The House a Community Built
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.
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.
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 bright, comfortable rooms with access to outdoor patios, a family kitchen, a library, a chapel/meditation room, and space for children, pets and music.
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.
Facts and Figures of Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy
Since its opening, many patients and families have received end-of-life care, respite care and bereavement services from the Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy:
Number of patients served = 303
Average length of stay = 10 days
Average daily census = 8 patients
Number of memorial gifts made to Hospice of Mercy and/or Hospice House = 2,922
Number of new volunteers at the Hospice House = 16
Number of new volunteer chaplains = 7
Number of families joining new children's grief group = 10