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Ellsworth Community College partners with Hansen Family Hospital to meet community needs

When Governor Reynolds announced that wellness centers would not be able to continue operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dale Howard Family Activity Center closed its doors. Little did Ellsworth Community College administrators know those doors would open again in just a matter of weeks, albeit in a much different capacity.

Hansen Family Hospital approached ECC Provost, Dr. Martin Reimer, when the need to keep well patients separate from sick patients intensified after community spread of Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, was identified in Iowa.  “We are very grateful to Dr. Reimer and others at Ellsworth Community College for their work to make this partnership happen so quickly and smoothly,” says Hansen Family Hospital CEO, Doug Morse, “ECC was a tremendous help just when we needed it.”

The temporary rental agreement, which meets all Governor Reynolds’ directives for both the hospital and the College, makes HFH responsible for all obligations of cleaning and staffing the building.  Under this agreement, the DHFAC essentially serves as the hospital’s rehab services facility.  Patients with the most pressing needs are able to continue their physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy without interruption.

“We were happy to find a way to be able to meet this community need,” says Dr. Kristie Fisher, Iowa Valley Community College District Chancellor, as she emphasizes the responsibility community colleges have to serve their communities.

“This is truly a terrific example of a community college supporting a community when it’s most needed,” agreed Morse.

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