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Release: Aug. 25, 2000

Keokuk County Health Center celebrates affiliation with UI Health Care

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Residents of Keokuk County are invited to attend an open house on Thursday, Sept. 7 to celebrate the affiliation of Keokuk County Health Center and Keokuk County Medical Clinic with University of Iowa Health Care. Cake and punch will be served from 5 to 7 p.m. at 1312 S. Stuart Street in Sigourney. There will be a short program at 6 p.m., featuring remarks from hospital, clinic and university officials.

In addition, the new Keokuk County Health Center pharmacy will be dedicated in honor of John Ballensky, who until his recent retirement served as the only pharmacist the hospital had since opening its doors in 1954. Health care providers Rob Baker, John Buckingham, and Szilvia Molitorisz, M.D., from Keokuk County Medical Clinic, as well as health care providers from Keokuk County Health Center, will be on hand to meet with area residents. Tours of the hospital and clinic will be offered throughout the celebration.

"The affiliation with University of Iowa Health Care was tailored to meet the desires of the Keokuk County Health Center Board of Trustees," said Michael Trachta, CEO of the Keokuk County Health Center. "Local ownership and local control of decision-making is very important, and the agreement was founded on these principles."

Under an agreement that went into effect in December 1999, Trachta, an administrator employed by UI Hospitals and Clinics, serves as the CEO of Keokuk County Health Center. The CEO works in Sigourney while reporting to both the Keokuk County Health Center Trustees and University of Iowa Health Care administration.

Keokuk County Health Center is the second community hospital to formally affiliate with UI Health Care. Marengo Memorial Hospital affiliated with UI Health Care in July 1999.

"We are excited about the physical improvements we've made to the hospital," Trachta said. "But more importantly, we are excited about the renewed energy of our staff and the prospect of becoming a more active provider of health care services to the people of Keokuk County."

R. Edward Howell, director and CEO of the UI Hospitals and Clinics, said, "University of Iowa Health Care's mission is to operate in support of community-based hospitals and physicians. Our assistance to the residents of Keokuk County through their county hospital is a clear example of our commitment to maintaining a strong, community-based health system in Iowa."


University of Iowa Health Care describes the partnership between the UI College of Medicine and the UI Hospitals and Clinics and the patient care, medical education and research programs and services they provide.