The blanket of white may be attractive from the inside, but eventually the snow must be moved.  Heavy snowfall is not an invitation to suddenly start a strenuous exercise program.

An estimated 1,200 people in the United States die each year of coronary artery disease during and after major snowfalls.

Moving heavy snow can also place additional stress and strain on backs and joints.

Shoveling can be made even more physically strenuous by cold air, which makes it harder to work and breathe. "People need to recognize that snow shoveling is a strenuous cardiovascular workout and they need to be cautious," said David Dierks, D.O., Genesis emergency department physician.

To prevent injury while clearing show, Dr. Dierks suggests the following tips:

Warm up first -- Be sure your muscles are warm before you start shoveling. Warm up a little by walking, doing a few squats or walking stairs a few times. Cold, tight muscles are more likely to sprain or strain than warm, relaxed muscles.

Warmed up your muscles? Then stretch -- "Once your muscles are warmed up, you'll want to stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings and the muscles in your calves and lower back,'' Dr. Dierks said.

To stretch your quadriceps (the muscle in the front of the thigh), stand on one foot, holding onto something stable and bend the other leg behind you. Bring your heel toward your butt with your hand. Repeat with the other leg.

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Nov. 17, 2015 - Genesis Medical Center, Silvis and Genesis Medical Center, Davenport are being recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures.®

The achievement demonstrates that the Genesis Medical Centers have a commitment to provide evidence-based care the right way and at the right time.

As Top Performers in The Joint Commission's 2015 annual report, Genesis Medical Centers will be recognized in "America's Hospitals: Improving Quality and Safety" annual report. The hospitals will also be recognized on The Joint Commission website and, and on The Joint Commission's Quality Check website.

Of the more than 3,300 eligible hospitals in the United States, only 1,043 achieved the 2014 Top Performer distinction and Genesis has two of them.

"Genesis Health System has made it the top priority of the organization to improve patient outcomes using evidence-based care measures,'' said Doug Cropper, president and CEO, Genesis Health System. "To have two Genesis hospital campuses earn this recognition is a tribute to the knowledge, skills, team concept and dedication of our staff who provide high quality patient care every day.''

Genesis Medical Center, Silvis was recognized as a Top Performer in the care of heart failure, pneumonia, surgical care and care of venous thromboembolism. Genesis Medical Center, Silvis was the only Rock Island County hospital earning Top Performer recognition.

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport was recognized as a Top Performer in the care of heart attack, heart failure, pneumonia, surgical patients and perinatal care.

The Top Performer program recognizes hospitals for improving performance on evidence-based interventions that increase the changes of healthy outcomes for patients with certain conditions.

To be a Top Performer, hospitals had to meet three performance criteria based on 2014 accountability measure data, including:

Achieve cumulative performance of 95 percent or above across all reported accountability measures;

Achieve performance of 95 percent or above on each and every reported accountability measure with at least 30 cases;

And, have at least one core measure set that had a composite rate of 95 percent or above and within that measure set, achieve a performance rate of 95 percent or above on all applicable individual accountability measures.

For more information about the Top Performer program, visit www.jointcommission.org/accreditation/top_performers.aspx.

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BRIGHT BEGINNINGS PROGRAM RE-CREDENTIALED

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Nov. 13, 2015 -- The Iowa Department of Management and Public Health is pleased to announce that the Scott County Kids Nest of Scott County has earned the Iowa Family Support Credential.  The Scott County Kids Nest program is the 70th Iowa program to earn this important distinction.

Also, the Bright Beginnings program of Scott County has been re-credentialed by earning the Iowa Family Support Credential.  The program is only the third in Iowa to be re-credentialed.

The Iowa Family Support Credential is awarded to family support and parent education programs that are validated through an external evaluation to be in substantial adherence to the Iowa Family Support Standards.

The Iowa Family Support Standards are based on the most up-to-date, evidence- based practice in the family support field.  Adherence to the standards indicates that the program is providing high quality services that will result in positive outcomes for young children and their families.

Bright Beginnings and the Scott County Kids Nest diligently worked toward meeting all of the 138 standards over the course of more than two years with the assistance of a program specialist.  A peer review was conducted by trained peers from central Iowa to validate the program's adherence to the standards.  The Iowa Family Support Credential is valid for five years.

The two programs will celebrate the accreditations on Tuesday, Nov. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Genesis VNA and Hospice, 2894 AAA Court, Suite 202, Bettendorf.

For additional information concerning the Scott County Kids Nest program, Genesis VNA and Hospice, Scott County contact Tera Weets, Scott County Kids Nest, 563-421-5070 or send email to weetst@genesishealth.com.

About Bright Beginnings Home Visitation Program:

Genesis VNA Bright Beginnings  Home Visitation Program provides family support and education services to pregnant and parenting families with children through age 5 years residing in Scott, Clinton or Jackson counties.  Goals include helping families establish a relationship with a primary physician, encouraging immunizations for children, preventing abuse of children; and, helping families achieve self reliance.

About Scott County Kids Nest Group Education Program:

Genesis VNA Scott County Kids' Nest Group Education Program provides family support and education services to pregnant and parenting families with children in first 13 months in Scott County.  Goals include increased numbers of healthy births by increasing the number of at-risk pregnant women who receive adequate care and services during pregnancy; increase confidence and competence in parenting abilities; and, increase healthy informal support systems of families.

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DAVENPORT, Iowa - Nov. 12, 2015 -- Genesis will provide visitors with an interactive, educational experience about the respiratory system to raise awareness about smoking on Thursday, Nov. 19 for the annual Great American Smokeout.

From 8 a.m.-3 p.m. visitors will be able to step inside the inflatable human lung model, learn about the various structures and normal lung functions, observe examples of lung trauma and disease, and view displays explaining some of the latest respiratory medical treatments.The MEGA Lung is approximately 12 feet high by 15 feet wide by 10 feet long.

The MEGA Lung showcases common defects, current respiratory treatment options, and healthy and diseased lung tissue related to Asthma, Bronchitis, Lung cancer, Pulmonary embolism, Pneumonia, and Emphysema.

From 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Genesis will also be providing free lung function screenings. There will also be information about low-dose CT scans for smokers who qualify, and information about smoking cessation available from Genesis.

There will be a prize wheel for visitors who have the correct answer to a question about cancer prevention and screening.

The event will be held in the atrium of Pavilion I, Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park, in Davenport.

Wendy Ballou RN, Cancer Nurse Navigator for the Genesis Cancer Care Institute, said the free pulmonary function screening will provide patients with an important baseline of their breathing function.  Individuals being screened will be asked to breathe into a mouthpiece that measures function.

"The test is not only for smokers, but it is especially important for smokers or former smokers to have a baseline like this,'' Ballou said. "This type of test is a way to determine whether there is an abnormal breathing function.  Quite often, it is a cigarette smoker who suffers loss of lung function, and cigarette smoking is the most important risk factor in developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.''

The American Cancer Society's Great American Smokeout challenges people to stop using tobacco and raises awareness of effective methods for quitting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in five Americans, or 17.8%, smoke. By gender, 20.5 percent of American males and 15.3 percent of females smoke.

Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for more than 440,000 deaths, or one of every five deaths, in the United States each year.

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DAVENPORT, Iowa - Nov. 6, 2015 - The holidays are a special time for family gatherings and remembering those who have passed.  The Genesis Remembrance Tree in Davenport will celebrate the memories of loved ones and focus attention on the continuing need for access to quality hospice care in the region.

The Genesis Remembrance Tree in Davenport will be lit in a ceremony on Friday, Nov. 13 starting at 6 p.m. in Bechtel Park at River Drive and Iowa Street. This will be the 12th annual lighting of the Remembrance Tree.

Special guest performers this year will be the Quad City Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensemble Youth Choir.

Individual "light" sponsors are invited to make a donation of $10 in memory of loved ones. All proceeds will benefit Genesis Hospice Care.

Genesis Hospice is comprised of a multi-disciplinary team to assist in managing symptoms, as well as enhancing quality of life.  The common goal of all services is to provide the patient and family with comfort.

For information about how to honor the memory of a loved one, call (563) 421-6865 or go to www.genesishealth.com/tree.

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DAVENPORT, Iowa - Oct. 5, 2015 -- Healthcare terms and technology can be confusing and frightening in any language, creating possible gaps in vital communication between healthcare providers and patients. As the local patient population becomes more global, Genesis Health System is responding with a global solution.

Genesis is working with Stratus Video Interpreting of Clearwater, FL. to bridge communication gaps with patients, no matter what language is their "first'' language. Video Remote Interpreters (VRI) will be available throughout the health system.  When fully implemented, Genesis will have 44 Video Remote Interpreters available at the medical centers, convenient care locations, physician offices and outpatient care offices.

"These video interpreters will go a long way in bridging the gaps we had identified,'' said Tyne Rieck, service excellence coordinator, Genesis Health System. "Communicating with patients is an issue throughout healthcare. "We identified our needs and started researching solutions.'' Stratus is working with more than 600 hospitals and healthcare systems across the country.''

Video Remote Interpreters work like this:

If important information needs to be explained to a patient whose first language is a language other than English, the healthcare provider taps on an icon on the iPad screen to activate the language translation service.  From a list of 27 available video languages and 200 more languages available from Stratus with audio only, the provider selects the appropriate language.  Within 30 seconds to a minute an interpreter appears on the screen.

Accurate Information

The interpreter and healthcare provider exchange information such as department and patient name, and then the healthcare provider speaks. They pause after every sentence or two, to allow the interpreter to give the information in the patient's preferred language.  It's a little slower than a normal conversation, but the extra effort is worth it when a patient receives all of the necessary information and their questions are answered accurately. The iPad-based devices are mobile and adjustable to give a patient who is lying in a hospital bed a face-to-face look at the interpreter.

Genesis was already using a face-to-face language interpreter service and continues to use that service but in emergent situations or during non-business hours, it can take a period of time to get an interpreter where they are needed. "Live interpreters on site will always be best, and their use will not diminish. This is the next best thing,'' Rieck explained.  "The mobility and quick response we've experienced have really been a benefit to the patients.  We can get care started right away.  The response from patients has been good so far.''

Rieck explained that Stratus has call centers scattered throughout the country. If one area of the country was experiencing a loss of power, the service would still be available from other call centers.

Sign Language, Spanish Most Common Requests

Rieck said American Sign Language and Spanish are the interpreter services Genesis has used most often since introducing the devices a month ago. "One of the reasons we looked for new solutions is that in talking with the deaf community, we knew we needed something better,'' Rieck said. "That was what they were telling us. That started our research and search for a solution.''

Among the other video services available are Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Korean, Mandarin, Nepali, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali and Vietnamese.

Rieck demonstrated the system by activating a session in American Sign Language. A pleasant woman introduced herself as Aralyn and explained by voice and ASL how the system works. "Both of my parents were deaf and we didn't have anything like this,'' Aralyn explained.  "My parents either had to write down what they needed or we had to use sign language.  This is so much better.

"Most of us with Stratus have been translating for a long time ... in my case about 40 years ... and we have all received training in medical terms and procedures.'' Rieck said using family to interpret to a family member is usually a last resort and shouldn't  be necessary with the mobile video translators. "By using interpreters who are not family, we are making sure there is a literal interpretation of the information we need to share,'' said Rieck. "There is not as much paraphrasing going on this way. A family member might protect a loved one and tell them what they think the patient should know to make them feel better instead of what they really need to know.''

Genesis Health System continues to explore new technologies for the benefit of patients. Genesis has been named one of the nation's Most Wired Hospitals and Health Systems for 12 consecutive years.

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DAVENPORT, Iowa - Oct. 1, 2015 -- Betsey Tibbitts recalls first looking over ICD-10 medical codes in the early 1990s when they were already being used in some countries.

Nearly 25 years later, Thursday was launch day across the United States for tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

"Other countries have been using ICD-10 for many years but they don't use it for reimbursement purposes the way we will in U.S.,'' explained Tibbitts, information services administrator and corporate privacy officer, Genesis Health System. "The version we will use in this country had to be much more complex and took much more time to get implemented.''

There have been numerous delays to implementation in the U.S. Implementation was finally set at Oct. 1, 2015 after a number of extensions in the deadline.

Compared to other countries, the U.S. was late in introducing ICD-10. Australia has been using ICD-10 with its own modifications since 1998. Canada introduced ICD-10-CA, its modification, in 2000. Tibbitts said it has been eight years since the last country transitioned to ICD-10.

"The reimbursement piece is something that other countries aren't using ICD-10 for. That made it much more difficult to switch over to ICD-10 in this country,'' she added.

Genesis hired a consultant in 2012 to evaluate a successful transition to ICD-10. Ten teams have been working on implementation. Last spring, Genesis began dual-coding - using both ICD-9 and ICD-10 - to prepare for Thursday.

The transition to ICD-10 was necessary because ICD-9 was exhausting code possibilities with a five-character alphanumeric system to describe diagnoses. ICD-10 is based on a seven-character system.

Instead of about 18,000 codes for ICD-9, there are now about 139,000 with ICD-10.

"It has certainly made coding much more difficult and there are more jobs for new and experienced coders, which is a good thing for coders,'' Tibbitts said. "It is kind of like nursing positions right now. There is competition for experienced coders and they are being paid better.

"Each patient will take longer to code. There will be a loss of productivity, requiring more coders to handle the same volumes.''

What does ICD-10 mean to patients?

"There may be some initial delays from the time of care to the time when the patient receives a bill,'' Tibbitts added. "We expect the claims process to slow down.''

Patients and the general public may also be amused by the specificity of codes. A team at the World Health Organization, which develops ICD, must have had fun thinking of every possible diagnosis.

For example, code W56.22xA is Struck by orca, initial encounter.

V97.33XD is sucked into a jet engine, subsequent encounter.

V06.00xA is Pedestrian on foot injured in collision with other nonmotor vehicle in nontraffic accident, initial encounter. In other words, "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.''

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Genesis Receives Federal Enrollment Grants

DAVENPORT,  Iowa - September 2, 2015 - Genesis Health System was awarded two federal grants today to assist in enrolling Quad City area residents in insurance coverage for the 2015-2016 Affordable Care Act enrollment period.

"These grants will help us reinforce our commitment to the communities we serve in making sure they have access to health care coverage," said Michele Cullen, community health manager, Genesis Health System. "We are excited to get back out in the community for the coming enrollment period and help our neighbors access new coverage options."

This marks the third consecutive year that Genesis Health System has received federal funds to administrate its enrollment program. The grants help pay for the enrollment assisters, also known as "navigators," and their work in the community.

Genesis received $118,631 and $79,181 in Iowa and Illinois, respectively. Counties served will be Scott, Clinton, and Jackson in Iowa; and Rock Island and Mercer in Illinois.

Genesis Health System is one of only three organizations in the state of Iowa, one of only seven organizations in Illinois, and the only health care system serving the Quad City area, to receive federal grants to assist in enrollment.

Open enrollment, the period in which most people will qualify to shop for new health coverage plans on the state exchanges, will begin on November 15, 2015 and run until February 15, 2016. Some people who have had a life-changing event - job loss, death, birth in the family are examples -- or qualify for expanded Medicaid, may not have to wait for the open enrollment period.

To speak to a Genesis enrollment navigator about coverage options, call (563) 421-ENRL (3675) or send email to enrollment@genesishealth.com.

For more information, contact Austin Bird at (563) 421-9276 or birda@genesishealth.com.

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DAVENPORT, Iowa - August 11, 2015 -- Registration will close Sunday, August 16 for the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) program being offered to residents of the Quad Cities. To apply for the free program, go to www.genesisphilanthropy.org.

If clinically qualified, selected registrants can participate in a free 10-week intervention. Individuals participating in the 10-week program need to have access to a computer with high speed Internet (many libraries offer this service).

The MetS initiative includes a program called Naturally Slim™ and has been offered to employees of Genesis Health System since 2009.  Since 2009, more than 55% of the Genesis employees who had MetS in 2009 no longer have metabolic syndrome because of the healthy lifestyle techniques taught by the Naturally Slim™ class.

Each weekly session is about 30 minutes long (the first "kick-off" session is 90 minutes), which can be viewed via the web at any time throughout the week.  The value of this program is $500.  Only those who can commit to completing the 10-week program will be accepted.

The last group participating in the MetS initiative and Naturally Slim™ lost a total of 1,015.3 pounds. There was an average weight loss of 14.6 pounds and 47 participants lost more than 10 pounds. Other highlights from the last MetS Initiative group were a 63 percent reduction of high blood pressure and a 48 percent reduction in triglycerides.

Genesis Philanthropy MetS Initiative is now accepting applications from individuals interested in participating in the program who live or work in the greater Quad Cities. Financial need will be a consideration for selection.

To learn more about the regional impact of a charitable investment in Genesis Philanthropy, contact Missy Gowey, Executive Director, (563) 421-6860.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- July 21, 2015 -- Genesis Medical Center, Davenport has been rated as the top community hospital in Iowa for the second consecutive year by U.S. News Media & World Report's 2015-16 Best Hospitals ratings.

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport was recognized as "High Performing'' in three Common Care measures.  Genesis was rated as "High Performing'' in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure and hip replacement.

The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, an academic center, was rated No. 1 overall in Iowa. Genesis Medical Center, Davenport shares the No. 2 overall rating in Iowa with Alegent Creighton Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs.

"The important message from the high Iowa rating for the second consecutive year is that Genesis Medical Center, Davenport is consistently providing high quality care,'' said Doug Cropper, President and CEO, Genesis Health System. "We want patients to expect a high quality of care and excellent patient outcomes when they are Genesis patients.

"This is a tribute to the quality and safety of care provided by our doctors, nurses and everyone who is part of the patient experience at Genesis.  In these Common Care conditions ... treatment of COPD, heart failure and hip replacement ... Genesis Medical Center, Davenport met high standards for patient safety and survival.

"Patients have better access than ever before to information about safety and quality of care at hospitals.  Information in the hands of our patients is a valuable tool.  We value their research and evaluation of Genesis."

Of the 4,665 hospitals that were considered as possible Best Hospitals for Common Care, only 16% achieved a "High Performing'' rating in any of the five procedures being evaluated.

Genesis Medical Center, Davenport was the only Quad Cities hospital receiving a "High Performing'' rating in any of the five Common Care procedures.

U.S. News also evaluates hospitals in 16 adult specialties and 10 pediatrics specialties.  In most specialties, U.S. News ranks the nation's top 50 hospitals. Only 3 percent of the nearly 5,000 hospitals that were analyzed for "Best Hospitals 2015-2016'' were nationally ranked in even one specialty.

The 2015-2016 national top five were: 1. Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; 2. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Mn.; 3. Tie, Johns Hopkins, Baltimore and UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles; 5. Cleveland Clinic.

"This annual report by U.S. News is considered to be an objective, credible resource for how hospitals are caring for patients,'' Cropper added.  "The next step for Genesis is to make the highly selective honor roll of hospitals ranked in the top 50 nationally in at least one specialty.  We're getting closer to that goal.''

U.S. News publishes Best Hospitals to help guide patients who need a high level of care because they face particularly difficult surgery, a challenging condition, or added risk because of other health problems or age.  Objective measures such as patient survival and safety data, the adequacy of nurse staffing levels, and, other data largely determined the rankings in most specialties.

The regional hospital rankings complement the national rankings by including hospitals with solid performance nearly at the level of nationally ranked institutions. The regional rankings are aimed primarily at consumers whose care may not demand the special expertise found only at a nationally ranked Best Hospital or who may not be willing or able to travel long distances for medical care. The U.S. News metro rankings give many such patients and their families more options of hospitals within their community and in their health insurance network.

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