Citing staffing concerns, Hospice, Serving Davis & Wapello Counties will be closing its Hospice House on December 31st.
Executive Director Angie Rosenboom says a nursing shortage led to the decision and it’s not just a problem exclusive to southeast Iowa.
“There’s a nationwide nursing shortage and having fewer nurses to spread the workload adds stress to our staff,” Rosenboom says. “This is not just a local shortage. This is Nationwide.”
According to a news release from Hospice, Serving Davis & Wapello Counties, only 16 percent of registered nurses live in rural areas.
Despite the Hospice House closing, Rosenboom says the quality of care provided will not change.
“we will still be able to provide all of the services we did before,” Rosenboom explains. “We’re not going to provide them in our hospice house but we have contracts with other facilities to still provide the same levels of care.”
The news release says the Hospice facility at 927 East Pennsylvania Avenue in Ottumwa will continue to be used as the headquarters for in-home Hospice care, bereavement services, volunteer services, and administrative offices.
Rosenboom says the Board of Directors made a difficult decision but she did not the possibility of the Hospice House opening again sometime in the future.
“The Hospice house has been part of the community since 2004,” Rosenboom says. “We would like to see it reopened in the future if staffing availabilities change.”