HomeArchives October 2011


With site work underway and an expected completion date of Fall 2013, the new Senior Care Facility located on the north edge of Orange City is becoming reality. According to Dan McCarty, COO of Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS), a significant amount of the $19 million needed to build the replacement nursing home facility has been secured, and now a final public fundraising campaign is underway to “fulfill the promise.”

“We set a goal of $200,000 in our community campaign,” explains McCarty, who is leading the charge on the senior care project. “OCAHS serves a broad area in northwest Iowa, including the communities of Alton, Maurice, Granville, Hospers, Paullina, and Orange City, among others. We are asking residents of these communities to contribute whatever they can to help make this important ‘home for our seniors’ a reality.”

This $200,000 public ask represents the final fundraising for the facility. To date, $2.8 million has been raised of the $3 million philanthropic campaign.

“The Orange City area has a long history of improving the quality of life for all of its citizens,” says Drew Vogel, chair of the fundraising committee. “This capital campaign offers all of us the opportunity to focus on our seniors by providing a facility that better reflects the dignity and respect they deserve.”

While the general fundraising campaign is encouraging donations of $1 to $1,000, there are specific giving opportunities for those who wish to leave a legacy or make a more significant contribution. “For a donation of $5,000 over five years,” explains McCarty, “a person or a family can have their name attached to a resident room.” In addition to this Resident Room Naming Opportunity, donors can be part of the Senior Care Family club for a donation of $2,500 over five years. Other naming opportunities such as building facades and community landmark murals of the towns (named above) are also available.

Area residents and families are being asked to contribute to the final $200,000 following a successful Orange City Area Health System Employee Campaign. According to McCarty, the 500 employees of OCAHS were asked to consider donating to the senior care facility to the tune of $200,000. “We anticipate that 100 percent of our employees will turn in a pledge card,” he reports. “To date, our team has pledged over $212,000 to the project.”

“I am excited about this new home for our seniors and the opportunity to contribute to it as part of the OCAHS team,” said Grace List, business center/billing manager for the health system. “It’s such a worthy project and an important way to give back to the community and to our elderly.”

The new Senior Care Facility is Phase II of Orange City Area Health System’s “promise to the community.” Five years ago the new state-of-the-art, total healing hospital/health system campus was completed, and the new home for seniors is designed to “fulfill the promise,” according to McCarty.

For more information or to contribute to the project, contact McCarty at 712-737-5374 or visit ocHealthSystem.org and click on the Senior Care link. There is a video online to help explain the project. The goal is to secure all contributions by December 15.


• By 2014 the two Orange City nursing homes will no longer meet life safety codes.
• 94 percent of the current nursing home rooms in Orange City are not private rooms.
• More than 50 percent of the nursing home rooms share a bathroom between four residents.
• The new Senior Care Facility is approximately 81,500 square feet, located on the north edge of
Orange City, adjacent to Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community which is also owned and operated
by Orange City Area Health System.
• All resident rooms and bathrooms in the new facility will be private.
• The main focus of the project is to create a facility that feels more like the residents’ previous homes,
and will consist of four “villages,” with an indoor park, local landmarks, and a “main street environment.”

Kendra Schroeder, ARNP, will be providing wound, ostomy, continence, and foot and nail care for patients and residents at Orange City Area Health System beginning November 1. Schroeder graduated from Briar Cliff University with a Masters in Family Practice and has many years of experience as a Registered Nurse in the areas of intensive care, hospital, clinics, and home health. Kendra will see new patients and conduct follow-up visits. Appointments are scheduled through the Patient Appointment Center (PAC) at 737-5380. Orange City Area Health System is a comprehensive healthcare system with four medical clinics, specialty clinics, a hospital, surgical services, diagnostic imaging, physical therapy, two nursing home, a senior living facility, and home health and hospice. Visit ocHealthSystem.org for more information or call 712-737-4984.

Consider becoming a Hospice Volunteer — local training offered in November

Orange City Area Health System is seeking volunteers to be part of its Hospice program, and is offering a three-session training in November. Volunteer training will be Tuesday evenings, November 1, 8, and 15 from 5-9pm.  Each session is held in the main campus training room near the Puddle Jumper Café. Those interested in volunteering are asked to attend all three sessions.

“There are many ways to become involved with Hospice,” explains Kim Jansma, Orange City Hospice Volunteer Coordinator. “By volunteering you will touch and enrich many lives, including your own.”

According to Jansma, some volunteers will have the opportunity to make home visits that could include helping with household tasks, running errands, playing games and preparing meals. Other volunteers serve by helping in the office with mailings, filing and working on various special projects. Finally, there are volunteers trained to work with the bereaved families, offering support and encouragement through a very difficult time in their lives. “To help make this experience truly rewarding for both the volunteer and the patient,” explains Jansma, “the Hospice team will work with each volunteer to help assess interests and skills before placement with a patient.”

Volunteers in hospice find it personally gratifying, intellectually stimulating, and emotionally meaningful to assist those in need at a critical point in their lives, reports the Hospice Foundation of America. Many of the volunteers are introduced to hospice through the death of a family member and understand firsthand the value of hospice care, but nearly 20% of volunteers are new to hospice.

Please pre-register by October 28 if you are interested in learning more about this valuable experience by contacting Kim Jansma, social worker/volunteer coordinator, Orange City Home Health and Hospice at 737-5279.

Sharon Vermeer, Dietary Manager for Orange City Area Health System, with Nils Tagne, Head Chef at Steffensrud

Sharon Vermeer, Dietary Manager for Orange City Area Health System hospital and long term care facilities, recently traveled to Norway with a scholarship she received from the Annapurna Foundation, a division of the national Dietary Managers Association and Healthcare Caterers International. The Annapurna scholarship provides money for one American and one European professional — who are involved in the management of foodservices in healthcare services and hospitals — to use for education and training on the other continent. Sharon was able to study the way Norway provides dietary services for its hospitals, nursing homes, group homes, and meals on wheels. She discovered many differences in the way services are provided. Sharon stayed at one of the top Physical Rehabilitation Facilities in Norway, Steffensrud, a couple hours outside of Oslo. Sharon was also able to visit distant relatives in Kristiansand, Norway, which meant negotiating the train and bus systems in Norway as well. Sharon will be presenting programs at Orange City Area Health System’s main campus, Long Term Care, Heritage House and Landsmeer Ridge Retirement community, as well as several state dietary meetings around the country.

Kids invited to explore links between health, fitness, and media

Orange City Area Health System is hosting its second “Move, Munch, Media” day camp for area 4th-6th graders on Friday, November 11, from 8:45am-3:45pm at the health system’s downtown campus at 400 Central Avenue NW in Orange City. According to Barb Den Herder, Education Coordinator for OCAHS, “this is a fun, interactive day camp that explores the links between health, fitness, and media — empowering young people to think critically about media and make thoughtful decisions about nutrition and physical activity.” The camp’s activities include Exploring Media, Nutrition Know-How, Motion Commotion, a Zumba dance session, and making a healthy snack. Dordt College media students will help teams of kids produce and videotape public service announcements based on relevant topics, and parents and families are invited to view the productions at the conclusion of the day camp. The camp is funded in part by the American Heart Association. Cost is $10 and includes a T-shirt and lunch. Camp enrollment is limited to 25 participants. Registration forms can be downloaded at ocHealthSystem.org/educational-programs or call Den Herder at 712-737-5260.

The Auxiliary of Orange City Area Health System will host its annual Holiday Open House on Thursday, November 3, from 8am to 4pm in the front lobby and the Gift Garden at the health system’s main campus. This popular kick-off to the holiday season features new holiday merchandise, and a bake sale with decadent desserts to homemade saucyjies. All proceeds directly benefit patients and families.