Bartels Lutheran Retirement Community, Waverly, extends it appreciation and thanks to the community, businesses, families and staff members for the support and kindness shown over the past six weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic and for the continued future support.

Bartels reported no active COVID cases Thursday, May 14, in their facility. “I am extremely proud of all the staff and how they worked together to protect our most vulnerable population,” stated Paula Geise, Bartels CEO/President. “The residents, who are like family to us, deserve to be taken care of in a responsible way and the staff was determined to keep it contained to one area. I want to give a shout out to everyone who worked in the COVID unit. You did an amazing job and your dedication never wavered. I saw first-hand your courage and commitment to the residents.”

The outpouring of support from the community, businesses and families has been and continues to be incredible and re-enforces to all of the staff how the work they are doing is so important. Bartels received many donations including personal protective equipment (PPE), food, supplies, flowers, monetary donations, gift cards and notes of encouragement.

The Bartels Board of Directors was the first to show their appreciation with a hot box lunch meal served to the staff from Pizza Ranch, as well as signs around the campus thanking the healthcare heroes at Bartels. The Board of Directors includes Rev. Mark Anderson, Pam Brickman, Bob Brunkhorst, Steve Corson, Dr. Ann Rathe, Fred Waldstein, Susan Whitson, Katie Schwartz and Steve Egli. Pizza Ranch’s generosity assisted in making this possible.

Taco John’s, Waverly, followed suit with 100 free combo meal coupons donated to staff at Bartels and St. Croix Hospice served staff members breakfast one morning. Eisenach Village residents donated boxes of treats, snacks and beverages for the staff and Sweet Dreams Bakery, The Wild Carrot, Kwik Star and Sheffield Care Center sent donations of sweet treats.

Many, many families and individuals also donated meals and treats for the staff and residents over the past month. “It’s been incredible to witness the outpouring of support from families of residents and friends of Bartels,” remarked marketing and development coordinator Angie Daniels. “The calls and messages from people wanting to help, asking how to donate meals or sharing their appreciation to the staff were touching and heartwarming.”

The donation of PPE from everyone was remarkable and the staff expresses their sincere appreciation. One of the most notable donations came from a local business, United Equipment Accessories Inc. Minutes after Bartels posted a request, Thor Larson, engineering manager, reached out and offered assistance in providing face shields. Ben Amfahr, engineering design technician lead, led the efforts in 3-D printing to create face shields assisted by Hunter Johansen, engineering design technician. Larson from UEA, Inc., dropped off face shields week after week, ensuring our staff and residents were safe.

Other businesses stepping up and donating PPE or other related supplies and accessories included John Deere, UNI and Panther Products, Neighborhood Home, Waverly Health Center, Laser Focus Design and Engraving, Senior Dental Care and Cedar Falls Laser Engraving.

Individuals also stepped up donating PPE, including a long list of people who took to their sewing machines and created masks.

Churches showing their support included Grace Lutheran Church, Tripoli, Trinity United Methodist Women, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Orchard Hill Church and St. Peter Lutheran Church, Denver.

Bremer County Public Health and Bremer County Emergency Management have been providing countless hours of support to Bartels.

Messages of encouragement, pictures from area youth, anonymous donations of flowers and monetary donations have also been a blessing.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) are still recommending the no-visitors restrictions remain in place at all long-term care facilities. Bartels primary goal is to keep residents and staff safe and to follow all recommendations by the CDC and IDPH.

Bartels is accepting admissions. Food and other deliveries are allowed for residents and staff and Bible studies with very small groups who are social distanced have begun. Other small group activities including fitness activities in rides in the country with the bus at 50 percent capacity, all with frequent hand washing, sanitizing of areas, masks and social distancing, began Friday, May 15.

Bartels At Home services with masks worn resumed Monday, May 18. Bartels At Home provides in-home services including home helper services of housekeeping, shopping, errands, companionship, transportation to appointments and meal planning; personal care services of assisting with grooming, dressing and bathing; and peace of mind services of morning and evening telephone calls and medication reminders.

To stay informed of activities at Bartels, sign up for our emailed newsletter at bartelscommunity.org or follow our Facebook page. For COVID-19 specific information for Bartels, call our information line, 319-352-6555; email us, bartels@bartelscommunity.org; or check our website, bartelscommunity.org.