Hospice to close Hospice House

The Board of Directors of Hospice, Serving Davis & Wapello Counties, has voted to close Hospice House as of December 31, 2021. However, Hospice will continue to deliver complete services to patients in their own homes, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities.

“Hospice’s in-home team will continue to ensure that each Hospice patient and their family is treated with love, dignity, and respect, and that they receive the highest quality of patient care possible,” Angie Rozenboom, Hospice Executive Director.

“The closing of Hospice House was not a financial decision,” she said. “This decision was based on having the inability to maintain adequate staffing to meet our patients’ needs and to provide the best possible end-of-life care.”

There have been periodic nursing shortages across the United States for many years, but the magnitude of the current nursing shortage is greater than ever before. Further, rural communities absorb greater impacts of the nursing shortage than do metropolitan areas as statistics show that only 16 percent of the country’s registered nurses live in rural areas.

The shortage of skilled nurses entering and staying in the workforce affects both patient care and other healthcare workers on the team.

“Hospice has been struggling to adequately staff both our in-home Hospice care program and our Hospice House,” Rozenboom said. “Having fewer nurses available to spread the workload is guaranteed to add layers of stress onto other staff. With most patients being cared for with hospice services in their own home, Hospice has been forced to match our available workforce to the greatest number of patients served.”

Rozenboom said Hospice feels strongly that patients deserve to have the best care possible and this action will ensure that they do. The Hospice facility at 927 E. Pennsylvania Ave. in Ottumwa will continue to be used as the headquarters for in-home Hospice care, bereavement services, volunteer services, and administrative offices.

Rozenboom hopes that closing the Hospice House will only be an interim solution as the non-profit organization determines the best way to meet the needs of terminally ill patients in this area.

“Our goal is to re-open Hospice House if sufficient qualified Hospice healthcare staff becomes available in our area,” she said. “We know that Hospice House holds a special place in the hearts of many patients, families, friends, volunteers, and staff. Hospice, Serving Davis and Wapello Counties, is grateful for the community’s support throughout the years, and we hope we can count on the continued support as we move forward.”

Established in 1982, Hospice, Serving Davis and Wapello Counties, has provided quality end-of-life care for more than 39 years. Hospice will continue to serve all of Davis and Wapello Counties as well as the surrounding townships in Appanoose, Jefferson, Keokuk, Mahaska, Monroe, and Van Buren Counties.



     COVID-19 Information

Hospice, Serving Davis and Wapello Counties, has updated its visiting policy at the Hospice House:

  • Visiting times are now 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Family and friends (16-years of age and older) are allowed to visit patients.
  • Only TWO visitors are allowed to visit their loved one at a time. However, visitors may enter the facility more than once each day.
  • All visitors will be screened upon entering the facility.
  • Facemasks must be worn at all times.
  • All visitors must stay in the patient's room.
  • A log will be kept of all visitors entering the facility.
  • Visitors will enter through the building's front door from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except on holidays.
  • Visitors will enter through the back (Hospice House door) before 8:00 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday, and on all designated holidays. Ring the doorbell for entrance. Remember that when entering through the back door, Hospice House staff may be busy providing patient care and they will come to the door as soon as they are able to.

“We believe this is necessary for the health and safety of our patients and staff due to the threat of COVID-19,” Angie Rozenboom, Hospice Executive Director, said. “Hospice bereavement group meetings are still suspended until further notice.”

Hospice, Serving Davis and Wapello Counties is currently working closely with the local healthcare coalition, including local and state public health agencies and following various recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS).

“These precautions will continue to change as the overall threat evolves,” Rozenboom said. “We apologize for this inconvenience, and greatly appreciate your cooperation in this matter.”

Please feel free to contact Hospice at (641) 682-0684 with any questions.


Hospice, Serving Davis and Wapello Counties

  • Provides support and care for those in the last phases of a life-limiting illness
  • Recognizes dying as part of the normal process of living
  • Affirms life and neither hastens nor postpones death
  • Focuses on quality of life for individuals and their caregivers
  • Serves all patients, regardless of complexity of care needed or ability to pay

Hospice, Serving Davis and Wapello Counties emphasizes comfort and dignity as life nears its end. Hospice care neither hastens nor postpones death, but rather reaffirms life. Hospice care focuses on the quality of life for terminally ill individuals and their families. We put the wishes of the patient and their family first by honoring, respecting, and listening to everyone we serve. The emphasis is on comfort and caring so that the patient and the family may live their remaining time together to the fullest, according to their own wishes.

Patients and families have a choice in hospice care, but not every hospice is the same. Talk to friends and family who may have been involved with hospice care and ask about their experience.  Please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

For the most benefit, you should consider hospice care as soon as possible after the decision has been made to seek peace and comfort rather than curative care. By working with your physician, we can determine if you qualify for Hospice and, then, develop an individualized plan of care.

"Thank you so much for the love and care you gave to our mother. We can't tell you how much that you are appreciated.  It takes very special people to do what you do every day and it was not unnoticed."

Diagnoses in Hospice
  • All Cancers
  • Kidney Diseases - Renal Failure
  • Respiratory Diseases - COPD, Emphysema
  • Cardiac Disease - Heart Attack, Congestive Heart Failure
  • Liver Disease - Cirrhosis, Liver Failure
  • End Stage Dementia
  • CVA/Stroke
  • HIV
  • Motornuron Diseases - ALS, Huntington's Chorea, Parkinson's
Hospice Accepts Referrals From:
  • Patients
  • Family Members
  • Caregivers
  • Friends
  • Physicians
  • Anyone who knows someone with a life-limiting illness


Number 1-Ranked Hospice in the Area

Thanks to everyone who voted for Hospice, Serving Davis and Wapello Counties in the Ottumwa Courier's "Best of Southern Iowa 2021" listings. We are proud to be the top-rated Hospice in the area. The Hospice staff is humbled and honored that you allow us to provide care to your loved ones.