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Orange City Area Health System Nurse Awarded Iowa Hospital Association Scholarship

Pennelope Elder lowPennelope Elder, RN, of Alton, an employee of Orange City Area Health System who is studying for her Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree at Briar Cliff University, has been awarded a $3,000 scholarship from the Iowa Hospital Education and Research Foundation (IHERF), which is supported by the Iowa Hospital Association (IHA).  She is among 34 outstanding students from all over Iowa who have received assistance this year from the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program.

Iowa hospitals established the IHERF Health Care Careers Scholarship Program in 2004 to help address the ongoing shortage of health care professionals and encourage young Iowans to remain in the state as they establish their careers.  The first scholarships were awarded in 2005, and now 301 students have benefited from the program.  Including these latest awards, the scholarship program has provided more than $900,000 in direct support to students since its inception.

In exchange for that financial support, scholarship-receiving students agree to work one year in an Iowa hospital for each year they receive an award.  In this way, the scholarship program helps stabilize and enhance Iowa’s hospital workforce.

Hospital leaders from all parts of the state evaluated scholarship applications from more than 100 qualified students who were judged on grade-point average, a written personal statement, letters of reference, and extracurricular, community and health care-related activities.

“IHA and IHERF recognize the importance of pursuing higher education in the nursing field — just as Orange City Area Health System does — so we are happy to support Penny in this endeavor,” remarked Laurie Gebauer, MSN, Director of Patient Care at Orange City Area Health System. “Penny is greatly deserving of this award and we are proud to have her as part of our healthcare team.”

career explorationArea high school students recently explored careers in healthcare during Orange City Area Health System’s Career Exploration Day. Each spring and fall the health system invites students from six local high schools — MOC-FV, Unity Christian, Remsen-Union, Gehlen Catholic, South O Brien, and Western Christian — for High School Career Exploration Day. Throughout the morning, the students take a tour to many different departments including Radiology, Physical Therapy, Surgery, Nursing, Clinic, and Laboratory. At each location, a health system employee explains a day in their work life, educational track, hours, and the highs and lows within the field. The students are given a chance to ask questions and participate in some hands-on activities. Students also hear from health care staff including a Nurse Practitioner, Paramedic, Health Information, and the Senior Care Director. Orange City Area Health System’s goal is to give students an overview of health professions and expose them to the wide variety of options within the field, both direct care and support staff, and to answer any questions the students may have. The students are also informed of the many employment opportunities at the health system that are available to them, in dietary, housekeeping, and as Certified Nurse Assistants in the hospital and Senior Care that might be of interest to them, even as students.

Orange City Area Health System is a comprehensive non-profit health system including a critical access hospital; four medical clinics served by 16 family practice providers; fertility, prenatal, and OB services; surgical and diagnostic imaging centers; physical and aquatic therapy; home health and hospice; and a senior care campus consisting of a retirement community and senior care center. More information at ocHealthSystem.org.

Diabetics and anyone interested in learning how to count carbs are invited to a review class on Thursday, May 29, from noon to 2pm at Orange City Area Health System’s main campus. Review dietary management of diabetes and practice carb counting skills with registered dietician, Jennifer Lincecum. Medicare and most insurance plans will cover two hours of medical nutrition therapy each year for those with diabetes. Check with your insurance carrier for more details. To register call Olivia Chapman, BSN, Orange City Area Health System Diabetes Care Coordinator at 712.737.5311.

Will review blood glucose meters

Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS) is hosting the May Sioux County Support Group on Wednesday May 14 at 7pm in the lower level conference rooms at the health system’s main campus at 1000 Lincoln Circle SE in Orange City. Join OCAHS diabetes care coordinator, Olivia Chapman, in reviewing blood glucose meter testing, care, cleaning, and more. This is a great review for both new diabetics and those who have had diabetes for many years. This support group is free for all to attend. Call Olivia with questions at 712.737.5311.