Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary Donates $65,000 for Serenity House Charity Care

Shown at the check presentation are, from left: Ariann Blake, Cindy DeGoey, Sherry Blattler, Francine Charma, Virginia Walker, Amanda Doud, Mahaska Health CEO Kevin DeRonde, Carol Knoot, Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary President Amber Coffey, Mahaska Hospice Coordinator Kim Stek, Diane Green and Mahaska Health Chief Nursing Officer Andrea Hagist.

MAHASKA COUNTY – The Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary recently donated $65,000 to the Hospice Serenity House, proceeds from this year’s Share the Love fundraiser held in February.

According to Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary President Amber Coffey, the donation will benefit the Hospice Charity Care program. “No one is turned away from the Serenity House due to an inability to pay for services, and last year the Serenity House provided close to $100,000 in support for families,” Coffey explained.

“Thanks to the generous support from the community for this year’s Share the Love fundraiser, we are able to make a sizable donation to help support this vital community resource. It is through the support of philanthropic community businesses and individuals that we are able to continue making a positive impact.”

Mahaska Health Hospice Coordinator Kim Stek explained that there are three different levels of care at the Serenity House, and each level is paid at a different per diem by Medicare or private insurance. The per diem is to cover all discipline visits, including nurses, social workers, aides, chaplains, volunteers and any other therapy deemed necessary by the interdisciplinary group (IDG) team.

“This per diem is also to cover the cost of medication-related to the patient’s primary diagnosis and durable medical equipment (DME) like walkers, wheelchairs, lift beds and oxygen.,” Stek explained.

Stek said that last year, the Serenity House provided $99,150 in support for patients and families. “The donation from the Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary is a tremendous support to our hospice program,” Stek stressed. “The work the auxiliary does to support us, our patients and their families truly make a positive difference in the services and personal touches that we provide.” Stated Andrea Hagist, Chief Nursing Officer.

Mahaska Health CEO Kevin DeRonde said that the Serenity House, like many hospice programs across the country, continues to feel the negative effects of a constantly declining reimbursement for inpatient hospice facilities.

“The reimbursement we receive from Medicare, which is responsible for a large part of our hospice funding, is often insufficient to cover the wide range of services provided to patients and family members as they cope with a life-limiting illness,” DeRonde explained. “Last year, Serenity House services expenses were close to $700,000. While this is a large financial loss for our health system, our hospice services were never set up to be profitable, which is why philanthropy and support from the community for the Serenity House, as well as other hospital programs and services, is more important than ever.  The dedication we receive from the Hospice Auxiliary, as well as the community through memorial tributes, bequests, gifts of real estate, cash donations and through the support of fundraisers, is vital to our healthcare mission,” DeRonde stressed.

“Every gift enhances our efforts to continue providing expert and loving care at every stage of life and the Mahaska Health Board of Trustees, Hospice Auxiliary Board, health system leadership and our Serenity House caregivers are committed to providing the best experience possible for your loved ones.”

Mark your calendars for the next Share the Love event to be held on Saturday, February 8th, 2020 at Penn Central Mall.

For more information regarding ways you can support the Serenity House or other programs and services of Mahaska Health, please call Foundation Director Cathy Stahl at 641.676.7146 or email

Posted by on Nov 8 2019. Filed under Clubs and Organizations, Local Businesses, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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