Iowa Specialty Hospital

Employee New Year's Resolutions

January 1, 2015

Renee Diamond, MD  

First I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone at Iowa Specialty Hospital who has welcomed me and my family into this community. We are grateful for the opportunity to be in a grounded (no plug intended, Steve) community to raise our little girl. Your kind gestures, invitations, name-reminders (we’ll get them all eventually!), and conversation make this more and more like home every day!

Generally, if the temperature is less than 30 degrees, I would prefer a thermometer to say “frigid” and leave out the numeric details – who needs ‘em? The first time we visited Clarion in January 2013, we stopped at Casey’s for a pit stop before coming to the hospital. I ran a short distance through the whipping wind with a light jacket. A stranger opened the door for me with a warm smile, and commented, “Could be worse!” Back in Kansas City, Josh made a habit of checking both local and Clarion forecasts. As contrasting as these reports were, the spirit of that gentleman’s comment stuck with me. This Thanksgiving, I counted our lucky stars to have a second “refrigerator” outside for our overabundance of food. My nephew, Thatch (age 6, visiting from balmy Texas) thanked God for answering his prayer for snow. (That doesn’t mean I was on the snow pile as long as him; you could find me with hot chocolate around the fire pit!)

I have a coffee cup that proclaims, “Change your thinking, change your world.” The stranger on our first visit helped bring this home! And although we are only in December, his perspective is working to buffer winter. We can choose how we see matters both small and large. How we think about ourselves, our circumstances, our future affect, our health! This Christmas and New Year season, in addition to ample time with loved ones, I wish you the peace of thinking about whatever struggles and troubles you may have in a different light.

Happy New Year!


Jody Elphic, Surgery Leader  

The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.  ~ Charles Kettering

I have been at Iowa Specialty Hospital for 20 years and have seen dramatic change and dramatic progress! When I first started in the surgical setting 19 years ago we were undergoing a remodel of the 2 operating rooms that had been in use since the beginning of Community Memorial Hospital opening in 1951. We were actually doing operations in a “dep-med” army trailer for approximately 9+ months while the revamp took place. Now that was an interesting challenge; in the winter it was so cold and in the summer it was so hot! At that time, we also implemented a scheduled 4 person team dedicated to surgery daily. I remember someone saying, “I can’t believe they are doing this, you’ll never have enough surgeries to keep 4 people full time.” When the remodel was done, we were so excited to have 2 bigger OR’s (with the suction actually built into the walls) and an awesome outpatient room with 6 curtained bays for patients. I was thinking, “Boy, we have arrived, we are right up there.” After a few years, we realized the need to improve the outpatient area and actually have separate rooms for our patients, so we again underwent another remodel and made an area with 8 beautiful walled bays with suction and oxygen built into the wall and TV’s in the bays. WOW!  We continued to grow in staff and in the types of surgery we offered. Then came 2006 and the orthopedics program; big, big change, big progress!  Over the years, Belmond and Clarion surgical teams had worked together with equipment needs but in 2007 we started the sharing of staff. During this time, the planning of a new hospital was in the works for Belmond and a new surgical wing for Clarion. We worked toward getting the surgical units to be very compatible and alike in both facilities for our patients’ safety and ease of staff and doctors transitioning between places. By summer of 2012, both facilities had new “state of the art” operating rooms running – now we really had arrived. In 2012, we also brought on an anesthesiologist who specializes in pain, and a pain clinic was added. This last year the bariatric program has begun in the Belmond facility. During the month of November, we had 101 patients go through Iowa Specialty Hospital surgery at Belmond campus and 202 patients at Clarion campus, and there are now 30 staff employed in the surgical area.

Change – yes... Progress – you bet... Providing the best for our patients – absolutely! So, 2015 bring on the change and the progress – we are up for it!


Mary Goemaat, Patient Registration

If you want more JOY in YOUR life -- YOU must bring more JOY to it!

This is my motto for 2015. I find my greatest happiness in making a connection with the people and trying to look on the positive side of life. I recommit to finding new purpose and meaning in my work and home. Serving people is a privilege -- so let’s enjoy it! The New Year is always exciting -- a fresh start just like a new snowfall. 2014 was a year of change for me, personally and professionally, and Iowa Specialty Hospital once again proved what an amazing place it is to work. I moved my mother to Belmond as I became her guardian and now I work at the Belmond Campus so I have more time with her living nearby. The support I received making this transition was amazing -- and the teamwork between our campuses is the best. I appreciate all the people that made this change possible; few employers work so hard to accommodate changes in our lives! Even though I miss the position and friends I had in Clarion and at The Meadows, I love seeing patients again, and I have the opportunity to make new friends here! So if you need a smile, a hug, or a prayer partner, you’ll find me at the Belmond Clinic. Let’s remember, we all have the opportunity to make someone’s day a little brighter, relieve fears, share a burden, a laugh, and celebrate new life! So this year commit with me that If you find someone without a smile… let’s give them one of ours, and let’s make this our best year ever!  


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