For many adults with disabilities in Sheldon, Iowa, Village Northwest Unlimited is their home or their workplace or both. Support for their mission includes financial sponsorship and medical services from Sanford Health.
“We’ve never felt like Sanford is obligated to help us,” said Ryan Haack, director of development at the Village. “They want to do it. They do it willingly. That’s something you can tell and that’s something not indicative of every organization.”
Village Northwest Unlimited serves adults 18 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism or traumatic brain injuries. At the Village, they have opportunities to live fulfilling lives within a residential and vocational setting.
The medical care residents of the Village receive is crucial. No two patients are alike and each individual needs to be addressed in unique ways.
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Specialized medical care
“The biggest thing to us is the care our residents get,” said Barry Whitsell, president and CEO of Village Northwest. “The staff at the medical center know how to treat people with disabilities because they’ve worked with our residents. They’re comfortable and put the residents at ease which helps with the care component.”
Both Whitsell and Haack agree the comfort between medical staff and resident is key.
“Because of the consistency of the medical staff in Sheldon, they’ve gotten to know our residents over 5, 10, 15, 20 years,” said Whitsell. “They know the medical history of our residents. The consistency has been a huge advantage. Most of our residents don’t have any qualms about going to see the doctor. They know they’re going to be treated with respect.”
Haack said, “Residents aren’t unlike anyone else. They know when people know them and feel comfortable with them. It brings another level of comfort that extends to their care as well. It makes us feel good to know that’s happening.”
The Village is in the midst of a $3 million capital campaign which Sanford is helping to fund.
The project will build two new intermediate care facilities for residents. In addition, funding will be added to a legacy endowment which boosts salaries for direct support professionals.
“We know Sanford is a strong, viable partner for us and they will always be there for us,” said Haack. “When we went in to talk about the capital campaign we got an answer right away. You just don’t see that very often in development. An immediate offer was made and it’s such a generous gift.”
Sanford’s partnership with Village Northwest helps ensure ongoing service for people in need.
“The comfort and security and consistency we have with Sanford ensures they are always standing with us and are by our side in our mission to provide purpose, privacy and dignity,” said Haack. “There are a lot of parallels with that to the values Sanford has, so there’s a good mesh there.”
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