(319) 472-6200

As we enter week eight of our COVID-19 lockdown, we are settling into the “new” routines of providing care. We are fortunate to be free of illness and continue to pray for those that are afflicted. As we continue to screen staff for illness, we take precautions with anyone that may have symptoms. Since the symptoms of COVID-19 can mimic something as simple as seasonal allergies, we from time to time need to exclude staff from working due to safety-even if they do not have COVID-19 or have a negative COVID-19 test. Our employee health department is actively reviewing and providing follow up before any ill staff member returns to work. We have been proactively planning and wearing PPE to minimize staff to staff and staff to resident exposure. We are continually adjusting the plan as we learn new things about dealing with this virus and providing that education to staff.

Cindy Shaver has also included a message this week that reminds us to consider things that may change if we were to have residents that become ill. Once again, we plan for the worst, but hope that we never need to use those plans. In light of Nurses Day and the upcoming Nursing Home and Hospital Week, I want to give a shout out to the wonderful people that are working hard every day to provide care and keep us all safe (and the nurses that live here that spent their lives doing the same). This time is difficult for everyone. I’ve included a poem to encourage us to keep moving forward. Keep reaching out and letting us know how we can help you remain connected, and we will keep reaching out with pictures and letting you know what is going on with us here. Feel free to email messages or pictures to your loved ones at vgnr@vghinc.com- we can print and deliver them.

Kelly Henkle shares information about the generous gift of the face shields-this allows each staff member to have their own! We are so grateful for everyone who has donated items, food, time, thoughts, and prayers during this difficult time. There are so many people that have been generous during this time-know that we thank all of you from the bottom of our hearts!

Jessica Henkle, BS, RN-BC, NHA

Director of Long Term Care Services

Virginia Gay Nursing and Rehab

Phone (319) 472-6347


On Wednesday we celebrated National Nurses Day. We want to recognize and thank all the nurses, past and present that we know. You make such a difference in the life of those that you care for! Letha Sand and Marlene Overton both pose with their graduation picture from nursing school. The Overton Family sent us a beautiful flower bouquet to help beautify our space in honor of all our nurses. 


Imagine my great grandmother, Anna Schoenbein, born a couple years before the Civil War, lived through The Spanish flu, World War I, and the Depression

“My grandmother once gave me a tip:
In difficult times, you move forward in small steps.
Do what you have to do, but little by little.
Don’t think about the future, or what may happen tomorrow.
Wash the dishes.
Remove the dust.
Write a letter.
Make a soup.
You see?
You are advancing step by step.
Take a step and stop.
Rest a little.
Praise yourself.
Take another step.
Then another.
You won’t notice, but your steps will grow more and more.
And the time will come when you can think about the future without crying.”

~ Elena Mikhalkova


From the desk of Cindy Shaver, MDS coordinator

Hello Everyone!

We are so fortunate to still be healthy and I hope you are doing well. As you can imagine, there are a lot of preparations being made for IF an outbreak were to occur. One of these being, we may need to move your loved one to a different room. With this, we may have to leave nonessential items boxed up until they are able to return to their normal room. We always take great care when moving belongings, however accidents can occur. If your loved one has something here that is of significant sentimental value, please take the opportunity contact the facility to discuss and make arrangements to pick it up and take it home for safe keeping. 

Knowing the health related changes that this virus can bring, this is also a good time to be having conversations as a family. If there are any advanced care planning decisions that can be discussed ahead of time, it may make a critical situation less stressful.  Please contact us if we can answer any questions regarding how this virus may affect the elderly. 

Thank you for all of your patience and understanding during this time.


In response to the global Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortages, we have received many generous donations from individuals and organizations; we are so grateful!!  A special “Thank You” to Scott at Arnold Motor Supply for assisting us with face shields!  Also, today we received a large donation of face shields from Ford Motor Company. These will help immensely as we continue to work hard to keep our residents and staff healthy and safe!


Last Friday evening the residents that wanted to, were able to get up to the windows to watch the cars that participated in “Scoop the Loop.”  This was enjoyable and it was a beautiful, sunny evening. I am always impressed with the knowledge of cars some of our men have.  Someone said, “I used to have a ’57 Chevy like that.”  When I looked at him, he said, “The red one.”

This has been another busy week. We celebrated Cinco de Mayo, all received Margaritas, chips and salsa. We wanted someone to do a Mexican hat dance but, I was told we did not give them enough Ritas for that. We had so many laughs with this. Someone was singing, La Cucaracha, which is about a dancing cockroach, but no one knew why anyone would want to sing a peppy song about a cockroach. May have to do research.

Thursday, we are painted a butterfly picture holder.

We all love painting crafts. We will try and get pictures of the completed ones.

Much planning is going on for next week when we celebrate Nursing Home Week. The theme is, “Sharing Our Wisdom.” I read a quote by David Halberstam that said, “True Wisdom… is often the product of hard-won, often bitter experience.” We should all have some wisdom. We will get some great words of wisdom from our residents to share. We will have contests for drawings for staff and residents. Everyday a color has been picked to be worn, from the Psychology behind colors wheel, a little gift every day to go with the meaning of the color.  There is a schedule out with the days color and events.

Sunday is Mother’s Day, each of our Mother’s will be getting a gift. I understand this is very hard for everyone to not be with their mother on this day, and we are not you but, we will give your Mother as much love as we can safely give them under the circumstances.                                                                    

Sending much love from all of us to you. Until next week let’s all remain safe and heathy!


*For more information on Virginia Gay Hospital’s response to COVID-19, please visit our COVID-19 Need to Know web page.