Friday, April 26, 2019

Serving as a nurse has always been Jenna Wynia’s ‘dream job’

by Derrick Vander Waal

SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – Jenna Wynia dreamed of becoming a nurse since she was in kindergarten.

Jenna Wynia is serving as a new clinic nurse
at Promise Community Health Center in
Sioux Center. She wanted to go into the
nursing field since she was a child.

She knows that sounds cliche, but she grew up being exposed to the health-care field due to family members who needed the services. Therefore, she wanted to be that person who could help people in a time of need.

Now an eight-year veteran in the nursing profession, she is excited to help people as a new clinic nurse at Promise Community Health Center in Sioux Center.

I hope to bring a positive attitude, a smiling face and a compassionate heart here to the people who attend Promise CHC and to my coworkers,” she said. “It’s a wonderful organization to have here. I am honored to be chosen to work and serve here.”

Jenna grew up in Momence, IL, and graduated from Covenant Christian High School in DeMotte, IN, in 2007. She then enrolled at Dordt College in Sioux Center, where she earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing in 2011.

She worked as a nurse at Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars for eight years, February 2011-March 2019, in a variety of roles, ranging from caring for laboring and postpartum moms to emergency patients. For the last two years, she served as a night shift supervisor and float to wherever she was needed.

She now is eager for her new role at Promise.

I am excited to be serving in the community that I am a part of and living in each day,” Jenna said. “I am excited to see patients and watch them grow throughout the years. I am excited for the variety that will come each day the well-child visits, the acute illnesses and the managing of chronic conditions.

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

Jenna Wynia and her husband, Tim, live in Sioux Center and have three girls, Savannah, 5; Addilynn, 3; and Maylee, 11 months. In her spare time, Jenna enjoys spending weekends with family at a lake house in Minnesota, boating, fishing, going on evening walks and taking trips to the zoo.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Promise CHC awarded $5,000 grant toward new ultrasound unit

Members of Promise Community Health Center's team attended Sioux Center's
Spirit of Community celebration on Tuesday, April 23. Pictured are (front, from
left) Amy McAlpine, Rebecca Baatz, Melinda Scholten; (back) Derrick Vander
Waal, Jo Thyr, Emily Tuschen, Belinda Lassen and Michelle van Beek. Promise
was awarded a $5,000 grant for a new ultrasound machine at the event.
by Derrick Vander Waal

SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – Promise Community Health Center is upgrading its ultrasound machine, thanks in part to a $5,000 grant from the Sioux Center Community Foundation.

Promise also received two private donations totaling $25,000 for the project in addition to contributing its own matching funds.

The grant, which is funded from the foundation’s Generations Community Endowment Fund, was awarded during the Sioux Center Spirit of Community celebration on Tuesday, April 23, at Terrace View Event Center. Promise was among nine local, nonprofit organizations that received a total of $28,000 in grant funding.

Certified nurse midwife Belinda Lassen and
the midwifery team at Promise Community
Health Center will have a new, upgraded
ultrasound machine to use, thanks in part
to a $5,000 grant from Sioux Center's
Generations Community Endowment Fund.
The ultrasound unit also will be used
for other medical purposes.
The unit will replace an ultrasound machine that Promise has used throughout most of its history, has become outdated and has reached the end of its lifespan. It will be used primarily by Promise’s midwifery team for prenatal purposes, but it also will be used by Promise's medical providers for various medical diagnostic purposes. The state-of-the-art 3D images produced by the ultrasound machine will result in more accurate diagnosing.

“Our health center is very excited to have received this grant, specifically our OB department,” said Emily Tuschen, co-chief executive officer for Promise. “The purchase of the new ultrasound machine will allow our providers to give more comprehensive care. We are honored that the Sioux Center Foundation also recognizes the importance of this diagnostic tool and are so grateful for their generosity.”

Promise’s midwifery team will use the ultrasound scans to visualize the baby’s heartbeat and anatomy. The new unit will increase clarity of images and present a clearer sound of the fetal heartbeat. The ultrasound will not to replace the regular 20-week scan for prenatal patients; Promise will continue to refer those services to local facilities.

Ultimately, the ultrasound scans will help ensure that expectant mothers carry and deliver a healthy baby. Many of these women are low income and/or are uninsured. During 2018, Promise’s midwifery team served 216 prenatal patients, including 46.8 percent who had no medical insurance and 25.5 percent who were on Medicaida combined 72.2 percent.

“Many of our expecting mothers are new to the community, and many are new to pregnancy,” said Emily Tuschen, co-chief executive officer for Promise. “Promise is dedicated to educating and counseling these women on how to care for themselves and how to care for their unborn baby. The ultrasound provides to be a great tool because it offers expecting mothers a first-hand view of the moving, living child growing within them. The image reinforces in a powerful way what is being taught by the midwife providers, and it offers reassurance that all is well with the baby.”

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

The Sioux Center Community Foundation was formed in 1997 to provide a way for individuals and businesses to make tax-deductible donations to large community projects.

Since then, $7 million has flowed to various projects, including All Seasons Center, Sioux Center Public Library, The Ridge Golf Club, Sioux Center Recreation Trail and Sioux County Regional Airport.

In 2016, the foundation also established a separate Generations Community Endowment Fund as a means to distribute competitive grants to local, nonprofit organizations.

In the third year of grant awards, the following nine organizations were awarded a total of $28,000 on Tuesday, April 23. The grants funded a portion of each project.
  • Promise Community Health Center$5,000 to replace ultrasound machine;
  • Sioux Center Christian School$5,000 for Tales & Trails Summer Camp materials;
  • Sioux Center Health$5,000 for high chairs, tables and chairs for Early Childhood Center;
  • Sioux Center Music Boosters$4,000 for new marching band uniforms;
  • House of Missions and Equipping (HOME)$2,000 for tables and furnishings;
  • American Legion Post 199$2,500 for window replacement;
  • Sioux Center Public Library$2,000 for furnishings for  young adult area;
  • American Legion Auxiliary$1,500 for updated appliances;
  • Northwest Iowa Symphony Orchestra$1,000 for multimedia for concert for children.

“The Sioux Center Foundation Board and Generations Community Grant Endowment Fund are happy that we can distribute this money to you,” said Kevin Wolterstorff, president of the Sioux Community Foundation Board. “We’re really grateful for all your efforts, for your vision and for your leadership on these various committees and your activities with your groups and in your effort to make Sioux Center a better place.”

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Nancy Arizmendi takes on new role as dental assistant at Promise

by Derrick Vander Waal

SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – 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

by Derrick Vander Waal

SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – 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: