Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Midwest Therapy to Open Outpatient Pediatric Clinic PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Crystal Milburn   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:27
April 10, 2013 – Bettendorf, IA

The Quad Cities welcomes Midwest Therapy Centers’ Pediatric Therapy Services Clinic opening May 1, offering physical, occupational, and speech therapy services to children in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas. Midwest Therapy Centers is owned by Braaten Health.

Midwest Therapy Centers, a division of Braaten Health LLC., is announcing the opening of a new pediatric therapy clinic in the Quad Cities. Services will include occupational therapy, speech therapy, and physical therapy for children up to 18 years of age. This new clinic will be open and ready to see patients starting Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at the Midwest Therapy Centers Bettendorf Outpatient Clinic, 3740 Utica Ridge Road, Suite 4, Bettendorf, Iowa 52722. Calls to schedule appointments are being taken at 563-326-1400.

Aaron Braaten, Founder and CEO, says, “Helping children achieve their physical, functional, and communicative potential fills a void that our team of professionals, including Laura Adamson, SLP, Mary Gordon, OT, Sarah Manthey, OT, Teal Olson, SLP, and Curtis Witt, PT are anxious to meet. Our licensed professionals believe in a holistic approach to pediatric therapy using inter-disciplinary approaches and family involvement.”

The new pediatric clinic is designed to create a welcoming, safe and healing environment for young patients and their families. The center includes a spacious therapy gym with state-of-the-art equipment and toys facilitating movement in space, teaching developmentally appropriate daily living skills, developing fine motor skills, and improving balance, coordination, and motor planning. Individual therapy rooms for personalized attention in a quiet environment are also available. Our skilled professionals will utilize the most up-to-date versions of assessment tools during the evaluation process.

About Braaten Health

Braaten Health is an independently owned and operated organization created in 2001 to provide Compassionate and Complete Patient Care. Based on Measurable Best-in-Class services that result in an improved quality of life, Braaten Health and all subsidiary companies including Midwest Therapy Centers, Quad City & Clinton Occupational Health and The Moline REM Center believe that it is Your Health, Your Life and Your Choice. For more information about their services please visit and


Governor Quinn Addresses “Going Home” Rally PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 13:22

Governor’s Rebalancing Initiative is Increasing Community Care and Reducing the Number of Outdated, Expensive Institutions

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Quinn today addressed the “Going Home” rally, hosted by several disability advocacy groups, and emphasized his commitment to improving the lives of people with developmental disabilities and mental challenges in Illinois. As part of his agenda to ensure all people have the opportunity to follow their dreams and reach their full potential, Governor Quinn launched his Rebalancing Initiative in 2011 to increase community care and reduce the number of outdated, expensive institutions.

In the last several years, the governor has closed two State-Operated Developmental Centers (SODCs), and increased community care options in Illinois which are proven to provide a higher quality, more independent life, according to numerous studies. A third institution - the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center - is slated for closure later this year.

“This is a historic time for Illinois as we continue our commitment to change the status quo and improve life for people with disabilities and mental health challenges in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “Moving from outdated institutions to community care is improving Illinois' quality of care and allowing people to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.”

Hundreds of supporters and advocates gathered today in support of the governor’s Rebalancing Initiative. Numerous studies show that individuals living in the community have a better quality of life than those living in large institutions. Community settings allow individuals to receive the care they need, including 24-hour care. In addition, community care is also significantly less costly than institution-based care. The average cost for Murray Center is $239,000 per year per resident, while the average cost for a Murray resident living in the community while receiving the supports they need is estimated at $120,000 per year.

The governor's proposed fiscal year 2014 budget will move 1,150 individuals into community living, home-based services including 500 individuals off of the waiting list. The Quinn Administration has developed a comprehensive, person-centered plan to transition residents safely into the community, ensuring that each individual’s new home meets their specific needs. The plan is being implemented carefully and responsibly over the next several months to ensure a smooth transition for residents.

“We are working closely with families and guardians using a person-centered planning process to ensure safe transitions for residents of Murray Center,” Kevin Casey, director of the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Division of Developmental Disabilities said. “We developed a comprehensive, well thought out plan to transition Murray residents safely into the community and ensure that each individual’s new home will meet their specific needs.”


Time To Register For GAIN Camp PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 08:50
DAVENPORT, Iowa -- April 9, 2013 -- The Genesis Adventures in Nursing Summer Camp (GAIN) for young people who may be interested in a nursing career will be June 24-28.

Applications for GAIN will be accepted through April 15th. Cost for camp is $195. A limited number of scholarships will be available.

Campers (12-18 years old) attending the day camp will be introduced to different specialties in nursing. They will tour the hospital, observe a mock trauma in the emergency department, visit an operating room, visit the simulation lab and learn first aid and CPR.

Campers also will learn basic anatomy and physiology of the heart and brain and will learn about health assessment.

To register, call Lori Ruden at (563) 421-1354.


Ease Cancer Stress, Anxiety with ‘Emotional Wellness Toolbox’ PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Wednesday, 10 April 2013 08:35
Pioneering Psychotherapist Shares 3 Strategies that Work

A not-so-surprising new study shows stress reduces the effectiveness on drugs on prostate cancer, and even accelerates the disease’s development.

“More than 150 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer this year and how they deal with it can have a dramatic effect on their physical and emotional health,” says pioneering cancer psychotherapist Dr. Niki Barr, author of “Emotional Wellness: The Other Half of Treating Cancer” (

While the mind-body connection in fighting disease is well-documented, the new study by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centers reveals just how damaging anxiety and stress can be, Barr says.

The study found that mice implanted with human prostate cancer cells responded well to treatment when they were kept calm and stress free. But when the mice were stressed, their cancer cells didn’t die and tumor growth was unchecked. In another test, mice that were repeatedly stressed actually had tumors get larger.

The researchers found that stress and anxiety set off a chemical chain reaction that affects the cancer cells.

“So finding ways to ease the stress associated with cancer is vital,” says Barr, who has dedicated her practice to cancer patients and their families since 2007 after more than 15 years in counseling. “And part of what causes that anxiety is the feeling that you’ve lost all control of your life.”

To return some of that control to patients, she created the “emotional wellness toolbox,” a checklist of activities and tangible items her patients use to help maintain a positive attitude and sense of well-being through treatment.

Here are a few of them:

• Diagnosis: Anxiety begins here and, according to the National Cancer Institute, “Anxiety may increase pain, affect sleep and cause nausea and vomiting,” among other problems. Learning to reduce anxiety from the outset can minimize physical pain and discomfort throughout the illness and treatment. Tangible tools include writing materials, a device for favorite music, CD's for guided meditation or relaxation, and a box to hold these materials. Cancer patients and their families can use them to focus for navigating psychologically through cancer.  “A simple technique for immediate relief from anxiety is ‘triangle breathing,’ ” Barr says. “Breathe in, breathe out, then pause- during which you say a word such as ‘calm,’ ‘peace,’ ‘confident;’ it’s remarkably effective!”

• Medical treatment – depression and the unknown: Approximately 25 percent of cancer patients are clinically depressed, she says. By the time of treatment, which is sometimes a gamble in itself, the diagnosis has had more time to settle in, which can throw emotions into a tailspin. Just a few of the tools for battling depression include being proactive in understanding the treatment, maintaining a healthy routine, taking a break from “cancer talk,” creating affirmations – true statements – that keep one moving forward, and keeping a journal.

• Back to “normal”? … After a diagnosis that can feel like being run over by a truck and a cavalcade of tests and treatments, suddenly the whirlwind of cancer “just sort of ends,” Barr says. Shifting gears – again – can be dizzying. Finding your center and moving forward with intention is a great way back to a regular routine. The first step is to collate all records of treatment, including upcoming visits; this puts the recent past and future into context. Next, decide on the kind of life you want to live from here; perhaps a healthier diet and more exercise was a promise made during treatment. Now is the time to make good on it!

“These tips are gathered from working with cancer patients and their families, taking what is most effective to share with other cancer patients and their families,” Barr says. “Sometimes cancer returns; and, sadly, some do not survive cancer.”

“Regardless of the severity of a diagnosis, however, there are good and bad ways to navigate this disease – that should be the primary concern, along with treatment, when you or a loved one are diagnosed.”

About Niki Barr, Ph.D. (@NikiBarrPhD)

Niki Barr, Ph.D. founded a pioneering psychotherapy practice dedicated to working with cancer patients in all stages of the disease, along with their family members, caregivers and friends. In her book, she describes an "emotional wellness toolbox" patients can put together with effective and simple strategies, ready to use at any time, for helping them move forward through cancer. Dr. Barr is a dynamic and popular speaker, sharing her insights with cancer patients and clinicians across the nation.

Grassley Gives Floor Speech, Writes to Firm in Health Care Stock Spike Incident PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 08 April 2013 14:39

Monday, April 8, 2013

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa gave a floor speech this afternoon on his concerns that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has loose controls and poor records of the communication of non-public information regarding policy decisions affecting Medicare and Medicaid. These policies govern the distribution of hundreds of billions of tax dollars.  Any advance, non-public information is of great interest to the financial markets and the growing political intelligence-gathering industry.   Grassley is probing how a private firm had information on a key agency decision on Medicare Advantage payments last week prior to the agency’s announcement, causing a major spike in key health care company stocks.

Also today, Grassley wrote to the firm involved in the Medicare Advantage incident, asking a series of questions about the firm’s role.  Grassley’s letter to Height Securities is available here.

The text of his floor speech is available here.  The video is available on

Grassley’s letter to the acting CMS administrator on the issue is available here.  The acting administrator, Marilyn Tavenner, comes before the Finance Committee on Tuesday for a hearing on her nomination to serve as permanent administrator.


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