Viewpoints

CCMH busing program thriving;

people invited to use

service or volunteer

On March 16, 2015, the Crawford County Memorial Hospital Foundation launched a project that was essentially unheard of any place else in the state of Iowa: a busing system that would allow people from anywhere in Crawford County to be picked up, taken to the hospital or medical clinic for appointments or treatment, and then be taken back home, all at no charge to the individual.

Generous donations from Foundation fundraising projects, as well as significant contributions from business organizations, funded the purchase of two buses. Volunteers were recruited and trained as drivers and patient helpers.

Now, five years later, the hospital busing program is thriving tremendously. People from every corner of the county have used the service. Over 12,000 rides have been given to over 6,300 hospital and clinic visitors. The two buses have traveled more than 168,000 miles.

On some days, only one bus may be used, while on other days, both buses are on the road the entire day, picking up people in Manilla or out in the country by Ricketts or at the Dunlap Care Center.

The number of volunteers varies according to the seasons and the other commitments those volunteers have, but there is an average of 58 volunteers who put in over 3,400 hours per year.

The hospital transportation project wholeheartedly supports the hospital’s motto, “We Care for Life,” and without a doubt, it makes life much easier, not just for those who need to get to Denison for medical care, but also for their families who may not live in the area or who may be working and cannot get away.

Volunteer drivers and patient helpers are always needed, and as a patient helper, I can tell you that I have met some wonderful people, some of them in pain and not always cheerful, and I never leave my shift without feeling that I have accomplished something of value with my time.

If you or a family member might need transportation services, or if you would like to be a volunteer with the program, please contact Aaron at 712-265-2520.

Tom McGrane, Denison

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Crawford County Farm Bureau

celebrates value of real meat

during National Ag Week

National Agriculture Week, March 22-28, is a time to celebrate today’s agriculture, and this year the Crawford County Farm Bureau especially wants to highlight the value “Real Farmers. Real Food. Real Meat” brings to the local community.

“In our county, we have a diversity of family farms who raise grains, cattle, pigs and chickens,” said Connie Riesselman, Crawford County Farm Bureau president. “As farmers, we are proud to raise animals using the best husbandry practices while respecting our shared environment. If there’s one thing I want our neighbors to know, it’s when you bite into a juicy cut of meat, it was raised with care.”

Experts at Iowa State University (ISU) acknowledge the role animal proteins play in the human diet.

“Animal protein continues to be important because it is a high-quality or ‘complete’ protein containing all the essential amino acids. Pork, for example, contains one of the highest amounts of protein per serving and provides needed minerals like selenium, zinc and iron and vitamins B12, B6, thiamin and niacin,” said Dr. Ruth MacDonald, chair of the ISU Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Not only are animal proteins an optimal way to fuel the body, but they add value to the local community with livestock production in Crawford County making up 54 percent of local jobs. This includes not just farmers but construction workers who build barns, truckers who transport livestock, veterinarians who aid in promoting animal health and many more. And many of these people add intrinsic value to the local community through volunteerism and leadership.

“We appreciate when people buy products that are raised right here in Iowa, but agriculture is about more than raising nutritious food and by products like fuel and fiber,” said Riesselman. “It’s about being a good neighbor and building up our local village to ensure our community is prosperous and a place people are happy to call home.”

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