Residents of Prairie Ridge Care Center in Orange City enjoyed a “chili cookoff” on Wednesday, February 26. Staff and residents entered a total of nine different chili soups. Dan McCarty, Orange City Area Health System COO, Deb De Haan, mayor of Orange City, and Char Ten Clay, Administrator of Prairie Ridge, judged the contest. First place went to resident Dena Palsma’s “Family Chili.” Dena was also the winner in the pie contest held last fall.
Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) generates 657 jobs that add $27.9 million to the area economy, according to the latest study by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA). In addition, OCAHS employees by themselves spend nearly $6.5 million on retail sales and contribute over $388,000 in state sales tax revenue.
“While our primary purpose is, and will remain, serving the health needs of the area, one cannot overlook our contribution to the local economic health of the region,” reports Martin W. Guthmiller, CEO of Orange City Area Health System. “Local health systems are a key element to a local economy.”
“One of the key factors in economic development is attracting quality, high paying jobs,” states Orange City Economic Development Director, Mark Gaul. “Not only does OCAHS provide state-of-the-art healthcare to the region, it is one of the largest employers in our community.”
Gaul adds, “Health care is not only a field that provides quality jobs, but it is a growing field as well. Orange City Area Health System is an anchor in our community and is key to our area’s economic health. We appreciate everything that OCAHS provides to our local economy and cannot take that for granted.”
”The IHA study examined the jobs, income, retail sales and sales tax produced by hospitals and the rest of the state’s health care sector. The study found that Iowa hospitals directly employ 71,437 people and create another 57,792 jobs outside the hospital sector. As an income source, hospitals provide $4.2 billion in salaries and benefits and generate another $1.8 billion through other jobs that depend on hospitals.
“People are often unaware of the contributions that hospitals make to their local economies, including the number of people they employ, the significance of hospital purchases with local businesses and the impact of their employees’ spending and tax support for an entire region,” said Kirk Norris, IHA president/CEO. “Just as no one provides the services and community benefits found at community hospitals, there is also no substitute for the jobs and business hospitals provide and create.”
Orange City Area Health System includes a critical access hospital and emergency medical services, four family practice clinics served by 16 providers, surgical services, obstetrics services/birth center, a sports medicine clinic, physical and aquatic therapy, home health and hospice, a retirement community, and a senior care center. More information at ocHealthSystem.org.
At their February 19 board meeting, the Orange City Area Health System Auxiliary presented a check for $50,000 to the health system. This annual gift is partial payment on a $200,000 pledge the auxiliary made to Prairie Ridge Care Center two years ago. The gift comes from funds raised by the Auxiliary through Gift Garden proceeds and Auxiliary fundraisers/lobby sales held monthly throughout the year.
First Row: Theresa McCarty, OCAHS Auxiliary Treasurer presents $50,000 check to Marty Guthmiller, CEO.
2nd Row: June Van Oort, Linda Massmann, Barbara Grady
3rd Row: Tami Guthmiller, Mary Pottebaum, Lynnette Schuller, Shonna Hector
Back Row: Lorie Foreman, Wanda Friedrichsen, Mary Plathe
Auxiliary board members not pictured include Jane Vogel, Marilyn Van Engelenhoven, Linda Te Grotenhuis, Jan Ver Steeg, Wanda Wichers and Susan Klein.
The final “Circle of Support” session for the 2013-14 season will deal with the relevant issue of “bullying.” Parents, teachers, church youth leaders, and anyone involved with youth are encouraged to attend this free panel discussion on Thursday, March 27, from 6:30-8pm at Prairie Winds Event Center in Orange City. Topics to be discussed include cyber-bullying, recent area bullying incidents, bullying in school and at home, campaigns to fight bullying, and the fact that bullying is being seen in younger ages. Recent national statistics indicate that 71 percent of students report bullying as an on-going problem, and some of the top years for bullying include 4th through 8th graders with 90 percent reporting being victims of bullying. The panel includes Dr. Dayton Vogel, Creative Living Center mental health counselor; Wayne Dykstra, Unity Christian High School principal; Crista Smidt, Orange City and Sioux Center Christian Schools guidance counselor; and Todd McDonald, MOC-Floyd Valley High School guidance counselor. There will be ample time for questions and discussion. There is no charge to attend, and no pre-registration is required. The session is being hosted by MOC-Floyd Valley and Unity Christian high schools. Circle of Support is a collaborative series of sessions revolving around the critical cultural issues impacting our youth today and is sponsored by Orange City Area Health System, MOCHA Kiwanis Club, Creative Living Center, Community Health Partners, and Compass Pointe. For more information contact Lisa Burg, Orange City Area Health System Public Relations and Community Education, at 712-737-5367.
Orange City Area Health System’s CEO Marty Guthmiller announced the signing of Le Thu, MD, to the hospital’s medical staff. Dr. Thu will be the first dedicated emergency medicine physician to join the health system. Currently, members of the health system’s family practice team provide ER services, and that will continue with the addition of Dr. Thu.
“We believe that the level and consistency of care is raised when we have our doctors caring for our patients,” reported Guthmiller. “ We look forward to welcoming Dr. Thu to our team and community. It is a testament to both that we are able to attract a physician of her quality and stature.”
Dr. Thu is currently an emergency medicine physician serving in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. She is board certified in emergency medicine, internal medicine, and urgent care. Dr. Thu received her Doctor of Medicine (MD) from Rush Presbyterian Medical Center University in Chicago, and did her internal medicine residency at Cincinnati Medical Center. She has served as an attending doctor of emergency medicine in numerous hospitals throughout the country.
“Dr. Thu brings to our health system a diversity in training, expertise and life experiences,” said Dr. Alan Laird, Chief Medical Officer for Orange City Area Health System. “She will help us continue in our goal of providing the best possible care to our patients and being their healthcare provider of choice. ”
Dr. Thu is a native of Indiana. Her professional interests include wilderness emergency medicine, foreign travel medicine, geriatric and preventive medicine, and pain management. She is fluent in English, French, and Vietnamese languages, and is a professionally trained dancer and choreographer in classical and modern ballet.
Dr. Thu will join Orange City Area Health System this coming April. For more information about the health system’s family practice clinics, hospital, emergency medicine services, senior care, and other services, visit ocHealthSystem.org.
Have you ever thought about becoming a Volunteer Ombudsman? Volunteers spend 3-5 hours a month visiting residents in the nursing home and seek to aid residents in resolving any concerns they may have. Volunteers must be over the age of 18, pass criminal history and abuse registry checks and if accepted, participate in 24 hours of training. If interested contact the Iowa Office of State Long Term Care Ombudsman at 866-236-1430.
The Auxiliary of Orange City Area Health System is hosting a “Six Dollar Sale” of fashions, jewelry, gifts, and accessories, Wednesday, March 12 from 7:30am-6pm and Thursday, March 13 from 7:30am-1pm in the front lobby of the health system’s main campus at 1000 Lincoln Circle SE in Orange City. There will be a huge array of items of superb quality, style, and variety for men, women, and kids, all for $6 per item. Proceeds directly benefit patients and families served by the health system.
Orange City Home Health & Hospice plans to host a day camp on Saturday, March 22, for children TK through sixth grade who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Camp Hope’s mission is “to provide a safe place where children have the opportunity to share their feelings and experiences with other children who have also experienced death and to equip parents and caregivers with education and support.” According to social worker Kim Jansma, “Orange City Home Health & Hospice cares about grieving children. Our hope is to educate them about the grief process and give them tools for coping with their loss. We do this by working with the kids as a group while focusing on their individual needs.” Camp Hope, will be held at First Impact of the First Reformed Church in Orange City. There are a variety of hands-on activities planned to help children identify and express their feelings of loss, as well as a puppet show presentation by “Pockets Full of Fun,” Lisa Laird. According to social worker Michelle Vaas, “Facing grief is not easy at any age. Camp Hope provides an encouraging environment where children can begin to accept the death of their loved one, reflect on their relationship, and begin to understand grief and loss.” For more information and to pre-register, please contact Orange City Home Health & Hospice at 712-737-5279 or register on-line … Register Here.
One of the newer services offered by Orange City Home Health & Hospice is “pet therapy” for patients and families. Rob Meerdink — a nurse at Prairie Ridge Care Center, part of Orange City Area Health System — volunteers his time with Joey, his seven-year-old Havanese therapy dog. In this photo, Joey is on his 500th therapy visit, spending time with Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community resident Ray Van Pelt. Joey has been a certified therapy dog for five years, and with the 500th visit he earns the Therapy Dog International Gold Dog Award.
Orange City Home Health & Hospice is offering a Grief Support Group five consecutive Monday afternoons from March 3 to 31 from 12:30 to 2:30pm in the lower level conference room of the health system’s downtown campus at 400 Central Avenue NW in Orange City. Bereavement support groups offer a safe place and supportive environment for those who are grieving a recent death, to talk about their feelings of loss. According to Benefits of Grief Support Groups by Patti Cox “In a culture that often avoids talking about loss, support groups give you the opportunity to share your story openly and guilt-free. You also have the opportunity to hear the stories of others and talk about coping day-to-day, as well as on the most difficult days of our grief journeys.” The five-week program provides directed group support within an educational format. There is no cost to attend the Grief Support Group, but donations are accepted and appreciated. Pre-registration is required by Friday, February 28. Call Orange City Home Health & Hospice at 712-737-5279.