Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Mayo Clinic Announces $10 Million Gift from Lawrence W. and Marilyn W. Matteson for Cancer Research PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Yusuf Dangor   
Monday, 11 June 2012 12:00

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Mayo Clinic announced today that Lawrence W. and Marilyn W. Matteson of Moline, Ill., have given $10 million to help launch the Mayo Clinic Proton Beam Therapy Program. With this gift, Mayo Clinic will also use matching gift funds to establish the Lawrence W. and Marilyn W. Matteson Fund in Cancer Research.

Mayo’s Proton Beam Therapy Program will use the most advanced intensity-modulated technology known as pencil beam scanning, which few centers now use. Construction of the proton beam facilities in Rochester, Minn., and Phoenix, Ariz., are under way, and one of four gantries in the proton therapy facility being built in Rochester, Minn., will be named in their honor. The first treatment rooms will be available for patients in 2015 in Rochester, Minn., and in 2016 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Unlike conventional radiation therapy, which can damage healthy tissue while it destroys the tumor, proton therapy delivers nearly its entire dose within the tumor, sparing healthy tissue surrounding the cancer. This form of therapy is especially vital in sensitive areas such as the brain and lungs and is especially useful for treating children, who are at higher risk for radiation damage because their bones and tissues are still growing.

“Mr. Matteson is a grateful patient who has been very impressed with the care he received at Mayo Clinic,” says Robert Foote, M.D., chair of the Mayo Clinic Department of Radiation Oncology in Rochester. “Mr. and Mrs. Matteson wanted a way to show their gratitude and chose to donate funds that will help us ease the burden cancer has on patients, especially young children.”

“This gift is going to benefit children who are going through terrible cancers to not have the residual effects they would have with regular treatment,” said Mrs. Matteson. “The side effects won’t be something that follows them for the rest of their lives.”

The Mattesons generously supported The Campaign for Mayo Clinic, a successful $1.3 billion fundraising initiative that concluded in 2009. Mr. Matteson and his son, Larry, of Burlington, Iowa, are the founders of L.W. Matteson, Inc., a marine construction and dredging company in Burlington. The company maintained one of the largest fleets of dredging and marine construction equipment on the Mississippi River. The company was sold in 2010. Mr. Matteson and his son maintain ownership of Matteson Marine, which operates switch boats on the Mississippi. Mrs. Matteson is retired from John Deere.

The Mayo Matching Gift Program recognizes that endowment of priority programs is critical for the future. In 2005 Mayo Clinic’s Board of Trustees created a matching gift program to build and enhance specific endowments representing Mayo’s highest research priorities. Mayo Clinic will match the annual spendable income from specific endowment gifts. Very few institutions of higher education are able and willing to match their benefactors philanthropic giving in this way.


Iowa State Fair Sew-In Seeks Donations, Volunteers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Lori Chappell   
Monday, 11 June 2012 08:55

DES MOINES, IA (06/11/2012)(readMedia)-- The Iowa State Fair Fabric and Threads Department is seeking fabric donations and volunteers for the fourth annual State Fair Sew-In. The free program offers Fairgoers a chance to try their hand at simple sewing and quilting while providing warm blankets to local children in need. "Nothing Compares" to the Iowa State Fair, set August 9-19.

Donations of two-yard cuts of fabric in juvenile prints and patterns are needed for quilt backings. In addition, cash donations are needed to help cover the costs of quilt batting and materials. All donations can be dropped off in the Competitive Events Department in the Administration Building on the Fairgrounds or mailed to the Iowa State Fair Competitive Events Department: P.O. Box 57130, Des Moines, IA 50317-0003. All donations should be labeled for the Sew-In project.

The Fair is also searching for sewing assistants to help Fairgoers make the simple strip quilts. Volunteers are asked to commit to four-hour shifts from noon to 4 p.m. or 1 to 5 p.m. A site supervisor will be on-hand to supply materials and help with machines. All volunteers will receive one parking and admission ticket to the Fair.

Volunteers at last year's State Fair Sew-In completed 298 quilts, which were donated to children at the Iowa Lutheran Hospital and to Angel Tree Camps, an organization that offers summer programming for children with a parent in the Iowa prison system. The sewers represented 50 Iowa counties, 13 states and 3 foreign countries. Since the Sew-In began in 2009, volunteers have created 724 quilts for children at the University of Iowa, Blank Pediatric Oncology Clinic and Lutheran Social Services of Iowa.

The Sew-In will be open daily during the Fair from noon to 5 p.m. in the south hallway of the William C. Knapp Varied Industries Building. Fairgoers are invited to stop in and try their hand at quilting basics (no experience necessary). Each participant will receive a commemorative pin for their efforts.

If you are interested in donating, volunteering, or receiving more information about the Sew-In, contact Sharon Meisenheimer by phone at 515/986-1145 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

"Nothing Compares" to the 2012 Iowa State Fair, August 9-19. For more information, call 800/545-FAIR or visit

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Braley Announces $177,927 for Medicare & Medicaid Fraud Prevention PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Kira Ayish   
Monday, 11 June 2012 08:29

Empowers seniors to prevent health care fraud

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today announced that Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging will receive a $177,927 grant for their Senior Medicare Patrol project. The project empowers seniors across Iowa to prevent, detect and report health care fraud. Medicare and Medicaid recipients are served by this project.

“I’m happy to announce that the Hawkeye Valley Area on Aging has been awarded a grant for their Senior Medicare Patrol project.,” Braley said.  “Health care fraud is a problem in Iowa and across the country. Empowering Iowa seniors who rely on Medicare and Medicaid with the tools to prevent, detect and report fraud is important to ensure that Iowans are getting the health care services they need while taxpayer dollars are safeguarded.”


The funding was awarded through the Administration on Aging, a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.


Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus Awarded An “A” For Patient Safety By Hospital Safety ScoreSM PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Craig Cooper   
Friday, 08 June 2012 14:54
WASHINGTON, DC -- June 7, 2012 – Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus has been honored with an “A” Hospital Safety Score SM by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits.

The Hospital Safety ScoreSM was calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s Blue Ribbon Expert Panel using publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. U.S. hospitals were assigned an A, B, C, D, or F for their safety.

"Usually 'A' grades recognize high achievers and we look at this as the recognition of high-achieving employees at Illini who, on a daily basis, are focused on patient safety and the best patient outcomes,'' said Flo Spyrow, President of Genesis Medical Center, Illini Campus. "High achievement in patient safety requires a dedicated team of people from food and nutrition and environmental services, to all of the clinical staff and physicians.

"Every member of the team at Illini has an important role to play in providing the safest environment we can for patients.''

“It’s The Leapfrog Group’s goal to give patients the information they need and deserve before even entering a hospital,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We congratulate the hospitals that earned an ‘A’ and we look forward to the day when all hospitals in the U.S. will earn the highest scores for putting patient safety first.”

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport received a 'B' grade.

To see Genesis Health System hospital scores as they compare nationally and locally, visit, the Hospital Safety ScoreSM website, which also provides information on how the public can protect themselves and loved ones during a hospital stay.

Calculated under the guidance of The Leapfrog Group’s nine-member Blue Ribbon Expert Panel, the Hospital Safety Score uses 26 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to produce a single score representing a hospital’s overall capacity to keep patients safe from infections, injuries, and medical and medication errors. The panel includes: John Birkmeyer (University of Michigan), Ashish Jha (Harvard University), Lucian Leape (Harvard University), Arnold Millstein (Stanford University), Peter Pronovost (Johns Hopkins University), Patrick Romano (University of California, Davis), Sara Singer (Harvard University), Tim  Vogus (Vanderbilt University), and Robert Wachter (University of California, San Francisco).

About The Leapfrog Group
The Leapfrog Group ( is a national organization using the collective leverage of large purchasers of health care to initiate breakthrough improvements in the safety, quality, and affordability of health care for Americans. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey allows purchasers to structure their contracts and purchasing to reward the highest performing hospitals. The Leapfrog Group was founded in November 2000 with support from the Business Roundtable and national funders, and is now independently operated with support from its purchaser and other members.

About Genesis Health System
Genesis Health System, its affiliates and partners offer a full continuum of health care services for a 12-county region of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Genesis hospital affiliates include: Acute and tertiary hospital care at Genesis Medical Center, Davenport and DeWitt, Iowa and at the Illini Campus in Silvis, Illinois. Genesis also manages hospitals in Maquoketa, Iowa and Aledo, Ill. Genesis also offers home health and hospice services through Genesis VNA and Hospice; Genesis Workplace Services; Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House; senior living facilities offering rehabilitation and long-term care; Genesis Health Group, with more nearly 170 primary care physicians and specialists; the Genesis Quad Cities Family Practice Residency program. For more information, visit our Web site at


Braley to Join Shawn Johnson in Effort to Combat Childhood Obesity PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 08 June 2012 12:37

DC event is Part of Coca-Cola and US Olympic Committee’s effort to promote physical activity among kids 


Washington, DC – Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) will join Olympic champion and West Des Moines native Shawn Johnson at an event in Washington, DC, this afternoon to increase awareness of and help combat childhood obesity by promoting active, healthy lifestyles.  Braley will introduce Johnson at an appearance at Washington’s King-Greenleaf Recreation Center, managed by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, as part of Coca-Cola’s and the US Olympic Committee’s “Get the Ball Rolling” program to promote physical activity and proper nutrition among kids.

Following a brief speaking program, an Olympic-themed fitness clinic for local youth will provide them an opportunity to learn about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.

In December 2011, Braley and Johnson teamed up to introduce the Shawn Johnson Fitness for Life Act, legislation that seeks to improve physical education programs at schools by emphasizing the use of technology like heart monitors and computerized fitness programs in teaching.

More information on the bill can be found at the following link:

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