Our Services

Physical Therapist Kimberly Franzen Earns Certification as Lymphedema Therapist

We congratulate Physical Therapist Kimberly Franzen, PT, DPT, CLT on her recent certification as a Certified Lymphedema Therapist (CLT). 

Kim’s certification included 135 hours total with 75 hours of online work and 60 hours of in-person class and hands-on work. Kim was in Minneapolis for the class from October 13th to the 20th for the in-person class, but all online class work was completed prior to attending. Both a written test and hands-on practical was passed for the certification. 

What is Lymphedema? Lymphedema is known as an abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid that can occur gradually over time with increasing complaints of tightness or heaviness. Lymphedema increases one’s risk of infection or cellulitis. Typically lymphedema affects only one arm or leg, but can affect both as more commonly seen in the legs.

The certification consisted of learning the full CDT (Complete Decongestive Therapy) which includes not only performing manual lymph drainage (MLD) to reduce the amount of fluid accumulation, but performing and teaching/educating the patient on application of compression bandages or garments, exercise, nail & skin care, and other self-cares to assist with overall management of their condition.

Kim is now able to treat our patients who have lymphedema, lipidemia, or lymphedema which can occur due to other medial issues such as obesity, chronic venous insufficiency, lipo-lymphedema, or after a trauma or orthopedic surgery.

“Most people have not heard of or know much about lymphedema until they have been diagnosed with it,” said Kim. “I’m pleased to be able to offer this service to our patients who are diagnosed with this condition.”

Stay close to home, and receive your therapy and rehabilitation services with the experts at GMHC. For more information call 563-252-1121.

Automated Appointment Reminders

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is pleased to announce a collaboration with WELL Health Inc. to implement automated appointment reminders through secure two-way, multilingual messaging in the patient’s preferred communications channel: texting or telephone.

If GMHC has your cell phone or home phone in its system, patients will receive automated appointment reminders seven days, two days and one day before their appointments. Patients have an opportunity to respond or to opt-out of this service.

“It is our hopes that this two-way communication will help improve our patient’s experience throughout their care at GMHC,” said Danelle Krapfl, Lab and Imaging Manager.

This new service will begin on October 5, 2021.


GMHC Offers Athletic Training Services at Ed-Co High School

Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is pleased to announce a new partnership with Edgewood-Colesburg School District for Athletic Training services.  

Sydney Pirillo, Physical Therapy Assistant and Athletic Trainer at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics is contracted for athletic training services two hours per week, and at home games as her schedule allows.

“The Edgewood-Colesburg School District has been looking for ways to provide athletic training services to our coaches and athletes for years.  One of the challenges has been finding the right partnership to meet the needs of the district. We believe that the partnership with the Guttenberg Municipal Hospitals & Clinics will provide the needed services for students and additional training for coaches.  We see this as an opportunity not only to help students recover faster from injuries but also to prevent injuries in the first place.” said Rob Busch, Edgewood-Colesburg CSD Superintendent. 

In her role as Athletic Trainer, Sydney works with student athletes to keep them healthy and strong. She typically sees 5 to 10 athletes per week during her time at school, as well as checks in with coaches and parents if additional communication is needed about an athlete’s injury. She recommends strengthening and stretching exercises, wrapping/taping techniques and other conservative techniques to both athletes and their coaches.

“My number one goal is to work with student-athletes and coaches to prevent injuries,” said Sydney. “All athletes are encouraged to report injuries when they occur, big or small, to prevent the injury from worsening in severity and to help resolve the issue in a timely manner. When injuries are not able to be prevented, my goal is to get the athlete back on the playing field as quickly and safely as possible, keep them in school, and reduce the risk of long term affects. I know that dealing with an injury can be stressful and I work to ease this process by advocating for the athlete and collaborating with local physical therapist, chiropractors, and physicians to provide the best care. I am honored to be joining the Edgewood-Colesberg team and can’t wait to help student-athletes achieve their goals on and off the field.” 

Commented Alex Hanna, Activities Director, “We have loved having Syd in our building the last few weeks.  Her help diagnosing injuries, helping with exercises and treatment for our athletes, and keeping them accountable to their recovery has been invaluable.  In a school our size, keeping our student athletes healthy and doing what they love is more important than ever, so having a resource like her each week and at games is amazing for Ed-Co.  Syd has been very progressive with her outreach to our coaches and communication to keep them in the loop about what our athletes can and can’t do from week to week.  We have great support at Ed-Co from Administration and our Board, so their approval of this agreement should not come as a surprise.  We are very thankful that this partnership has been made and we hope that it will continue to grow in the future for the benefit of all of our athletic programs here at Ed-Co.”

New MRI Improves Patient Experience

On August 11, the Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics Imaging Department performed its first MRI in the new Seimens MAGNETOM Altea Open Bore system.

“One of our first patients said that the brighter room and the lack of noise was a great improvement over our previous MRI,” said Karen Pressley, Radiologic Technologist. 

The new Altea has a wider bore opening and is equipped with Quiet Suite and Turbo Suite to reduce the noise during the scan and enable a reduction in exam times by using advanced accelerated imaging techniques. These new features will help to reduce patient stress, making the exam more comfortable for the patient. 

“The images are beautiful,” commented Dr. Joshua McDonald from Radiology Consultants of Iowa. “Allow me to commend GMHC leadership in bringing this great technology to the community of Guttenberg. This is a state of the art MRI unit and will definitely enhance the healthcare for Guttenberg and the surrounding communities. I consider it a great privilege to work with the GMHC Imaging staff and the patients of Guttenberg.”

MRI patients have been very pleased with the updated technology at GMHC.

“We had a patient who tried to have an MRI at another facility, and was told that he wouldn’t fit. When he came here, he fit without any problems,” said Terri Koopmann, Imaging Coordinator. “Other patients are claustrophobic but have no issues with our new MRI. We are pleased to improve our patient’s MRI experience with reduced noise, a wider opening and advanced accelerated imaging techniques.”

Family Resource Center Awarded Governor’s Volunteer Award for SHIIP Program

The Family Resource Center’s SHIIP Program was selected to receive a Governor’s Volunteer Award for outstanding commitment and service.

A virtual ceremony for the Governor’s Volunteer Award recognition was held on July 14th, and was attended by SHIIP Counselor Jim Solomon and Family Resource Center Coordinator Kari Harbaugh.

The ceremony lasted 45 minutes and included remarks from Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, and service leaders across Iowa. Awards were presented for six regions across the state: Central, Northeast, East-Central, Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest Iowa. The presentation of awards occurred by region, followed by short remarks from regional service leaders.

The dedication of volunteer SHIIP Counselor Jim Solomon made the award possible. Jim was honored for giving the precious gift of his time to meet essential needs of those he serves, and thanked for his dedication and for contributing his talent to enrich Iowa.

Jim Solomon is entering his fourth year volunteering to assist local residents to save money. In Jim’s third year of volunteering he helped 218 clients save a total of $127,448 by comparing Medicare Part D plans. 

“We are so grateful for the time and talent that Jim has donated to assisting others,” Family Resource Center Coordinator Kari Harbaugh added. “Jim is a great asset to our community. He made this recognition possible.”

As a SHIIP Counselor, Jim will assist you with these three important things during Medicare open enrollment:

● Review your plan notice. Read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year – especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Review your plan’s information to make sure the prescriptions you use are still covered and your medical providers and pharmacy are still in network.

● Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Does your current plan best meet your needs?

● Shop for the plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Compare plans even if you’ve been satisfied with your current plan. The coverage and costs for plans can change from year to year.

To make an appointment with Jim, call the Family Resource Center 563-252-3215. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa.  SHIIP counselors review all plans offered and do not promote any particular plan or company. Please bring your Medicare card and your present list of prescription drugs to your appointment.

Cornerstone Family Practice Develops Long Term Plan

Starting Tuesday, September 1, 2020, Cornerstone Family Practice Clinic in Guttenberg will see both well patients and ill patients, with a separate designated clinic space for patients not feeling well.

The current process of drive-thru screening was a temporary response to COVID-19.

With the safety of all patients and our community a top priority, a long-term plan has been developed to screen patients with symptoms of Influenza, Strep, RSV, COVID-19, etc. in the Guttenberg clinic. The Guttenberg clinic space will look different, with added barriers and additional protection of staff, to ensure the safety of both well and ill patients. Only well patients will be allowed in the waiting area. Ill patients will wait in their vehicle and be ushered into the ill clinic area.

All patients, both well and ill must make an appointment to be seen. Call 563-252-2141 to schedule. 

Patients to be seen in ill care clinic:

  • Flu symptoms
  • Strep symptoms
  • Earache
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fever
  • Chills and/or repeated shaking with chills
  • Severe headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle Pain
  • Loss of sense of taste or smell

Patients to be seen in the well care clinic:

  • Medication refills
  • Minor injuries or lacerations
  • Sprains
  • Well child exams and immunizations
  • Annual physicals
  • Behavioral health
  • Dermatology
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Health coaching
  • Routine lab draws

In addition, Garnavillo and Edgewood Cornerstone Family Practice clinics will be opened regularly scheduled hours for well care visits only. 

GMHC will continue to have a designated phone line for patients to contact a nurse about symptoms and the best way to seek care.

We are committed to providing safe options so all of our patients get the care they need.

GMHC Safe Care Plan

 Your Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics healthcare team continues to make the safe care of all of our patients our number one priority. Evidence suggests that people may not seek the care they need for fear of contracting COVID-19. Delaying the care that you need can be a risky and often unnecessary choice that could lead to long-term negative health consequences.

We are here for you and want to get you the care that you need. Please do not delay if you require medical help. Call us at 563-252-2141 to discuss care options with your provider. And if an appointment is recommended, we have options. Our providers offer telehealth appointments that allow you to securely see a provider without leaving your home. If your provider determines that you should be physically seen at one of our clinics, please be assured that we will take every precaution to provide your care using safety measures that we have in place.

These measures include:

  • Screening everyone upon entering our facilities
  • Everyone must wear a mask upon entering our facilities
  • Anyone who screens positive will be asked to go back to their car for further instructions
  • Extra cleaning and disinfecting
  • Social distancing measures in waiting areas, elevators, exam rooms, and throughout our facilities
  • Visitor restrictions
  • All staff will wear a mask

These measures will remain in place indefinitely as we safely and gradually resume all procedures, surgeries, and routine visits. Your health and safety are always our top priority. 

Thank you for allowing us to partner with you on your health and wellness journey.

Do You Know the Signs?

It started as slight uncomfortable pressure in his chest the evening of August 28, 2019.

Nothing too serious. He thought perhaps it was indigestion from his supper. He took one aspirin with two Tums.

And then, Mark Mather began sweating, and the pressure didn’t subside. He and his wife Becky decided it was time to visit the Emergency Department at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics.


“When I arrived in the ED, the discomfort was greatly reduced,” recalls Mark. “In fact, I apologized for taking up their time. ED Provider Beth Sadewasser assured me that I’d made the right decision to come get checked out  and I was immediately taken to an emergency room for tests.” 


Mark was evaluated with blood tests and an EKG. Beth consulted with a cardiologist confirming that Mark had indeed had a heart attack and he was transported by ambulance immediately to Dubuque.

At 7:30 a.m. on August 29, Mark had an angiogram revealing he had partial blockage of two coronary arteries, which was corrected with the placement of two stents. “I’m so thankful I knew the warning signs and went to the ED at GMHC right away,” said Mark.

After one night in the hospital, and a week of recovery, Mark began cardiac rehabilitation at GMHC three days a week for the next six weeks. “The entire staff was very helpful and caring during my rehab. They thoroughly answered all of my questions and worked closely with my cardiologist in Dubuque. The level of professionalism and knowledge was very comforting,” said Mark. “GMHC rehab helped heal my heart, giving me more energy for the activities I enjoy.”

Cardiac rehab patient Mark Mather with Respiratory Therapist Amanda Miller.

Amanda Miller, one of Mark’s therapist commented, “My job as a therapist at GMHC is so rewarding. It is great to inspire patients like Mark to work hard, knowing that together as a staff, we make a real difference in our patients’ health.”

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke combined) kills about 2,300 a day. Obesity in both youth and adults is at an all-time high, youth are being diagnosed with heart disease earlier than ever and people just ZIP codes apart can live 25 years less than their neighbors because of disparities in health. American Heart Month is vital for awareness, but the American Heart Association urges people to take care of their hearts year-round. 

Consider the facts:

  • Heart disease kills more people than all forms of cancer combined.
  • Heart attacks affect more people every year than the population of Dallas, Texas.
  • 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease
  • 83% believe that heart attacks can be prevented but aren’t motivated to do anything.
  • And 58% put no effort into improving their heart health.

While science is advancing medicine in exciting new ways, unhealthy lifestyle choices combined with rising obesity rates in both kids and adults have hindered progress fighting heart disease.

The good news is that heart disease is preventable in most cases with healthy choices, which include not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling blood sugar and cholesterol, treating high blood pressure, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week and getting regular checkups. 

Other than being older, Mark had no other risk factors for a heart attack.


“Knowing the warning signs and symptoms may have saved my life,” says Mark. “I knew to get checked out, and I’m very pleased with the emergency services I received at GMHC. Our community is fortunate to have the hospital right here.”


Heart Attack Symptoms

CHEST DISCOMFORT: Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

DISCOMFORT IN OTHER AREAS OF THE UPPER BODY: Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

SHORTNESS OF BREATH: with or without chest discomfort.

OTHER SIGNS: may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness. 

Stroke Symptoms: Spot a stroke F.A.S.T.

FACE DROOPING: Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile.

ARM WEAKNESS: Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

SPEECH DIFFICULTY: Is speech slurred, are they unable to speak, or are they hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “the sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?

TIME TO CALL 9-1-1: If the person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get them to the hospital immediately.

Cardiac Arrest Symptoms

SUDDEN LOSS OF RESPONSIVENESS: No response to tapping on shoulders.

NO NORMAL BREATHING: The victim does not take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least five seconds.


Emergency Department Provider Care at GMHC

ED Provider Shelly Klein, DNP

Advanced practice providers at Guttenberg Municipal Hospital & Clinics are equipped to deliver the very best care to individuals in need of emergency care.

Advanced practice providers include nurse practitioners and physician assistants who independently and collaboratively work alongside physicians to provide high quality, comprehensive care to patients. Advanced practice providers have received additional medical training including classroom and clinical training to receive masters or doctorate degrees. 

At Guttenberg Municipal Hospitals & Clinics (GMHC), advanced practice providers (APPs) are employed in the emergency department to cover all your emergent needs 24/7, 365 days a year. The APPs at GMHC stay in-house at the hospital to be ready to care for individuals at a moments notice. The APPs in the emergency department oftentimes collaborate with an on-call physician to discuss cases and decide the best plan of care for a patient; including transfer of care to another facility capable of providing a higher level of care or admission to GMHC if this is appropriate. 

Sometimes your follow-up care may require specialty care, such as orthopedic care for fractured bones. The APPs at GMHC will oftentimes speak with these specialty providers, while you are still a patient in the emergency department, to discuss the best course of treatment and follow-up prior to your discharge from the emergency department. 

In addition to phone consultation with providers, GMHC has the resources to discuss cases live with a board certified emergency room physician via our telemedicine connection. EAvera is a telemedicine service that allows the APPs at GMHC to consult with an emergency department physician via a television screen and microphone to provide additional guidance as needed for cases that may be life threatening or rarely encountered as a provider. 

The advanced practice providers at GMHC are ready to provide the very best emergency care to individuals in their time of need.

SHIIP Counselor Saves Clients Thousands

Lisa Manson, Tracy Kregel, Lynn Bockenstedt, Jim Solomon, Kari Harbaugh and Rose Boardman at the Family Resource Center, Guttenberg.

Jim Solomon may be retired, but he’s found a way to stay busy by helping others save money.  

Jim is a Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) Volunteer Counselor, providing free-of-charge counseling and information to people with questions about Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, long term care insurance, and other health insurance. 

Jim just wrapped up his second year in his SHIIP Counselor role at the Family Resource Center in Guttenberg, and the numbers are impressive! In 2019, Jim assisted 205 clients to save a grand total of $108,843. This accomplishment took some time, in fact, Jim logged in 264 hours and 45 minutes of face-to-face time, all as a volunteer.


“I donate my time because I enjoy helping others. My training equips me to dig in deep to help people with their questions and problems, and to save them the most money possible,” said Jim.


In 2018 Jim completed an extensive SHIIP six day training program with the State of Iowa Insurance Division in Des Moines. In addition, he keeps up on current changes to Medicare. Jim has made many connections to outside resources and is not afraid to pick up the phone and call for clients, especially when other challenges are presented.


“The SHIIP training was a lot of work, and staying updated is a continual process, but I’m very thankful for this opportunity to stay busy in my retirement. Saving people money is very fulfilling, but visiting with and getting to know them is an added bonus,” said Jim.


In addition to people from Clayton County, Jim’s 205 clients consisted of seasonal travelers and people in other counties who heard about how great Jim was to work with. He even made visits to people in the hospital to offer his assistance. 


“Jim is a wonderful asset to our community,” said Family Resource Center Coordinator Kari Harbaugh. “He is very knowledgeable about Medicare and will do all he can to assist clients in saving money, some he’s saved over thousands of dollars for. We appreciate his dedication to helping others.”


Although Open Enrollment is over, Jim’s work goes on throughout the year. If you have questions regarding Medicare, please call the Family Resource Center, 563-252-3215, for a one-on-one appointment with Jim. He will answer questions and provide impartial information to help you make well informed decisions.