient care provided by Cheryl. She will truly be missed by her patients and staff. Cheryl is looking forward to spending more time gardening and visiting family including her grandchildren.


On August 31, Geri Lynn Schroeder, NP will be assuming more hours at the Remsen Clinic. Geri Lynn has been seeing patients at both the Le Mars and Remsen Clinics for 14 years. She will continue to see her all of her patients out of the Remsen Clinic (786-1114). We encourage patients who prefer to continue to receive care at the Le Mars site to talk with Geri Lynn or her staff to assist in transitioning to another provider in our clinic. All providers are accepting new patients.


Cara Meins, NP has begun seeing Urgent Care patients in the Le Mars Clinic. Cara finished her nursing degree in 2016 and recently completed her nurse practitioner education. She also will also assist in giving more consistent coverage in the Marcus and Remsen Clinics.


Hayden Announced as March Hot Shot



Daughter of Craig and Colette


Honor Game:

March 28, 2020 against Des Moine


Hayden, 7 year old daughter of Craig and Colette, has been named the March 28, 2020 Hot Shot.  Hayden has received extensive physical, occupational and speech therapy after a tragic car accident.


In July of 2018, Hayden along with her older sister and little brother were on their way into town when their car was hit entering a county road.  Hayden’s 16 year-old sister lost her life as a result of her injuries in the accident, her brother was thrown from the care and suffered a concussion while Hayden suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  She spent a little over a month in a Sioux Falls hospital, 2 and ½ months at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln and continues her therapy today at Floyd Valley Healthcare.


A TBI is sudden damage to the brain caused by a blow or jolt to the head.  Injuries can range from a concussion to severe permanent brain damage.  Hayden had to relearn many activities of daily living including to talk, walk and eat again. Colette states, “The therapists at Floyd Valley Healthcare are amazing and they could not have asked for better care for Hayden. Jess Martinez is Hayden’s speech therapist and she adores Jess and so do we!  PT and OT are absolutely amazing too!”


Jaxon Announced as February Hot Shot

Jaxon, son of Matt and Jade and Lonnie, was named the February 16, 2020 Hot Shot. Jaxon is 14 and attends MMCRU Community School. He is very excited to be a Hot Shot!


Jaxon was born with a cleft of his soft palate.  When he was one, he underwent surgery at the University of Iowa.  He continued to have speech issues, but was deemed too risky for future corrective surgeries.  Jaxon received a custom prosthetic to aid in his speech progression.  Though he did not tolerate his appliance well in the beginning, work with speech therapist Connie Hanson at Floyd Valley Healthcare eventually led to increased use and the ability to eat with the appliance.  The family was appreciative of Connie’s connection and patience with Jaxon as some behavioral issues and understanding made his progress difficult at times.


The roof of the mouth (palate) is formed between the sixth and ninth weeks of pregnancy. A cleft palate occurs if the tissue that makes up the palate does not join together completely during pregnancy.  Children with a cleft palate often have problems with feeding and speaking clearly and can have ear infections. About 1 in every 1,700 babies is born with cleft palate in the United States.


FVH Receives 5 Star Rating

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has named Floyd Valley Healthcare a Five Star facility.  CMS assigns ratings to hospitals nationwide based on seven quality areas including mortality, safety of care, readmission, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care and efficient use of medical images.


There are more than 4500 hospitals nationwide that are ranked in a 1 to 5 star rating system. Floyd Valley Healthcare is one of 407 hospitals nationwide and the only area hospital to receive a 5 Star Rating. "At Floyd Valley Healthcare, it shows quality care is our top priority and confirms that we have risen to the level of among the best in the nation," said Dustin Wright, Floyd Valley Healthcare CEO. "Dedicated providers and staff, advanced medical equipment, and compassionate care combine to serve our communities with proven service excellence."



FVH Welcomes New Year’s Baby

Congratulations to Drs. Ashley and Trent Powell on the birth of Madison Ann at 3:38 p.m. on January 1, 2020. She was 18.5 inches long and weighed in at 6 pound and 15 ounces. She is the couples’ first child. Dr. Ellen Aquino was the delivering physician.


Madison's grandparents are Matt and Julie Sitzmann of Le Mars and Joel and Anita Powell of Colby, KS. She is also the first grandchild for both families.  Great grandparents are:  Peggy Sitzmann, Le Mars; Fred Hellinga, Lake Park, IA; Janet Powell, Lincoln, KS; and max and Norma Schick, Phillipsburg, KS.


George joins Floyd Valley Healthcare Staff

Floyd Valley Healthcare recently named Susan George, SPHR, SHRM-SCP as their new Director of Human Resources.  In her position, Susan will be responsible for recruitment and retention of staff, benefit administration and leadership development.


Susan received her Bachelor of Arts from California State University. She comes to Floyd Valley with 25 years of experience, most recently serving as Human Resource Director at the Siouxland Community Health Center. In her free time, she enjoys bicycling and traveling. Her family also serves as a foster parent for dogs through Noah’s Hope.


Dustin Wright, CEO, states, “We are very fortunate to have Susan join our Floyd Valley Healthcare family.  She brings with her a wealth of human resource knowledge including experience within a healthcare facility. She has already hit the ground running and we look forward to the new ideas she brings to the system.”


Wiese joins Floyd Valley Healthcare Staff

Floyd Valley Healthcare announces the addition of Kelly Wiese, RD, LD, CDE to the Floyd Valley Healthcare staff. Kelly began her duties as dietitian on December 2nd. In addition to helping patients with their nutritional and educational needs, she will also be working as a Diabetes Education team member.


Kelly received her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics degree from Minnesota State University.  She comes to Floyd Valley with six years of experience, most recently at Cherokee Regional Medical Center.  In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies, biking and traveling.


Dustin Wright, CEO, states, “We are excited to welcome Kelly to Floyd Valley Healthcare.  We are pleased to be able to offer our patients full-time access to an experienced dietician.  In addition, Kelly is a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) which fits in nicely with our Diabetes Self-Management program.  That program is now fully staffed with two CDEs bringing both the nutrition and nursing disciplines together.”


For Our Babies

Thanks to a grant program with the Avera System, a new clinical tool is available for clinicians to monitor moms in labor at Floyd Valley Healthcare. PeriWatch is a computer program that analyzes mom’s contractions and baby’s heart rate during labor and sends alerts if either are experiencing distress, helping to reduce adverse outcomes.  The system can also be used for stress tests with results being recorded into the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) so fetal heart rates can be compared during both pregnancy and delivery.  The system is accessible to staff on the computers in both the hospital and clinic and can be viewed in real time by staff via the secure Avera EMR system.  This system does not take the place of our one-on-one nursing care, but adds safety measures to our nationally-recognized OB program to protect our moms and newborns.


FVC Offers Clinical Pharmacist

Floyd Valley Clinics providers now have a new service to offer their patients. Clinical pharmacist Trent Powell, PharmD will work with referred patients in the area of medication management and reconciliation.  Clinical pharmacists routinely provide medication therapy evaluations and recommendations to patients and other health care professionals that focus on preparing prescriptions for patients, optimizing medication therapy, promoting health and disease prevention. Clinical pharmacists are experts in the therapeutic use of medications and can:


  • Assess the status of the patient’s health problems and determine whether the prescribed medications are optimally meeting the patient’s needs and goals of care.
  • Evaluate the appropriateness and effectiveness of the patient’s medications.
  • Recognize untreated health problems that could be improved or resolved with appropriate medication therapy.
  • Follow the patient’s progress to determine the effects of the patient’s medications on his or her health.
  • Consult with the patient’s physicians and other health care providers in selecting the medication therapy that best meets the patient’s needs and contributes effectively to the overall therapy goals.
  • Advise the patient on how to best take his or her medications.


While this service can help with a number of medication management issues, it has been proven especially beneficial for patients with chronic health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes.


© 2020 Floyd Valley Healthcare