Mercy Campaign

Members of the Mercy Campaign leadership team are (from left) Diane Christensen, Julie Dunn, Ruth Chambers, Julie Allesee, Brenda Thornton, Mike Rastrelli

and Tom Fullerton. Members who are not pictured include Bruce Christensen, Mary Connell and Mark Regenwether. SUBMITTED

CLINTON — This year has been one of staffing additions, technology upgrades and fundraising campaigns at Mercy Medical Center.

According to Julie Dunn, director of marketing for Mercy Healthcare in Clinton, the Mercy Specialty Clinic was remodeled early in 2017. Five exam rooms were added. They are equipped with advanced imaging capabilities to assist with the facility's orthopedic specialty area.

Dunn says two orthopedic surgeons joined the Mercy staff this year. Dr. Abdul Foad, who has been part of the Clinton community for 14 years, began employment at Mercy in March. That same month, Dr. Robert Magnus, who had previously worked in Dubuque, made the move to Clinton. The addition of two more orthopedic surgeons increased the number of orthopedic procedures performed at Mercy. In order to accommodate the increased number of patients and procedures, orthopedic surgery equipment was updated. The facility now has the capabilities to perform procedures such as minimally invasive carpal tunnel surgery. Surgical staff has increased as well.

Foad has 24 years of surgical experience and has performed thousands of knee and shoulder surgeries. He completed fellowship training at the International Olympic Trauma and Research Center in Oslo, Norway. He added that he studied under renowned sports medicine shoulder and knee surgeons. He is proud of the work that is done at Mercy Specialty Clinic in Clinton.

"We have a surgical support team that is second to none," Foad said.

Dr. Rammohan Marla, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, has also returned to the community and sees patients once a week at the specialty clinic.

The Mercy Healthcare Foundation is hoping to bring more updated technology to its facilities in the coming years. Throughout 2017, the foundation has been campaigning to raise funds to replace the 11-year-old linear accelerator machine at Mercy Medical Center North's Radiation Oncology Center.

The linear accelerator is a crucial tool for cancer treatment. It targets and destroys cancer cells in the human body. Dunn told the Clinton Herald in May that the goal of the campaign was to raise $2 million. As of Aug. 25, the campaign was nearly halfway to meeting that goal, and had raised $904,000 in gifts and pledges. Of that number, $500,000 has come from the Clinton County Development Association, and $150,000 has been pledged from the Mercy Auxiliary over the next three years.

"We're so thankful to the CCDA and everybody else that's pledged to help us so far," Dunn said in May. "Now we're going out into the community, because we have a ways to go. This is such an important project for us. We can't fail on this. This is very important to our community, and to our patients."

Though the current machine still works, newer technology is available that will provide Mercy oncologists with better precision, accuracy and cancer-fighting results.

Mercy officials are hoping to raise the needed funds and have the new equipment installed by Fiscal Year 2019. Mercy continues to offer radiation treatments to Clinton residents who would otherwise have to travel to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.