Monday, July 24, 2017

Promise CHC plans Back-to-School Block Party for Wednesday, Aug. 9

SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center will ensure your children have all the required health screenings and immunizations that they need for school.

Sioux Center Public Library is one of several local
organizations that plans to provide interactive
activities again this year during the Back-to-School
Block Party at Promise Community Health Center
2-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9. Various health
screenings required for school as will be provided.
As a bonus: Free food and fun will be offered for the whole family.

The health center, located at 338 1st Ave. NW, across the street from the Sioux Center city office, will host its Back-to-School Block Party 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9. The hours have been expanded this year due to the popularity of the event. The block party also celebrates National Health Center Week, which is Aug. 13-18.

“We are so excited to be putting on our back-to-school event again this year,” said Emily Tuschen, clinic manager for Promise, noting that she is especially looking forward various community organizations participating. “This event is a great way that Promise can provide accessible, affordable physicals and screenings to all students who are in need of them. We are looking forward to another great year.”

The Back-to-School Block Party is open to all area students and their families. No appointments are necessary in advance – just show up.

At the event, Promise will offer the following health services:

  • Free vision and dental screenings, free
    immunizations, and low-cost school and
    sports physicals will be offered at Promise
    CHC's eighth annual Back-to-School Block
    Party 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9.
    Free immunizations that students are required to have for school;
  • Free dental screenings that are required for students entering kindergarten and ninth grade;
  • Free vision screenings that are required for students entering kindergarten and third grade;
  • $25 school and sports physicals.

In addition, Sioux Center Health representatives will provide car seat safety checks again this year, so people are encouraged to bring their vehicles with their car seats to the event. Bilingual Sioux Center School District representatives will be available to help Spanish-speaking parents register their children for school. Stepping Stones Preschool also will register children.

Free dogs will be served by KSOU Radio
during Promise CHC's Back-to-School
Block Party on Wednesday, Aug. 9

Promise also will give out free drawstring bags with school and health supplies. A $500 grant from the Walmart Foundation and a donation of dental supplies from Delta Dental helped to make the project possible.

After families complete the screenings, they will be invited into the parking area and alley behind Promise’s building for the block party food and fun. KSOU Radio will serve free hot dogs, chips and Coca-Cola. Culver’s will hand out lemon ice treats. Cinema 5 Theatres will provide popcorn.

Several organizations from the community will present booths with various interactive and educational games and activities for children and families. Face painting, skee ball, sidewalk chalk and bubbles, and crafts also will be provided.

“We want to provide students with all the health services that they need before the next school year begins, but we also want this to be an enjoyable family outing,” said Derrick Vander Waal, public relations and development coordinator for Promise. “We invite families to come out and have a great time. The number of people who attend the block party grows every year.”

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

Various activities will be offered for children
and their families during the eighth annual
Back-to-School Block Party at Promise
CHC 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9.

National Health Center Week is Aug. 13-19. The 2017 theme is: “Celebrating America’s Health Centers: The Key to Healthier Communities.”

National Health Center Week celebrates the history of community health centers providing affordable, high-quality and cost-effective health care to medically vulnerable and underserved people throughout the United States, regardless of their insurance or ability to pay. More than 25 million Americans are served by a network of more than 1,400 community health centers and 9,800 service delivery sites.

Promise Community Health Center, one of 14 community health centers in Iowa, opened in 2008 in Sioux Center as a nonprofit health center and earned its status as a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in 2012.

During 2016, Promise cared for a record 3,886 patients who received a comprehensive array of health services that includes medical, prenatal, dental, vision/eye, mental health
Children wait their turn
to receive health screenings
for school during Promise
CHC's 2016 Back-to-School
Block Party. This year's
event is 2-7 p.m. Aug. 9.
and family planning. Of those patients, 40.2 percent were on Medicaid and 36.4 percent had no insurance.

To learn more about America’s health centers, view this fact sheet with quick-glance information.

When: 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 9
Where: Promise Community Health Center, 338 1st Ave. NW, Sioux Center
What: Promise will offer free immunizations, dental screens and vision screens that students need for school and $25 school and sports physicals. Sioux Center School District staff will assist Spanish-speaking students with registering for school, and Sioux Center Health staff will offer car-seat safety checks. Free drawstring bags with school and health supplies will be handed out. The event also will include free food, games and activities offered by various area businesses and organizations.
Why: The event helps ensure students are prepared for school.
Contact: For more information, call Promise at 712-722-1700.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Dykstra plans to retire as Promise's executive director at end of year

SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center executive director Nancy Dykstra has announced her plan to retire at the end of the year.

As one of Promise’s founders, Dykstra has been the guiding hand of the health center since it opened nine years ago in Sioux Center.

Nancy Dykstra, executive director for
Promise Community Health Center,
has announced her plan to retire at
the end of 2017. She has directed the
health center since it opened in 2008.

She thinks the timing is right to pass on that leadership.

“I feel that Promise is in a strong position for me to step aside and turn over the reins to new leadership,” Dykstra said. “I believe Promise will continue to grow and prosper and will continue to serve persons in ways that help them lead healthier and more productive lives.”

Dykstra dedicated her career to community health.

Like many nurses, she began her nursing career in a hospital setting at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City, 1974-77. After returning to northwest Iowa, the area where she grew up, she worked as a nursing instructor at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg, 1977-80, and as a nurse at Hope Haven, 1981-82.

In 1982, Dykstra was instrumental in establishing the first Medicare-certified home care and hospice in Sioux County, called CHEARS, for Sioux Center Hospital. She directed the program until 1995 when she helped to establish Community Health Partners of Sioux County, a reorganized public health delivery system and an expanded hospital home care delivery model. She served as CHP’s director until 2008.

During her tenure at CHP, Dykstra and her staff became aware of the shifting demographics in Sioux County and the growing number of families without health insurance and access to affordable primary care. Partnerships were forged with key leaders in health, education and human services fields in 2003. The steering committee’s dreams became reality when state incubator funding was awarded to establish a community health center. Promise – then known as Greater Sioux Community Health Center – opened to serve patients in July 2008.

As executive director, Dykstra navigated Promise through an arduous four-year campaign to obtain its designation as a Federally Qualified Health Center in 2012. She oversaw the health center’s growth of services from preventative and primary medical and prenatal care to a comprehensive range of core services that now includes dental, vision/eye, family planning behavioral health and outreach assistance. She guided the health center through a continuous expansion of facilities that now encompass all of the available space in Sioux Center’s former bowling alley building, which Promise first leased and now owns.

Nancy Dykstra, executive director for
Promise Community Health Center,
leads Hull Kiwanis members on a tour
of the health center recently. She
plans to retire at the end of 2017.

Mark Juhl, board president for Promise, is thankful for Dykstra’s dedicated service to Promise throughout the years. He said she recognized the need for a high-quality health center that focuses on meeting the health needs of underserved individuals and families and ensuring good health for the entire community.

“Besides recognizing the need, Nancy became the driving force with the vision and the passion and the skills and the enthusiasm to establish and build the program that we have today,” he said, noting Promise’s wide-ranging services. “Promise didn’t just happen. It took the leadership skills of a visionary with the compassion and drive, the dedication, and the resolve to make it happen.”

Before she retires, Dykstra will be actively involved in the transition phase as Promise embarks on the search for her successor. She has informed the board that she is open to being flexible about adjusting her retirement date either direction if that will benefit the process.

“I want to ensure a smooth transition,” she said.

Dykstra and her husband, Richard, live in Hull. They sold their business, Hull Pharmacy, last fall. They have three adult children and seven grandchildren.

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

Promise Community Health Center has begun the search process for its next executive director.

Promise’s Board of Directors has appointed a search committee. A job description has been drafted, and a time line has been established. The position has been posted, and advertising will begin in mid-July. Review of resumes will begin in August and continue until the position is filled. Interviews will begin in September.

To see the job description, visit