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    Rural Health Access Equity in Muscatine County

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    MUSCATINE, Iowa–The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine and UnityPoint Health Trinity Muscatine are collaborating on Rural Health Access Equity in Muscatine County with plans to replace the Muscatine Health Center Clinic Building (Mulberry Clinic) and make further improvements to the UnityPoint Health Trinity Muscatine Hospital.

    The Mulberry Clinic was built in 1975 and was originally developed as part of a wider effort by local community leaders including Dr. John Parks, Stan Howe, Roy Carver, Norbert Beckey, and others to maintain our community focus on health, ensure the continued local presence of quality primary health care in our community, and improve recruitment and retention of health care professionals to our rural community.  It was later formalized by Dick Stanley, Chuck Coulter and local leaders under the Muscatine Health Support Foundation.  These goals ring as true today as they did 46 years ago.

    In 2017, the Muscatine Health Support Foundation transferred assets to the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine and established the Muscatine Health Support Fund.  The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine owns the Mulberry Clinic and has a long-term lease with UnityPoint Health to operate and maintain the health facility that is connected to the UnityPoint Health Trinity Muscatine Hospital. Rental dollars received by the Community Foundation are returned to the community annually through grants promoting projects that further develop our local health care system, creating a perpetual stream of funding that would not otherwise exist in our rural community.

    The proposed Clinic rebuild would include current Family Practice, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Gynecology, and Surgery services, as well as space to expand wrap-around services, potentially including expanded telehealth, pre-natal, community health, and mental health, creating a more robust health care delivery suite.  The facility has been designed to flex and meet potential changes in health service delivery needs, including layout and technological changes for the coming decades.

    This Clinic rebuild would still be attached to Trinity Muscatine Hospital, providing easy client access and service delivery for emergent issues, prescribed in-patient and out-patient services, lab, and radiology needs. The proximity lessens transportation as a barrier to access and reduces the chance of complications from acute symptom management.

    The UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine Hospital building has been a long-standing pillar in the county, but it too is aging and is in need of upgrades.   In 2020, UnityPoint Health announced a continued commitment to the health care of our County with a $6 million pledge to address the pressing infrastructure needs, with work beginning in 2021.

    UnityPoint Health and UnityPoint Health Trinity Muscatine Hospital focuses on physician-driven, patient-centered care.  This dedication to the patient has been repeatedly recognized by industry experts receiving a Top 100 Rural & Community Hospital award; a 4 Star rating for four consecutive years by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS); a “Leapfrog A” rated hospital designation, which is the highest grade in hospital safety; and achieved annual recognition with the National Center for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for Patient Centered Medical Home.  Patient care surveys in 2019 and 2020, stayed consistently strong with: 95% recommending their provider office, and 96.5% favorable scoring on the physician communication and office staff experience.

    “Trinity Muscatine is committed to continuing to provide access to high quality patient care, for all community members, here at home.  A new clinic building will offer the facilities needed for healthcare today and into the future.  On behalf of our dedicated physicians, leaders, and team members, we thank the entire community for allowing us to serve you and your continued support of local healthcare.”  Angie Johnson, Trinity Muscatine Executive Director

    “The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine is proud to continue our partnership with UnityPoint Health – Trinity Muscatine to provide strong local health care to our community.  We look forward to continuing to play a role in ensuring a sustained local presence of quality primary health care in our community, and to continue the vision that reflects the leadership and caring hearts from the past that have helped shape Muscatine. ”  Charla Schafer, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine.

    Watch for more information on ways you can support local healthcare initiatives through the Community Foundation of the Greater Muscatine, in the coming months.

    This content has been provided via press release or other notification systems to Discover Muscatine. It is being re-published as a resource for the Muscatine community and has not been vetted or edited by our staff. All questions regarding this content should be directed to the contributor.

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