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Local News

March 5, 2013

Hall joins Mercy Home Care and Hospice as new director

CENTERVILLE — Mercy Home Care and Hospice in Centerville has a new director, Billie Hall, the former director at Appanoose County Public Health Clinic.

Hall, R.N., is the new director of operations for Centerville Mercy Home Care and Hospice. Hall holds an Associate Degree in Nursing from Indian Hills Community College and a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing from Marycrest International University. Hall brings 18 years of nursing experience including home care, nursing education, public health and operating room management to her new position.

Mercy Home Care and Hospice staff provide in-home nursing, medical social service, physical therapy,occupational therapy, speech therapy, IV Therapy and home health aides for both post hospital care as well as for the terminally ill patient throughout Appanoose and Davis counties.

Affiliated with Mercy Medical Center, Mercy Home Care and Hospice is a faith-based community medical home care agency. Mercy Home Care and Hospice is growing throughout the community and in its home office. As the service area grows, so does our dedicated staff. With strong ties to the local community, we proudly introduce our staff:

Rhonda K. Prasch, R.N., is the assistant director of operations. Prasch is a case manager for Home Care and Hospice patients in Appanoose and Davis counties. Prasch received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Indian Hills Community College and is an oncology certified nurse from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Prasch was raised in Wapello and Davis County, currently lives in Centerville, and has worked in Home Care and Hospice for the past four years.

Chris Durflinger, R.N., lives in Davis County and serves Mercy Home Care and Hospice patients in both Appanoose and Davis counties. Durflinger received her R.N. degree from Indian Hills Community College and has been a home care nurse and case manager for two years and worked as a medical surgical nurse for four years prior to joining Mercy Home Care and Hospice.

Judy Lunkley, MSW/LISW, is the social worker for Mercy Home Care and Hospice. Lunkley holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from Arizona State University and is a licensed independent social worker in the state of Iowa. Lunkley has extensive experience working with families and children, groups and individuals. Lunkley returned to her home community two years ago after living and working in Arizona for 40 years. She has worked for Mercy Home Care and Hospice for one year and has enjoyed reconnecting with the community. In her work at Mercy she primarily sees hospice patients and assists them and their families with end of life Issues. Lunkley is also the volunteer and bereavement coordinator for Mercy Hospice.

Pastor Kay Singley has served Mercy Home Care and Hospice as chaplain for over a decade. Pastor Singley holds a Master's Degree in Pastoral Ministry and offers spiritual care to our hospice patients and their families.  She visits patients and provides encouragement, scripture readings, devotional readings, assistance with life review and prayer. As chaplain, she follows up with hospice families during the first year of bereavement.

Pastor Singley is a life-long resident of Appanoose County and has served different churches for the past 27 years. She is currently pastor of the First Christian Church in Cincinnati. Singley is a bi-vocational minister who works as the curriculum director in the Moravia School District and is the elementary principal in the Seymour School District.  

Ollie Hand is the office manager for Mercy Home Care and Hospice and has been with the agency for 12 years.  Hand is the pleasant voice that greets you when you call to ask questions or make a referral. She does multiple jobs in the office including receptionist, payroll clerk, medical records, human resources and employment coordinator. Hand is a life-long resident of Appanoose County, graduated from Centerville High School and went on to be certified as a lab tech through Medical Institute of Minnesota. Before coming to Mercy, Hand worked as a deputy treasurer for Appanoose County for 17 years and worked for the late Dr. Anthony Owca for 10 years.

Denise Howe, R.N., was the interim director of operations for the past year and remains as an optional/part-time home care and hospice nurse and customer relations executive. Howe received her R.N. Degree from Indian Hills Community College. She has 23 years of experience with home care and three years experience in hospice.  

Nancy Barton, M.D. serves as the medical director for Home Care and Hospice and joined the hospital medical staff in 2005 as a board certified family practice physician. She graduated from Saba University School of Medicine on the island of Saba in the Netherlands Antilles and completed her residency in Texas. She is affiliated with the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Practice, Iowa Academy of Family Physicians and is also a member of the Iowa Medical Society.

Mercy Home care was established in 1994 to meet the need of discharging patients from the hospital who needed  help at home. Lorraine Ramos, RN, local expert in public health and home nursing, was hired to develop the program. Originally located with Appanoose Community Care Services in the hospital's basement, the service moved to a new facility north of the hospital.  In 1998 a hospice service was added.

Our parent company, Consolidated Health Services, is a rapidly growing organization offering a full line of home care services dedicated to meeting the total needs of our patients. The corporate office, located in Milford, Ohio, serves as the back-office support for four distinct but coordinated home care companies, including home health care and hospice, home infusion therapy, home medical equipment and non-emergency medical transportation.  

We serve as the national home health services division of Catholic Health Initiatives, a national nonprofit health organization with headquarters in Denver, Colo. The faith-based system operates in 19 states and includes 73 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted and residential-living facilities; two community health services organizations; and home health agencies.

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

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