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The Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary is conducting its annual membership drive. According to Auxiliary Past President Carol Knoot, your support can make a huge difference in the lives of your friends, neighbors and loved ones.

“I invite you to join this wonderful group volunteers,” Knoot said. “For a $10 annual membership, you can help us continue our legacy of financial support and assistance to hospice caregivers, patients and patients’ families, both in their home and at the Hospice Serenity House.”

The Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary provides financial support to MHP Hospice Services. As the first rural hospice in the state of Iowa, MHP Hospice Services has been providing specialized, end-of-life care to patients and their families for more than 30 years.

“We are coming up on the four year anniversary of the opening of the Hospice Serenity House,” said Janet Farner, current president of the Hospice Auxiliary.  “More than 200 patients and their families have been blessed with the use of the Serenity House and the comfort it provides during a difficult time.

“The Hospice Auxiliary is so proud of the efforts of its members to support this wonderful facility, which will be serving this community for generations to come. But let’s not forget, we also support hospice services in the home, where some patients and their family members choose to be.”

A few of the items that have recently been purchased by the Hospice Auxiliary include:

  • Ongoing magazine subscriptions at the Serenity House for families
  • Blanket warmer
  • Max Lite and sling to help stand up, steady and  transport patients who need help with mobility
  • Bereavement Materials
  • Alternating Air Mattresses
  • Roll Away Beds

The Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary sponsors a number of annual fundraisers, including the upcoming Chair Affair on Oct. 25.  Knoot shared that members have a wide level of involvement in the organization.

“We have some members who like to volunteer at fundraisers, some who serve on our board, others who like to bake goodies to support our events and some who just want to contribute their $10 membership. Any support we receive is greatly appreciated,” Knoot stressed.

To join the Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary, send your $10 membership to: Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary, 1229 C Avenue East, Oskaloosa, IA  52577 or call 641.672.3369 for more information or to have a membership form sent to you.

Print your member form here.

The Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary is gearing up to host the “Chair Affair,” on Sat., Oct. 25. The event will be held at the William Penn Musco Technology Center. Hors d’oeuvres and the silent auction will begin at 6 pm. The live auction will start at 7 pm.

According to Event Chair Deb Farrow, the Hospice Auxiliary hosted a Chair Affair in 2006 and 2010. “These were highly successful fundraisers for the Hospice Auxiliary, and we were able to positively impact the lives of hospice patients and their families with the proceeds.” 

Farrow said this year’s event will consist of creatively decorated and donated chairs to be auctioned.  The Auxiliary is currently looking for artists and businesses to decorate or donate chairs for auction.

“The Auxiliary has a limited number of chairs for artists to decorate that are available on a first come, first serve basis,” Farrow said. “If you are interested in seeing them or would like more information, should give me a call at 641.676.4452.”

Farrow said that anyone interested in seeing chairs from past events or looking for decorating ideas should check out the Facebook page at “The Chair Affair for Mahaska Hospice.”  

Tickets for the 2014 Chair Affair are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Farrow said the committee is currently finalizing locations for ticket sales. You can also get your tickets or ask further questions about this fundraiser by calling Farrow at 641.676.4452 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Mahaska Health Partnership is offering school sports physicals throughout the months of July and August for middle and high school athletes.

These reduced-rate exams will only be offered on three dates, two in July and one in August. On the Oskaloosa campus, exams will be offered by walk-in only on July 22, 29 and August 5 from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

At MHP’s New Sharon Medical Center, sports physicals will be offered by appointment only on July 23 from 7:30 am-11:00 am, July 29 from 7:30 am-4:00 pm and August 1 from 7:30 am – 4:00 pm. Call 641.637.2651 for an appointment.

All proceeds from the physicals will be donated back to the athlete’s school. The cost of a sports physical is $20 and is due at the time of service. Parental consent must be given for any student under the age of 18. To give consent, please either call ahead or accompany your child to their physical.

For a sports physical in Oskaloosa, proceed to the north side of MHP’s campus and use entrance #4. New Sharon Medical Center is located at 112 South Main Street.

Most schools require that any student planning to participate in middle or high school athletics has a pre-participation physical. If you have questions about the requirements for your child’s school, please contact your school.
Don’t forget to register for the Mahaska Health Partnership Foundation’s 4th Annual Run in the Sun on Saturday, Aug. 2 at the Lacey Sports Complex Community Stadium.

Run in the Sun is a 5K for runners and 1-mile Walk for all ages, abilities and even strollers. Race day registration begins at 7:30 am, the 5K will begin at 8:30 am and the 1-mile walk will begin at 8:35 am.

Registration for either event is $25 per person. Each participant will receive a commemorative cotton T-shirt and all proceeds from the event will benefit the MHP Hospice Serenity House.

According to MHP Development Director Cathy Stahl, those wanting to participate are encouraged to register online at “Online registration will be open until August 1, but participants can still register the day of the race.” Stahl said. “Should we run out of your T-shirt size, it will be available to pick up or will be mailed to participants after the race.”

Team discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information regarding team registrations or to print a registration form, visit

“More than 200 families have benefited from the MHP Hospice Serenity House to date,” Stahl said. “Funds raised from Run in the Sun will support this residential hospice house that provides comfort and solace for families by offering a home away from home for the patients’ last days.”


People are living longer now than ever before, which Mahaska Health Partnership says has led to an increase in mental health issues such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and delirium.

While Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are not reversible, delirium can be corrected by addressing the underlying causes. Delirium is categorized by sudden and severe confusion, along with rapid changes in brain function that occur with a physical or mental illness. These illnesses can include withdrawal from alcohol or sedative drugs, drug use, electrolyte or other chemical imbalances, infections such as urinary tract infections or pneumonia, poison exposure, poor vision or hearing, stroke, tumor, heart attack, chronic heart failure, COPD or surgery.

“The onset of delirium is very quick and involves a rapid switch between mental states,” MHP Family Practice Physician Dr. Peter Hoftiezer shared. “The person may be lethargic and suddenly become agitated, then return to lethargic. They may also be very alert in the morning, but decline as the day goes on. Awareness, sensation and perception may also change, and sleep patterns may become disrupted. Confusion is also a very common sign of delirium as well.”

Dr. Hoftiezer said additional symptoms may include personality and emotional changes, inability to form coherent sentences or thoughts and inability to focus on a task. “Short-term memory loss is a common sign of delirium in patients,” Dr. Hoftiezer said. “They may be unable to remember much of anything that has happened since they developed delirium, and sometimes forget events that happened before the onset as well.”

Dr. Hoftiezer explained the difference between dementia and delirium. “Dementia involves memory loss and either aphasia, the loss of ability to understand or produce speech; agnosia, the loss of ability to recognize smells, sounds, people, or objects; or apraxia, an inability to perform tasks or movements when asked even though physically able to. It has a slow onset and slowly progresses. Unfortunately, dementia is irreversible.

“Delirium has a rapid onset and varies in severity depending on the day,” Dr. Hoftiezer said. “However, it is reversible. Once the underlying cause is addressed, the symptoms usually disappear and functionality is restored to normal levels.”

Delirium comes in two versions-hyperactive and hypoactive. “Hyperactive individuals display combativeness and yell at others,” Dr. Hoftiezer explained. “Hypoactive people are just the opposite, with a decreased interest in everyday activities and loss of appetite. These symptoms come in swings and are oftentimes hard to predict.”

The treatment for delirium depends on the cause of symptoms. “The best treatment is prevention,” Dr. Hoftiezer said. “Using memory tools such as calendars, clocks and photos help keep individuals on the right page. Otherwise, treatment of the illness causing the symptoms, modifying risk factors and behaviors and removing offending drugs helps to dissipate delirium altogether.”

Dr. Peter Hoftiezer is a Family Practice Physician who has specialized training in geriatrics. If you suspect a loved one is experiencing delirium, request an appointment with Dr. Hoftiezer by calling 641.672.3360.

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The Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary and Mahaska Communication Group (MCG) once again teamed up with Musco Lighting to host “Golf Under the Lights” on May 23 at Oskaloosa Golf. The annual event raised $21,850 for the Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary.

According to MHP Hospice Auxiliary Co-Chair Mary Anderson, 108 golfers on 18 teams enjoyed a fantastic night of golfing under Musco’s bright lights. “It was such a beautiful night for golfing,” Anderson said. “We had a terrific group of golfers and many volunteers. We are so grateful to our co-sponsor, MCG, and to Musco Lighting for making it happen.”

Co-Chair Carol Knoot said that several Hospice Auxiliary members answered the call for help by either donating gift baskets or dollars to be used for baskets that were used in the raffle. “This was a huge hit with the golfers and a great way for our Hospice Auxiliary members to support the event,” Knoot said.

Through team entry fees, corporate hole sponsorships, donations, a putting contest, raffle ticket sales and the Musco donation from their employee night of golfing, the committee was able to present a huge check to the Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary.


“This is the largest fundraiser we have for our hometown hospice, and we are so grateful to MCG and Musco Lighting for all their support,” Anderson stressed. “We truly would not be able to host this tournament without their leadership and expertise.

Golf Under the Lights Committee Co-Chair Kiley Broadway of MCG said this is the sixth year that the golf tournament was held under the Musco lights. “This was our sixth year under the lights, and we could not be more pleased with how things went,” Broadway said. “We have a fantastic committee organizing the tournament every year, and we are very grateful to our many local businesses and community members who are generous with their support of hospice.  We had a wonderful evening and everyone enjoyed themselves.”

This was a six-person, best ball tournament. All golfers had the chance to shoot a hole-in-one for a car, sponsored by Carriker Ford, and one lucky golfer had the opportunity to make a 40-foot putt to win $5,000.

Committee members said a big thank you must go out to the hole sponsors, golfers and many others who donated their time, raffle items, equipment or made monetary donations.

Teams who were also hole sponsors include: Sigma Phi Sigma, Mahaska Health Partnership, Rehab Visions, Culvers of Pella, Southeast Iowa Geriatric Care, Bates Funeral Chapel, Mahaska Drug, Cablevey, Hawkeye Real Estate, Dr. Paul Riggs, Lappin Tire and Garden & Associates.

Other teams include: Mahaska Bottling, Bank Iowa, Frank Hansen, Team 1853—Mike Dahlhauser, Oskaloosa Food Products and Oskaloosa Care Center.

Hole Sponsors include: B&B Bedding, Carriker Ford, Musco Lighting, Oskaloosa Golf, Buster and Pam Albertson, Clow Valve Company, Midwest One Bank, LaMair-Mulock-Condon Co., Digital Resource Partners, Oskaloosa Vision Center, TruBank, KBOE Radio, Healthland, GBKCO, Henkel Construction, Baird Holm, Subway, Garland-Van Arkel-Langkamp Funeral Chapel, and Gatton Realty.

More than 60 businesses donated items for raffle, including baskets by Auxiliary members, and more than 45 volunteers helped with this event. Volunteers from the Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary, MHP Home Health and Hospice staff, and many other hospice supporters helped with planning, fundraising, registration and assisting on the course the night of the event. As usual, it was a late evening, but for a very worthy cause.


If you are interested in becoming a Mahaska Hospice Auxiliary Member or would like more information, please call 641.672.3260. Your support truly makes a difference in the lives of your friends, neighbors and loved ones who utilize MHP Hospice Services.

In order to better meet the needs of the Adult Grief Support Group, Mahaska Health Partnership has moved the location of meetings to Level 3 of the hospital, best accessed through entrance #1.

This is the current location of Home Health and Hospice Services which were relocated after the storm damage to the Mahaska Health West building in April.

The Adult Grief Support Group is free for anyone who has lost a loved one and is seeking fellowship with others in similar situations. The group sizes are small, allowing attendees to find comfort in others dealing with the same thoughts and feelings. Each meeting lasts approximately one hour. The group is centered around sharing and consolation, but bereavement activities are offered as well.

The support group meets on the first Wednesday of every month at 3:00 pm. For more information, please contact MHP Home Health & Hospice Services at 641.672.3260.


The Fourth of July is quickly approaching and fireworks, sparklers and other festive items will light up the sky. Mahaska Health Partnership urges you to leave the light shows to the professionals and use caution around sparklers.

It is illegal to sell, use or explode fireworks in the state of Iowa. Fireworks include firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets and roman candles. However, fireworks can be used by an individual, organization or association who is granted a permit. Sparklers and other small celebratory items are legal for everyone.

“Sparklers with wire or wooden sticks are allowed in Iowa, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get hurt using them,” MHP Emergency Services Physician Dr. Ben Oldson cautioned. “You should always be mindful when dealing with fire.”

According to the National Council of Fireworks Safety, sparklers are responsible for 16% of all consumer fireworks injuries, with the majority of the injuries to children.

“Children should always be supervised when using sparklers or other celebratory items that involve fire,” Dr. Oldson advised. “Make sure to wear closed-toe shoes to protect feet from falling sparks. When finished, place sparklers in a bucket of water for 15-20 minutes before discarding.”

Dr. Oldson went on to share other safety tips, including teaching children about sparker safety. “Sparklers are intended to be fun, not dangerous. The best practice is to stand in one place and keep at least six feet between your lit sparkler and anyone else.”

If your child does experience a burn from a sparkler, make sure to cool the burn immediately. “Hold the burned area under cool water for 10-15 minutes or until the pain lessens,” Dr. Oldson encouraged. “If you cannot run the burned area under water, apply a cold compress, but do not put ice on the burn.

“Afterwards, cover the burn with gauze, but wrap it loosely to avoid applying pressure. Keeping air off the burn reduces pain and protects any blistered skin. If the child is still experiencing pain, use over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen until symptoms subside.”

Dr. Oldson stated that most burns heal without further medical attention. “Make sure to watch for signs of infection, including fever, oozing or swelling. If these symptoms occur, seek medical attention. Do not apply ointments to burns as this may encourage infection, and prevent children from breaking any blisters if possible.”

When it comes to the big light shows, Dr. Oldson suggested leaving those to the professionals. “The safest option for your family is to go to a public display to relax and enjoy the show,” Dr. Oldson said.

“Celebrate our nation’s heritage safely on the Fourth of July,” Dr. Oldson encouraged. “We want you to spend the holiday with your loved ones, not in the emergency room with us.”