For eight decades, St. Joseph’s Villa has been extending its services to Butler County residents who are no longer able to take care of themselves within their own homes.

But it's now St. Joseph’s Villa & Court, as the 22-bed Court wing was added on in 2000; the facility offers 58 skilled nursing beds and 26 total assisted living beds. Eleven of the skilled nursing beds are allotted for patients dealing with memory loss stemming from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Facility Administrator Trish Steager is inviting area residents to take some time out of their day this Sunday to swing by the Villa, 927 N. Seventh St., for a Mass, luncheon and numerous activities for children and adults to celebrate reaching the 80-year service mark.

Seventh Street directly in front of the Villa will be closed throughout the morning and afternoon in an effort to provide those in attendance with ample room to navigate about and enjoy themselves. Mass is being held at 11 a.m. and a complimentary brisket and salad lunch will follow from noon through 2 p.m.

“Then they will have a face painter coming from 12-3, some polka music and kid games,” Steager said. “... Weather permitting it will all be held on Seventh Street in front of the Villa – there’s also a nice patio area there. And if it’s raining it will be inside the Villa.”

The Villa began in 1939 when Mother Aloysia Barthelme of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ purchased a three-story home at the southeast corner of Seventh and I streets. The sisters affiliated with the Adorers had been serving at St. Mary’s School since 1921 and had a real interest in extending some of their services to seniors in the area.

Thus came the inception of the 58-bed skilled nursing facility. The 11-bed memory care unit came about in 1998 followed by the 22-bed assisted living Court addition in 2000, according to information provided by Steager.

The facility, which became Medicare/Medicaid certified in 1986, now also offers a wide array of other services in house so patients don’t have to be transported to Butler County Health Care Center. Instead, health care center workers are oftentimes contracted to come to the Villa & Court for therapy sessions.

“We offer all therapy services – we contract with the Butler County Health Care Center,” she said. “We have physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy.”

Currently, 53 skilled beds are filled and 22 of the available 26 assisted living beds are filled. One of the big reasons that Steager said she and her colleagues want area residents to come celebrate the 80-year milestone is because they feel like the Villa & Court really is a county staple.

Julie Kovar, who handles medical records at the facility, noted how the Villa & Court really is an integral part of the Butler County community at large.

“I think this is just phenomenal,” Kovar said of the 80-year celebration and getting the community involved. “I think that we are an icon in the community, I think that we are privileged, blessed, it’s a gift to get to take care of these residents on their end journey.”

Kovar emphasized the importance of care facilities like St. Joseph’s Villa & Court, not only in David City but really any rural community.

“These people want to be close to family and friends, and I think that’s huge for them,” she said. “I can’t imagine being in a community that didn’t provide a service like this, where you have to drive far away to get the care you need. Because I think we have a wealth of family and friends and volunteers who come in and really just enjoy being here.”

Steager reiterated Kovar’s thoughts, noting the sense of pride she and the Villa & Courts staff has serving county seniors.

“We are really proud of our ability to provide great hometown care,” Steager said. “And we’ve been doing it since 1939 – 80 years, providing services to those who live in our community. They are able to stay in town and not have to worry about leaving …

“Their friends and family can come by, they are not being uprooted and placed in an unfamiliar community.”

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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News Editor

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Columbus Telegram, Schuyler Sun and The Banner-Press newspapers. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2015.

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