Some familiar faces joined REM Iowa’s residential program this February when REM Iowa, a partner of The MENTOR Network, welcomed individuals receiving services and staff from the New Horizons Intermediate Care Facility (ICF) in Cedar Rapids.
New Horizons had been in operation since the mid-1970s, and many of the individuals living there also attend REM Iowa’s day program. When the prior residential provider announced the program would close, REM Iowa was able to step in and help. REM Iowa will support these individuals in their current location for a number of months, while working to build new, smaller residences in Cedar Rapids.
“REM Iowa is delighted to welcome the individuals served in the New Horizons program to our residential services,” said Lisa Pakkebier, Executive Director, REM Iowa. “We have been privileged to serve these individuals for many years in our day program and look forward to making the move a smooth transition for staff and individuals served. It is an honor to enable Iowans to receive the life-enhancing supports they need in their own communities, close to their support networks.”
REM Iowa will work with a local builder and relocate many of the individuals served into 8-bed homes later this year. The move to less restrictive, more home-like residential setting is consistent with not only REM Iowa’s mission, but an ongoing initiative in the state of Iowa to downsize larger ICF facilities into smaller community based settings.
“It is exciting to know that in a few months our sons and daughters will be moving from New Horizons to their REM homes!” said Pat Mote, whose son lives in the ICF and attends REM Iowa’s day program. “REM staff are very dedicated, professional people who work hard to provide the best care possible for the individuals. It is a real blessing that my son will continue to live in the Cedar Rapids area and be taken care of by such quality people.”
With the fear of having to move their children and loved ones more than 60 miles away to the nearest alternative residence, parents have expressed deep appreciation for REM Iowa’s commitment to supporting families in the area.
“Thank you, REM Iowa, so very much for stepping up with a plan to keep our kids here in Cedar Rapids,” wrote Lanette Crone, a mother of an individual served. “We were devastated by the thought of having to find another placement and you rescued us.”
Along with the familiar individuals receiving services, REM Iowa was pleased to welcome 15 new employees from New Horizons who will provide continuity of care to the individuals served. The Cedar Rapids program is looking to hire more direct support, nurses and leadership staff, as well. In the meantime, staff from other programs have stepped in to serve. If you know of anyone interested in joining the REM Iowa team and working with these wonderful individuals, please encourage them to check out our career opportunities at: www.jobs.thementornetwork.com.