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Mahaska Health Partnership Public Health is offering flu vaccinations at the Oskaloosa Senior Center on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 11 am – Noon during the blood pressure clinics.

The regular vaccine or mist is $25. A high-dose vaccine is also available for those 65 years of age and older for $30. Medicare Part B can be billed with proof of card, but no other insurance can be billed.

“The CDC recommends everyone get the flu vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves from the influenza virus,” MHP Public Health Coordinator Patty Malloy said. “Full protection can take up to two weeks to develop, and protection lasts for a full year, so the earlier the better to keep you and your loved ones safe from the flu.”

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the influenza virus changes every year as it makes its way around the world. Since the exact flu viruses are almost never the same, the strains used to make the vaccine change each year, which is why people need to get a new flu vaccine annually.

“It is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications, such as children younger than age 5; adults 65 years of age and older; pregnant women; and people with certain medical conditions including heart and lung problems or diabetes to be vaccinated,” Malloy explained. “Caregivers and family members should also be vaccinated in order to help protect loved ones who are at a higher risk for flu complications.”

If you are unable to attend and still wish to get vaccinated, Public Health is offering weekly walk-in flu clinics on the MHP campus. Vaccines are available through entrance #1 on Mondays from 8 am – Noon and Thursdays from 1 – 4 pm. For more information or to schedule an appointment outside of the scheduled walk-in times, call 641.673.3257.


In honor of National 4-H Week, Mahaska Masters 4-H Club members wanted to give back to the community. They decided to present a gift to the first baby born at the MHP Birthing Center during the celebratory week. Honoree Jayla Magee, daughter of Ashley McCombs and Quinn Magee of Oskaloosa, was born Sunday, Oct. 4 at 9: 15 am. She measured 19 inches long and weighed exactly 7 pounds.  Jayla is pictured with 4-H leader Karen Adams while club member Sydney Septer presents the gift.

Mahaska Health Partnership will host its 8th Annual Free Women’s Breast Health Night on Tuesday, Oct. 20 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm at the Gateway Church of the Nazarene in Oskaloosa.

The Women’s Breast Health Night is a fun, educational evening, where women can gather to learn more about protecting themselves from a disease that will effect one in eight women this year. “We have seen great strides in breast cancer detection and treatment over the years,” MHP Director of Radiology Julie Hartke said.

“I believe this is due to better screening techniques but also a result of a more educated population,” Hartke continued. “Events such as Women’s Breast Health Night are a wonderful opportunity for women of all ages to be informed so they can ask the right questions of their doctor to effectively monitor their ongoing health.”

According to Hartke, attendees will enjoy wonderful food, informative booths as well as fabulous door prizes. “The fun stuff gets people in the door but once they arrive; they will benefit from very valuable education.”

The program for this year’s event will feature Family Practice Physician Valerie Bonnett, MD. Dr. Bonnett is an experienced women’s health expert who will speak on living an all-encompassing healthy life. A survivor will also speak and various healthcare professionals will be on hand to provide information before and after the presentation.

“Every year we strive to offer new information for our attendees,” Hartke explained. “We want this event to be a comfortable place for women to come and learn about how to prevent cancer, as well as treatment and other valuable resources available to them. Even if you have attended in the past, I strongly encourage you to attend again as information is constantly changing.”

All women are invited to attend this event. Women’s Breast Health Night is free, but you must pre-register in order to attend. To register, visit or call 641.672.3369.
Mahaska Health Partnership Public Health is continuing its annual “Drive-Thru Flu Clinic” on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 7 am to Noon on the MHP campus, entrance #1.

“All people have to do is drive under the teal awning off C Avenue East, and we will be waiting to provide their flu vaccine,” MHP Public Health Coordinator Patty Malloy said. “They don’t even have to get out of their car, it’s very convenient and quick!”

During the Drive-Thru Flu Clinic, people age 6 months and older can get a flu vaccine. The regular shot or mist cost $25 and the high dose vaccine, for people age 65 and older, is $30. Medicare Part B can be billed with proof of card. MHP Public Health also participates in the VFC program that provides vaccines to Medicaid, underinsured and uninsured children ages 6 months to 18 years old.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the influenza virus changes every year as it makes its way around the world. Since the exact flu viruses are almost never the same, the strains of influenza in the vaccine change each year. Protection from the vaccine lasts about one year and the strains it combats are altered based on the history of the virus. It’s important people get a new flu vaccine annually.

Malloy said that the IDPH recommends yearly flu vaccination for almost everyone over 6 months of age. “It is especially important for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications to get the vaccine,” Malloy encouraged. “Children under five, adults 65 and older, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions like heart and lung problems or diabetes should get a vaccine. It can take up to two weeks for full protection to develop so being vaccinated before flu season is beneficial.”

In addition to the Drive-Thru Flu Clinc, MHP Public Health is offering weekly Walk-In Flu Clinics on Mondays from 8 am to Noon and Thursdays from 1 pm to 4 pm; or other times by appointment. Public Health is accessed through entrance #1 on the MHP campus. They can be contacted by calling 641.673.3257.
If you’re interested in learning how to improve your heart health, this free workshop is for you. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with congestive heart failure (CHF), struggled with heart disease or other cardiac events, register today.

This workshop will benefit anyone interested in improving their heart health, including those affected by CHF and their friends or family. It will be held from 1:00 - 3:30 pm in Education Room A (entrance #2) on the MHP campus on Tuesday, September 29.

Medical professionals including MHP Pharmacist Amy Reich, Registered Dietitian Lea Rice and Cardiac Rehab Nurse Renee Edgar will discuss current treatments for CHF, tips for living a full life with heart disease and how to embrace a low sodium diet.

“A diagnosis of CHF means the heart is not able to pump sufficient blood to other organs,” Edgar said. “This can result from many conditions including coronary artery disease, heart attack or high blood pressure, among others.”

Heart failure does not mean the heart has stopped beating, but instead, the heart is not able to pump as forcefully to supply ample amounts of blood and oxygen to the rest of the body.

According to the American Heart Association, approximately five million Americans are living with CHF today, and the most common reason people age 65 and older go to the hospital. Symptoms of CHF may include shortness of breath, feeling tired, swelling in the feet, ankles and legs, weight gain due to fluid build-up and confusion or an inability to think clearly.

“Since many heart-related diseases can lead to CHF, this workshop is a great tool for people who have already been diagnosed with related conditions. A healthier heart can help delay the onset of CHF,” explained Edgar.

Please bring a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medication you are currently taking. This workshop is free, but pre-registration is required. For more information about the workshop or to register, call 641.672.3100.
Mahaska Health Partnership has scheduled the 11th annual Breast Cancer Awareness Walk for Friday, Oct. 2 from Noon to 1 pm on the Square in Oskaloosa.

According to MHP Director of Radiology, the walk is a great way to raise awareness about a cancer that has touched many lives in our community. “The American Cancer Society estimates one in eight women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. This is a large number, however; the disease continues to be caught earlier and treatments have advanced considerably.”

Registration for the awareness walk is $25, which includes a long-sleeve t-shirt. All of the proceeds raised from this event will be held locally to fund breast cancer education and provide financial assistance for mammograms. “When detected early, breast cancer has a 98% survival rate,” Hartke shared. “By attending this event, participants help us continue to provide funding for mammograms to women who may not get one due to financial reasons.”

If area businesses are interested in helping raise awareness, Hartke encourages hosting a Jeans Day sometime during the month of October. “Employees pay $5 to wear jeans to work with a special breast cancer awareness sticker, provided by MHP,” Hartke explained. “It’s a great way to raise awareness in your workplace and give back to the community!” For more information about hosting a Jeans Day, call 641.672.3240.

Hartke said that along with the awareness walk, MHP will again host a Free Women’s Breast Health Night on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at the Gateway Church of the Nazarene from 6:30 – 8:00 pm. “This event is open to women of all ages who are interested in learning more about their breast health. We always have a great turnout, but seats are limited so make sure to register early!”

Registration is required for both the Breast Cancer Awareness Walk and Free Women’s Breast Health Night. The deadline to register for the walk is Tuesday, Sept. 22. To register, visit or pick up a registration form at entrance #1 or #4 on the MHP campus.
Are you living with diabetes and struggling with how to handle it?  Mahaska Health Partnership is offering assistance through a free support group focused on managing symptoms and coping with diabetes care at home.

According to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 30 million children and adults have diabetes, with close to 95% of those being afflicted with type 2 diabetes. “Diabetes can be a scary diagnoses for many individuals,” MHP Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator Sharon Ferguson shared. “This support group is designed to help those struggling with diabetes to learn coping skills among their peers in a relaxed environment.”

The next support group will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 8 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm in the Cedar Bluff Learning Center on the MHP Campus (entrance #3). The key topic will be exercise, with a chair yoga demonstration by Veronica Grim.

“With the start of school and routines quickly picking up pace again, now is a great time to take control of your health,” Ferguson encouraged. “Our goal is to provide you with the tools necessary to control your diabetes with confidence at home, even with a hectic schedule. Managing your health should be a top priority, and we are here to provide you the tools to be successful.”

For questions regarding other diabetes support group dates or Diabetes Education, call Ferguson at 641.672.3422.
With the beginning of flu season upon us, Mahaska Health Partnership has begun offering flu vaccinations through Public Health.

“The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that hospitals and other health agencies begin offering the vaccine as soon as it is available,” MHP Public Health Coordinator Patty Malloy said. “They also encourage everyone to get the vaccine as soon as possible to provide protection if the flu season comes early. It takes up to two weeks for protection to develop after vaccination, and the protection lasts about a year.”

MHP Public Health will hold Walk-In Clinics starting September 14. Clinics will be held on Mondays from 8 am to Noon and Thursdays from 1 to 4 pm on the MHP campus, entrance #1. Evening appointments are available upon request by calling 641.673.3257.

Another opportunity to receive a flu vaccination will be the Drive-Thru Clinic on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 7 am to Noon. Vaccinations will be given under the teal awning at entrance #1, located at 1229 C Avenue East. Recipients will be able to get their vaccine without ever leaving their vehicle.

Influenza is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus, which can be spread by coughing, sneezing or nasal secretions. According to Malloy, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccination each year. There are three types of vaccines:
  • The shot: an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) is given with a needle. The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. This year’s vaccination will protect against four strains of the virus.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine: a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that do not cause the flu. Sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine,” the nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in healthy people, 2-49 years of age. The mist is not recommended for everyone, check with your healthcare provider.
  • The high dose shot: similar to the regular flu vaccine, but containing four times the amount of antigen (the component that helps make the body immune to the flu) than the regular shot. This increased level of antigens is designed to create a stronger immune response in people who are at a greater risk of severe illness from the flu. These vaccines are only available to adults 65 years of age and older.
At the Public Health Walk-in and Drive-thru Clinics, the cost is $25 for the shot or nasal spray (flu-mist) and $30 for high dose shots. Medicare Part B can be billed with proof of card.

For more information regarding flu vaccination clinics, to schedule an appointment or if you or someone you know is homebound and may need assistance getting vaccinated, call MHP Public Health at 641.673.3257 or look us up on the web: