Rural hospitals like Grinnell Regional Medical Center(GRMC), a 49-bed, private non-profit hospital in Grinnell, are a vital resource for Iowa communities. University of Iowa graduate Todd Linden (MHA ’87,BA ’85), President and CEO of GRMC, is working with his team to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care with a focus on preventive care.
“Our work in preventive medicine was rather unheard of in hospitals our size when we started these programs 15 years ago,” says Linden, who earned his Master of Health Administration degree from the University of Iowa College of Public Health. “Today, we know that working to stay healthy in the first place and preventing many health issues will help keep health care costs down.”
GRMC, which serves about 40,000 residents, offers a fitness and rehabilitation center, an integrated medicine program, and community outreach clinics. Its wellness services include stress reduction programs, group exercise classes, massage therapy services, and even animal-assisted therapy using specially trained dogs.
In 2010, Grinnell Regional Medical Center was recognized as a top rural hospital by the Leapfrog Group, a national initiative for improving the safety, quality and affordability of health care.
“At GRMC we use integrated health to help improve patient outcomes,” says Linden. “For example, a preoperative chair massage helps patients reduce anxiety and their IV’s start easier and they use less pain medicine after surgery. To me, it is also about helping people stay well in the first place so that if people do require medical care, maybe they won’t need the degree of care they might otherwise need if they weren’t as healthy to begin with.”
Linden believes GRMC’s commitment to prevention and public health not only improves the well-being of the region’s residents, but also strengthens communities in other ways.
“Improving the quality of life makes our area more attractive to new families moving in, industries looking to expand, students attending our area colleges, or retirees wanting to settle in a community of care,” says Linden.
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