Thursday, September 28, 2017

Promise CHC to host Healthiest State Walk on Wednesday, Oct. 4


SIOUX CENTER – Put on your walking shoes, grab a coworker or friend, and take a relaxing 30-minute stroll on a crisp autumn day.

In doing so, you will join with thousands of people across Iowa.

Stephanie Van Ruler, Lupe Tapia and Beth Strub of
Promise Community Health Center take a stroll in
Sioux Center. Promise will host a Healthiest State
Walk at 12:20 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 4. Anyone is
invited to participate in the 30-minute walk.
Promise Community Health Center will serve as one of many statewide hosts for the seventh annual Healthiest State Walk on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The walk will depart at 12:20 p.m. Anyone is invited to participate. All you have to do is meet on the sidewalk at Promise’s front entrance – located at 338 First Ave. NW, across the street from the Sioux Center city hall. No preregistration is required.

The theme for this year’s Healthiest State Walk is: “Walk More. Connect More.” The annual event is part of Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative.

“Being physically active is one of the most important steps people can take to improve their health,” said Stephanie Van Ruler, nurse health coach and coordinator of the walk. “Walking is something that most people, without regard to their age, physical abilities or socioeconomic status can participate in.”

The goal of Iowa’s Healthiest State Walk is to promote the benefits of walking – as one of the best ways to stay healthy and connect with others in the community.

Here are some key points that Van Ruler highlighted about walking:

  • Walking has physical benefits by greatly reducing people’s risk of chronic disease and premature death due to increasing their physical activity level.
  • Walking has emotional benefits by reducing anxiety, increasing energy levels, improving sleep quality, increasing psychological wellbeing, improving cognitive functioning, and releasing hormones and chemicals that make them happy.
  • Walking has social benefits that helps foster supportive relationships and friendships.

Van Ruler emphasized that anyone –  regardless of their age, gender or ethnic background –  can participate in walking. Walking also is an inexpensive way to start and maintain an active lifestyle and can be done year-round.

Those are just some of the reasons why Promise is excited about participating in and promoting the Healthiest State Walk.

“We live in a fast-paced society,” Van Ruler said. “At Promise, we believe you, your health, your family and your environment are valuable and vital to our community. Promise is coordinating a walk this year to encourage people to take the first step. Take the first step toward better health. Take the first step to slowing down and taking care of you. Take the first step in connecting with others and your community.”

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


TO LEARN MORE:
To learn more about the Healthiest State Initiative and the Healthiest State Walk, visit www.iowahealthieststate.com.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Promise awarded $166,130 federal grant to address opioid crisis


SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center will be on the front lines of tackling the growing opioid epidemic.

The health center has been awarded a $166,130 Access Increases in Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (AIMS) grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration. The grant will enable Promise expand its mental health services and to add substance abuse services – with a particular focus of addressing people’s addiction to opioids, which are drugs used to reduce pain.

Promise Community Health Center will expand its
behavioral health services, with a particular focus on
tackling the growing opioid epidemic, due to the
award of a $166,130 federal grant from the
Health Resources and Services Administration.
In the process, Promise will hire a full-time mental health counselor and increase its behavioral health services from 11 to 32 hours per week.

Nancy Dykstra, executive director of Promise, said the grant will allow Promise to expand its current integrated and team-based model of behavioral health care with primary care. Promise will implement evidence-based screening, assessment, and mental health and substance abuse practices. Promise will enhance collaboration and referral services with local behavioral health providers and community-based organizations.

“Promise CHC will educate the community on the opioid epidemic and provide resources and tools to assist families on seeking help for family members,” Dykstra said. “This is vital to address the growing opioid epidemic in our community and nation.”

Promise was among 1,178 community health centers and 13 rural health organizations nationwide awarded more than $200 million in funding to increase access to substance abuse and mental health services. Iowa’s 14 community health centers were awarded more than $2.38 million.

“No corner of our country, from rural areas to urban centers, has escaped the scourge of the opioid crisis,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, noting that the HRSA grants will go directly to local organizations that are best-situated to address the opioid problems in their own communities.

Promise will immediately begin the search to hire two full-time professionals at 32 hours per week to support the expanded services: a licensed mental health social worker and a bilingual mental health assistant.

Once the personnel is in place, training will begin for the therapist, assistant and primary care staff to equip them with the tools to effectively screen and assess for co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. Promise will engage experts in opioid dependency and abuse training for its providers and staff to monitor patients with chronic pain, prescribe effectively and screen for dependency.

In the meantime, agreements will be reached with area organizations for the management of complex cases of opioid dependency.

“Promise CHC will strive to develop a comprehensive approach to reducing risk for persons struggling with opioid abuse by increasing awareness of the opioid epidemic, the dangers it poses, risks of suicide and the appropriate use of naloxone to reduce opioid overdose through education that encompasses patients, families and the community,” Dykstra said.

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


PROMISE SEEKS THERAPIST:
To learn more about the social work therapist opening, view the job posting on Promise Community Health Center’s website at www.promisechc.org/careers/.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Promise CHC to offer two Flu Vaccine Clinics: Sept. 27 and Nov. 1


SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center will offer two Flu Vaccine Clinics this fall.

Promise Community Health Center will offer two
Flu Vaccine Clinics this fall: 3-6 p.m. Wednesdays,
Sept. 27 and Nov. 1. The influenza vaccines will be
free for children through 18 years of age.
They will be held at Promise – located at 338 1st Ave. NW, Sioux Center, across from the Sioux Center city hall – on the following dates:

  • 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 27;
  • 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 1.

The influenza vaccine shots are free for youth 18 years old and under and $25 for anyone over 18 years old. Promise also accepts insurance to cover the cost of the flu vaccines.

No appointments are necessary. People can walk in at any time during the flu clinics.

For children who are between the ages of 6-35 months and who are receiving their first flu vaccines, they will need to get two half doses that are at least 28 days apart. Therefore, parents of those children are encouraged to attend both flu clinic dates so both doses can be given to their child. Otherwise, a special appointment will need to be made for the second dose.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death in rare cases. The annual flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. Since 2010, the CDC has estimated that, nationwide, hospitalizations caused by influenza have ranged annually from 140,000 to 710,000 and flu-related deaths from 12,000 to 56,000.

The annual vaccine protects against the influenza virus strains that research has indicated will be the most common during the upcoming flu season, according to the CDC. People are protected against those infection strains after antibodies are developed in the body about two weeks following the vaccination. The flu vaccine cannot cause influenza.

To learn more about the flu vaccine, visit the CDC key facts page at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm.

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Promise CHC’s August baby boom sets month home-birth record

by Derrick Vander Waal

SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – Babies, babies and more babies.

August 2017 was the month filled with babies for the Promise Community Health Center midwifery team.

In total, certified nurse midwives Belinda Lassen and Pam Hulstein of Promise attended 12 home births during the baby boom. That was a one-month record for Promise. A third midwife also was on-call in case she was needed.

“August was just an incredible month,” Lassen said. “Thank you to all our families for entrusting your care to us.”

Here are some fun stats for the 12 babies:

  • Eight were girls; four were boys.
  • The 12 babies were born in 12 different towns. (Ironically, none of the births were in Sioux Center, IA, where Promise is located.)
  • Six babies were born in Iowa; six were born in South Dakota.
  • The distance from the farthest west hometown (Vermillion, SD) to the farthest east (Spirit Lake, IA) was 129 miles; the distance from the farthest north hometown (Baltic, SD) to the farthest south (Merrill, IA) was 95 miles.
  • The largest baby was 9 pounds, 8 ounces; the smallest was 7 pounds.
  • The longest labor was 15 hours, 25 minutes; the shortest labor was 2 hours, 17 minutes.
  • Babies were born from the first day of the month to the third to last.
Promise Community Health Center's record 12
home births for a month (August 2017) were
in 12 different towns in two states.

Here is the tally of home births:

Aug. 1: Juniper – Orange City, IA.
Aug. 4: Lydia – Merrill, IA.
Aug. 9: Kenny – Vermillion, SD.
Aug. 14: Freya – Tea, SD.
Aug. 16: Alivia – Spirit Lake, IA.
Aug. 17: Jefferson – Sioux Falls, SD.
Aug. 17: Matea – Rock Valley, IA.
Aug. 18: Waverly – Harrisburg, SD.
Aug. 23: Ivan – Sanborn, IA.
Aug. 27: Olivia – Baltic, SD.
Aug. 29: Sawyer – Boyden, IA

The families were highly appreciative of the personal care that they received from their midwives and nurses.

“Alivia’s birth was an absolute dream,” Emily Lungren said. “It was so wonderful to labor, deliver and recover in our home. From the first appointment through the delivery and aftercare, Belinda has been absolutely wonderful. She is so special to our family.”

To learn more about these babies and their families, check out the Promise midwifery team blog at: promisechcmidwives.blogspot.com. To learn more about Promise’s prenatal services, visit www.promisechc.org/services/prenatal.aspx.


Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Promise patients now can access their health information online


SIOUX CENTER – Patients can have their health information right at their fingertips, wherever they go.

Promise Community Health Center officially launched its online patient portal – called MyPromiseChart – today (Tuesday, Sept. 5).

Fatima Arteaga, a community care coordinator for
Promise Community Health Center, assists a patient
with enrolling in Promise's new online patient portal,
MyPromiseChart. The portal provides patients with
convenient access to their health information.
A patient portal is a website that offers people personal access to their health information and medical records, at any time, in a secure fashion. Any Promise patient can sign up for a portal account. Parents can access to the portal for children under 12.

“We are implementing the patient portal as part of a new standard of care for our patients – to have electronic access to health records and to communicate online with their health-care team,” said Amy McAlpine, data and compliance specialist for Promise. “We are really excited to have patients see the benefits of the portal.”

In addition to reviewing their medical information from past visits, patients will be able to send secure messages directly to their Promise provider and health team, view their medication prescriptions and request refills, see past and upcoming appointment dates, request new appointments, and review and request changes to their patient registration and insurance information, among other features.

Patients no longer will have to worry about playing “phone tag” with their providers when they want to ask questions or request prescription refills. They will be able to submit their questions or messages at their own convenience directly to their provider or health team.

“The patient portal is essentially another tool for communication with our patients,” McAlpine said. “We already emphasize communication in lots of ways: We have bilingual staff, education that is easy-to-understand, and providers and staff that take the time to listen to patients. We’re glad we can add this as another resource for communication.”

In doing so, the personal, compassionate, high-quality care that patients have come to expect from Promise’s providers only will be enhanced.

“A patient portal empowers patients to be actively involved in their health care,” McAlpine said. “At Promise, we provide patient-centered care, which means the patient is an expert and active member of their health-care team. The portal is one way to make that idea really work.”

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is the only Federally Qualified Health Center serving the far northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision and behavioral health services. To learn more, visit www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


HOW CAN I SIGN UP?
Promise Community Health Center will take a proactive approach to assist patients with registering for a MyPromiseChart account.

When they come in for appointments, Promise personnel will offer to assist them, step by step, through the process of registering for an account. Staff also will help patients with logging into their account for the first time and gaining an understanding of the portal features.

Otherwise, patients can call 712-722-1700 or email care@promisechc.org to request the information required to sign up on their own or to ask any questions.


TO LOG IN:
Once patients have a MyPromiseChart account, they simply go to following link and click on the “Log In” button: www.promisechc.org/mypromisechart. MyPromiseChart also is a main navigation item on top of Promise’s website homepage: www.promisechc.org.