Thursday, June 28, 2018

Schiltz to serve as family practice nurse practitioner at Promise CHC

SIOUX CENTER – Promise Community Health Center of Sioux Center announces the hiring of Faith Schiltz as a family practice nurse practitioner.

She will begin seeing patients on Monday, July 30.

Faith Schiltz, ARNP, looks forward to joining the medical
provider team at Promise Community Health Center in
Sioux Center as a nurse practitioner. She will begin seeing
patients at the health center on Monday, July 30.

Schiltz, an advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP), will complete Promise’s medical provider team. Beth Strub, who served as a nurse practitioner at Promise since August 2008, is moving on to provide women’s health at Iowa City VA Health Care System. Her last day is Friday, June 29.

Schiltz will be a familiar face to many of Promise’s patients because she served a preceptorship at Promise for a few months in 2016. She is eager to return.

“I experienced firsthand the passion of Promise supporters and staff, as well as witnessed their commitment to removing health-care barriers as a student nurse practitioner,” she said. “I believe that God has a plan for each of us, and for me, that path kept leading me to Promise. I am very happy that I have been chosen to serve as a provider at Promise.”

Emily Tuschen, chief operating officer for Promise, is excited to have Schiltz join the health center’s team of providers.

“Faith’s positive attitude, warm smile and caring demeanor sets her apart and will surely draw a strong patient load,” she said. “Working with Faith in the past through her preceptorship was a great experience, and I am thrilled to have her as a full-time family practice provider.”

Schiltz interest in the medical field began while working as a certified nursing assistant during high school. After graduating from Akron-Westfield High School in 1993, she enrolled at Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City and received her associate degree of nursing in May 1996. She served as a full-time nurse at Orange City Hospital, 1998-2001, and Orange City Family Practice, 2001-17. She also was a part-time nursing clinical instructor for two and a half years at Iowa Central Community College in Storm Lake, 2012-14.

While serving as a nurse, her interest in the medical field continued to build.

“I have been blessed to have several people throughout my life who have inspired me and encouraged me along the way to become a nurse practitioner,” she said.

Schiltz earned her bachelor of science in nursing degree from the University of Iowa School of Nursing in 2013 and achieved her master of science in nursing as a family nurse practitioner from South Dakota State University College of Nursing in August.

Since then, Schiltz has served as a nurse practitioner for Midlands Clinic in Dakota Dunes, SD, and its outreach clinics.

She now looks forward to beginning her family medical practice at Promise.

“My goal is to provide patient-centered care through collaboration with patients and their families to promote and improve their health,” Schiltz said. “I really enjoy developing relationships with patients and families. Building bonds and trust is important.”

Everyone is welcomed to receive care at Promise, but she noted the particular focus of reaching out to the underserved.

Promise is filling a definite need in northwest Iowa, helping to ensure access to broad, comprehensive and preventative health-care services regardless of income or insurance status,” Schiltz 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

Faith Schiltz and her husband, Kevin, live in Remsen and have three sons, Joshua, 27, Justin, 20, and Jordan, 19. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening, hiking and mushroom hunting.

Faith Schiltz
Faith Schiltz will begin seeing patients at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center on Monday, July 30.

She will take appointments during the following hours on a weekly basis:
  • Monday: 8 a.m.-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Wednesday: 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
To make an appointment, call 712-722-1700.

If you missed the feature story on Beth Strub, who served as a nurse practitioner at Promise Community Health Center since shortly after it opened 10 years ago, check out this story. Strub shares her reflections on her years of service.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Beth Strub reflects on her service at Promise before saying farewell

SIOUX CENTER – Beth Strub has offered compassionate care to patients as a nurse practitioner at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center for nearly 10 years.

Beth Strub has been serving as a nurse practitioner
at Promise Community Health Center nearly since
it opened 10 years ago. She is saying farewell as
she moves to provide women's health for the Iowa
City VA Health Care System. Her last day is Friday.
She started on a part-time basis at Promise in August 2008 – just a month after Promise opened its doors – to provide women’s health services and to give the original full-time provider a day off every week. A few months later, she went full time and now is the longest-tenured provider at the health center.

Therefore, it is with great sadness that Promise staff and patients are bidding farewell to Strub as she moves on to provide women’s health and gynecology services for the Iowa City VA Health Care System. Her last day is this Friday, June 29.

Strub always will have fond memories of her years at Promise.

I already look back and see what a difference Promise has made in so many people’s lives, by getting them the care they could not afford elsewhere,” Strub said. “This is very rewarding, and I can honestly say that every day when I go home I know that we have made a positive difference in many lives. I will miss the people and patients that I have gotten to know, and have developed relationships with, over the last 10 years.”

Strub entire career has been dedicated to health care.

After graduating from Le Mars High School in 1981, she received her degree as a registered nurse from St. Joseph Mercy School of Nursing in Sioux City in 1984. She served as a nurse for nearly a decade before earning her degree as a women’s health nurse practitioner in 1994 from a program sponsored by the Family Planning Council of Iowa and Drake University. She then served as a nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood of Greater Iowa in Des Moines, 1994-2006, and at Curaquick Clinic in a Hy-Vee grocery store in Sioux City, 2006-08, prior to coming to Promise.

Beth Strub
She now looks forward to returning to a primary focus on women’s health at the VA clinic.

“I get to provide this for the women who have worked to make our country a safe and great place to live,” she said.

Before taking her next step in her career journey, Strub took time to reflect on her years at Promise.

Q. What has serving at Promise CHC for the past 10 years been like for you? 
A. The greatest rewards are the people that I work with and the clients that I serve. I work with people who are very passionate about doing whatever it takes to meet our clients needs. I have the fortune of having had many of these clients for nearly 10 years now, and I care for many generations of the same family. The biggest challenges we face are related to finding ways to help people with no insurance and limited resources. This can be very difficult.

Q. What did you appreciate about serving Promise’s patient population?
A. I appreciate when clients work hard to do what they can do to feel better and take care of themselves.

Q. What will you remember most about your time at Promise?
A. My favorite memories will always be the friendships with coworkers and the times when we have had time to reminisce together.

Beth Strub, a nurse practitioner at Promise
Community Health Center since August 2008,
reflects on her 10 year of service before
her final day at Promise on Friday, June 29.
Q. As you reflect on Promise’s history, what are your thoughts about where Promise is today compared to when you started 2008?
A. My goodness have we grown! When I think back to my first days here to now, it is really shocking. We are now consuming almost the entire building. And I really love when I see someone who has an immediate dental issue that we can walk them down the hall to see the dentist. Same goes with someone who needs an eye doctor, or a therapist for emotional needs. This really is a place where holistic health care happens!

Q. What do you hope for Promise’s future?
A. I hope that Promise continues to grow and more providers are employed to meet the increasing need for people needing this type of health care.

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

Beth Strub and her husband, Mark, have four children and three grandsons. In her spare time, she loves to read, garden and cook. She also loves playing with her grandchildren and spending time with family.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Leo Marquez returns to Promise CHC as he pursues dentistry career

SIOUX CENTER – Leonardo “Leo” Marquez, an immigrant from Mexico, has been pouring his heart and soul into his dream of one day becoming a dentist in the United States.

And Promise Community Health Center again will play an important role as he takes the next steps in his career quest.

Leo, who previously served at Promise from August 2016-May 2017, has returned to the health center to work as a dental assistant/interpreter as he makes the next preparations for applying to dental schools.

Leo Marquez is happy to be back serving as a
dental assistant/interpreter at Promise Community
Health Center in Sioux Center while he continues
to pursue his career dream of becoming a dentist
in the United States someday.

He’s happy to be back at Promise.

“It’s great. It’s great because it was the place where I had the opportunity to be in the dental field,” Leo said, noting he didn’t have a lot of experience when he first started. “Promise was my opportunity to integrate into how dental care works in the United States. I wasn’t completely sure at the time if I wanted to become a dentist. While working at Promise, I realized how great dentistry was in this country, and I saw that I had a lot of opportunity to help people here. I then had no doubt that I wanted to become a dentist.”

Leo hails from Colotlán, Jalisco, Mexico, and completed his dental training at Universidad Guadalajara Lamar in 2015. After serving his social service for six months as the dentist at a small clinic in Mexico, he moved to Rock Valley in February 2016 to join his family who had immigrated there a few years earlier. His desire was to save enough money and learn to speak English well enough to enroll in the Dental International Student Program at a university in the United States.

In the meanwhile, he served in the dental assistant role at Promise for about nine months to get a start on his career.

His immersion into life and work in the United States gave him a good boost in learning English, but he decided to enroll last fall in an English program at Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, for international students looking to get into graduate schools.

“I had the opportunity to really study English in an advanced level with classmates from around the world,” Leo said, noting the irony that he was the only Mexican student even though Texas is highly populated with people from Mexico. “It taught a lot of grammar and a lot of writing.”

While in school, he also became employed as a part-time dental assistant at Brident Dental & Orthodontics in Austin, TX. There, he met several dentists who came from countries from around the world and had followed similar paths as he was seeking. He also worked alongside dental assistants who were also chasing the same goal of getting into dental school to become dentists someday.

“It was really helpful for me because I was around people who already were doing what I wanted to do. I had opportunities to talk to them, and they gave me some advice,” he said. “I realized that it is doable what I wanted to do. Two years ago, I was trying to be a dentist over here, but I didn’t even know how to do it. I didn’t have a plan to get it. I started to think about how I’m going to be able to go to dental school.”

After a semester at Texas State, Leo decided to return to northwest Iowa in March so that he could study full time for the National Board Dental Examination. He plans to take the first part in July, and the second part in November. As an international student, he’s required to pass both parts of the exam before he can enroll in dental school instead of afterward. He also will be required to pass the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL) exam.

He saved up as much money as he could so he could focus all of his attention on studying, without having to work, for a few months.

“Right now, I have a really good feeling about it because I’ve been sacrificing a lot,” he said, noting that his lifestyle has been “a little too boring” because he hasn’t been doing the fun activities many people his age do. “Right now, I have my ambition for my career. I know how to do it and have to stick to it. Education is the key. I have to study hard.”

Leo decided to return to Promise after being encouraged to do so by a former coworker as he continues to prepare for his tests. If he passes the tests, he will begin applying to many different dental schools next February with hopes of enrolling in one in the fall of 2019.

“I know the rest of the year will be tough for me because I will be working and studying, but it will be worth it,”  he said. “I feel on fire. I really want to do it. I’m passionate about 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

To learn more about Leo Marquez and his background, read this story.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Michelle van Beek eager to serve as behavioral health coordinator

SIOUX CENTER – Michelle (Palafox) van Beek was interested in serving at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center because of its “mission to serve.”

She will play a big role in that mission as Promise’s behavioral health coordinator/interpreter.

Michelle van Beek has assumed the role of behavioral
health coordinator/interpreter at Promise Community
Health Center. He looks forward to helping people in
such an important aspect of their overall health.
“I am very excited to be a part of Promise,” Michelle said. “Their mission to provide accessible care to the community is inspiring, and I wanted to be a part of that.”

Michelle grew up in Rock Valley and graduated from Rock Valley High School in 2014. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish translation and interpreting from Northwestern College in Orange City in December 2017 and holds National Board of Certification for Medical Interpreters in Spanish. Before starting at Promise, she served as an interpreter and translator at Hegg Memorial Health Center in Rock Valley for nearly a year.

In her behavioral health coordinator/interpreter role at Promise, Michelle will work directly with behavioral health therapist Jo Thyr. Among her duties, she will interpret for Spanish-speaking patients, serve as a health coach for behavioral health patients to support positive change with motivation, and conduct outreach into the community.

“I was interested in this position because behavioral/mental health is such an important part of our health, and I would like to help others in this essential aspect of their health,” she said. “I hope I can bring a positive attitude and willingness to work as a team in order to provide the best care for the people in our community.”

Michelle has been impressed with the health center.

“Promise is such a welcoming place where people genuinely care about you as a person,” 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

Michelle married David van Beek in May, and they live in Rock Valley. Her parents are Ada Orta and Miguel Palafox, and her siblings are Misael and Ada. In her spare time, she enjoys running, reading and listening to music.

Michelle van Beek serves on the behavioral health team with Promise Community Health Center's new full-time therapist, Jo Thyr. To learn more about Jo, read this story.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Jo Thyr ready to serve mental health needs as therapist at Promise

SIOUX CENTER – Jo Thyr is eager to transition into behavioral health counseling at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center after serving as a medical social worker for most of her career.

She sees it as a natural progression.

It’s also a natural progression for Promise as the health center moves from providing part-time behavioral/mental health services on a contractual basis with partner organizations to having its own full-time behavioral health therapist on staff. In doing so, Promise also will expand into offering substance abuse services as Jo becomes certified in that area – with a particular focus of addressing people’s addiction to opioids, which are drugs used to reduce pain.

Jo Thyr, a licensed master social worker
(LMSW), looks forward to walking alongside
people as they go through difficult situations
in their lives as the behavioral health therapist
at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux
Center. She will begin seeing patients at the
health center on a full-time basis this month.

“I understand the connection between the physical and emotional aspects of someone’s life,” Jo said. “A new medical diagnosis or adjustments with medical situations can affect someone emotionally. At times, anxiety and depression can develop. I believe I will still be teaching Promise patients, such as in the case of developing more positive coping skills.”

She finds it highly rewarding “to observe someone taking back control over their emotional lives.”

“Overall, people are resilient and have strengths they may not notice in themselves,” she said. “I am honored to walk alongside those who find themselves in a difficult spot in their lives.”

Thyr grew up on a farm near Gowrie in central Iowa and graduated from high school there. She then went on to Northwestern College in Orange City, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1982.

She then served as a social worker for about 30 years for various medical services, including Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo; Villa Health Care Center in Mora, MN; Greater Sioux County Hospice in Sioux Center; and, most recently for 20 years, at Orange City Area Health System. For the past school year, she served as an assistant professor of social work at Northwestern College. She earned her licensed master of social work (LMSW) degree from the University of Iowa in May 2017.

Jo now is eager to care for patients at Promise. After serving on a limited, part-time basis for a few months, she assumed her full-time role in June. She will begin seeing new patients on Monday, June 18, with the help of new behavioral health coordinator and interpreter, Michelle van Beek.

Here are her reflections as she begins this new role:

Q. Why were you interested in serving at Promise Community Health Center?
A. I am interested in serving at Promise Community Health Center because I believe in its mission, vision and values. I especially was drawn to Promise’s values of acceptance, teamwork and integrity. Those Promise serves have the right to be accepted and respected. I appreciate that Promise is welcoming to those no matter the income, ethnic background or life experience. Promise works with those who may find themselves in a financial crisis but still need services. Promise provides holistic care looking at the whole person, not just the physical aspects. I appreciate Promise’s acceptance of others, respectful care and adaptation to the needs of community members in this area of Iowa. I am honored to be a part of an organization where everyone is welcome. This inclusive nature is much needed in our world today.

Q. In particular, what interests you about this opportunity to provide behavioral/mental health services at Promise?
A. Promise is already helping our area to become healthier in order to grow. I believe the addition of full-time behavioral health services will also help this area to grow emotionally healthier. We human beings come with our bodies, as well as our minds. These two aspects are very intricately connected.

Q. How would you describe behavioral health care in simple wording?
A. In simple wording, behavioral health care is walking alongside someone when they are going through difficult situations or stressors in their lives.

Q. Why are behavioral health care services so important? Why should they be integrated with primary care?
A. Behavioral health services should be integrated with primary care due to the importance of the mind/body connection. Combining behavioral health with primary care can lead people to more quality of life, as well as a healthier life. I will work closely with our medical providers to assess patients’ needs and be available for a referral as soon as possible. Consulting and collaboration will be my priorities in working with the clinic providers. Providing consistent, full-time behavioral health services will be an asset to the already amazing services that Promise provides.

Q. How else will you be able to help patients?
A. The behavioral health services of Promise will also include counseling to assist with substance abuse, opioid abuse, mental or physical illness, poverty or unemployment. In behavioral health, we will also provide bilingual therapy with a caring behavioral health coordinator as the interpreter. This again reminds me of the respectful care that Promise provides its patients.

Q. What do you hope you can bring to Promise in your role?
A. I hope to bring a positive, refreshing perspective about behavioral health to Promise. It takes courage to share life’s struggles with a therapist. I want to help break down the barriers or possible uncomfortable feelings about sharing. I want to provide a safe, welcoming area for those to share in a confidential setting. I desire to build bridges for others to be healthier in all aspects of their lives. This would entail the holistic services that are provided by Promise. Behavioral health services will now be more accessible to our patients, as this will be offered on a full-time basis. Offering services when a patient needs it is vital to the community and those we will serve. I am excited and honored to be a part of the team and offer quality services.

Q. What are your impressions of Promise as an organization?
A. My initial impressions of Promise were those of respect for all persons, inclusivity, as well as integrity. I believe these aspects are vital to the success of an organization. I learned that services are patient-centered, which also shows the value that Promise places on its patients and their families. I observed positive teamwork within the various departments at Promise as well. Teamwork says a lot about an organization, and I am proud to be a part of the Promise team of providers and staff.

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

Jo Thyr will see patients for behavioral/mental health care during the following hours at Promise Community Health Center: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday. To make an appointment, call 712-722-1700. To learn more about Promise’s behavioral health services expansion, read this story.

Jo Thyr and her husband, Kevin, live in Orange City. They have five children and six grandchildren who live in places throughout the country: Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA; Honolulu, HI; and Mahnomen, MN; and as a student at Northwestern College in Orange City. In her spare time, Jo enjoys drinking coffee with friends and family, sitting on her deck, reading and showing hospitality to others – with the coffee is always on at home for visitors.