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Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy

First and Only

Located at 315 18th Avenue, Hiawatha, the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy is the first and only facility of its kind in the Corridor. Its beauty – both in regard to its mission and physical presence – is unrivaled. It is a home filled with a serene sense of peace and comfort, ready to meet the needs of patients and families facing end-of-life with independence and dignity.

Hospice House Photo Tour

  • Unrivaled in its mission and physical presence.
  • Volunteer giving a tour
  • Library for solitude, gathering and quiet reading.
  • Patient and family areas featuring a piano and areas of comfort.
  • Family kitchen
  • Family dining room just off kitchen
  • Open seating next to family dining room and kitchen.
  • 12 bright, comfortable, private patient rooms.
  • Music therapy
  • Pet therapy


When a local doctor sought support to begin a hospice program in Cedar Rapids - one of the first in the state of Iowa - the Sisters of Mercy and Mercy Medical Center stepped forward to help, founding Hospice of Mercy.

In 2005, Mercy responded once again to the community's need and desire-this time for a house dedicated to the care of patients with life-limiting illnesses. Area hospice volunteers collected 3,500 signatures drawing attention to the need for a local hospice house. Shortly after, the family of former Hospice of Mercy patient Dennis Oldorf stepped forward to make a generous lead gift in support of this project.

Donna Oldorf's gift of $1.1 million in memory of her husband, Dennis, made it possible to take the bold step of launching the Sharing the Journey Campaign.. The Hall-Perrine Foundation awarded a $1.7 million matching grant in support of the project, and more than 2,000 donors from throughout the community stepped forward to help make the dream of a local hospice house a reality.

On May 29, 2007, the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy opened with the arrival of four patients. In the first 30 days of operation, the hospice staff cared for 41 patients and their family and friends.

Learn more about the beginnings of the Hospice House of Mercy.

Life at the Hospice House of Mercy

This dedicated hospice house offers a warm, home-like environment where patients can live their last days in peace and dignity, surrounded by their loved ones. It also affords a temporary home for caregivers who need a time of respite.

Open to any hospice patient from any area hospice program, the Oldorf Hospice House offers:

  • Twelve bright, comfortable, private patient rooms with access to outdoor areas
  • A family-friendly atmosphere that includes room for children, pets, music and a large family kitchen
  • Chapel/meditation room for all faiths overlooking the courtyard fountain
  • Gathering room with fireplace
  • Library for solitude and quiet reading time
  • Whirlpool accessible for any patient
  • Beautifully-landscaped walking paths where families can enjoy natural surroundings
  • Private patios for each room
  • Areas for community outreach, education and bereavement counseling

Hospital-standard medical resources ensure that every patient receives the highest possible level of care. At this place of shelter and compassion, visitors are always welcome and patients are assured of around-the-clock care by the experienced Hospice of Mercy team.

Hospice Endowment Fund

Generous contributions from the community helped fund the house and enabled the creation of a $1.5 million endowment fund to cover the cost of those patients without the ability to pay. This fund will ensure that the Hospice House remains fiscally sound as it opens its doors to anyone in our community in need of end-of-life care.

For more information, call the Mercy Foundation office at (319) 398-6206.

Read Frequently Asked Questions about the Hospice House.