Lucky Seven Key to Hospital Renovations

By Holly Jirovsky, social media writer for GCMH and author of the blog,

The 7th annual Grundy County Memorial Hospital Foundation's Fall Fling Luncheon and Style Show Thursday, September 24 must have been lucky; it had record numbers in attendance and was an important fundraiser for the hospital's new project to expand its Specialty Clinics and renovate its second floor.


This is my third year in attendance at the Foundation's luncheon where they raise money for a designated goal.  This year's goal was the remodeling of its oldest section of the hospital, right in its heart.

“Today you're part of something very significant,” explained GCMH CEO Jennifer Havens, as she addressed the more than 280 ladies in attendance. She explained that the original hospital was built in 1952 and is now centrally located in the middle of the new areas that hold Outpatient Services and Inpatient and Emergency Services.  What was the birthplace, literally, of many Grundy county residents and the beginnings of a legacy of healthcare for the area, is now its oldest portion in an otherwise state-of-the-art hospital.  The roof and the plumbing and the heating are all in need of replacing and the space renovated.  As part of the long-term plan unveiled by the hospital twelve years ago, the renovations on this older section of hospital is the third stage of a three phase project.  “This will be a two-year effort to finish what we started, both what was started in 1952 when community leaders and local doctors opened the hospital, and what was started in 2003, when plans for the expanded space and services were created,” stated Havens in her speech before the luncheon.

Havens says the hospital is pleased to preserve its original building as it plans for the future of healthcare. “Our communities are driven by heritage, are rich in history.  We take pride in enhancing our future and restoring the heritage that is included in the 1952 structure.”

Just as my family relies on the hospital for emergency services, GCMH has also become a place for the Specialty Clinics that save my family a trip to the city.  “We have more than a dozen medical providers visit our hospital on a regular basis to bring services like cardiology, dermatology and orthopedics to residents of our rural areas.  Once we renovate our original hospital’s second floor and move administrative and business functions there, we can expand our Specialty Clinics to attract more specialists,” said Havens.

I love having that local healthcare right here and accessible.  It makes life so much easier, saving me time and the added stress, to know that should we have to see a specialist, our range of choices is becoming that much more vast at the local level.  My hometown doctor is now my hometown medical team.

Also at the luncheon, Keely Harken, GCMH Foundation Manager, gave thanks to the corporate sponsors and spoke about the Community Health Grants that offer grassroots, local non profit organization funds to help address the unmet health needs within our communities.   She explained that health care is evolving into proactively helping people stay well.  Free classes on nutrition to address chronic diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, education on dental care for young children and parenting classes that help at-risk families learn healthy habits are examples of work that has been funded through the Community Health Grants.  “We're filling in the gaps where health insurance or medicine are not available,” said Harken. 

The fashion show included Jennifer's on Main in Cedar Falls along with Lillian's from Grundy Center.  Jennifer's on Main has sponsored the fundraiser for seven years.  Owner Jodi Deery said, “The people here are awesome.  This is our favorite show to do.  From the hospital to the models, we really appreciate their support.” 

I especially loved seeing the fashions displayed from this year's trends.  The clothing lineup from Jennifer’s on Main included lots of fringe, booties, faux leather, and the colors black, grey, plum and olive.  And Lillian's showcased floppy hats, the color marsala (a wine color), plaid, print leggings, lace and oversized shirts.


Meghan Lynch, first time attendee, also enjoyed the event.  Her favorite part of the day was, “Seeing all ages of women, from different areas of Grundy and the surrounding communities, in support of a wonderful local hospital.”  And I have to agree.