Join us for a culture-changing, lifestyle-inspiring walk!

Come together with your neighbors, fellow community members, and hundreds of thousands of other Iowans to support the Healthiest State Initiative on October 4! The Healthiest State Initiative’s goal is to make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation. The Annual Walk on October 4 brings communities together by having an organized Healthiest State Walk, presented by Delta Dental of Iowa, in all of Iowa’s 99 counties.

This year’s Annual Walk aims for Iowans to “Walk More. Connect More,” by walking for 30 minutes with your friends, co-workers, family or neighbors. Walking is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s also a great way to connect with others. There never seems to be enough time to enjoy time with friends and family. By inviting them to walk with us, we get to catch up and refresh our minds, and the physical benefits add up, too. Invite a friend or co-worker for an after-lunch walk, take care of weekend errands with your family on foot, or invite neighbors to start a casual walking group. Along the way you’ll build strong bonds and memories.

Just 30 minutes of physical activity each day improves physical, social, and emotional health. Guttenberg is excited to partake in the Healthiest State Annual Walk as it represents a commitment to our residents’ well-being. We look forward to not only walking together on October 4, but also initiating and celebrating a cultural shift where we walk more, connect more.

We hope you will “Get Your Walk On” with us at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital at noon on October 4. We will meet in the hospital lobby. The walk will be 30 minutes and we encourage you to join and walk at your own pace as we all take steps to improve our health.

Help change the lives of your fellow Iowans – and your own – by joining this year’s Healthiest State Walk, presented by Delta Dental. We hope to see you at noon on October 4. Together, let’s continue stepping toward a healthier and happier Iowa.

New Cornerstone Family Practice Hours

Effective Monday August 28, all Cornerstone Family Practice clinics will have new hours.


Monday, Tuesday, Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Thursday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – Noon
Sunday – CLOSED
Phone (563) 252 – 2141


Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8 a.m. – Noon
Tuesday, Saturday, Sunday – CLOSED
Phone (563) 964 – 2608


Monday,  Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Thursday, Saturday, Sunday – CLOSED
Phone (563) 928 – 6435


We have been awarded full Joint Commission Accreditation!

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital (GMH) and Cornerstone Family Practice (CFP) have been awarded full Joint Commission Accreditation for the next three years! GMH and CFP continuously meet the many standards and regulations required to achieve this status. Only a few critical access hospitals in Iowa choose to maintain Joint Commission accreditation.

New Physical and Occupational Therapy Program Available at GMH

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital (GMH) is now offering LSVT BIG, an intensive, amplitude focused physical and occupational therapy program geared towards patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Research on LSVT BIG has shown improved ratings on improved balance, improvements in activities of daily living such as bed mobility, increased trunk rotation, and faster walking with bigger steps.

Two GMH employees, Kim Nieman, PT, and Amber Glawe, PTA, have successfully completed 16 hours of LSVT BIG and LOUD training and are now certified to help patients using LSVT methods. “Patients are performing everyday activities at a higher level. They have bigger movements, better balance and are able to move without being rigid. It’s an intense program, but the end result is worth the struggle,” stated Nieman.

LSVT BIG is customized to the unique goals of each patient including both gross and fine motor skills. Treatment consists of 16 sessions: four consecutive days a week for four weeks, individual one hour sessions, daily homework practice and daily carryover exercises.

If you are interested in the program, please contact Kim Nieman at (563) 252-5527 or email or visit

Strategic Partnership Task Force Update – June 30, 2017

June 30, 2017                                                

Dear Board, Physicians, Employees and City Council Members,

This week, the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital (GMH) Strategic Partnerships Task Force (Task Force) delivered its final recommendations to the GMH Board which the Board endorsed. As a reminder, the members of the Task Force are:

  • Bill Allyn, Task Force Chair and Board of Directors Vice Chair
  • Russell Loven, Mayor
  • Karen Merrick, Board Member
  • Andrew C. Smith, MD, Chief of Staff

What was Recommended and Approved?

After a comprehensive and highly participative nine-month process, our recommendation was to begin to work on a Letter of Intent that would align our Hospital in partnership with Mercy Health Network (MHN) by working to develop a new Management Services Agreement (MSA).  The arrangement would align our two organizations as we move forward with a common purpose and shared goals.

Our plan is for the new agreement to remain in effect for at least two years which would enable many of our employees to vest in IPERS before any possible closer alignment or affiliation would happen.   During the period of the new MSA we will be working toward the achievement of some defined milestones under the Management Services Agreement. While not yet finalized, the milestones will be related to improvements made/accomplishments in the following critical areas:

  • GMH financial performance
  • Support of GMH physician practices
  • Success in the changing health care environment
  • Cultural compatibility

Under the new MSA arrangement we envision that GMH physicians will remain employees of GMH, and GMH provider team will receive clinical support from Mercy in Dubuque and Medical Associates in Dubuque as well as from the Mercy Health Network corporate rural healthcare division.

What Was the Rationale Behind the Recommendation?

As part of our evaluation process, the Task Force profiled 18 potential partners, conducted in-depth interviews with seven of these, and ultimately engaged in dialogue with three: Mercy Health Network, UnityPoint Health, and University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

All organizations we evaluated are of the highest quality, with exceptional track records of success. In reaching our decision, which was not an easy one, we considered:


Dimension For example:
Financial Improvement ·   Help growing GMH’s services and market position

·   Continued access to insurance contracts

·   Cost savings through shared services/economies

·   Access to capital

Practice Support ·   Recruitment of primary care physicians

·   Access to specialists

·   Ability to transfer patients with ease

·   Current patient transfer and referral patterns

Success in the Changing Health Care Environment ·   Expertise in using data to improve health delivery

·   Expertise in population health

·   Collaboration with other Mercy affiliated hospitals in our region

·   Quality measurement and improvement infrastructure and expertise

Cultural Compatibility ·   High performance and high quality focus

·   Culture of teamwork and collaboration

·   Shared philosophy of how care should be delivered in rural communities

Where Do We Go From Here?

In the short term we will start the important work of bringing our organizations closer together. There will be challenges ahead, but there will also be opportunities. We will continue delivering outstanding health care to those we serve as we go through this process.

Final Thoughts and Thanks

We began this journey with a commitment to engaging our key stakeholders and keeping you informed at every step. Along the way, we:

  • Reported at 8 GMH Board meetings and 7 City Council meetings
  • Conducted 8 meetings with GMH staff and physicians
  • Provided updates in 3 GMH Employee Newsletters (GMH Pulse) and 1 GMH Community Newsletter (GMH News)
  • Published 6 stakeholder letter updates to provide more detail on the Task Force’s discussions
  • Reported progress in 6 articles in the Guttenberg Press
  • Maintained a dedicated corner on the GMH web site to house general information on the Task Force and its progress

Through these lines of communication, we learned what was most important to you and shaped our partner conversations and final decisions accordingly. While the Task Force was charged with shepherding this process, it truly was a community effort in every sense of the word. We are deeply grateful for the input and support we received from you.

Together, we have important work ahead: living our mission to improve the health and wellness of the communities we serve and fulfilling our vision to provide the best outcome for our patients.


Bill Allyn,  Strategic Partnerships Task Force Chair and Board of Directors Vice Chair

National EMS Week

This week we celebrate National EMS Week. Do you know a first responder, EMT or paramedic? Tell them how much you appreciate what they do!

Did you know…

1. EMS stands for Emergency Medical Services. An EMS system involves the public, pre-hospital EMS staff (first responders, EMTs, Advanced EMTs and Paramedics); emergency department staff and all of the departments of a hospital.

2. The modern EMS system only started in the 1960s.

3. Training of EMS providers were limited in the 1960s with many only having perhaps standard first aid and maybe CPR training if anything.

4. In the early years a ride in the ambulance might have been considered a taxi ride but not today! Ambulances today have sophisticated equipment and medications to start your care as soon as they arrive at your side.

5. Today pre-hospital EMS staff may fill volunteer or career positions but all are professional health care providers with the same education, training and certifications.

6. Guttenberg EMS has a combination of career and on-call staff. The paramedics and some of the EMTs work in the emergency room at GMH when they are not on a call.

7. EMS is your entry point into healthcare when you have a medical emergency or injury. Make the right choice; don’t drive; call 911.

Nondiscrimination and Accessibility Requirements

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.  Guttenberg Municipal Hospital does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital:

  • Provides free aids and services to people with disabilities to communicate effectively with us, such as:
    •  Qualified sign language interpreters
    •  Written information in other formats (large print, audio, accessible electronic formats, other formats)
    • Provides free language services to people whose primary language is not English, such as:
    •  Qualified interpreters
    •  Information written in other languages
  • If you need these services, contact Jill DeMoss

If you believe that Guttenberg Municipal Hospital has failed to provide these services or discriminated in another way on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, you can file a grievance with: Jill DeMoss, Compliance Officer, PO Box 550, Guttenberg, IA 52052, 563-252-5535, Fax 563-252-3955, You can file a grievance in person or by mail, fax, or email. If you need help filing a grievance, Jill DeMoss, Compliance Officer is available to help you.

You can also file a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, electronically through the Office for Civil Rights Complaint Portal, available at, or by mail or phone at:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 200 Independence Avenue, SW Room 509F, HHH Building Washington, D.C. 20201 1-800-368-1019, 800-537-7697 (TDD)

Complaint forms are available at

Limited English Proficiency of Language Assistance Services

ATTENTION: If you speak English, language assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-800-752-6096. ATENCION:  si habla espanol, tiene a su disposicion servicios gratuitos de asistencia linguistica.  Llame al 1-800-752-6096.注意:如果.使用繁體中文,.可以免費獲得語言援助服務。請致電 1-800-752-6096。 CHU Y:  N.u b.n noi Vi.t, co cac v. h. tr. ngon ng. mi.n phi danh cho b.n.  G.i s. 1-800-752-6096.

OBAVJEŠTENJE:  Ako govorite srpsko-hrvatski, usluge jezicke pomoci dostupne su vam besplatno. Nazovite 1-800-752-6096.

ACHTUNG:  Wenn Sie Deutsch sprechen, stehen Ihnen kostenlos sprachliche Hilfsdienstleistungen zur Verfugung.  Rufnummer: 1-800-752-6096.

 ملحوظة: إذا كنت تتحدث اذكر اللغة، فإن خدمات المساعدة اللغوية تتوافر لك بالمجان. اتصل برقم 1-6906-257-008.

1-800-752-6096. 주의: 한국어를 사용하시는 경우, 언어 지원 서비스를 무료로 이용하실 수 있습니다. 1-800-752-6096번으로 전화해 주십시오. 1-800-752-6096 ATTENTION :  Si vous parlez francais, des services d’aide linguistique vous sont proposes gratuitement.  Appelez le 1-800-752-6096.

Wann du [Deitsch (Pennsylvania German / Dutch)] schwetzscht, kannscht du mitaus Koschte ebber gricke, ass dihr helft mit die englisch Schprooch. Ruf selli Nummer uff: Call 1-800-752-6096.

เรียน: ถ้าคุณพูดภาษาไทยคุณสามารถใช้บริการช่วยเหลือทางภาษาได้ฟรี โทร 1-800-752-6096. PAUNAWA:  Kung nagsasalita ka ng Tagalog, maaari kang gumamit ng mga serbisyo ng tulong sa wika nang walang bayad.  Tumawag sa 1-800-752-6096. ymol.ymo;=erh>uwdRAunDAusdmtCd<AerRM>Ausdmtw>rRpXRvXAwvXmbl.vXmphRAeDwrHRb.ohM.vDRIAud;1-800-752-6096. ВНИМАНИЕ:  Если вы говорите на русском языке, то вам доступны бесплатные услуги перевода.  Звоните 1-800-752-6096.

POS Reorder # IA1706293

Strategic Partnership Task Force Update – March 29, 2017

March 24, 2017

Dear Board, Physicians, Employees, and City Council Members,

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital’s (GMH) Strategic Partnerships Task Force (Task Force) is pleased to provide this sixth stakeholder update. I’d like to start by thanking you again for your active participation during the Educational and Input Sessions on Monday, February 27th. We gathered many questions that you, our stakeholders, identified as important to pose to the three potential partners. You may recall that those questions were detailed in Stakeholder Letter #5, dated February 1, 2017.

The Task Force had in-depth conversations on March 9th and 14th with system-level executives from Mercy Health Network, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and UnityPoint Health. We decided that we also needed discussions with the regional representatives from the potential partners so we have a better sense of how things would work here in Guttenberg and Clayton County. Those follow-on discussions are scheduled for the first week in April.

As a result, our process has been extended. We now expect it will be the end of April, rather than the previously announced date in early April, before the Task Force has a recommendation for the GMH Board regarding “who” would be the best partner. As a reminder, the entire process of negotiating with the desired partner could take many more months, so any changes would not happen quickly. We will continue to communicate with you all along the way.

We are dedicated to ensuring an improved, sustainable, health care system for the future in Guttenberg.




Bill Allyn

Strategic Partnerships Task Force Chair and Board of Directors Vice Chair

Strategic Partnership Task Force Update

March 5, 2017

Dear Board, Physicians, Employees and City Council Members,

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital’s (GMH) Strategic Partnerships Task Force (Task Force) is pleased to provide this fifth stakeholder update. As a reminder, the members of the Task Force are:

  • Bill Allyn, Task Force Chair and Board of Directors Vice Chair
  • Russell Loven, Mayor
  • Karen Merrick, Board Member
  • Andrew C. Smith, MD

February: A Month of Reflection and Dialogue

As we have continued to share information with you about our Task Force process and progress, many of you have offered both input and questions for us to consider in response. We continue to hear from you a desire to know more about why GMH would consider partnership and how a partnership might make us better and stronger for our employees and entire community. In our February update, we explored three reasons to consider partnership (physician recruitment, better care delivery and financial realities) but noted that these were not the only ones. To assist in exploring these and other reasons in more detail, GMH recently invited Mr. Greg Boattenhamer, former vice president of government relations at the Iowa Hospital Association, to share his perspectives on the transformation of rural health care in America. Now a health policy and health care strategic planning consultant, Mr. Boattenhamer described a health care environment challenged by an aging population, projected provider shortages, care fragmentation, rising costs, and difficulty raising capital. At the same time, he sounded a note of optimism by outlining some critical steps forward for hospitals to ride the waves of change and remain vibrant. In remarks to our City Council and Board, managers and providers, he stressed imperatives for rural hospitals to:

  • Find ways to align services across the continuum of care.
  • Improve efficiency through productivity and financial management.
  • Invest in integrated information systems.
  • Join and grow integrated provider networks and care networks.

He further described how strategic partnerships can assist in addressing these challenges by achieving economies of scale, reducing costs and improving access to capital, strengthening competitive positioning, enhancing population health management, and preparing for new payment methodologies. From him, we learned that GMH certainly is not alone in the challenges it faces, with many U.S. rural hospitals at risk of closure and those located in the Midwest (Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota specifically noted) especially vulnerable. At the same time, we heard of the special role that critical access hospitals play, not only providing essential health care but serving as the source of many jobs and significant economic value in their communities.

In closing, Mr. Boattenhamer urged GMH to consider the following as it evaluates opportunities for strategic partnerships and specific partners:

  • Sufficient financial margins to sustain change.
  • Available capital to fund service expansion, investment in facilities and equipment, and information technology.
  • Adequate primary care and appropriate specialty care.
  • Robust ambulatory care network.
  • Adequate population size to take on risk in new payment models.
  • Clinical integration across all services and service lines.

His input will certainly prove valuable as we move to the next steps in our process and dig deeper to understand whether and how a partnership can benefit GMH.

Upcoming Meetings with Potential Partners

In our last update to you, we reported the GMH Board had decided to invite Mercy Health Network, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and UnityPoint Health to Guttenberg for more in-depth conversations with the Task Force. Later this week and next week, the Task Force will be meeting with representatives of these 3 potential partner organizations to build on what we have learned about them through our process thus far. Our meetings with the potential partners will focus on:

  • Questions the Task Force has identified for each organization based on input received through initial interviews with them;
  • Questions that you, our stakeholders, have identified as important to you. (An overview of these questions is attached).

Our efforts to-date have paved the path for this and next week’s dialogue with potential partners. Along the way, we deepened our understanding of the value we bring as a partner while refining what we hope to gain through partnership. Now, our focus shifts to the details—specifics on how each partner might assist us and exactly how we can collaborate to create an improved, sustainable health care system for the future.

We urge you to keep your input and questions coming and reaffirm our pledge to keep our process and progress open to you.


Bill Allyn

Strategic Partnerships Task Force Chair and Board of Directors Vice Chair

Stakeholder Questions for Potential Partners

Based on input received from our stakeholders, the Task Force has asked all the potential partners to be prepared to address the following questions when they meet with us this month:

  • Why are you interested in partnering with GMH? What would be the advantages to your system to be partnered with GMH?
  • What is your rural strategy? How would GMH fit into that strategy?
  • What is your regional approach or philosophy?
  • What examples can you provide of success stories regarding your partnerships with rural hospitals, Critical Access Hospitals and rural health clinics?
  • How would you help us grow?
  • How would you help us recruit physicians? What type of support have you provided in the past?
  • How would you help bring specialty services to GMH? How have you helped other communities gain access to specialty services?
  • What services along the continuum of care have you developed or will you develop in our region?
  • What insurance companies are you in network with? Could we keep our current contracts?
  • What are your system’s expertise, experience and resources regarding the evolving value-based payment methodologies and population health management?
  • How many Patient Centered Medical Homes (PCMHs) are in your system? What level of certification has been achieved?
  • What partnership model(s) are available in your system? Which would you recommend for GMH and why? What are the pros and cons of each?
  • What might be the impact of each partnership model on our status as a municipal hospital?
  • What would be the impact on our employees’ employment status, compensation, benefits, and seniority? How would you handle GMH’s desire to keep IPERS?
  • What would be the management and reporting hierarchy? Would we keep our CEO? To whom would the GMH CEO report?
  • What management support would be available at the department level?
  • What would be the clinical support mechanisms and resources (for referrals, clinical consults etc.)?
  • What financial assistance and access to capital would be available?
  • How would we be handled if GMH were not making money?
  • What shared services would be available?
  • What is your main technology platform? If different from ours, what do you recommend / require?
  • What are your quality, safety, and patient satisfaction measures and outcomes?
  • What would be the impact on our governance structure and functioning? Would there be a local board? If so, what would be its composition and what reserved powers would the system have over the GMH Board?


2017 Economic Impact

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital Creates $9.7 Million Dollar Impact on Local Economy

In all, Iowa’s Health Care Sector Provides Nearly 325,000 Jobs Across State

Guttenberg – Guttenberg Municipal Hospital generates 151 jobs that add $9,702,207 to the Clayton County economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association.  In addition, because the jobs that are created by the Hospital, retail sales in the area for consumables  are estimated to be $1,622,897 annually and an additional $97,374 in state sales tax revenue is generated.

The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector.  The study was compiled from hospital-submitted data on the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey of Hospitals and with software that other industries have used to determine their economic impact.

The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 72,008 people and create another 55,492 jobs outside the hospital sector.  As an income source, hospitals provide $4.5 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $2.3 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.

In all, Iowa’s health care sector, which includes offices of physicians, dentists and other health practitioners, nursing home and residential care, other medical and health services and pharmacies, contributes $16.6 billion to the state economy while directly and indirectly providing 324,977 jobs, or about one-fifth of the state’s total non-farm employment.

“Through the many changes in health care, there is one certainty: That hospitals and health care are vital to Iowa’s economy,” said IHA president and CEO Kirk Norris. “With nearly 325,000 jobs, health care is one of Iowa’s largest employers and hospitals remain, by far, the biggest contributor to that number. In Iowa cities and counties, hospitals are uniformly among the largest employers.

“As our political leaders in Washington, DC and Des Moines consider legislation and regulations that impact hospitals and health care, they need to keep these facts in mind. As providers of high-quality, low-cost health care, good jobs and economic stability, there is no replacement for community hospitals.”

The Iowa Hospital Association is a voluntary membership organization representing hospital and health system interests to business, government and consumer audiences.  All of Iowa’s 118 community hospitals are IHA members.