Specialty Clinic Welcomes Women’s Health Provider

Davis County Hospital is pleased to announce Melissa Gingrich, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, is joining Davis County Hospital’s Specialty Clinic provider group. Melissa is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) with Ottumwa Women’s Health Clinic, who will see patients at Davis County Hospital in Bloomfield every Friday. Melissa specializes in Women’s Health including gynecology, prenatal/postnatal care, contraception, and well woman care.

Melissa received her Associates Degree from Indian Hills Community College, and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing from the University of Iowa. She received her Master’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.

“We are extremely pleased to add Melissa to the Specialty Clinic provider team at Davis County Hospital,” stated Kirby Johnson, CEO of Davis County Hospital. “Her experience and skills are a strong addition to our talented team of providers.”

“Providing women’s health, contraception and prenatal care in Ottumwa has been my passion for the last seven years,” said Mellissa Gingrich, ARNP. “I am excited for the opportunity to expand our services and build relationships with the women in the Davis County community.”

For expecting mothers utilizing prenatal services at Davis County Hospital, they will have the convenience of receiving all services required during their prenatal appointments including pregnancy confirmation, lab draws, and ultrasounds up through 36 weeks of pregnancy, all in one location.

“We are excited to start a partnership with Ottumwa Women’s Health Clinic to provide prenatal/postnatal care, and women’s health care services to the Davis County community,” said Kirby Johnson, CEO at Davis County Hospital. “With most of our expecting moms delivering in Ottumwa, the partnership allows us to maximize local prenatal and postnatal care options right here in Bloomfield. To be able to provide this service locally for women that are planning a family, is a critical part of us keeping quality care close to home in Davis County.”

Melissa will begin to see patients at Davis County Hospital on Friday, March 2nd. To schedule an appointment with Melissa, please call 641-682-8761.

Davis County Hospital Hires New General Surgeon

Davis County Hospital (DCH) is proud to announce the addition of Dr. John Harrington, MD, General Surgeon, to their medical staff. Dr. Harrington will begin practice at DCH in the Spring of 2018.

Dr. Harrington graduated from the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID with a Bachelor of Science. He received his medical degree at Loma Linda University in California and completed his General Surgery residency at Phoenix Integrated Surgical Residency in Phoenix, AZ. He grew up in Idaho and has spent most of his surgical career in Nebraska. He is board certified by the American Board of Surgery.

“We are very excited to welcome Dr. Harrington to Davis County Hospital and to the Bloomfield community,” said Kirby Johnson, Chief Executive Officer at Davis County Hospital. “The addition of Dr. Harrington to our medical staff will increase patient access to general surgery services and will aid in Davis County Hospital’s goal of providing a continuum of care in the community.”

“I am excited to join the team at Davis County Hospital, and help further their mission of delivering high quality, patient-centered care,” said Dr. Harrington. “I went into medicine with the goal to help sick and injured people, caring for them like family, and understanding them as unique human beings. I have a heart for small town America, and look forward to serving and being available to the people of Bloomfield and the surrounding communities.”

Dr. Harrington and his wife, Stacie, have four children; Joshua, age 17; Matthew, age 14; Michael, age 10; and Brandon, age 8. In his spare time, Dr. Harrington enjoys jogging, hiking and spending time with his family. “My wife and I feel very fortunate to have been chosen to move to Bloomfield and continue to raise our family there,” commented Harrington.

“Dr. Harrington’s patient-centered mentality is exactly what the community of Bloomfield is looking for in a surgeon,” said Tom Prosapio, Davis County Hospital Board of Trustees Chair. “We are excited Dr Harrington is clearly motivated to serve our patients.”

Dr. Harrington will share on-call duties within DCH and will be available for all general surgery emergencies and accident related injuries upon his arrival.

Davis County Hospital Launches eEmergency Service

Patients who arrive at Davis County Hospital’s emergency department will now be treated by local medical providers, with assistance from an online team of board-certified emergency physicians and critical care nurses.

The new eEmergency telemedicine program, funded by a $176,091 grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Rural Health Program, went online recently at Davis County Hospital (DCH). The facility’s medical staff is now connected with Avera Health in Sioux Falls, S.D., where emergency professionals are on duty 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Using high-definition live video and sound equipment, Avera’s eEmergency virtual team can guide nurses and emergency staff until a local physician arrives. They can also consult with doctors on difficult cases.

“Davis County Hospital is committed to providing high quality, compassionate healthcare to our patients and their families,” says Sue Pankey, Chief Nursing Officer. “The addition of eEmergency technology allows us to continue this commitment and add a new benefit of Board Certified Emergency Physician oversight and support. With this grant, DCH will be able to continue improving emergency care and has the potential to reduce unnecessary transfer to distant tertiary care centers by having oversight of Board Certified Emergency Physicians readily available via telemedicine technology. We are grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their generous support in this endeavor.”

This type of hub-and-spoke health delivery, pioneered by Avera and Helmsley, is also being used to bring pharmacy services and intensive care specialty access to rural hospitals and patients across the seven-state region.

“In rural areas such as our seven-state region, a full complement of medical services is difficult to provide, especially in emergencies,” said Walter Panzirer, a Helmsley trustee and rural South Dakota resident. “The goal of the Helmsley Charitable Trust is to make quality healthcare available regardless of geography. eCare technology can help us do that.”

The eCare programs are part of the ongoing efforts of Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program to improve the lives of rural residents in Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Other efforts include training, emergency medical care, diagnostics, cardiac care, cancer care, and research into innovations that specifically address the challenges of healthcare delivery in rural America.


About the Helmsley Charitable Trust

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the U.S. and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $2 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Rural Healthcare Program funds innovative projects that use information technologies to connect rural patients to emergency medical care, bring the latest medical therapies to patients in remote areas, and provide state-of-the-art training for rural hospitals and EMS personnel. To date, this program has awarded more than $320 million to organizations and initiatives in the upper Midwest states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Minnesota, Iowa, and Montana. For more information, visit www.helmsleytrust.org.

The Flu Shot is Still Encouraged This Season

It’s never too late to get the flu shot. With the flu activity widespread in most of the United Sates, Davis County Public Health is encouraging individuals (six months of age and older) to still get the annual flu vaccine if they haven’t yet.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is projecting that flu season could extend out until May this year, as it hasn’t peaked yet,” stated Lynn Fellinger, Davis County Public Health Manager. “Even if someone has been sick with the flu this year, and hasn’t gotten their flu shot yet, we still highly encourage them to get the flu vaccination as it protects against many types of flu, and many strains are still circulating.”
The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older be vaccinated against the flu every year. Flu vaccines are important for everyone, especially for people who are at greater risk for complications and those who live with or care for these individuals. These groups are:

• Pregnant women
• Children younger than 5 years of age
• Adults 65 years of age and older
• People whose immune system is weakened and those with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or conditions affecting the nervous system
• People who are overweight or obese
• People who work or live in nursing homes or long- term care facilities
• Health care personnel and child care workers

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu and spread it to others.
“Getting yourself vaccinated also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions,” said Fellinger.

“While the flu shot has been proven to be less effective at totally preventing the flu this year, it still could lessen the severity of the illness,” commented Sue Pankey, Chief Nursing Officer at DCH. “According to the CDC, the flu vaccination may make your illness milder if you do get sick. For example, a 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit (ICU) admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized flu patients.”

Davis County Public Health has flu vaccines available, and is available by appointment Monday – Friday. To schedule a time to receive your flu shot, please call 641-664-3629.

DCH Now Offering In-Home Sleep Studies

Davis County Hospital (DCH) is pleased to announce they’ve expanded their sleep study service line to include in-home sleep studies. In-home sleep testing is an effective, cost efficient means of diagnosing sleep-related illnesses in the comfort of your own home.

In order to diagnose Sleep Apnea or other sleep disorders, a patient must undergo a sleep study. This is typically done in a sleep lab, requiring the patient to spend the night in a lab, while equipment records his/her physiological data. This new home sleep technology, now offers patients a cost effective, easy to use, and reliable device for the home diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). A patient is usually ordered a home sleep apnea test or “sleep study” by his or her doctor who suspects that the individual has OSA.

“Research shows that an estimated 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases going undiagnosed,” stated Kirby Johnson, CEO at Davis County Hospital. “Many people are not being tested or treated because of various obstacles with overnight lab testing, and we are excited to be in a position where we can now reach out to these individuals to make testing easier. We know these services will go a long way in helping people improve their sleeping habits and enjoy a good night’s rest.”

The in-home sleep study that Davis County Hospital is now offering, has minimal equipment and measures the following biologic parameters:

  • Nasal and Oral Airflow – by a thin wire that is taped by the nose and mouth – some sensors look like an oxygen cannula.
  • Respiratory Effort – by elastic belt bands that are placed across the chest and abdomen.
  • Oximeter Finger Probe – a small clip-like device that attaches to the fingertip and emits a red light that assists in the evaluation of oxygen levels in the blood while sleeping.

“If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke,” said Tammy Smoot, Cardio-Pulmonary Manager at DCH. “This is an economical, convenient way for patients to complete their sleep study in the comfort of their own home. By increasing access for diagnosing sleep-related illnesses, conditions can be diagnosed sooner, allowing patients to receive treatment which could ultimately improve their quality of life.”

Ask your doctor today about having your in-home sleep study completed with Davis County Hospital.

Patient Notice – Potential Information Breach

December 22, 2017 

Potential Information Breach at Davis County Hospital

Davis County Hospital (DCH) learned on October 31st, 2017 that an unauthorized individual/hacker had forced their way into the DCH email system via two employee email accounts. The unauthorized individual/hacker then used the employee email accounts to further redistribute additional phishing emails. In addition to having access to email contacts within those email accounts, they would have had access to the emails contained within those accounts.

DCH initiated an investigation as soon as the breach was identified with the support of Mercy Health Network and Trinity Health on ensuring compliance with HIPAA regulatory items. Davis County Hospital, through a thorough investigation, cannot confirm that the intruder actually accessed, viewed, or further disclosed any protected health information contained within the email inboxes that the unauthorized individual/hacker had access to.

Through the investigation, a total of 383 patients were identified that could have had information potentially accessed, including information such as possible name, address, date of birth, and insurance billing information. Of the 383 identified patients, 25 were identified as higher risk, as information included social security numbers, diagnoses, and/or credit card numbers.

Davis County Hospital wants patients to know we have moved as swiftly as we possibly could to address the problem as soon as it was detected. To ensure any impact to the potentially affected patients is minimized, all 383 individuals were sent communication on the potential breach. Those 25 individuals identified as high risk, were also offered one year of support through Experian, a credit monitoring service to put their mind at ease. For those offered one year of support through Experian, please ensure you enroll by March 31, 2018 utilizing the information provided in your personalized letter; your activation code will expire after this date.

Phishing emails targeting individuals are increasingly the most common way criminals attempt to gain access to secured networks. Our organization continues to receive high ratings from independent security risk assessment firm FRSecure for risk analysis activities which are performed annually. Our organization employs numerous industry leading hardware and software security tools and processes to protect our patient’s health information along with ongoing security awareness training to all staff.

Davis County Hospital is actively taking steps to guard against something like this happening again, including adding additional layers of security to the email system along with continuing best practices of using industry leading information security resources, systems, and security awareness training for all staff.

Because we value each of our customers, and their trust is important to us, we want our customers to know we are doing our best to ensure security within our system. Our top priority will continue to be taking care of our patients and helping them feel confident in us to protect their health information while providing knowledge and trustworthy care for our community.

Potentially affected patients were mailed notices informing them of this incident. We are also providing this website notice because we anticipate that certain patients may have moved or may not be reachable by mail. Patients directly impacted by the potential breach, are encouraged to reach out to DCH with any questions they might have, by contacting our Privacy Officer at toll free number, 1-888-664-2145 between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday – Friday.

What You Should Do if You Think Your Identity Has Been Stolen

If you become a victim of identity theft, or even suspect that you might be a victim, take immediate action.

  1. Contact one of the credit reporting agencies’ fraud alert departmentsand place a fraud alert on your credit report.
  2. Contact your lenders, banks, and insurance companies and let them know the situation.
  3. File a police report—it is proof of the crime.
  4. Periodically check your credit reportsover the next year to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.

Please understand that Davis County Hospital takes our responsibility to safeguard your personal information very seriously, and deeply regret that this incident has occurred. Although the risk is very low for the misuse of the data contained in these emails, please be assured we are taking every possible step to ensure your information remains private.  We regret any inconvenience or concern this situation may cause our patients.\


DCH Now Offering 3-D Mammography Exams

Beginning December 14, Davis County Hospital is excited to offer a new 3-D Mammography exam option that could improve early detection of breast cancer. Designed from the ground up with the input from women, the GE Senographe Pristina 3-D Technology, is the first mammography system to provide women with the “three Cs”: comfort, confidence, and clarity. Utilizing advanced breast tomosynthesis technology (also known as 3-D Mammography), these exams are clinically proven to significantly increase the detection of breast cancers, while also decreasing the number of women asked to return for additional testing (compared to 2-D mammography).

“Davis County Hospital is committed to the fight against breast cancer. Bringing this new technology to our patients will help us diagnose breast cancer even earlier, increasing the chances of good outcomes” states Kirby Johnson, CEO of Davis County Hospital.  “Our investment in this 3-D Mammography technology, allows us to provide the most cutting edge technology for our community, keeping people close to home for their medical needs.”

3-D Mammography exams create multiple images or “slices” that step through the breast tissue. This allows the radiologist to see more clearly and helps reduce the impact of overlapping breast tissue. The process is performed at the same time as a traditional 2D mammogram, on the same machine with no noticeable difference in the experience or time expended for the patient.

“All women may benefit from a 3-D Mammography exam; however, there is an increased benefit to women with dense breast tissue because dense breast tissue may look similar to cancer tissue. 2-D mammography can’t always differentiate between cancer and dense breast tissue” says Susan Haskell, Manager of Medical Imaging Services at DCH. “For example, if a 2-D mammogram detects an area of concern, the radiologists may want to further investigate with a diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound or biopsy. Looking at the same breast tissue in 3-D, the radiologist may now see that the tissue is in fact normal breast tissue. In this scenario, the patient likely avoided a callback for an additional mammogram, giving patients a greater peace of mind.”

Not only does this system offer patients a greater peace of mind, it delivers the superior diagnostic accuracy at the same low dose as a 2-D mammography exam, the lowest patient dose of all FDA-approved 3-D mammography systems.

“We are excited to offer our patients this procedure, and we believe it’s important to broaden our geographic reach so that women across Southeast Iowa, have the option of choosing the lowest dosage exposure as possible, while receiving accurate results,” said Haskell.

If you’re interested in a 3-D Mammography exam at Davis County Hospital, please contact your primary care provider as well as your insurance to verify coverage of 3-D exam services. 3-D Mammography exams are offered at Davis County Hospital, located at 509 N Madison in Bloomfield, five days a week. Patients are able to be seen for Mammography appointments within two days of scheduling at Davis County Hospital.


DCH Welcomes Certified Diabetes Educator

Davis County Hospital is pleased to welcome Kathy Ayers, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP), to the Davis County Hospital Medical Associates clinic provider group.

Kathy is a Certified Diabetes Educator who will practice at Davis County Hospital on two Wednesdays each month. She is available to see patients for Diabetes Management, and will work with them to:

  • Teach basic information about diabetes and its management
  • Understand diabetes devices, such as blood glucose meters, insulin pens, insulin pumps
  • Adopt healthy eating habits through nutrition education
  • Monitor blood glucose and learn how to interpret and respond to results
  • Understand their medications

“If you have diabetes, you know how challenging it can be to manage your disease,” stated Kathy Ayers, ARNP. “Between healthy eating, physical activity, taking medication, and monitoring your condition, it becomes overwhelming very easily. I am here to work side by side with you to help you manage your diabetes for a healthy lifestyle.”

“We are excited to have Kathy join our team at Davis County Medical Associates,” said Carleena Brown, Clinic Director. “Her unique skill set in diabetes management, is an essential support piece that we can now offer our patients. Managing diabetes can be difficult, and we’re thrilled to be able to now offer this additional resource to our patients.”

To schedule an appointment with Kathy at Davis County Medical Associates clinic, please call 641-664-3832. A doctor referral is not required.

Davis County Medical Associates Opens Walk-In Clinic Two Days a Week

Sore throats, stomach bugs, and ear infections don’t always occur at a convenient time. Beginning December 5th, Davis County Hospital Medical Associates is expanding to include walk-in clinic hours, two days each week, to improve access to clinic services. The Walk-In Clinic hours will begin on Tuesday, December 5th from 7am – 9am, and 5pm – 7pm; followed by hours on Wednesday, December 6th from 7am – 9am, and 5pm – 7pm.

“We are beginning walk-in clinic hours to ensure we’re doing what we can to be there for our customers when they need us,” said Kirby Johnson, CEO. “The Walk-In Clinic is designed to provide convenient, fast treatment for injuries and conditions that are not critical, but need prompt attention.”
Beginning Tuesday, December 5th the walk-in clinic hours are as follows:

Walk-In Clinic Hours

Tuesdays 7am – 9am, and 5pm – 7pm
Wednesdays 7am – 9am, and 5pm – 7pm

The Walk-In Clinic is available to provide treatment for acute problems including cold and flu symptoms, infections, abrasions, sprains and strains, and skin conditions. A full list of conditions that can be treated during the Walk-In Clinic, can be found on www.DavisCountyHospital.org.

“The walk-in clinic is an excellent option to avoid a potentially costly ER visit for individuals of all ages,” stated Carleena Brown, Medical Associates Clinic Director. “Our walk-in clinic is available to treat non-emergency conditions during walk-in clinic hours for your convenience. If a patient arrives at the clinic with a serious illness or injury beyond the scope of the walk-in clinic, they will be sent to the emergency department to receive proper care.”

When isn’t the Walk-In Clinic isn’t open, customers are encouraged to utilize the extended appointment hours. Haleigh Skaggs, Family Practice Nurse Practitioner has appointment times available including some evenings, an early morning, and the lunch hour.

“Our goal is to meet the needs of the community and if needed, move towards additional walk-in clinic hours each week,” said Brown, “It could be costly to expand access to the clinic if it goes unused, therefore we will make sure the demand is there before expanding walk-in hours.”

For more information on the walk-in clinic or to schedule an appointment, you can contact Davis County Hospital Medical Associates at 641-664-3832. Davis County Hospital Medical Associates is located within Davis County Hospital at 509 N Madison, Bloomfield.

Davis County Medical Associates to Host Open House to Welcome New Primary Care Physician and Showcase Newly Remodeled Clinic

Bloomfield, IA – Davis County Hospital invites you to join them for an Open House to be held on Wednesday, October 4th from 4:30pm – 6:30pm at the Davis County Medical Associates Clinic located within Davis County Hospital at 509 N Madison. Tours will be given of the department highlighting the newly expanded and remodeled clinic space. There will also be an opportunity to meet their newest physician addition, Christian Sanchez, MD. Everyone is welcome to attend to enjoy refreshments, tour the remodeled space, and help them welcome Dr. Sanchez.

Dr. Sanchez is currently working in the DCH Medical Associates primary care clinic, the hospital, as well as local nursing facilities. He began his clinical practice at DCH on Tuesday, September 5th. Dr. Sanchez graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in Kankakee, Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minor in Chemistry. He received his medical degree in Guadalajara, Mexico and completed his residency at Cook County-Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. In June, Dr. Sanchez completed a Geriatric Fellowship also at Cook County-Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois. Geriatrics is the branch of medicine dealing with the health and care of the elderly population.

“We are incredibly excited to showcase the new and upgraded clinic space to our community,” stated Kirby Johnson, CEO. “We take much pride in advancing primary care services for our customers. There is no better way to improve on what we’ve already built than to add a wonderful physician like Dr. Sanchez. He symbolizes why we do this every day. I have already seen his infectious personality and talents capture the patients he’s had the opportunity to help.”

“In our ongoing efforts to serve the needs of the Davis County community and beyond, Davis County Hospital is excited to announce the opening of our newly expanded and remodeled Medical Associates Clinic. We encourage community members to stop by the open house to see the new space, and to welcome Dr. Christian Sanchez, to the community,” said Carleena Brown, Clinic Director.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sanchez, call 641-664-3832. The Davis County Medical Associates Clinic is located within Davis County Hospital at 509 N Madison in Bloomfield.