HomeNewsPlans underway for Northwest Iowa’s newest nursing home

Plans underway for Northwest Iowa’s newest nursing home


Land acquired for new state-of-the-art facility in Orange City


Orange City, IA — Marty Guthmiller, CEO of Orange City Area Health System (OCAHS), announced the purchase of 37 acres of land on the north edge of Orange City for the development of a new 83-bed nursing home. The land, acquired by the Orange City Area Health Foundation, is located immediately west of OCAHS’ Landsmeer Ridge Retirement Community. “While not physically connected to Landsmeer Ridge,” reports Guthmiller, “there will be wonderful synergies with the new nursing home — from groundskeeping to maintenance — that will make this a very attractive and efficient senior care campus.”


The new state-of-the-art nursing home, with expected occupation in 2014, will replace Orange City’s two existing nursing homes, both owned and operated by OCAHS. Plans are to create a “cottage” style living facility in keeping with new trends and expectations for senior care, particularly as baby boomers seek to “reinvent” aging. Char TenClay, OCAHS director of senior care – along with the OCAHS and Foundation boards and administration — recognize the trends and are responding by planning a new nursing home that will be completely different from the community’s two existing facilities.


“Our new nursing home will be built around a ‘Village’ concept,” explains Ten Clay, “a place that feels like home, with a main street, cafe, chapel, beauty salon. The ‘cottages’ that extend off the ‘village’ will feature homey rooms each with their own bathroom.”


According to Ten Clay, about 60 to 70 percent of the residents in a nursing home have some level of dementia. That presents its own set of challenges, and the new facility will address that with a secure dementia unit. “But that also means that many of our residents are alert,” she says, “and we want to give all our seniors a comfortable place to live, with a high quality of life.”


We may not like to think too much about it, but many of us – about one in four – will eventually receive care in a nursing home environment, either for rehabilitation or as a resident. “Senior care is an important part of our continuum of care at Orange City Area Health System,” says Guthmiller, “and our seniors deserve to live out their lives in dignity.”


The new nursing home is expected to cost about $14-17 million. The beds will directly replace the current 83 beds in the existing Heritage House and Long Term Care nursing homes. According to Guthmiller, the state Certificate of Need Board determines the number of beds allowed in Iowa, and currently only existing licensure is possible.


Community support will be sought to help pay for this important new project. “We are very excited to take this first step on our journey to providing continued senior care living excellence,” says Dan McCarty, COO of Orange City Area Health System. “A key financial component of our building project will be fund-raising, and we will once again be looking to the generosity of our local communities.” McCarty adds that “We have not begun a fund-raising effort, but we have already received donations, and for that we can be very grateful.”


Donations to the new nursing home fund can be directed to Dan McCarty at Orange City Area Health System, 1000 Lincoln Circle SE, Orange City IA 51041. For more information, McCarty can be reached at 712-737-5374.


Orange City Area Health System is a comprehensive health system including a hospital, surgery center, diagnostic imaging, medical clinics in Orange City, Paullina, and Hospers, outreach specialty clinics, home health and hospice services, physical and aquatic therapy, two nursing homes, and a senior living center. For news and event updates, sign up for email newsletters at ochealthsystem.org or join the OCAHS Facebook page.