Sioux Center Community Hospital building

Sioux Center Community Hospital provides memory diagnostics and treatment

Nearest center of its kind is in Parkston, SD and Des Moines, IA

As we age, it is normal that we may experience changes in our ability to remember things. But how do we know when the decrease in memory is normal and when it might be early signs of dementia? The Siouxland Memory Center can provide answers to patients and families.

The Siouxland Memory Center (SMC) is a unique new service of the Sioux Center Community Hospital & Health Center. Unlike most health systems, SMC is devoted exclusively to diagnosing, treating, educating and supporting people with dementia and those who care for them.

What sets them apart? Time and attention. During the initial evaluation, the team - consisting of a physician, nurse and social worker - conduct an in-depth patient history, along with several tests. In many other clinics, these tests may be avoided due to time constraints, however, at SMC approximately 2 hours are spent with each patient during the initial evaluation.

The team then evaluates the findings, makes a diagnosis (if indicated) and designs a personalized treatment plan. The patient will need to come back for an initial follow up after two weeks, and additional follow up visits at six month intervals in most cases. They will have the assurance of meeting with a team that knows their case and tracks their progress.

Dr. Gerald VanEsDr. Gerald VanEs is the lead physician at the center and has received special training relating to dementia. "[Dr.] Dick Jongewaard and I were given an opportunity to learn more about dementia and the difficulties the disease presents for the caregivers."

They learned about the different types of dementia, stages of decline, helpful direction and support for caregivers, and disease modifying agents that show promise for treatment.

Dr. VanEs and his team understand first-hand how dementia can affect a loved one.

"I have personally experienced dementia in my own family," said VanEs. "I am seeing more people in my family practice that are at various stages of dementia or who have family members wondering if their loved one has it. It is our desire to help provide answers."

Dr. VanEs and his team are seeking referrals from physicians throughout the region. "If a physician refers or the family self-refers, it is our intent to communicate with their personal physician about the results of any diagnostic studies, our conclusions, and our recommendations."

Currently the only other centers of this type in our region are in Des Moines and Parkston, SD.

To schedule and appointment, patients or their medical providers can call 712-722-8291. The clinic is open every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month (schedule subject to change).