Hannibal Regional News

Hannibal Regional Healthcare System News Archive

Well-Woman Visits and Why they Matter Bookmark

Well-woman visits are designed to promote health over the course of a woman’s lifetime and to establish a long-term, trusting relationship with your provider.  They are an opportunity to regularly review your medical history and evaluate your current health through various screenings, including a breast exam, mammogram or pelvic exam. 

Breast Examination
“During your well woman exam, we will do a clinical breast exam.  We will also discuss family history of breast cancer, ovarian cancer or other hereditary breast and ovarian syndrome associated cancers such as prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer as well as assess your individual risk factors,” says Dr. Jennifer Roberts, OB/GYN at Hannibal Regional Medical Group.  Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the United States and is the second leading cause of cancer death in American women.  Regular screening for the average risk woman with yearly mammography starts at the age of 40 years and is related to a reduced risk of cancer death in that population.  It is continued until at least the age of 75 years however age is not the sole determining factor to continue or discontinue screening.  “We encourage breast self-awareness which is a woman's awareness of the normal appearance and feel of her breasts without repetitive, regular exams with the goal of detecting breast cancer.  It is important to notify your OB/GYN if you feel or see any changes in the breast, nipple, or skin,” says Dr. Roberts. 

Emotional Well-Being
“We will also discuss your emotional well-being during a well-woman visit,” notes Dr. Roberts.  Guidelines have changed over the years and it is now recommended to begin screening for anxiety starting at age 13.  The postpartum period is also a very high risk time for new onset or underlying depression or anxiety to become a significant problem. Most commonly women are seen at 6 weeks postpartum, however if your anxiety/depression are increasing you will need to be seen sooner.  “We encourage you to contact your OB/GYN or primary care physician if you experience worsening anxiety or depression or to go immediately to the emergency room if you have thoughts of hurting yourself or others,” says Dr. Roberts.

Pap Smear
You should consult with your physician on the best recommended schedule for this test. The timing of your Pap smear will depend on your age, health and medical history. It is recommended you get your first Pap smear at age 21 and is an important screening tool for cervical cancer.  “In the United States, cervical cancer has decreased more than 50% in the last 30 years because of widespread screening, which is also drastically decreased the number of deaths due to cervical cancer. Most cases of cervical cancer occur in women who were either never screened or were screened inadequately,” says Dr. Roberts.

Open Conversation
“A well woman visit does not consist solely of a pap smear or breast exam.  These visits are an opportunity for women to have open conversations with their physicians and learn helpful information about their bodies and anatomy,” says Dr. Roberts.  Well-woman visits can lead to the early detection of issues ranging from benign conditions like pelvic support and pain to sexually transmitted infection; ovarian, cervical, vaginal, skin and breast cancers; fibroids and more.

Navigating the complexity of your health can be difficult and stressful and you are not alone.  The Women’s Health specialists at Hannibal Regional Medical Group are readily available to answer your questions and take care of you.  Dr. Jennifer Roberts joined the Women’s Health Group in 2019 and specializes in OMT in pregnancy, post-partum and pelvic pain as well as minimally invasive gynecologic procedures, and is the medical director of the robotics program.  Dr. Roberts is accepting new patients, please call (573) 629-3500 for an appointment.

Drive Through Flu Shot Clinics hosted by Hannibal Regional Medical Group Bookmark

Protect yourself from the flu and get your flu shot! Hannibal Regional Medical Group is hosting drive through flu shot clinics to make it easier to get your flu shot. Simply drive up, register and get your shot - all without leaving your car!

Flu shots are available for a special cash price of $25 or your insurance can be billed. High-dose flu shots are available for an additional price.

HRMG in Hannibal
*located at the front entrance of Hannibal Regional Hospital.
September 15th – 8:00 am – 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
September 17th - 8:00 am – 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
September 19th – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
September 22nd  - 8:00 am – 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
September 24th - 8:00 am – 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
September 26th – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

HRMG in Louisiana
September 14th – 6:30 am – 10:30 am
September 16th – 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

HRMG in Bowling Green
September 15th – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
September 18th – 6:30 am – 3:30 pm

HRMG in Monroe City
September 14th – 8:00 am – 10:00 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
September 21st – 8:00 am – 10:00 am and 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
September 26th – 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

HRMG in Shelbina
September 15th – 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Those driving through a flu shot clinic are asked to wear a mask. Flu shots will be available to who is one year of old and up. The $25 cost is payable by cash or check, or insurance can be billed.  High dose flu shots are available for a cash price of $45 or insurance can be billed.

In addition to the flu vaccine, there are a few things you can do to help minimize your risk of developing serious flu-related complications.  Wash your hands - proper hand hygiene will prevent droplet spread from person to person.  Cover your cough - and try to avoid those who are ill, as this will help decrease the spread of illness.  Stay home from work or school when you are ill to help protect those around you.  See a doctor if your symptoms worsen or do not improve within a couple of days.

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes La’Costa Gaines, DNP-BC Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group is excited to welcome La’Costa Gaines, DNP-BC to their Shelbina team!  La’Costa earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the University of Missouri in 2015 and is looking forward to serving the community at Hannibal Regional Medical Group in Shelbina.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to practice medicine in Shelbina since it is the community I get to call home,” shares La’Costa. “From what I have seen through recruitment and orientation, Hannibal Regional is dedicated not only to offering the services their patients need, but also ensuring a high level of quality in the care for their patients, as well as team member safety, and satisfaction overall.”

“I chose my specialty in family medicine because I love to provide care to elderly patients as well as pediatric patients and I enjoy providing care to entire families as a whole,” says La’Costa.  Family medicine is a medical specialty devoted to comprehensive healthcare for people of all ages.  A family medicine physician delivers a range of acute, chronic and preventive medical care services, while also providing preventive care for their patients.

La’Costa is focused on providing high quality care, building relationships with her patients through education and taking the time to listen to concerns and/or requests while providing proper continuity of care.  La’Costa is now accepting patients at Hannibal Regional Medical Group in Shelbina.  To schedule an appointment call (573) 588-4131.

You Are A Survivor The Moment You Are Diagnosed Bookmark

Mary Sprague, a northeast Missouri resident, has a lot to celebrate - on June 7th, National Survivors Day, and every day!  


Thanks to advances in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and follow-up care, more people than ever before are surviving longer after being diagnosed with cancer. In America alone, more than 16.9 million people are alive today after being diagnosed with cancer.


Mary was diagnosed two years ago with Stage 2 breast cancer.  She was having difficulty with rib pain which led her to find a lump on her breast.  She made an appointment with Dr. Julie Viehmann, Gynecologist at Hannibal Regional Medical Group.  Dr. Viehmann saw signs of concern so she sent her to see surgeon, Dr. Stacey Copeland also with Hannibal Regional Medical Group.  She performed a biopsy on a Monday and by Wednesday Mary was informed of her cancer diagnosis. 


From there, she met with the team of Dr. Joseph Bean at the James E. Cary Cancer Center; Dr. Kristen Strasser, Hematology/Oncology Specialist, and Dr. Copeland, both with Hannibal Regional Medical Group. She was diagnosed with HER 2 Positive Breast Cancer.  She was all set to begin her chemo treatment when Dr. Strasser encouraged her to get a PET scan to make sure there were no other issues.  The results of the PET scan showed that Mary’s cancer was now Stage 4 because it had spread to her liver.  


“I am going to live!  This is not a death sentence. I have too much to do,” Mary recalls thinking. She began chemo treatment with Dr. Strasser and her team.  “They were great, just like family!” 


When Mary’s hair began falling out her girlfriends came to her home and they had a hair cutting party.  Then foods began not tasting good, but she made herself eat in order to stay strong so she could continue with and manage her chemo.  She began meditating at night and she had shower talks with God.  


“You have to stay positive, positivity manifests healing. I am going to live to be a healthy old lady.”


Mary finished her last chemo treatment around Easter of 2019.  She had a lumpectomy performed by Dr. Copeland and 20 rounds of radiation with Dr. Bean.   She was then told by Dr. Strasser that she saw no signs of cancer. 


You are a survivor the moment you are diagnosed. Take every day with a new outlook on life.  “Tears are weaknesses leaving your body to make room for strength!  I am alive, I am living, I am a survivor!” Mary is living her life to the fullest taking on new challenges and keeping a positive outlook on life.


National Cancer Survivors Day is a celebration for those who have survived, and inspiration for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of support for families, and outreach to the community.


For more information about cancer diagnosis or treatment options, call the Hannibal Regional Infusion Center at 573- 629-3500.


Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Kendell Farr, WHNP-BC Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group is excited to welcome Kendell Farr, WHNP-BC to their women’s health team.  Kendell has a strong background in caring for women and is looking forward to serving the community as a nurse practitioner.

“For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a nurse.  I have worked in women's care most of my nursing career and have a passion for women's health,” shares Kendell.  “I feel an emotional connection with women which empowers me to help them be their best - physically and mentally - through every stage of their life.”

Kendell began her nursing career at Hannibal Regional and is happy to continue working with a great team, “Hannibal Regional has become my family!  The physicians have helped mold me into the nurse I am today and I look forward to serving the community as a nurse practitioner with the best physicians by my side.”

Kendell Farr, WHNP-BC is accepting patients at Hannibal Regional Medical Group, to reach the Women’s Health offices call 573-629-3500.

Click here to learn more about Women's Health Services at HRMG.



The achievement is part of findings released in the Healthgrades 2020 Report to the Nation. This report demonstrates the importance of hospital quality to both hospital leaders and consumers. From 2016 through 2018, patients treated at hospitals receiving the America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Orthopedic Surgery Award have, on average, a 39.7 percent lower risk of experiencing a complication while in the hospital than if they were treated in hospitals that did not receive the award.


“For over 25 years, Midwest Orthopedics and Hannibal Regional have worked together to provide exceptional care, this award recognizes our dedication and commitment to quality care and remarkable outcomes over time,” said Todd Ahrens, Chief Executive Officer of Hannibal Regional.


Hannibal Regional was also recognized for the following clinical achievements:

Named Among the Top 5% in the Nation for Overall Orthopedic Services in 2020
Named Among the Top 5% in the Nation for Joint Replacement in 2020
Recipient of the Healthgrades Orthopedic Surgery Excellence Award™ for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)
Recipient of the Healthgrades Joint Replacement Excellence Award™ for 5 Years in a Row (2016-2020)
Named Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Overall Orthopedic Services for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)
Named Among the Top 10% in the Nation for Joint Replacement for 5 Years in a Row (2016-2020)
Five-Star Recipient for Total Knee Replacement for 7 Years in a Row (2014-2020)
Five-Star Recipient for Total Hip Replacement for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)
Five-Star Recipient for Hip Fracture Treatment for 2 Years in a Row (2019-2020)
Five-Star Recipient for Pacemaker Procedures in 2020





Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Suzanne Filbert, FNP-C Bookmark

Hannibal Regional Medical Group is excited to welcome Suzanne Filbert, FNP-C to their Urology team.  Suzanne has been part of the Hannibal Regional team for six years and is looking forward to serving the community in her role as nurse practitioner.  

“I chose to work in Urology because I wanted to help care for the aging population with specialized care,” shares Suzanne.  “During my time at Hannibal Regional I have grown to love the patients and I am so happy to continue to care for the people in this community.”
“The most rewarding thing about my job is getting to know the patients and talking with them about their lives and families,” shares Suzanne.  “My goal is to help my patients understand their diagnosis and how to care for themselves.  When patients are educated about their care, treatment and preventative measures it has a positive impact on their quality of life and increases participation in their healthcare decisions.”

Suzanne Filbert, FNP-C is accepting patients at Hannibal Regional Medical Group,  to reach the Urology offices call 573-629-3500.

Hannibal Regional Medical Group Welcomes Dr. David Lemons Bookmark

David Lemons, DOHannibal Regional Medical Group is excited to welcome Dr. David Lemons to their cardiology team!  David Lemons, DO completed his medical education at A.T. Still University and his cardiology and interventional cardiology fellowship at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

Dr. Lemons has been providing interventional cardiology coverage at Hannibal Regional and is excited to enhance his service to the community by accepting patients at Hannibal Regional Medical Group.

“I started working at Hannibal Regional to help provide interventional cardiology coverage,” shares Dr. Lemons. “I like the small town feel of the Hannibal community and the team members at Hannibal Regional and in the Cath Lab have been very inviting and helpful.”

“The most rewarding thing I do is help people who are having heart attacks. I enjoy being able to stop the severe pain patients are having and have a conversation with them soon after. The patients are often amazed at how quickly they feel better,” notes Dr. Lemons.  Interventional cardiologists have extensive training in diagnosing and treating cardiovascular disease and structural heart conditions through catheter-based procedures, such as angioplasty and stenting.

“I feel it is important to spend time listening to my patients which allows me to develop a relationship with them,” says Dr. Lemons.  “Each patient has a story to tell and it is important to hear their story.”  Dr. Lemons is now accepting patients at Hannibal Regional Medical Group and is working alongside the expert cardiology team of Dr. Alvi, Dr. Valuck and Dr. Nwakile.  To schedule an appointment call (573) 629-3500.

Hannibal Community Leaders Announce Resources in Response to COVID-19 Bookmark

Community leaders met virtually on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 to continue community conversation about response to the coronavirus pandemic and announce the following:

  • The United Way of the Mark Twain Area has established a community help line at 573-221-2761. We encourage our community to use this line to access vital resources as they encounter life-altering issues associated with food insecurity, transportation issues or other major concerns.
  • Hannibal Public Schools staff is currently preparing packets for students. Packet pick up is Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Packets will be distributed drive-up style. Middle and high school packets will be distributed electronically unless paper copies are needed.
  • Hannibal Public Schools nurses have called families to arrange for medicine pick up through Friday, March 20.
  • Hannibal Public Schools will be distributing breakfast and lunch beginning Monday, March 23 and is collaborating with Douglass Community Services to distribute USDA Summer Meal Program dinners and HAYS to distribute Buddy Packs. There will be 22 sites for meal pick up, which are listed at the end of the release.
  • As of the time of this release there are no positive cases in northeast Missouri. Hannibal Regional has been and is continuing to test patients which meet the testing criteria. To continue all efforts in mitigating potential exposure, Hannibal Regional Healthcare System has a designated Fever/Virus Entrance.  All patients which are exhibiting fever or virus symptoms should use this designated entrance beside the Emergency Room.  Visitor restrictions are in place, and all visitors and patients are screened upon entrance to the facility.  All recent updates, COVID-19 resources and updates from CEO Todd Ahrens are available at
  • The United Way of the Mark Twain Area has launched a COVID-19 Response Fund to assist with the assembly and delivery of Response Kits for clients of area senior centers who have meals delivered to their homes. These Response Kits will include some shelf staples, paper products, toiletries, etc. to help seniors avoid going into public settings. Kits will be distributed through Heartland Resources in Lewis County, Monroe City Senior Nutrition Center, Palmyra Nutrition Center, Paris Senior Center, the Shelby County Senior Citizens, and the Hannibal Nutrition Center, as supplies allow. To make a donation,  please visit, send donations by mail to PO Box 81, Hannibal, MO 63401 specially marked for the COVID-19 Response, or make a donation through the United Way of the Mark Twain Area Facebook page.
  • The United Way of the Mark Twain Area is providing a weekly “Celebrity Reading Time,” which will feature local leaders and celebrities reading their favorite children’s books via video on the United Way’s website,
  • Douglass Community Services remains open, providing all services, but has closed their building to visitors.
  • The YMCA of Hannibal will be providing a super snack from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, beginning Monday, March 23rd. This will be a grab-and-go meal for each child in the car. 50 bags will be available each day.
  • The YMCA of Hannibal is closed to the public, but will be providing onsite daycare for children K-5th grade beginning Monday, March 23rd. Childcare will be available from 7am-5:30pm. Children will be placed in appropriate classes of no more than 8 students per room with 2 attendants. Priority registration will be available for First Responders and Health Care Officials. Register by calling 573-221-0586.
  • The Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce remains open, but has closed their office to visitors.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, starting Thursday, March 19, all city buildings will be closed to the public for 30 days, to protect the public.  The exception being the lobby at the police station which will remain open.   All essential services will continue, such as fire and police protection, as well as electric, water and sewer services and street and park repair and maintenance.  Both the main Board of Public Works office at 3 Industrial Drive and City Hall, 320 Broadway, have secure drop boxes where payments can be delivered. The HBPW offers multiple ways to access account information on the website: All late fees will be waived, there will be no disconnects for late payments. We appreciate the cooperation of everyone as we work together to do what we can to contribute to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
    • Important numbers follow:
      • Board of Public Works Customer Service 573-221-8050
      • Board of Public Works emergency service issues (24/7) 573-221-0955
      • City Hall 573-221-0111
      • Parks & Recreation 573-221-0154
      • Hannibal Municipal Airport 573-406-3728

The group continues to urge our community to follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated guidelines to combat the spread of this virus, including hand washing, regular disinfection of surfaces, practicing social distancing and limiting travel, and staying home if you are sick. If you think you may have the coronavirus, please call your healthcare provider’s office before visiting.

Additionally, the group reminds our community of the importance of seeking out information from credible and reliable sources like the CDC, and not relying on social media for updates.

The group of community leaders includes representatives from the following: Hannibal-LaGrange University; Preferred Family Healthcare; Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council; Mark Twain Behavioral Health; YMCA of Hannibal; City of Hannibal; Marion County Health Department; Hannibal Police Department; Hannibal Fire Department; Clarity Healthcare; The PATCH Center; Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce; Hannibal Clinic; Douglass Community Services; United Way of the Mark Twain Area; Marion County Emergency Management; Holy Family School; St. John’s Lutheran School; Hannibal Public Schools; Hannibal Regional Healthcare System; and Moberly Area Community College.

Bus Schedule*

  • Bus #1-- Intersection of Big Creek Lane & Hwy HH  -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #1--Intersection of Janapas Trail & Ideal Villa Place  --  12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #2-- Oakwood Elementary School, 3716 Market St.  --  11 AM-Noon
  • Bus # 2-- Intersection of Rt O & Flint Hill Road (New London)  --  12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #3-- Antioch Baptist Church, 59621 Antioch Lane  -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #3—AD Stowell Elementary, 700 Fulton Avenue  -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #4-- Intersection of Rt T & Oakhill Road (New London) -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #4-- Embassy Christian Center, 600 North Street  -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #5—Intersection of Monkey Run & Hwy 79  -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #5--Hannibal Public Library 200 South 5th Street  -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #6-- Intersection of Saverton West Road & Rt E (Saverton)  -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #6-- Eugene Field Elementary School, 1405 Pearl Street  -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #7—Calvary Baptist Church, 4605 West Ely Road  -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #7-- Intersection of Hwy 168 and County Road 404  -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #8—Clover Road Christian Church, 785 Clover Road -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #8—Mark Twain Elementary School, 2800 Bird St -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #9—Intersection of Munger Lane & Country Meadows Northside -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #9Hannibal Transportation Center, 2365 Warren Barrett Drive  -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #10—Hannibal High School Auditorium Parking Lot, 4500 McMasters -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #10—Intersection of North Section St. & Mark Twain Ave. (Ayerco 22)  -- 12:15-1:15 PM
  • Bus #11—Intersection of Shawnee Trail & Atoka (Closest to Munger Lane)  -- 11 AM-Noon
  • Bus #11—Intersection of Starlight Ridge & 29th Street (Mailboxes)  -- 12:15-1:15 PM

*All locations are Hannibal, 63401, except where noted

Hannibal Regional Implements Visitor Restrictions Bookmark

As part of the community’s proactive planning to slow the spread of COVID-19 Hannibal Regional is implementing visitor restrictions beginning March 19, 2020 until further notice.  

Until the transmission of COVID-19 is no longer a threat to our patients, team members and the community Hannibal Regional Healthcare System is implementing visitor restrictions at Hannibal Regional Hospital and all Hannibal Regional Medical Group locations.

We recognize that there are times when having a visitor or family member present is crucial. In these cases, visitors will be allowed based on the exceptions listed below. Please note: in all cases a visitor will only be allowed if they do not have symptoms of respiratory infection (fever, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath). Additionally, children under the age of 16 will not be allowed except under extraordinary circumstances.

Visitor restrictions are as follows:

  • Women in labor may have one partner and one birth support person accompany them.
  • Nursery patients may have one birth parent plus one significant other who must remain in the room for the duration of the visit.
  • Patients who are at the end-of-life or critically ill on life support may have two visitors.
  • Patients with disruptive behavior, where a family member is key to their care, may have one visitor.
  • Patients who have altered mental status or developmental delays (where caregiver provides safety) may have one visitor.
  • Minors under the age of 18 may have one visitor, or parents or guardians.
  • Patients undergoing surgery or procedures may have one visitor (patients under age of 18 may have two visitors) who must leave the hospital as soon as possible after the procedure/surgery.
  • The following patients may have one person with them:
    • Patients who have an appointment at a Hannibal Regional Medical Group location
    • Patients who are undergoing laboratory testing or a radiology procedure
    • Patients  visiting the Emergency Department 

Visitors must remain in the patient’s room throughout their visit.  Once the visitor leaves the patient’s room they must leave the facility.  

Visitors will not be allowed for patients with a pending or positive COVID-19 test.  To learn the latest COVID-19 updates at Hannibal Regional visit