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Saturday, Aug. 1 was a beautiful day to participate in the 5th Annual “Run in the Sun” and help raise money for the Mahaska Health Partnership Hospice Serenity House.

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The city of Oskaloosa will be re-paving E Street and 12th Street near Mahaska Health Partnership, which is the access route to Entrance #4 on the medical campus.

According to MHP Business and Development Director Ross Schultz, the tentative project timeline is July 27 through October 31. This could change due to weather or other issues that could affect the project.

“There are two phases planned for the street construction project, so there will always be a driveway open to the Entrance #4 parking lot,” Schultz explained. “The city has worked with us to assure there will be access to medical services on the north end of our campus. Detour signs are up to direct people to use F Avenue.”

Schultz said the road construction will affect patients and visitors using Entrance #4 for services, including the Medical Group, Surgical Services, Inpatient Services, the Birthing Center and the Hospice Serenity House.

“We’ve had a lot of construction and growth on our campus the last few years, starting with the Hospice Serenity House which opened five years ago and the addition of our patient care wing in late 2013,” Schultz explained. “With sidewalks on both sides of the street as well as a higher quality road, we look forward to a safer neighborhood to walk in as well as better access to MHP.”

There’s still time to register for MHP Foundation’s 5th Annual Run in the Sun, set for Saturday, Aug. 1 at the Lacey Sports Complex Community Stadium.

Paper and online registrations will be accepted until 4 pm on Thursday, July 30, but same-day registrations will also be accepted. “We hope to surpass last year’s 360 participants,” MHP Marketing and Development Director Cathy Stahl said. “Proceeds benefit the MHP Hospice Serenity House.

“We encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate and support such a wonderful community resource as the Serenity House. It truly is a home away from home for patients and their families during the patient’s last days.”

Run in the Sun is a 5K for runners and 1-mile Walk for all ages, abilities and even strollers.  “Even if you haven’t registered but want to participate, come out to the Lacey Sports Complex on Saturday, August 1,” Stahl encouraged. “Same day registrations will be available starting at 7:30 am, with the races starting at 8:15 am. We hope to see you there!”

If you would like more information or to register, please call Stahl at 642.672.3369 or look us up on the web:


Mahaska Health Partnership is pleased to welcome Psychiatrist Eric Boyum, MD to their medical staff. Dr. Boyum will be practicing in MHP’s Behavioral Health Services and Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry.

“I just finished a child/adolescent psychiatric residency at the University of Iowa,” Dr. Boyum said. “I completed my general psychiatric residency in July 2010 and have been covering at MHP from time to time over the past few years.

“I really like the staff at MHP and I look forward to treating people in a close-knit community where I’ll be making my home,” Dr. Boyum shared.

As a Psychiatrist, Dr. Boyum assists patients in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of substance use and mental or emotional disorders. “Of the top 10 most debilitating conditions in terms of lost days of work or productivity, more than half are related to mental health,” Dr. Boyum stressed.

During medical school, Dr. Boyum enjoyed surgery and pediatrics but felt a real calling toward psychiatry. “I like having the opportunity to spend more time with patients in my practice. I feel the stakes are high regarding lost enjoyment of life and I value helping people have more good days.”

In his daily practice, Dr. Boyum is looking forward to the variety of patients he will be able to care for. Behavioral Health Services is MHP’s outpatient mental health and substance use counseling service. Dr. Boyum will be joining therapists and counselors who work with Psychiatrist Dr. Ron Berges as well as Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Stef Yearian and Physician Assistant Melissa Gentry.

“We have a great mix of providers available to serve our population’s mental health and substance use treatment needs,” MHP Behavioral Health Services Director Jan LeBahn said. “Our patients benefit from the ability of providers to coordinate services in one location.

“Dr. Boyum’s experience with children and adolescents will be a great addition to our team,” LeBahn added.

Dr. Boyum treats patients of all ages and appreciates when he can follow a patient through transitions in their life. “When treating a child, the entire family usually becomes involved in some capacity. But then I get to watch the dynamic change and care for the individual as they become more independent and grow into adulthood,” Dr. Boyum explained.

When mental health situations arise for elder adults, MHP offers Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry. “We are very excited to welcome Dr. Boyum,” MHP Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry Director Stacy Murphy said. “When a patient needs our services it is usually an emergent situation. The availability of additional providers will greatly enhance our ability to care for more people in need.”

Dr. Boyum is now available on the MHP campus. For an appointment, call 641.672.3159. 


Five Mahaska Health Partnership volunteers and Volunteer Coordinator Kim Langfitt received 2015 Governor’s Volunteer Awards during a special recognition ceremony on July 10 at Indian Hills Community College. Award recipients pictured, from left: Volunteers Linda Oetjen, Marion Vos and Roger Johannes; SHIIP Counselor Shirley Vore and MHP Volunteer Coordinator Kim Langfitt. Not pictured is Volunteer Vicki Koger, who was recognized but unable to attend the ceremony.

Oskaloosa residents, Vicki Koger, Roger Johannes, Linda Oetjen  and Marion Vos received the 2015 Iowa Governor’s Award on July 10 for their selfless contributions to Mahaska Health Partnership.

According to MHP Volunteer Coordinator Kim Langfitt, criteria for selection included exceptional commitment to volunteerism, exemplary leadership, creativity, cooperation and work in their service to others. The program provides Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations a way to honor their cherished volunteers with prestigious, state-level recognition.

“Mahaska Health Partnership is incredibly lucky to have so many great volunteers,” Langfitt said. “I always know I can count on them to make healthcare personal for everyone they come in contact with at MHP.”

Koger began volunteering at MHP in May 2010, along with her pet therapy dogs, Yeager and Lacey. The trio frequently visits the Hospice Serenity House, Inpatient Services and Inpatient Geriatric Psychiatry. “Vicki and her pet therapy dogs have touched so many lives since they started volunteering at MHP,” Langfitt shared. “Her dogs can sense when a patient, family member or employee needs some attention. Vicki is a wonderful asset to MHP and always brings a smile wherever she goes.”

Johannes has been a volunteer at MHP for over six years. He currently serves as a Surgery Liaison, while also dedicating some of his time at the Hospice Serenity House. According to Langfitt, Johannes is an exceptional role model to other volunteers. “When a surgery goes later than expected, Roger will stay late so families have someone they can talk to or get a report from. He has a great sense of humor, is very dependable and always there when we need him to come in early.”

Oetjen joined MHP in 2011. She is currently serving as a Surgery Liaison every Thursday. “We have a visiting specialist who performs cataracts on varying Thursdays throughout the month,” Langfitt explained. “Linda keeps things running smoothly both for patients and MHP staff. She has a positive attitude, calm demeanor and is an inspiration to both new and experienced volunteers.”

Vos began his volunteer career in 2010, working as a greeter while also helping his wife, Dorothy, with gift shop duties. Though his wife has retired from her role in Whispering Tree Gifts, Marion continues to greet guests at entrance four. “Marion is a very dependable person and always comes in to cover extra shifts if needed,” Langfitt shared. “While he also drives a local school bus, Marion continues to dedicate time to MHP. He is a true believer in our mission and takes great pride in his role at our facility.”

Volunteer Coordinator Kim Langfitt and SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) Counselor Shirley Vore also accepted an award on behalf of MHP for the SHIIP Program, which has been offered on campus for 15 years. SHIIP Counselors are specially trained to help individuals with Medicare benefits. Vore has devoted many hours to counseling individuals about their benefit options on the MHP campus, with Langfitt assisting with scheduling appointments.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Mahaska Health Partnership, call Langfitt at 641.672.3342 or visit and click “Become a Volunteer” under the “Careers” tab.


Family Practice Physician Eric Miller, DO, has joined the Mahaska Health Partnership Medical Group.

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Summer is in full swing, and that means kids and adults alike will be enjoying a variety of outdoor activities, many that include water. Mahaska Health Partnership wants to encourage you and your family to stay safe in the water this summer by following a few swimming tips.

Protecting your skin from sunburn is a concern for anyone spending time outdoors. “It is important to use sunscreen, even in the colder months,” MHP Family Nurse Practitioner Eva Sietsema said.  “Make sure to purchase waterproof sunblock that has an SPF factor of at least 15, and reapply according to the bottle. Wearing a hat and sunglasses can protect your delicate skin from the sun’s rays, as well as limiting your exposure to direct sunlight between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.”

When it comes to swimming, you should consider where you are and the potential risks associated with that location. “If you are swimming in a lake, river or pond, check the depth prior to entering,” Sietsema suggested. “It is hard to see the bottom in most places, so never dive into these waters.

“Another hazard when swimming is the risk of infection or illness. Even if you are swimming in a pool, you can catch illnesses from ingesting the water. Avoid swallowing the water as much as possible. If you have deep cuts or wounds, avoid swimming in frequented bodies of water such as hot tubs and swimming pools to avoid infection.

Sietsema also recommended having Coast Guard approved life jackets and other flotation devices readily available, especially for children. “It is required by law that every boat has at least one life jacket per passenger. Even if you are a good swimmer, the boat could flip over, trapping you underneath. It is best to make sure children wear a life jacket at all times in case of an accident.”

Practicing safe habits while swimming is important for everyone, not just children. “Adults should always supervise younger swimmers, especially if a lifeguard is not on duty,” Sietsema cautioned. “It is always best to swim with a buddy, and have a phone close by in case of an emergency. It only takes a few minutes for even the most experienced swimmers to be in serious danger of drowning, so taking the proper precautions is vital to staying safe in the water.”

Don’t forget to register for the Mahaska Health Partnership Foundation’s 5th Annual Run in the Sun, set for Saturday, Aug. 1 at the Lacey Sports Complex Community Stadium.

Until July 20, if you register as part of a team, your fee will be discounted. Teams of 10-24, save $5 per person and teams with more than 25 save $7 per person! “We want as many people as possible to join us for the event,” MHP Development Director Cathy Stahl said. “It’s all about community and encouraging each other to live a healthy lifestyle. If we can do that while supporting such a great cause, it’s a win-win.”

Run in the Sun is a 5K for runners and 1-mile Walk for all ages, abilities and even strollers. Proceeds from the event benefit the MHP Hospice Serenity House which serves patients and their families in their last days of life.

“More than 350 families have benefited from the MHP Hospice Serenity House since it opened,” Stahl said. “Funds raised from Run in the Sun will support this residential hospice house that provides comfort and solace for families by offering a home away from home for their loved ones’ last days.”

Race day registration begins at 7:30 am, with a short ceremony starting at 8:15 am. The races will start at 8:30 am. Registration for either event is $25 per person. Each participant who registers by July 20 will receive a commemorative cotton T-shirt. Electronic chip timing will be available.

According to MHP Development Director Cathy Stahl, those wanting to participate are encouraged to register online at “Online registration will be open until July 30, but participants can still register the day of the race.” Stahl said. “Should we run out of your T-shirt size, it will be available to pick up on our campus after the race.”

Stahl encourages people of all ages to sign up for either the 5K or the 1-Mile. If you would like more information, please call Stahl at 642.672.3369.