Thursday, July 25, 2019

Promise CHC awarded $600,000 grant for Population Health Program

by Derrick Vander Waal

SIOUX CENTER, IOWA – Promise Community Health Center will take its nurse health coaching service to the next level in establishing a Population Health Program.

The project will focus on chronic disease care management and preventative health – both with its established patients and within the community.

To make the enhanced program possible, Promise has been awarded a $600,000 federal grant over three years from the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program of the Health Resources and Services Administration. The project will take effect on Aug. 1.

Stephanie Van Ruler,
population health manager

Stephanie Van Ruler, who was hired two years ago as Promise’s first nurse health coach, will serve as the project director and has been promoted to the role of Population Health Program manager at the health center.

“Promise has long been committed to the long-term success of its patients,” Van Ruler said. “The transition to a Population Health Program through the funding of the grant will provide a structured, team-based approach to chronic disease management and enhanced access for primary care and preventative care. The Population Health Program will place a focus on education to ensure services provided address language, cultural and socioeconomic barriers.”

Van Ruler said Promise’s implementation of the nurse health coaching program has resulted in positive health outcomes for patients during the past two years. She noted that Promise’s health providers deliver high-quality care to patients, but the nurse health coaches can take that a step farther by offering the ongoing, one-on-one teaching and support that patients need to overcome barriers to health and manage chronic conditions such as diabetes.

The Population Health Program not only will increase and enhance the nurse health coaching provided to patients, but the project will expand outreach and education into the community.

“The Population Health Program will allow for a continued increase in set standards, improvement in care and improved health outcomes of all persons living in rural northwest Iowa,” Van Ruler said.

The grant will allow Promise to hire two new full-time positions: a nurse health coach and a patient navigator. The patient navigator will free up the nurse health coaches to focus more directly on patients’ needs and care.

In addition, Promise’s part-time nurse health coaches, Kim Davelaar and Vicki Schrock, will continue to serve patients. Kendra Borchers, clinical pharmacist for Promise, will serve as resource in caring for patients with chronic disease using her expertise in medications. Amy McAlpine, data and compliance specialist, will track patient and project outcomes.

Through the project, Promise will further its mission “to provide accessible, holistic care that adapts to the needs of the community to improve the well-being of all persons.”

“Promise believes that all persons should be empowered and have equal rights to living a healthy, vibrant life,” Van Ruler said. “Through a structured, collaborative Population Health Program, Promise can strive to make health equity a reality for persons living in rural Iowa.”

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

If you are interested in serving as a nurse health coach or patient navigator, visit Promise Community Health Center’s careers page on its website to review the job descriptions at: