The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

September 21, 2013

A life of caring

OTTUMWA — You'll be dead in six months, the doctor told her. And her town had no end-of-life care group.

"I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer," said Patti Cutler, the new hospice director on the Good Samaritan campus in Ottumwa.

Around the time her doctor gave her six months to live, another doctor was discussing the philosophy of hospice with some health care professionals. That included Cutler, who was a registered nurse. She took up the challenge. In 1986, she started a hospice program in Hampton, Iowa.

"I really wanted hospice in my community because I thought ... I might need it," she said Friday.

The fact that Cutler's doctor was wrong doesn't detract from the path the frightening pronouncement put her on.

"I've been with hospice ever since," she said. "I really believe in the mission of hospice and what we can do for the patient and their family to make those last days, weeks or months meaningful."

Her job prior to coming to Good Sam was as the director of Wesley Life Hospice in Urbandale. Before that, she directed the hospice she had organized in Hampton. The new director moved into her new Ottumwa house last weekend, a thought that raised another point. One misconception she has seen among everyday people is that "hospice" is a home or some other building.

"Hospice is a philosophy of patient comfort and quality of life," Cutler said. "We provide care wherever that person calls home … [most] people would rather be at home. Hospice uses a whole interdisciplinary team approach to address the needs of the patient and their family."

Did she mean to keep mentioning the family?

"Yes. What we say in hospice is when we admit the patient, we admit the family," she said.

A health care professional looks out for the patient's physical needs while a social worker helps guide the patient or their loved ones through the emotional storm brought about by the realization that this person, perhaps the center of their world, is dying.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Riverfront color photo -L -M Ideas flow at Riverfront Renaissance workshop OTTUMWA — Ideas flowed as freely as the river itself Tuesday evening as more than 100 Ottumwans shared their vision of what the riverfront can be.The Riverfront Renaissance design charrette, sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, drew p

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kids … not cash OTTUMWA — From a project that started with nothing, supporters created a top-notch education facility for at-risk youth. Someone in on the project from the beginning shared the story. Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker addressed a community advis

    July 22, 2014

  • Staying healthy during extreme heat OTTUMWA — After unusually cool temperatures last week, it may have been easy to forget how the heat of summer feels, but an incoming heat wave will quickly remind you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the No.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shooting ruled homicide OTTUMWA — The death of a man shot in Wapello County has been ruled a homicide. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday received a 911 call of a shooting 4 miles southwest of Ottumwa. Deputies discovered Clinton Gus Leedom, 49, of Bloomfield, to

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Seth Techel mugshot -T Techel jury may begin deliberations Wednesday

    DAVENPORT — The jury in the third trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife may begin deliberations as early as Wednesday in Scott County, Davenport. The jury was excused mid-afternoon Tuesday while Judge Daniel Wilson, who continue

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT flood file photo Over $1 million to fight floods EDDYVILLE — It's not the way a town wants to get $1 million, but the damage suffered by Eddyville in recent floods has prompted the federal government to cut a check. Actually, it's Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, a community assistance agency

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver's license services temporarily suspended KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office has notified the Iowa Department of Transportation that it has suspended driver’s license services due to staffing issues in the county treasurer’s office. It is anticipated suspension of the services

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Canoe Camp color photo -L -M -T Canoe Camp teaches water safety OTTUMWA — Six children at Pioneer Nature Area and Nature Center pond were making waves and getting wet as they flipped their canoes over in attempt to rescue each other. Since summertime and water activities go hand-in-hand, the goal of the activity

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three appointed to Board of Adjustment OTTUMWA — Three new faces will appear on Wapello County Board of Adjustment, thanks to help from the county’s newspaper of record, the Ottumwa Courier. Four applicants applied for the positions and three were selected. New members include Marcia Week

    July 22, 2014

  • Slain woman's boyfriend: I didn't kill her DAVENPORT — A married man who had an affair with a slain Wapello County woman testified this morning that he did not kill her. Jason Tinnes, a jailer who worked with the late Lisa Caldwell Techel, said their affair ended shortly before she died. Tinn

    July 22, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook