End-of-Life-Care in Southwest Iowa Moves Forward with Land Lease
Release Date: 01/21/2008

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Jennie Edmundson Hospital has agreed to lease five-acres of land to Hospice of Southwest Iowa. COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa –The vision of building a hospice house in Southwest Iowa is one step closer to reality with a five-acre site selection valued at over $200,000. The Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital owns the Dudley property located at 1500 N. Broadway and has agreed to lease the land for a $1 a year to Hospice of Southwest Iowa (HSI). The HSI collaborative partnership between Alegent Health Mercy Hospital and The Visiting Nurse Association of Pottawattamie County (VNAPC) began this past November to provide quality, comfort and compassion for individuals and their families facing end-of-life care decisions. "For many years, there has been a pressing need for this type of facility in southwest Iowa. We are thrilled to be a catalyst for this project and are extremely proud to utilize the Dudley property in a manner that fulfills the original wishes set forth by Elizabeth Dudley and the Women's Christian Association," said Steve Baumert, CEO of Jennie Edmundson Hospital. The five acres site where HSI will be built is known as the Old Dudley House. In 1973 the Dudley family donated the land to the Women’s Christian Association which sponsors Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital. The original three-story Dudley home, which remains on the site, will be torn down to make way for the 16-bed hospice house that will be valued at $5.5 million. The HSI Program will primarily serve the terminally ill population living in Pottawattamie, Harrison, Mills and other surrounding counties. “The land Jennie Edmundson Memorial Hospital has generously agreed to contribute brings the dream of building a hospice house closer to reality. Alegent Health and the VNAPC are excited for their support to this community effort to build this end-of-life care facility from the ground up,” said Denise McNitt, division executive for Alegent Health Home Care and Community Based Services. “This partnership is a unique opportunity for both the VNAPC and Alegent Health to collaborate for the benefit of the entire community. Hospice care fulfills a critical role for residents in Southwest Iowa and we look forward to begin building a facility that caters exclusively to the end-of-life needs of the terminally ill and their families,” said Emmet Tinley III, chair of HSI Board and former VNAPC board president. The projected completion date for the hospice house is spring of 2009. A capital fund campaign is expected to get underway in the next couple months. Hospice is holistic family centered care that is offered to patients with a life expectancy of six months or less. It seeks to provide comfort and quality of life with aggressive symptom management through an interdisciplinary team approach. Most hospice care occurs in patient’s homes and nursing home facilities. Many communities in Iowa have built hospice facilities to compliment their home hospice programs. Currently there are several hospice programs serving residents of Southwest Iowa but there is no hospice care facility.