Feb 13, 2023 - News

Some patients housed at closing Glenwood campus could move to Polk City

A photo of a Polk City care facility.

The now-closed Big Creek Nursing & Rehab facility in Polk City. Photo: Google maps

Dozens of patients currently treated on the Glenwood Resource Center (GRC) campus could be relocated to a nursing facility in Polk City under a proposal that received a $1 million grant last week from Polk County Supervisors.

Why it matters: The GRC will close next year, displacing about 135 state residents with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

  • Gov. Kim Reynolds announced last year that the state facility in western Iowa would close after a federal investigation concluded the GRC likely violated patients' constitutional rights.
  • The closure's impact could extend beyond the state facility. Several buildings on the sprawling Glenwood campus are leased by other organizations, who treat dozens of their own patients.

What's happening: One of those organizations, On With Life, has purchased the now-closed Big Creek Nursing & Rehab facility in Polk City to relocate some of its patients that it currently treats at the Glenwood site.

  • It plans to use the building as a skilled nursing facility to treat up to 40 patients with serious brain injuries or neurological conditions, many of whom would otherwise likely be placed out of state, Abby Bogaards, a spokesperson for the group, tells Axios.

State of play: Fundraising continues for the up to $8 million project, Polk County Supervisor and On With Life board member Steve Van Oort tells Axios.

  • Polk County's grant will come from federal pandemic relief allocations.
  • Renovations will begin this spring and likely take about a year to complete, Van Oort says.

Of note: Officials from Iowa's Health and Human Services department did not respond to an Axios inquiry about the potential placements of all GRC residents.

  • At least one other group plans to expand its services in Council Bluffs to accept around 30 patients, Iowa Public Radio reports.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that not all patients being displaced by Glenwood Resource Center's closing are GRC patients but are treated by other organizations that lease space on the same campus, including On With Life.


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