Cardiopulmonary Department | Humboldt County Memorial Hospital


Upcoming Stroke Screenings


Val Cleveland, Cardiac Rehab Registered Nurse, Courtney Palmer, Director of Cardiopulmonary Services,  and Darla Vangronigan, Respiratory Therapist, Respiratory Therapy







Respiratory Therapy Services 

The Respiratory Therapy Department is available Monday through Friday and on an emergency basis. Our hospital staffs a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT). The CRT cares and treats patients suffering from asthma, COPD, pneumonia, RSV, emphysema, bronchitis and fibrosis. Procedures include:

  • Nebulizer Therapy
  • Chest Physiotherapy
  • Complete Pulmonary Function Testing
  • Spirometry
  • Oxygen Therapy
  • Pulse Oximetry
  • EKG’s
  • 24 and 48 hour Holter monitoring
  • Apnealink monitoring
  • Event monitoring
  • Tracheostomy Care
  • Peak Flows
  • Incentive Spirometry
  • Sleep Studies
  • Heat/Cool Aerosol Therapy
  • Asthma Education
  • 6 minute walk testing

Cardiac Rehab Services

Cardiac Rehab consists of patient education, exercise and cardiac monitoring for patients after balloon angioplasty, complications from chronic heart failure, coronary artery bypass surgery, heart attack or valve replacement. The goal of the cardiac rehab team is to help the patient resume a normal, healthy active lifestyle while also minimizing the risk of future heart problems. We strive to increase the patient’s knowledge of cardiovascular disease and risk factor modifications, and provide emotional support to the patients as well as their support system. The program is three days per week and requires a physician's referral.

Phase III Cardiac Rehab is a self-pay offered for those that wish to continue their exercise regimen in a controlled and monitored environment. A physician's referral is needed for admission to the program.

Pulmonary Rehab

Phase II Pulmonary Rehab is for people with lung diseases. It is designed to help people understand their condition through education and exercise. The goal is to promote recovery, restore maximum function and ensure safety. By controlling, reducing and/or alleviating the symptoms and complication of pulmonary disease, the patient will achieve the optimal level of independence and physical capabilities. The program is two days per week and requires a physician's referral.

Phase III Pulmonary Rehab is a self-pay offered for those that wish to continue their exercise regimen in a controlled and monitored environment. A physician's referral is needed for admission to the program.

Cardiovascular Services

A variety of cardiovascular tests are offered on a weekly basis at HCMH. These services include echoes, carotids, segs and waves, arterial and carotid duplexes, and more. An physicians orders if required. To schedule your test your doctor will call UnityPoint Fort Dodge at 515-573-3101, request Central Scheduling, and specifying Humboldt for your test location. Your regular physician will receive your results.

Sleep Medicine

The most common sleep disorders in America are sleep apnea (breathing improperly during sleep), insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep), narcolepsy (excessive sleepiness and inability to stay awake), periodic limb movement. Sleep disorders, if left untreated, can cause serious health problems. Untreated sleep disorders will increase a person's risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, and accidents on the job or on the road.

A physician's order is required to have a sleep study completed. Insurance companies vary on coverage and reimbursement. Most physician offices will need to acquire a prior-authorization prior to scheduling a sleep study at HCMH.

The sleep staff that travels to HCMH are fully accredited through the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and tests are examined by a sleep medicine physician. During your sleep study the technician will measure movements, breathing, heart rate, oxygen saturation, snoring and other events. Your primary physician will contact you with the results. Depending on the diagnosis from the study, some patients will need a second night sleep study.

Treatments for sleep apnea include, but are not limited to: CPAP, dental devices/snore guard, surgery, weight loss plan, positional changes, smoking cessation, or sleep hygiene (regular bedtime hours, avoidance of alcohol, avoidance of stimulants, implementation of an exercise program).


Courtney Palmer

Courtney Palmer, Cardiopulmonary Director
1000 15th Street North, Humboldt, IA 50548
Phone (515) 332-7655 | Fax (515) 332-7694

About Courtney Palmer:

How long have you worked here and/or in healthcare?

I started my healthcare career in 2006 and have been at HCMH for almost 15 years now

Tell me a bit about your job/specialty?

I am a certified respiratory therapist which really focuses on anything heart and lung related. I do pulmonary function testing, treat patients in IPC and ED, do EKGs, provide education, and respond to emergencies. At HCMH I serve as the Director of Cardiopulmonary Services and my team provides cardiac rehab, pulmonary rehab, arranges sleep studies, hooks up holter monitors, treats patients on IPC and ED, and a whole slew of other tasks.

Why did you choose this area of healthcare/medicine?

I stumbled on Respiratory Therapy while going to college at UNI. I ended up trying out the program at Hawkeye Community College and really like having a focused area of medicine to study and how there were so many different avenues to use the respiratory therapist degree. While at Hawkeye we were able to do clinicals at Allen Hospital, MercyOne, University of Iowa as well as long term care facilities and rehab centers.

When did you know that you wanted to go into the medical field?

I think I always knew I wanted to do something to help people. My mom went to school for nursing when I was in grade school and I remember seeing her work so hard and graduate and start at HCMH and I wanted to do the same. Plus, there is always a job in healthcare no matter where you live!         

What do you find most rewarding?

I am a task-oriented person. I enjoy taking on a project and seeing it through to the end. I love seeing our patients progress and succeed despite all the obstacles they endure and knowing that we had a part in helping them reach their goal is awesome. I find tremendous value in working as a team – it’s incredibly rewarding to be in a critical situation and everything and everyone just clicks – it’s magical and so much fun.

What sets HCMH apart?

I don’t know of any other hospital that has grown or changed in a short amount of time like we have here. We don’t try to be like everybody else – we want to be the best for THIS community. We are very community oriented and we have a strong sense of pride in who we are and what we accomplish.

What do you like to do in your free time – hobbies/interests?

I like to read or listen to audiobooks, I enjoy planting flowers and working in our yard, my husband Chad and I like to go golfing every week and we work on projects at home. He races so that takes up a lot of our “spare” time, so we get to see a lot of friends and family every week. We like to travel when time allows. We have two kids so we go to our kids many sporting events.

What do you like best about your community and its people?

My husband and I grew up in Renwick and graduated high school in Humboldt. I love that we are raising our kids the same way we were raised – small town Iowa, freedom to play and make mistakes, responsibilities to learn, and surrounded by people that truly care and want to see them be the best they can possibly be.