Monday, August 28, 2017

Dr. Vermeer begins seeing patients for eye care at Promise CHC


SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center now has a second optometrist providing vision care on a weekly basis.

Dr. Tyler Vermeer of Family Eye Care of Rock Valley will see patients 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays on-site at the health center. His first day at Promise was Aug. 22.

Dr. Tyler Vermeer, an optometrist for Family Eye Care
of Rock Valley, has begun seeing patients weekly at
Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.
He will take appointments 1-5 p.m. Tuesdays.


He joins Dr. Dan Clousing, an optometrist for Beaver Eye Care of Sioux Center, who has been providing vision/eye care weekly at Promise since April 2016. Dr. Clousing will continue to see patients 8-noon Wednesdays at Promise.

Between them, Promise now offers vision/eye care a full day per week.

“It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community, and I am excited to help more people to see their best,” Dr. Vermeer said.

Dr. Vermeer was exposed to the eye-care profession at an early age because his great uncle was an optometrist. He also found it to be a unique crossroads amid anatomy, physiology and physics – three subject areas that he finds fascinating.
Dr. Tyler Vermeer

Therefore, after he graduated from Sioux Center High School in 2009, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in biology/health professions from Northwestern College in Orange City. After earning his undergraduate degree in 2013, he completed his doctor of optometry training from Indiana University School of Optometry this spring.

He started caring for patients at Family Eye Care in June.

“Helping people see their best and helping to preserve vision is a fun ride,” Dr. Vermeer said. “It’s exciting seeing the smiles when an elementary student can see clearly for the first time as well as helping a patient through the cataract surgery process. It’s all enjoyable.”

He’s pleased that he also can provide that level of care at Promise, which serves many patients who might not otherwise receive the care that they need.

“God has very richly blessed me, and I just hope that I can be a blessing to everyone that I come in contact with through this role,” he said.

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 www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


MORE ABOUT DR. VERMEER:
Dr. Tyler Vermeer and his wife, Heather, live in Rock Valley. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities – hunting, fishing and sports.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Promise seeks nominations for Addink Community Service Award


SIOUX CENTER – Volunteers are the lifeblood of northwest Iowa communities.

They fuel the engines of churches, schools and community organizations. Their passions spark life into programs and projects.

That’s why Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center recognizes an individual, or family, every year with the Addink Community Service Award.
Jayne and Rod Hofmeyer, founders of
the Zestos ministry, were the honorees
of the Addink Community Service Award
at Promise Community Health Center's
"An Evening of Promise" in 2016.

Promise now is accepting nominations for this year’s honoree. The deadline to submit a nomination is Sept. 17.

“We feel it’s important to recognize a person or family through our annual community service award because unselfish giving and volunteerism are essential elements if we are to deliver the promise of a healthier community,” said Nancy Dykstra, executive director of Promise. “Unselfish giving inspires others to serve, making our community and our world a better place for all.”

The award will be presented at Promise Community Health Center’s ninth annual celebration event on Thursday, Nov. 2, at Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center. The honoree will be notified prior to the event and will be recognized publicly.

The Addink Community Service Award was created in 2012 to recognize one individual, or family, who has made a positive impact on the community through volunteerism. The award is named after Ken and Barb Addink of Sioux Center in recognition of their lifetime of involvement in community activities. In particular, their volunteer service was instrumental in establishing dental services at Promise.

The award recognizes and honors an exceptional individual or family that makes volunteerism and community service a way of life. The award recipient exemplifies the best in volunteeringa sense of caring and responsibility for others, for the betterment of the local community and for the greater world beyond.


Specifically, the winner will be someone who:
  • Gives freely and unselfishly of their time to community activities;
  • Inspires others to serve and acts as a role model;
  • Has a positive impact upon the direction and success of community projects, programs or individuals;
  • Improves the lives of others.

Anyone can nominate a person, or family, for the award. Anyone except for a Promise employee, current board member or immediate family member of an employee or board member  is eligible to receive the award. Nominations will remain on file for three years.

To fill out an online nomination form, visit this link. For a paper form, click on this link. To have a nomination form emailed or mailed to you, contact Derrick Vander Waal at 712-722-1700 or derrick@promisechc.org.

For more information about the award, read the full criteria.

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 www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


SAVE THE DATE!
Promise Community Health Center’s ninth annual “An Evening of Promise” Celebration and Fundraiser is slated for Thursday, Nov. 2, at Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center. The event will feature a catered dinner, entertainment and presentation of the Addink Community Service Award.


PAST ADDINK AWARD HONOREES:


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Robertson certified to counsel moms for breastfeeding success


SIOUX CENTER – Erica Robertson has developed a passion for obstetrics and newborn care since becoming a nurse.

Therefore, she was excited to be offered the opportunity to receive training to become a certified lactation counselor for Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.

Erica Robertson, a registered nurse at
Promise Community Health Center in
Sioux Center, has earned certification
as a lactation counselor. She will use
her training to enhance services to
women in Promise's prenatal program.
With that certification, Robertson will enhance the health center’s prenatal program.

“Promise realized the need for increased lactation support and education,” she said. “If a parent decides breastfeeding is the feeding option they want to pursue, it is a big commitment that can be overwhelming at times. We want to optimize their ability to be successful.”

To earn certification, Robertson took a 45-hour, one-week course through the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice. The course, which was offered via the Healthy Children Project, included instruction time, latch assessments and counseling competency exercises. At the end of the course, she had to pass a certification exam.

She now is eager to put what she learned into practice.

“The training has given me the knowledge needed to feel confident in helping parents realize and achieve their breastfeeding goals,”she said. “I can counsel patients on the importance of breastfeeding, help them determine if breastfeeding is the best option for them and their baby, assist with breastfeeding after their baby is born and help troubleshoot problems that arise.”

Robertson, who has served as a registered nurse at Promise since June 2014, said the health center has many goals with the project. Initially, the prenatal team will use her as a counselor for moms – answering questions and giving information to them – at a couple of their prenatal appointments before their baby is born.

“Our prenatal team already does a great job at supporting parents with their breastfeeding questions,” she said. “By having a counselor meet with them at particular visits, we can be more intentional about the education.”

She also will contact home-birth moms within 24 hours of delivery – a critical time for breastfeeding success. All parents will be given the option to call whenever questions or concerns about breastfeeding come up, including after regular business hours for urgent concerns.

“We want parents to know help is available, and they aren’t alone in this journey,” she said. “Babies deserve the best nutritional support possible, and parents deserve optimal breastfeeding support to ensure their goals are met with breastfeeding.”

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 www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, see Promise's news blog at promisechcnews.blogspot.com and the Promise midwives' blog, Wonderfully Made!, at promisechcmidwives.blogspot.com.


AWARENESS MONTH:
August is National Breastfeeding Month. To learn more, visit: www.usbreastfeeding.org/nbm.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Promise CHC awarded $56,543 for ongoing high-quality service


SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center has been awarded $56,543 in federal grant funding to recognize its achievements in providing high-quality, comprehensive care.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that Promise was among 1,333 community health centers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia awarded nearly $105 million as an investment in quality improvement. Iowa’s 14 health centers were awarded more than $1.1 million.

The grant awards were announced during National Health Center Week.

Dr. Kenneth Tjeerdsma and Tysa Adkins provide a
dental screening during Promise Community Health
Center's annual Back-to-School Block Party on Aug. 9.
Promise has been awarded $56,543 in federal funding
to recognize continuous quality improvement.
“The award of these grant funds is meaningful to the whole Promise team,” said Nancy Dykstra, executive director for Promise. “The funds reflect Promise’s ability to measure the quality and cost-effectiveness of health services to its patients and the community.”

The health centers receiving the grants are being recognized for high levels of performance in various categories. They will use the funds to expand quality improvement systems and improve primary care service delivery in the communities they serve.

Promise was awarded funding in the following categories:
  • $21,000 in Addressing Health Disparities, signifying that Promise has met or exceeded Healthy People 2020 goals by each race/ethnic group or made considerable advances toward the goals. Five of Iowa’s 14 community health centers received the award.
  • $10,500 in Enhancing Access to Care by increasing the number of patients served and the number of patients receiving comprehensive services between 2015 and 2016. Five of Iowa’s 14 health centers received the award.
  • $14,543 in Clinical Quality Improvers by demonstrating notable improvement in one or more clinical quality measures between 2015 and 2016. Thirteen Iowa health centers received the award.
  • $10,500 in Electronic Health Record Reporters by employing EHRs to report on all clinical quality measures data for the health centers’ patients. Eleven Iowa health centers received the award.

Promise is part of a network of nearly 1,400 community health centers nationwide that serve more than 25 million people at more than 10,400 sites. During 2016, Promise cared for a record 3,886 patients who received a comprehensive array of health services that included medical, prenatal, dental, vision/eye, mental health and family planning – all under one roof. Of those patients, 40.2 percent were on Medicaid, and 36.4 percent had no insurance.

“Americans deserve a health-care system that’s affordable, accessible, of the highest quality, with ample choices, driven by world leading innovations, and responsive to the needs of the individual patient,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price. “Supporting health centers across the country helps to achieve that mission.”

For a full list of quality improvement awards recipients for fiscal year 2017, click here.

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 www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.

Friday, August 18, 2017

I love serving at Promise Community Health Center because . . .


SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center is celebrating National Health Center Week this week.

Promise has a lot to celebrate.

The health center offers a comprehensive array of services, including medical, prenatal, dental, vision/eye, mental health and family planning, all under one roof to its patients. The health center reaches out to all patients, no matter their life situation. In 2016, 40.2 percent of Promise’s patients were on Medicaid, and 36.4 had no insurance. Yet, Promise also cares for patients with private insurance (22.5 percent.) Promise served a record 3,886 patients in 2016 – 26.5 percent more than the previous year. Those patients came from a wide radius – 127 ZIP codes. Promise employs 41 staff, nearly 40 percent of whom are bilingual in English and Spanish.
Promise Community Health Center staff is celebrating
National Health Center Week this week, Aug. 13-18.


Staff members reflected this week on why they love serving at Promise. Here is a sampling of their responses:

Working at Promise continually teaches me new things – not only about the medical field but about various cultures and life experiences that people are part of. It expands my understanding of the different life circumstances people come from and how all are deserving of encouragement, support and basic human needs such as health care. I’m thankful to work for a place that can provide patients with those necessities in a way that is affordable and multi-faceted.
– Kristen Schuler, registered nurse

I find it rewarding to serve an underserved population. We have some patients driving from over an hour away because nobody else takes their insurance. They are so grateful to have somebody take care of their needs and care for them.
– Rebecca Hoyer, dental hygienist

It’s a neat experience to meet people where they are to make health care possible for them and to do so in a personal way that may not be found at a larger facility. I especially enjoy seeing the full circle of establishing a contract with home-birth patients and then seeing them back at the clinic with their newborns.
– Carolyn Vander Schaaf, financial assistant

I think it’s really unique how we are constantly adapting to the needs of patients. Just in the past few years, we’ve added several new programs, added office space, added new staff roles and continually worked on improving patient care. That kind of flexibility and looking ahead takes a lot of work. I’m proud of our staff and what we accomplish together for our patients.
– Amy McAlpine, data and compliance specialist

I really enjoy working at Promise. It’s amazing to see how the facility has expanded throughout the years to better meet the needs of our patients; it’s even more amazing to hear how grateful the patients are for these services! Whether it’s preventative care or chronic issues, we try to give patients the best care possible and connect them with any resources they may need. I also find it very rewarding to hear the success stories from patients, especially those who had a difficult journey along the way.
– Ruth Hernandez, medical assistant/interpreter

Working at Promise is a privilege. The patients are the key to the joy of working there. They have true needs, have true gratitude for what you do, and give priority to family and improved health. Coworkers at Promise are another blessing. They exhibit a unified goal of improving health and life for our patients.
– Dr. Del Lassen, medical director

I hear from a lot of my clients that Promise is a place where, as immigrants and people who are unfamiliar with the area, they feel safe and taken care of. They know they can trust outreach staff to help them with insurance, food stamps and other things needed for day-to-day life, they can receive dental services if their only form of insurance is Medicaid, and they will be seen regardless of what form of insurance they have – even if they have none! The sliding fee scale also makes health care much more attainable. Many families feel like a fish out of water when they first move to the U.S. or from out of the area, but Promise helps them feel more at home even when they may be thousands of miles away from "home.”
– Kelsey, patient care specialist
Working at Promise has been a rewarding experience in that my eyes and heart have been opened to those that are less fortunate, for whatever circumstances may have brought them there. Everyone’s path is different, and we never know another person’s path that has brought them where they are today.
– Amy Kleinhesselink, chief financial officer

I enjoy being with a group of interdisciplinary professionals who are passionate about their work and for whom work is more than “a job.” I also find working in a community health center to be fun, challenging and fulfilling because I get to work with and care for diverse people from all walks of life with unique experiences, strengths, attributes and traumas. I find that people are strong and resilient in their own ways. And they challenge me to be a better person. Every day is full of opportunities!
– Nancy Dykstra, executive director

It’s a joy for me to watch, every day, all the wonderful ways that Promise staff reaches out to underserved people. I’m always amazed by the incredible lengths they will go to help people and ensure their needs are met with kindness and compassion – even beyond health care. It’s rewarding to know Promise is making a positive difference in the community.
– Derrick Vander Waal, public relations officer

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 www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Promise serves record 226 students at Back-to-School Block Party


SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center shattered another record with 226 students being provided required health screenings during its eighth annual Back-to-School Block Party on Wednesday, Aug. 9.

Nurse Kristen Schuler checks blood pressure during
Promise Community Health Center's eighth annual
Back-to-School Block Party on Wednesday, Aug. 9.
A record 226 students received health screenings
that they are required to have for school.
That was 42 more than the 184 children served in 2016 and 100 more than the total of 126 in 2015.

The children, their families and community members also enjoyed free food and interactive activities offered by more than a dozen community organizations in the back alley and parking lot behind Promise’s building for the block party.

“We’re thrilled that so many families found this to be a valuable service again this year to get their children adequately prepared for school,” said Derrick Vander Waal, public relations officer for Promise.

“Not only did students get required screening for school, but everyone had a great time at the block party.”

The 226 students each received at least one of the four health services offered – with many of them receiving multiple services.

Nurses Kim Davelaar and Alex Van Beek provide shots
in both arms to Megan Brower of Orange City during
Promise CHC's eighth annual Back-to-School Block
Party on Wednesday, Aug. 9. A record 89 students
received free immunizations at the event.


A breakdown of the services:
  • 130 students – 20 more than last year – received low-cost school and sports physicals.
  • 89 students – nine more than last year – received free immunizations.
  • 65 students received free dental screens.
  • 53 students received free vision screens.

The event was extended by one hour this year to better facilitate its increasing popularity.

“We served more students this year, but an improved flow plan allowed people to navigate through the building for the services that they needed with much shorter wait times than in past years,” Vander Waal said.

More than a dozen community organizations
offered free interactive activities and games
at Promise CHC's eighth annual Back-to-School
Block Party on Wednesday, Aug. 9.


Promise was appreciative of the many area organizations that participated with various activities during the five-hour event: Community Health Partners, Season Center for Behavioral Health, Iowa State University’s Juntos, Sioux Center Public Library, All Kids Can, Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Family Crisis Centers of Northwest Iowa, We Rock the Spectrum, UnitedHealthcare and Stepping Stones Preschool.

KSOU Radio served a free hot dog meal and played music. Culver’s served free lemon ice treats. Cinema 5 Theatres provided free popcorn.

“The wonderful, interactive activities and great food truly made this event a great block party,” Vander Waal said. “We were so thankful for the participation of so many organizations who gave of their time and resources.”

In addition, Sioux Center Health did car-seat safety checks – making adjustments to ensure the seats were safely secured in vehicles and replacing car seats no longer in good condition with new ones. In total, 32 car seats were checked, and 18 new ones were issued and installed.
Mark Buss of KSOU Radio serves free hot dogs during
Promise CHC's eighth annual Back-to-School Block Party
on Wednesday, Aug. 9. In addition to the radio station
donating the meal, Culver's served free lemon ice treats,
 and Cinema 5 Theatres provided free popcorn.



Sioux Center Kiwanis donated $500 to Promise for the purchase of car seats at the event.

“We were also impressed with the number of people that came to ask questions,” said Marcia Van Voorst of Sioux Center Health. “Thank you for giving us this opportunity to serve our community.”

Several Dordt College volleyball players volunteered their time to do face-painting, sidewalk chalk and bubbles with the children.

Promise gave away more than 200 drawstring bags with school and health supplies to students, thanks in large part to a $500 grant from the Walmart Foundation. Delta Dental also donated toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss for the bags.

Area political officials visited and toured Promise during the block party: Iowa Rep. Skyler Wheeler of Orange City and Jerry Self, regional director from the Sioux City office of U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst.

“Thank you to all who came to our block party,” Vander Waal said. “We hope to see you all again next year at an even bigger and better event.”

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 www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.

TO SEE PICTURES:
To get a better feel for what the event was like, check out the many photos on multiple posts on Promise’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PromiseCHC. One post shows the block party activities, and another post shows the health screenings.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Alcover ready to serve as Promise’s behavioral health coordinator


SIOUX CENTER – Felix Alcover wants to do all he can to help people.

That makes him excited about his new role as the behavioral health care coordinator and interpreter at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.

Felix Alcover has assumed the role of
behavioral health coordinator at
Promise Community Health Center
in Sioux Center.


“I was interested in the people that the behavioral health program works with,” he said. “I find it exciting to be exposed to different types of struggles and problems others have and be able to help them. I am eager to learn from working in this department.”

Alcover, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, grew up in the small town of San German, Puerto Rico, before moving to the Sioux Center when he was 16. He graduated from Sioux Center High School in 2016 and then enrolled at Dordt College in Sioux Center, where he is majoring in criminal justice. He will serve part time at Promise while attending college.

As the behavioral health coordinator, he will introduce patients to the behavioral health program and follow up with them. He will interpret for Spanish-speaking patients. He also will help promote the program.

“I hope I can expand the behavioral health program further and give a sense of security and trustworthiness to patients,” Alcover said.

He also is happy to be serving at Promise because of its purpose.

“I admire the goal it has to serve patients with multicultural backgrounds and even the more impoverished people,” he said.

He also feels welcomed.

“It has a very professional yet friendly environment,” Alcover said.

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 www.promisechc.org and watch this video. To read more Promise news, visit promisechcnews.blogspot.com.


MORE ABOUT FELIX:
Felix Alcover lives in Sioux Center. He enjoys doing art and graphic design, performing card magic, biking, swing dancing and exercising. His sister, Elizabeth (Liz) Vargas, also works at Promise as a receptionist.