Gundersen Palmer Community Health

Community Health is the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals. It is concerned with threats to health based on population health analysis. The population in question can be as small as a handful of people or as large as all the inhabitants of several continents (for instance, in the case of a pandemic).

The focus of public health intervention is to improve health and quality of life through the prevention and treatment of disease and other physical and mental health conditions, through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors.

Babysitting Classes

Gundersen Palmer Community Health works in conjunction with Gundersen Palmer Lutheran Hospital and Clinics to provide babysitting classes for children ages 10 to 15. The course is fun and fast-paced with hands-on activities, videos, role-plays and lively discussions.

Participants will learn to:

  • Supervise children and infants
  • Perform basic child-care skills such as diapering and feeding
  • Choose safe, age-appropriate games and toys
  • Handle bedtime and discipline issues
  • Identify safety hazards and prevent injuries
  • Care for common injuries and emergencies such as choking, burns, cuts and bee stings
  • Communicate effectively with parents
  • Find and interview for babysitting jobs

Better Choices/Better Health

Better Choices/Better Health is offered in conjunction with Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging to improve overall health and chronic conditions.

Class participants will:

  • Get the support needed
  • Find practical ways to deal with pain and fatigue
  • Discover better nutrition and exercise choices
  • Understand new treatment choices
  • Learn better ways to talk to the doctor and family about health concerns

People with conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain, and anxiety will benefit from the class.

For more information or a class schedule, call (563) 422-6267.

Blood pressure screenings

Gundersen Palmer Community Health provides blood pressure screenings at no cost. You may make an appointment or walk-ins are accepted.

Call (563) 422-6267 for more information.

Community Health Needs Assessment & Plan

Every five years, Gunderen Palmer Community Health leads a community-wide discussion with stakeholders and residents about their community's health needs. After identifying needs in the community, strategies to address those needs are identified.

The process, Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan (CHNA & HIP), is a fundamental piece of statewide health planning. CHNA & HIP has more than a 20 year history in Iowa and represents local action to promote and protect the health of Iowans. All 99 counties must submit a brief report on their needs assessment and health improvement plans to the Iowa Department of Public Health. Thousands of Iowans participated in the process in their communities. Community engagement included community-wide meetings with residents and health stakeholders, survey participation, and direct comments.

Priorities for Fayette County:

  • By 2020, support healthy activities in country communication to decrease obesity in adults and children.
  • By 2020, create and deliver a consistent marketing message in collaboration from healthcare partners to the residents of Fayette County.

2015 Fayette County Community Health Needs Assessment

2015 Fayette County Health Improvement Plan

Happy Feet

Happy Feet is a program designed to assist in the trimming, filing and maintenance of toenails for the 65 and older population. To qualify, one must be a Fayette County resident, at least 65 years of age, and unable to trim your own toenails due to the inability to see or reach your toes. The cost for this service is $10 per visit. Each client must also purchase his/her own clipper and file, which will be stored at Gundersen Palmer Community Health, for $5. Toenails are trimmed and filed a minimum of every other month. In addition, a mini assessment, including checking blood pressure, heart rate and lungs, is performed.

*This service is not available to seniors who are diabetic; however, a referral to a local Foot Clinic may be made. Happy Feet Clinics are held three times a month in the Oelwein office and two/three times a month in the West Union office. Appointments are required as the schedule fills up quickly. If full, participants will be placed on a waiting list.

For more information, call (563) 422-6267.

Health Fairs

Gundersen Palmer Community Health attends numerous health fairs through the year offering information and providing screenings to the community. Health fair dates will be listed on our website calendar.

iWalk

Gundersen Palmer Community Health is a contributing partner in Fayette County’s iWALK, International Walk to School. More than promoting getting together with children and going for a walk to school iWALK’s focus greater aim is to bring forth permanent change in communities across the globe.

Goals include:

  • Encouraging physical activity by teaching children the skills to walk safely
  • Identifying safe routes to school
  • Showing the benefits of walking
  • Raising awareness of how walkable a community is and where improvements can be made
  • Raising concern for the environment
  • Reducing traffic congestion, pollution, and speed near schools.
  • Sharing valuable time with local community leaders, parents, and children

Funding for this program has been made possible by Iowa Department of Public Health to 12 communities within Iowa. For more information or for ways to be involved, contact Gundersen Palmer Community Health at (563) 422-6267 or visit http://www.iwalktoschool.org/

Matter of Balance

Gundersen Palmer Community Health is joining Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging to provide an educational program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults. This innovative national model for addressing fall prevention is called “Matter of Balance: Managing Concerns About Falls.”

Participants will learn practical strategies to manage falls and receive a participant manual full of helpful information.

Falls can happen to anyone, and frequently do, and they are a growing public health crisis. And, falls among older adults are driving health care costs and significantly impacting quality of life for older adults.

Statistics abound about the numbers of people who fall, the types of injuries that result from falls, and the costs of falls - physically, emotionally and financially. One-half to two-thirds of falls occur around the home. A majority of falls occur during routine activities. Falls usually aren’t caused by just one risk factor, but a combination of risk factors, and it is a fact that a large portion of falls are preventable.

More details will be forthcoming. For more information, contact Gundersen Palmer Community Health, (563) 422-6267.

School partnerships

Gundersen Palmer Community Health works closely with the four school districts within Fayette County, North Fayette Valley, Oelwein Community and West Central.

Programs and services offered include:

  • Immunization Card Audits
  • Lice Checks
  • School Nurse Resource
  • Healthier Youth Partner
  • iWALK (International Walk to School)
  • Active Life Resource for Various School Programs

North Fayette Valley School
Oelwein Community School
West Central Public School

TB (Tuberculosis) Testing

Gundersen Palmer Community Health offers TB testing for $17. Please call for an appointment.

Walking School Bus

The North Fayette Community School District, Gundersen Palmer Community Health and the Northeast Iowa Food and Fitness Initiative are teaming up to offer Walking School Buses to West Union.

A Walking School Bus is a group of students walking to and from school with responsible supervisors. It is just like riding the bus, minus the bus! Physical activity is essential for healthy growth and development, and walking to and from school are simple ways to get children active. Physical activity also helps improve academic performance and classroom behavior.

Walking School Buses are popping up all over the region. The Walking School Bus is a revolution on how students travel to and from school, all for the same reason: for the health and overall well-being of our children, our future leaders.

Encouraging more students to walk to school is a simple and effective way to increase their daily physical activity levels while also increasing their sense of responsibility, independence and community awareness.

The community plays a big role in the success of Walking School Buses since volunteers are needed for the Walking School Buses to operate. From parents to grandparents to retirees to college students and beyond, community members are essential.

For more information on the Walking School Bus or to volunteer with the West Union Walking School Bus or to get more information, please contact Ashley Christensen at 563-382-6171 or achristensen@uerpc.org.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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