Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nancy Arizmendi takes on new role as dental assistant at Promise

SIOUX CENTER, IA – Nancy Arizmendi has served in various roles in the health-care field for the past several years.

Nancy Arizmendi has taken on a new challenge
in the health-care field as a dental assistant/
interpreter at Promise Community Health
Center in Sioux Center.
Now, she’s looking forward to a new type of challenge.

She has assumed the position of dental assistant/interpreter at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.

“I’m interested in being able to do more than just my job and going the extra mile for patients in the community,” Nancy said. “Promise is an organization that goes above and beyond to assist the community.”

Nancy grew up in Nyssa, OR, until the third grade when her family moved to Sheldon, IA. She graduated from Sheldon High School in 2012.

Before coming to Promise, Nancy served as a certified nursing assistant for GrapeTree Medical Staffing of Milford 2015-19, and worked at Orange City Area Health System, 2016-18, first as a medical surgery unit coordinator and then as a oncology nurse assistant.

She continues to work toward an associate’s degree at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon to become a licensed practical nurse.

Nancy, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, is interested in the “endless opportunity to learn and grow” as a dental assistant at Promise.

I hope to bring my experience in the medical field as well as compassion and new ideas,” she said.

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision, behavioral health and family planning services. To learn more, visit and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit

Nancy Arizmendi lives in Hudson, SD. She and Tyler have a 6-month-old daughter, Selena. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking in Newton Hills State Park, kayaking and ice fishing with family.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Crime victim advocate at Promise CHC reflects on her important role

SIOUX CENTER – The victims of crime often feel isolated and alone. They don’t know who or where to turn to for help. They don’t know the next steps to take.

But there is hope.

People are waiting, ready and willing to help walk alongside them, inform them of their rights and help them navigate the system.

One of those knowledgeable and compassionate experts is located right here at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center. In a partnership with Promise, Family Crisis Centers of Northwest Iowa has placed a full-time, bilingual crime victim advocate at the health center in 2016 in an effort to more effectively reach underserved populations.

This week, April 7-13, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is dedicated to create awareness about the effects that victimization has on individuals, families, friends and the community, and to promote laws, policies and programs to help victims of crime. This year’s theme, “Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future” celebrates the progress that has been made in crime victim services and looks to a future that is even more inclusive, accessible and trauma informed.

For National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, the crime victim advocate at Promise reflects on her role of helping people right here in northwest Iowa.

Q: What do you want people in northwest Iowa to know, or remember, during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week?
A: I think a lot of us who have grown up in small-town Iowa think this kind of thing doesn’t happen around here, but it does more often than we’d like to think! When someone has been a victim of a crime, they probably are going to experience a lot of emotions, but one that is often unexpected is feeling isolated. Many victims think that they are alone, that no one else will understand what they’re feeling or what they have been through. I want victims to know that they are not alone. There are people out there who also have experienced what they’re going through, and that there is help available to them. Just like those who are accused of crimes have rights written into the Constitution, Iowa has written in rights for victims of crimes so that they, too, can be protected and respected.
Q: As a crime victim advocate, how are you able to help people?
A: Each case and each person is different. Family Crisis Centers’ services are 100 percent free and confidential, but they are also client-led. This means that I don’t sit the person down and tell them what they need to apply for to make everything better. Instead, the client can tell me what their biggest needs and priorities are. We will work together to explore their options, and then I assist them as muchor as little –  as they’d like in meeting their needs.

Iowa has a ton of programs to help with things like paying medical, dental or counseling bills that were a direct result of a crime, cleanup of a crime scene, travel expenses, loss of pay and more. There are programs to get a confidential address if you are being stalked or are otherwise in a situation that a confidential address would be beneficial. There are programs that can help with emergency relocation or moving expenses. It can get complicated sometimes, but I am here to guide clients through the process and hopefully make the experience a little easier.

I am also bilingual, so I am able to assist people in English or Spanish.

Q: You are employed by Family Crisis Centers but located within Promise CHC. How has that partnership been beneficial to your role?
A: From the beginning, Promise was a natural fit. By identifying and offering on-the-spot services to victims of crime, FCC has been another piece of the holistic care Promise provides its patients. Here, they can have a checkup, get glasses, do dental work, receive therapy and get support if they’ve been a victim of crimeall under one roof!

Additionally, one of the main goals of this partnership was to be reaching underserved populations where they are. While Family Crisis Centers has provided bilingual services for some time, we were noticing that Spanish-speakers were always underrepresented in our data. By creating the Integrated Advocacy Services division, we hoped to reach those underserved populations by placing an advocate somewhere that would be more accessible, as well as adding a couple more bilingual staff to the mix. Promise seemed a natural fit!

I think this partnership has been mutually beneficial to both sides, but I have appreciated getting to be part of the Promise family over the last few years and am honored that the staff here trust me to help their patients experiencing the aftermath of violent crime.

Q: What are the biggest misconceptions that people have about victims of crimes?
A: Many people have probably heard the phrase “victim blaming.” We talk a lot about victim blaming around sexual assault, but it actually takes place in just about any kind of crime. This is one of the factors that makes victims feel isolated the mostliterally being told or having others  suggest that what happened to them might be their own fault. Violent crime is never the victim’s fault, and that is something we live by at FCC. I think when we hear about something like this happening in our community, or to someone we know, our natural reaction is to blame that victim. After all, if they didn’t cause it somehow, that means the same thing could happen to me! When we place the blame on the victim, the offender isn’t held accountable for the actions, and that’s not what anyone wants. I want people to know that victims of crimes are never at fault for what has happened to them, and that one of the easiest ways to support crime victims is simply to believe them. That is something we can all do!

Q: Is there anything else that you would like to add?
A: I would just encourage anyone who has been a victim of violent crime, or knows someone who has, to give us a call! You don’t need a police report, you don’t need to know exactly what kind of crime you’re a victim of, and you don’t have to commit to anything. Our crisis line has certified advocates available 24/7 to take your call and can make referrals based on what you’re needing. If you don’t speak English, call anyway! We have advocates who speak Spanish and the language line for any other language needs. You can also call Promise and ask to speak to the crime victim advocate. I’d love to meet with you! Not in the Sioux Center area? We have advocates in other clinics as well! Call our hotline to find your nearest clinic with a crime victim advocate.

Hotline: 1-800-770-1650
Text Line: text “iowahelp” to 20121

Victimization comes in many forms. Here are some of the examples that the crime victim advocate at Promise CHC can help people with:
  • Adult physical and/or sexual assault;
  • Adults sexually abused and/or assaulted as children;
  • Arson;
  • Bullying;
  • Child abuse and neglect;
  • Child sexual abuse and assault;
  • Domestic and/or family abuse or violence;
  • DUI/DWI and other vehicular incidents;
  • Homicide incident survivors;
  • Identity theft, fraud and financial crime;
  • Kidnapping (custodial and noncustodial);
  • Mass violence;
  • Stalking/harassment;
  • Terrorism;
  • Violation of court/protective order.

Here's a brief video (1:37) from the Office for Victims of Crime that shares the evolution of the victim rights movement:

Friday, March 29, 2019

By the numbers: Here are more interesting 2018 facts and figures

Tana Kass, advanced registered nurse practitioner, and the rest of
Promise Community Health Center's medical provider team saw
3,293 patients for 8,305 medical visits during the past year.

SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center played a big role in making the communities of northwest Iowa healthier in the past year.

Many of the ways that Promise made a positive impact were presented in its 2019 Annual Report that was distributed this week.

To review the report, visit this link.

But, here are additional facts and figures from 2018 that you will find interesting:

Certified nurse midwife Belinda Lassen,
along with Pam Hulstein, CNM, provided
222 women prenatal care during 2018.
The also attended 32 home births.
  • Not only did patients come to Promise from 144 ZIP codes during 2018, but Promise drew at least 15 patients from 33 of those towns.
  • The farthest distance away of those 33 towns was Storm Lake with 34 patients traveling 75 miles to Sioux Center. Another 44 patients traveled 60 miles from Spencer.
  • 66 percent of Promise’s patients came from Sioux County, with the remaining 34 percent coming from towns in other area counties.
  • Many of Promise’s 4,814 patients received multiple services during the year. A breakdown: 3,293 patients were provided medical care; 2,281 received dental care; 371 vision care; 73 behavioral health care.
  • Of the medical patients, 222 women were provided prenatal care, with 32 home births attended by Promise’s certified nurse midwives.
  • Promise served a lot of young families: 79 percent of its patients were 40 years old or younger, including 43 percent being 17 and younger. The percentage of children served was nearly double the state and national average of 22 percent for community health centers.
  • About half of Promise’s patients were of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity.
  • 46 percent of Promise’s patients were best served in a language other than English.
  • A combined 81 percent of Promise’s patients were uninsured (36 percent) or covered by Medicaid (45 percent). But, Promise welcomes all patients and accepts all forms of private health insurance as well.
  • Promise provided high-quality care – improving in 12 of 16 clinical and dental quality measures and exceeding the state and national averages of community health centers for most of those measures. During 2018, Promise was named a Health Center Quality Leader for placing in the top 30 percent among CHCs nationwide for clinical quality measures.
Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision, behavioral health and family planning services. To learn more, visit and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit


To learn more, view Promise CHC’s 2019 Annual Report online at:

Friday, March 1, 2019

Promise offers $30 gift card for completing FIT colorectal cancer test

It's "Dress in Blue Day!" Promise Community Health Center staff dressed in blue
today (Friday, March 1) to recognize National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
and to encourage people to get screenings to detect and prevent colorectal cancer.

SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – Don’t assume you can’t get colorectal cancer. Don’t assume you’re too young or too healthy. Don’t assume that colorectal cancer can’t be prevented. Don’t assume that screening is scary or difficult. Don’t assume that you can’t beat colorectal cancer.

Don’t assume you’re alone.

Assumptions and misconceptions are being challenged for the “Don’t Assume” campaign during National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in March.

Colorectal cancer, which is cancer of the colon or rectum, is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Faith Schiltz, advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center, said the good news, however, is precancerous polyps can be detected before people even get colorectal cancer. Therefore, if caught early, colorectal cancer is highly preventable and treatable.

She said everyone 50 years and older should be screened on regular intervals.

“It’s so important to make sure that we’re following through on recommendations and that you’re talking with your medical provider and also talking with your family – knowing what your family history is,” Schiltz said. “Was there an immediate family member who had cancer? And, if they had colon cancer, how old were they? In giving that information to your provider, together you can make a very good sound decision on when to screen and how to screen.”

Promise again is placing a high emphasis on getting as many people screened as possible for colorectal cancer.

To encourage people to get screened, Promise has a limited number of $30 Casey’s General Store gift cards to give to patients who complete a home stool test for colorectal cancer. The promotion will run through April 15.

Anyone who is between the ages of 50-75 and who has not had a colonoscopy in the last 10 years or has not completed a fecal immunochemical test (FIT) in the last 12 months will be eligible to receive the gift card.

All they have to do is receive a FIT kit from Promise, complete the test and mail it back.

FIT has been proven to be an effective screening tool for colorectal cancer. The noninvasive test, which is completed at home, detects hidden blood in a person’s stool. The test should be completed every year. For established Promise patients, they can call to have a FIT kit mailed to them or arrange to pick one up. For new patients, they are encouraged to schedule an appointment with one of Promise’s providersDr. Del Lassen and nurse practitioners Tana Kass, Amy Waterman and Schiltz – to receive the FIT kit.

The FIT kit includes detailed instructions and materials that patients need to collect the samples and mail them back to Promise.

“We will test it and notify you whether it’s normal or abnormal. If it’s abnormal, we’ll give you recommendation of what the next step is,” Schiltz said. “That’s pretty easy. You can do it at home.”

FIT is a low-cost test. Most insurance policies cover most or all of the cost. For low-income people who do not have insurance or their insurance does not cover the test, Promise’s sliding-fee scale will reduce the cost.

For more information or to receive a FIT kit, call Promise at 712-722-1700.

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision, behavioral health and family planning services. To learn more, visit and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit


Faith Schiltz, advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP) at Promise CHC, shares what colorectal cancer is and how, when and why people should get screened in this video. The video also can be found on YouTube at:

In this video, Schiltz shares how the FIT home stool test works. It’s easy and effective. The video also can be found on YouTube at:


Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, and more than 50,000 people die from it. Colorectal cancer affects men and women equally.

The cancer usually starts from precancerous polyps, or growths, in the colon or rectum. The colon is the large intestines, and the rectum is the passageway that connects the colon to the anus. Over time, the polyps can turn into cancer. Screening testsranging from a home fecal immunochemical test (FIT) to a colonoscopy – can find precancerous polyps so that they can be removed before turning into cancer. The screenings are important because they can detect polyps or cancer before people experience any symptoms.

More than 90 percent of colorectal cancers occur in people ages 50 or older, according to the CDC. Some people have higher risk factors.

To learn more about colorectal cancer, visit these resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and American Cancer Society.

Friday, February 8, 2019

As new nurse at Promise, Clazina Blom appreciates its holistic care

SIOUX CENTER – Ever since Clazina Blom played “doctor and nurse” as a young girl, caring for others has been an “innate part” of who she is.

She has made it her career.

Clazina Blom likes the holistic approach to
health care that she has seen at Promise
Community Health Center since assuming
her role as a new clinic nurse.

Clazina now is caring for others as a new clinic nurse at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.

Helping others, giving support and compassion, and educating about health are important to me,” she said.

Clazina grew up in rural Doon on her family’s rural dairy farm. After completing her home-school education, she earned her registered nursing degree at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon in 2011. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing online from Briar Cliff University of Sioux City in 2013.
She worked as a certified nursing assistant at Pleasant Acres Care Center in Hull for a year and a half, 2009-10. She then served as an RN at Sanford Sheldon Medical Center, 2011-17. She also served for six months during 2017 as a traveling nurse in Mason City, working in labor and delivery.
She’s now happy to be at Promise.
“I feel that Promise is a very caring, compassionate and competent organization. They truly care about their patients and being able to help as many people in as many aspects of life holistically,” Clazina said, noting additional services such as nurse health coaching, behavioral health counseling and victim advocacy. “Medical care truly must include all the aspects of life – physical, mental, emotional. I also appreciate being able to serve patients who otherwise perhaps could not afford it.”

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision, behavioral health and family planning services. To learn more, visit and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit

Clazina Blom lives in rural Doon. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside, going for walks, gardening and spending time with family. She likes all animals, especially dogs. She also does some crocheting and knitting, scrapbooking and card making. She enjoys learning new alternative health solutions and anything holistic, herbal and natural.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Promise offers natural family planning training; class set for Feb. 21

SIOUX CENTER, IA – Do you desire to learn more about natural family planning to achieve or prevent pregnancy?

Kari Ney, registered nurse for Promise Community
Health Center, presents an overview of the Billings
Ovulation Method to fellow staff. She has been
trained as an instructor in the natural family
planning method and is implementing the
program as a new service at Promise CHC.

Are you seeking alternatives to hormonal or surgical birth control to better fit your budget, to avoid side effects or for medical reasons?

Do other forms of birth control go against your personal or religious beliefs?

If so, Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center has an effective and easy-to-learn alternative for you.

Kari Ney, a registered nurse for Promise, has become trained as an instructor in the Billings Ovulation Method® of natural family planning and is implementing the program at the health center.

She will offer an introductory class for the Billings Ovulation Method at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, in community education room at Promise. The class will be open to the first six couples who sign up. The deadline to register is Feb. 17.

To register online, use this form.

Kari Ney will present an introductory class
in the Billings Ovulation Method at Promise
Community Health Center at 7 p.m.
Thursday, Feb. 21. The class is open
to the first six couples who register.

Ney said the Billings Ovulation Method is a scientific method of fertility management that has been used successfully by millions of women around the world to help them become pregnant, postpone pregnancy or to have a better knowledge of their own fertility. She noted some women do not desire hormonal or other forms of birth control due to side effects; during certain periods of their life, such as when they’re breastfeeding; or for religious reasons.

“Here at Promise, we strive to meet the needs of our community,” she said. “We have many families and couples seeking out alternatives to hormonal birth control, and Billings Ovulation Method fills this need. Understanding how fertility works is an vital tool in family planning, but it also is an important component of understanding a woman’s personal health. Fertility awareness-based methods of birth control give couples an alternative that can be just as effective with proper use and instruction.”

Ney noted that many families also are looking for an alternative that better fits their budget.

“Because Promise strives to be a resource for the community and provide accessible care, we felt the Billings Ovulation Method was a good fit,” she said.

Kari Ney, a registered nurse for Promise CHC, has
become trained as an instructor in the Billings
Ovulation Method of natural family planning. She
will present an introductory class on Feb. 21.

During the initial education session on Feb. 21, Ney will introduce couples to the Billings Ovulation Method. This presentation will include all of the information and tools couples will need to get started. If couples choose to continue with the program, they will begin charting their cycle every evening according to the rules taught in the class.

During this process, the Billings program encourages frequent communication and follow-up to promote success. After two weeks of charting independently, Ney will review the charts with them over the phone. A second session with individual chart review will be scheduled at the health center after couples have been charting for a month. Thereafter, Ney will keep in close contact with the couples via phone, text or email every two weeks until they have demonstrated confidence and proficiency in charting. Ney said couples typically have a good understanding of the method within three months.

The cost of the introductory class is $30. The remaining cost of the program after the first session is $150 and is covered fully by most forms of health insurance and Medicaid as preventative care.

Ney said she hopes to offer the program on a quarterly basis.The program will be offered in Spanish in future sessions. Education also is available on an individual basis if preferred.

If organizations are interested in having the introductory class held at their location, contact Promise for details.

Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center serving the northwest corner of Iowa. Promise provides medical, prenatal, dental, vision, behavioral health and family planning services. To learn more, visit and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit

Kari Ney, RN

Kari Ney has been a registered nurse for 19 years, serving the last five serving as part of Promise Community Health Center’s midwifery team. She also serves as the family planning nurse educator at Promise. She is passionate about women’s health and excited to offer this education to our community.  She and her husband, Jake, have four children, Cory, 16; Ethan, 14; Jesse, 12; and Ava, 8.

Therefore, training in the Billings Ovulation Method was a perfect for her.

To become an instructor, Ney attended a 20-hour training from the Billings Ovulation Method Association in St. Cloud, MN. She now is in her practicum period where she will be guided by an expert in the Billings method as she establishes the program at Promise.

“The practicum length is determined by number and complexity of charts to review, but is a great way to start a program because there is expert assistance and guidance at our fingertips,” she said.

What: Billings Ovulation Method introductory session
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21
Where: Promise Community Health Center; Sioux Center, Iowa
Who: Open to first six couples who register
How: Register online by Feb. 17 at this link
Cost: $30 for introductory class
For more information, contact: Kari Ney at or 712-722-1700.
Website: To learn more about the Billings method, visit