A Panora Specialty Care resident takes time to “horse around.”


The nursing home is part of Care Initiatives, which is the largest nursing home company in Iowa


By Rich Wicks | Panora Times

Panora Specialty Care, located on the eastern edge of Panora at 805 E. Main St., is sometimes locally known as “the care facility” or “the nursing home,” but it’s much more than that. As one would expect in a small town, the staff members get to know their clients well. But as part of a much larger care provider organization, the local facility can offer much more than one might expect.

Administrator Jacquelyne Jasek explained the group of which Panora Specialty Care is a part of.

“We’re part of Care Initiatives, which is the largest nursing home company in Iowa. We have 43 facilities in the state, as well as several hospice locations,” Jasek said.

Jasek has worked within the Care Initiatives organization since 2014 and has been the administrator at Panora Specialty Care since December of 2023.

Birds have been part of the many activities at Panora Specialty Care. Residents have spent time with parakeets and have learned about eagles.

Services offered at Panora Specialty Care include 24-hour skilled nursing care, accelerated care plus therapy equipment, independent living, beauty shop/barber shop, Care Initiatives Hospice, discharge planning/home visits, individualized care plans, intravenous (IV) therapy, lymphedema and wound therapy, medication management, memory care units, occupational therapy, outpatient therapy, pain management, pastoral services, physical therapy, planned activities, rehab-to-home, respite care, select/choice menus, special dietary accommodations, speech therapy, tube feedings, and wound care management.

An addition to the building was made in 2000 to offer 11 assisted living units. However, the purpose of those units has changed.

“We recently switched the assisted living to independent living,” Jasek said. 

Kati Scheurmann, activities and social services director, has worked at the facility since 2016. She said, when she began leading activities for residents, she wanted to find out from them what they would prefer.

“I asked to get opinions from residents on what they enjoy, so it wasn’t just generic activities like bingo. We added karaoke, which has been a big hit. We do that usually once a week or every other week,” Scheurmann said. “We also do pet therapy. I bring in animals all the time for that, and as it gets nicer out, we can do more things outside.”

As activity director, Scheurmann aims to offer intergenerational opportunities for those living in the facility. She coordinates youth to visit, such as carolers during the holiday season and Cub Scouts or similar groups year-round. Scheurmann said she’s currently working on implementing an “adopted grandparents” program, in which residents will be paired up with youth to socialize while also teaching skills such as sewing.

A total of approximately 40 staff members work at Panora Specialty Care. Jasek and Scheurmann each praised the individuals who provide the various cares and services at the facility.

“We have a lot of longevity of staff. We have people who have been here 20, 30 years,” Scheurmann said. 

“I feel like we all work really well together,” Jasek said. “It’s a good family environment.”

Scheurmann added that, because of the many departments in the facility, staff members are available to assist in other areas, if or when needed. 

Another strength of the facility, as described by Jasek and Scheurmann, is the ability to tap into expertise and resources from elsewhere in the broader Care Initiatives organization. 

“Additional resources are always just a phone call away,” Jasek said.

Because of the wide variety of services provided, Panora Specialty Care has a blend of long-term and short-term residents/clients. Jasek said this creates an opportunity for clear feedback from those served by the facility.

“We have a lot of people that leave, and then they come back,” Jasek said. “So, that’s a rewarding thing for us, that they choose to come back to this facility.” 

Management staff at Panora Specialty Care: In front: Randy LaFreniere and Aleeshia Bell. In back: Tawnya Larsen, Lisa Benedict, Kati Scheurmann and Danielle Greenlee.