Bill LeaverStaying Connected

Welcome to Iowa Health System Connections, a monthly e-newsletter to share news from throughout the health system. Please forward this to others who may find it of interest. Thanks for all you do to help us achieve our Vision of delivering the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time.Bill Leaver signature



Iowa Health System Welcomes Eighth Senior Affiliate

Deb Shriver

Debbie Simon

On Oct. 1, Methodist Health Services Corporation (MHSC) in Peoria, Ill., officially joined Iowa Health System as our eighth senior affiliate, making IHS the fifth-largest nondenominational health system in the U.S.

The strategic affiliation will result in more resources to serve patients in central Illinois as well as economic efficiencies that will help contain the cost of health care.

MHSC operates Methodist Medical Center of Illinois, a 329-bed tertiary care hospital in Peoria, plus a school of nursing and 37 clinical sites in Illinois. “This was the right decision at the right time,” says Debbie Simon, interim president and CEO of Methodist.

To learn more about Methodist, visit its website at


St. Luke’s – Cedar Rapids Receives Acquisition Approval of Intraoperative Radiotherapy Technology

St. Luke’s Hospital will soon be the first and only hospital in Iowa to offer Intraoperative Radiation Therapy. This new technology gives patients another treatment choice in their cancer fight. The Iowa Health Facilities Council approved St. Luke’s request to acquire an IORT system at its October council meeting. The equipment is scheduled to be operational in April 2012.

Ted Townsend

Ted Townsend

“As a leader in minimally invasive surgery, including recognition as Iowa's robotic surgery leader, St. Luke’s is continuing to build on its progressive surgical tradition,” said Ted Townsend, St. Luke’s president and CEO. “But what’s most important is St. Luke’s is offering a new alternative for patients with early stage cancer that is not currently available in Iowa.”

This therapy allows patients to receive a concentrated dose of radiation immediately after surgical removal of a tumor, while still in the operating room.

“One example of its use would be a woman fighting breast cancer who chooses to have a lumpectomy,” said Kimberly Ivester, director of cancer care services.  “Typically the patient would have surgery first and then undergo six weeks of radiation therapy. Intraoperative radiotherapy combines lumpectomy surgery and a concentrated dose of radiation immediately after surgery while the patient is still in the operating room.”

This therapy may decrease and in some cases, eliminate the need for further radiation therapy, significantly improving the patient experience and reducing the cost of care. It is used for cancers that cannot be cured with surgery alone and for tumors that are either attached or close to vital tissues.

“One out of every two men and one of every three women are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, with the number of cancer patients in the United States more than doubling by 2050,” Townsend said. “With these statistics, it's imperative St. Luke's continue to advance our approach to cancer care by introducing new technologies to our region.”


The Finley Hospital – Dubuque’s COO Receives an Iowa Hospital Association Award  

Chad Wolbers

Chad Wolbers

The Iowa Hospital Association awarded the Young Executive Achievement Award to Chad Wolbers, Chief Operating Officer of The Finley Hospital in Dubuque. The nomination stated, “Significant contributions probably an understatement when it comes to this outstanding young executive. The force of Wolbers’ authority and leadership is substantial and effective, yet is delivered so that he has won the respect and admiration of staff at all levels.”

Finley CEO David Brandon said: “Chad understands that strong organizations must be built on the foundation of solid relationships. He has the notable ability to forge positive and productive relationships with patients, staff and the community. He is a dynamic leader who can engage and energize those around him. “

The Iowa Hospital Association’s Young Executive Achievement Award is presented each year to an Iowa hospital or health system young executive whose achievements are noteworthy.

Nominations are solicited for executives age 40 or younger and employed as a senior executive in an IHA member organization, who has exhibited his or her skills through a project, program, publication or other activities of importance to health care within Iowa.


Trinity Regional Medical Center – "We Are Live!"

iq4On Oct. 1, Epic officially went live at 6:28 a.m. after a lot of hard work overnight to get the interfaces working properly. In just a few days after go-live, Trinity had already reached 84 percent Computerized Physician Order Entry compliance with more than 11,300 orders placed; barcode administration scanning is near 89 percent; and 138 different order sets have been used by physicians. These are huge accomplishments, and part of the success is due to the fact that 100 percent of Trinity’s staff and physicians were trained prior to go-live.

iq4 go live

Dr. Kevin Schminke &
Mylie Estlund, RN

“Even though we had a few rough spots, we should be proud of what we accomplished with the IQ4 project,” shares Dr. Kevin Schminke. “100 percent of our physicians received training before go-live, which helped with the transition to Epic. We are still actively working to resolve some issues and are also working to optimize the product to work best for us. Overall, I’m encouraged daily with the progress we are making.”

With any large-scale go-live, there were numerous project challenges and a few issues that are still being worked out. As of Oct. 11, there were more than 2,206 service calls into the IQ4 Call Center of those… 2,008 have been resolved.

Trinity has done an amazing job blazing the trail for the IQ4 implementation process for Iowa Health System. Although there will still be hard work in the weeks to come, Trinity should be proud of this accomplishment.


Iowa Health - Des Moines CEO Recognized by Iowa State University College of Business

Chad Wolbers

Labh Hira, Dean of the College of Business at ISU, and Eric Crowell

Eric Crowell, president and CEO of Iowa Health – Des Moines, has been honored with the distinguished Citation of Achievement Award from the College of Business at Iowa State University.

The Citation of Achievement Award was established in 1985 to honor distinguished alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievement in life beyond the campus. Only three individuals have received this award.

Crowell graduated in 1980 from Iowa State with a degree in Industrial Administration before completing his masters in health administration from the University of Minnesota in 1982.

He spent more than eight years as president and CEO of Trinity Regional Health System in the Quad-Cities, during which time he led Trinity's affiliation with Iowa Health System. He then joined Iowa Health System as a senior vice president in 1999 and was named to his current role in 2001.

His vision and leadership has been credited for guiding the continued growth for all of Iowa Health – Des Moines. Crowell was instrumental in the planning and completion of Methodist West, a state-of-the-art hospital in West Des Moines, which opened in 2009. Methodist West was the first newly-licensed hospital in the state of Iowa in more than 50 years.

Crowell has been instrumental in integrating physicians throughout the Iowa Health organization. Currently, Iowa Health – Des Moines employs more than 250 physicians with several in key leadership positions. In addition, he has developed co-management agreements with Des Moines Orthopaedic Surgeons at Methodist West and with The Iowa Clinic in cardiology services at Iowa Methodist, Iowa Lutheran and Methodist West.

A Des Moines native, Crowell now serves on several local boards, including the Greater Des Moines Partnership, American Heart Association and Des Moines Civic Center. He also serves on Grand View University's Board of Trustees.


Iowa Health – Des Moines Received Business Record’s 2011 Best of Awards

For the 6th year in a row, Iowa Methodist Medical Center has been honored as the Best Hospital by the readers of the Business Record. Iowa Lutheran was honored as Best Hospital runner-up. This marks the 13th year that an Iowa Health – Des Moines hospital has been honored as the Best Hospital. In addition, Iowa Health – Des Moines was awarded Best Large Company with a promising future runner-up.

A special congrats to the Iowa Health - Des Moines team for being the 2011 Best Company Workforce runner-up. And to Eric Crowell, David Stark and Tom Mulrooney for being recognized as outstanding leaders.

“We are all very proud of our physicians, nurses, staff and volunteers for all that they do every day that lead to us receiving this recognition,” Eric Crowell, President and CEO, said. “We are honored that our community recognizes our commitment and efforts, as it truly is our privilege to serve our community.”


St. Luke’s College – Sioux City Announces Record Enrollment

Mike Stiles

Mike Stiles

St. Luke’s College welcomed a record 209 students to campus for Fall 2011 classes. Approximately 80 percent of the students attending St. Luke’s College came from Iowa, Nebraska South Dakota, and Minnesota with the remainder coming from across the nation including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin as well as international students from Canada and Syria.

The increased enrollment reflects growing student interest in careers in health care. “Our record enrollment is a testimony to the solid reputation St. Luke’s College graduates have earned in the community, the region and globally,” Michael Stiles, Chancellor of the College, said.

The diversity of students at St. Luke’s College has increased and mirrors the changing faces of Siouxland, with 12 percent of the students identifying themselves of non-Caucasian ethnicity. The number of students representing the Hispanic population has more than doubled from the 2010-11 academic year.

“The College is pleased with the growth and diversity in its student body. Such progress in enrollment would not be possible without the dedication and commitment of the College’s team of professional and highly experienced faculty and staff,” Stiles said.

St. Luke’s College provides every student with direct hands-on patient care experiences at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center, rural community hospitals, clinics, schools and other health care agencies. The College’s programs include nursing, imaging sciences, respiratory care, medical laboratory science, phlebotomy, and clinical pastoral education.


Allen Hospital Receives HealthGrades Excellence Award

Allen Hospital Receives HealthGrades Excellence Award

Allen Hospital is a recipient of the 2012 HealthGrades coronary intervention excellence award for the fifth year in a row. HealthGrades ranks Allen first in coronary interventional procedures in Iowa for 2012.

Allen is five-star rated for treatment of heart attack for the third consecutive year. Patients treated at five-star-ranked hospitals experience a 73 percent lower risk of mortality and a 63 percent lower risk of complications compared to one-star hospitals.

Left to Right - Paula Geise, RN, Cardiac Services Clinical Director; Heidi DuCharme, RN, 3 Heart Nurse Manager; Kalyana Sundaram, MD, Cardiologist and Anne Parkhurst, RN, Cardiac Cath Nurse



Trinity Pathway Hospice – Quad-Cities Marks 30 Years

Earlier this month Iowa Health Home Care and Trinity teams hosted a media event to promote the 30th anniversary of Trinity Pathway Hospice. October marks 30 years since Trinity Pathway Hospice first began providing care for end-of-life patients and their families in the Quad-Cities and its surrounding communities. It commemorated the anniversary by honoring its founders and recognizing its caregivers in a special way.

Trinity Pathway Hospice has established the Dr. Lawrence and Kathryn Allen Compassionate Caregiver Award. The award honors Dr. and Mrs. Allen, the founders of Trinity Pathway Hospice, and recognizes hospice caregivers who provide exceptional care. Award recipients are nominated by the families of patients they have served as well as other care team members. The inaugural award will be presented to hospice nurses Julie Frutiger, RN, and Brenda Goellnitz, RN, on November 2 at an event celebrating the anniversary and National Home Care and Hospice Month.


Trinity Muscatine Awarded HNI Foundation Grant

Trinity Muscatine was awarded grant assistance of $64,000 from the HNI Foundation this week for the incorporation of Lean into the hospital culture. HNI Corp., the parent company for Hon and Allsteel office furniture, is headquartered in Muscatine. It employs 3,500 people and has a long track record of using Lean in its operations.

Trinity Muscatine will be selecting a Lean consultant to assist with implementation and has scheduled a December visit to ThedaCare in Appleton, Wis., which will include eight physicians to help kick off the process.


Iowa Health System Featured in the Oct. 10 edition of Modern Healthcare

Bill Leaver participated in Modern Healthcare's editorial webcast, discussing strategies to increase the productivity of the workforce. The webcast was titled "Staying Productive," and an excerpt of the discussion was featured this month in the Oct. 10 issue of the print edition of Modern Healthcare.

Leaver's focus on patient-centered improvements and initiatives was clear. "We need to focus more on population health and think about our patients over a long period of time," he said.

Also featured in the same issue of Modern Healthcare was great news from Peoria: our welcome of Methodist – Illinois into the IHS family.

Read past issues of Connections