WEST BURLINGTON — Two Great River Hospice team members were named Employees of the Month at Great River Medical Center.

Social worker Ashley Bartenhagen and nurse Marissa Gibb traveled to Muscatine on their own time to make plaster castings of the feet and hands of a Great River Medical Center employee’s infant grandchild who had passed away unexpectedly.

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FORT MADISON — Fort Madison Community Hospital recognized Cory Schmitt as their September Employee of the Month.

Schmitt works in the FMCH Laboratory. She has been with FMCH for two years.

She was recognized with a nomination that includes the following:

“I had a patient in the ER that came in by ambulance for generalized weakness and fatigue. Patient’s baseline is jumbled speech and having a hard time with words. I came back to my computer to chart and this employee went in to do a blood draw. Next thing I know they were calling in the doctor so I ran in as well. Patient’s demeanor had significantly changed from the time they arrived and they were suddenly nonverbal and had a flat affect. I would like to nominate this employee for being so observant and reporting this patient change immediately. They could have shrugged it off as confusion or anything else but they were so on the ball and we were able to take immediate action and get the patient the care they needed.”

“The entire lab crew has made a difference in my career, especially Becky Hunter, Carrie Kruse, Maggie Silva and Ben Alchier. I love being able to make a difference in patients’ lives, and doing it alongside the best coworkers,” said Schmitt about working at FMCH.

Schmitt enjoys working part time a flower shop, reading and spending time with her family.

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Jessica Cary recently fulfilled all requirements of the State of Iowa as a licensed professional engineer.

Cary works with Klingner & Associates, P.C., which has offices in Burlington, Pella, Galesburg, Illinois, Quincy, Illinois, Hannibal, Missouri and Columbia, Missouri.

She has worked on a variety of environmental projects in the surrounding area including environmental site assessments, mold and asbestos inspections, and solid waste landfill monitoring and reporting. She resides in Mediapolis.

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WEST BURLINGTON — Great River Home Health is among the top 25 percent of home health agencies in the country, according to HomeCare Elite.

For 14 years, HomeCare Elite has annually identified the top 25 percent of agencies and highlighted the top 100 and top 500 agencies overall.

Agencies are ranked by an analysis of performance measures in quality of care, best practices implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and consistency, and financial health.

According to the award notification letter received by Great River Home Health, “HomeCare Elite status is not an easy accomplishment. Your agency and staff have earned this and deserve acknowledgement.”

Great River Home Health is a service of Great River Medical Center.

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WEST BURLINGTON — Access systems has been awarded the top workplace in Iowa for 2019. 

Founded in 1986, the Waukee-based company now has over 200 employees across 14 locations in Iowa and Nebraska with an office on Broadway Street in West Burlington. When the company started, it had just four employees.

Access Systems offers a range of services including 24-hour IT support, phone system solutions, document management, data security and printing.

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Hy-Vee has installed permanent drug take-back receptacles in all 276 store locations and is implementing a new opioid prescription initial fill policy.

“Installing drug take back receptacles in all of our pharmacies is one more step Hy-Vee is taking toward combating the opioid epidemic,” said Kristin Williams, senior vice president and chief health officer at Hy-Vee.

Besides installing the receptacles, the grocery store chain is changing the initial quantity of opioids prescribed for treatment of acute pain to seven days. Fewer days may be used if it is state law or a third-party payor requires it.

The seven-day limit does not include chronic pain, pain being treated during cancer care, hospice or other end-of-life care, pain being treated as part of palliative care practices and medications used to treat opioid addiction.

“We want to be part of the solution, while continuing to provide needed care for customers with acute pain and other severe pain management situations in communities throughout the eight states we serve,” Williams said.

Hy-Vee also offers naloxone without a prescription in all eight states where it operates pharmacies: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Naloxone can be administered to any person who has overdosed on a wide range of opioids, including hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine and codeine, as well as heroin.