Monroe County has a rich history of caring for its community. One of the first acts of the judges of the county court of Monroe County was to care for the poor and destitute. At first, the poor were placed in the care of residents in their perspective townships and later two different houses were used to provide a place for the poor. Eventually, an Alms House was established.
What began in 1858 as the Monroe County Alms House has blossomed into a state of the art health care facility known today as Oak Hill. In 1951, the Alms House was replaced with the Monroe County Nursing Home. Monroe County was the first county in the state of Illinois to build a nursing home which served as a model and inspiration to other nursing homes.
This facility grew from having a capacity to care for 64 residents in 1951, to 115 residents in 1953, 136 in 1958 and, in 1971, a final addition brought the total capacity to 225 residents. At that time, Monroe County Nursing Home was the largest of its kind in Illinois.
In 2004, plans began for a replacement facility due to the age of the building and the required regulations. We moved into our new facility, Oak Hill, on Dec. 1, 2006. Today, Oak Hill is home to more than 180 residents and provides nearly 200 local jobs including RNs, LPNs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and social workers.
In fact, Oak Hill’s medical director, Dr. Amy Rohlfing (a board certified geriatrician), worked as a CNA during college at Monroe County Nursing Home.
Throughout the years, training for health care professionals has taken place at our senior community. Initially, our nursing staff provided on-the-job training for nurses and nurses’ aides. In later years, clinical training was provided onsite by Beck Vocational School and SWIC. Many healthcare careers started at our senior community here in Waterloo with the thousands of individuals who have worked or trained here.
As the facility has changed, so have the services provided. Today, Oak Hill specializes in short term rehabilitative stays for those needing therapy or a time of recuperation after a hospital stay. Independent Living Senior Apartments were added when Oak Hill moved to its current location. Independent Living Apartments allow older adults to live in an apartment independently while receiving meals, housekeeping and laundry services, medication reminders and minimal care. The third area that completes the Oak Hill community is a certified Alzheimer’s unit caring for 40 individuals.
In 2011, Oak Hill was proud to celebrate 60 years of service to the residents of Monroe County. The support for the county’s need for care has been demonstrated over and over by members of our community. The community which includes the staff, volunteers, and financial supporters, has worked tirelessly to provide the very best for those who live at Oak Hill. They have gone above and beyond again and again.
Gracie’s Garden received a makeover in 2012. Due to the generous donations of our Endowment Association and other donors, shrubs, trees, sod, additional gliders and a canopy over the patio were added to allow residents and their families an additional outside area to enjoy.
In 2013, Oak Hill was recognized in US News & World Report as one of the best nursing homes in the United States after receiving a 5 star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
The staff and residents thank everyone who has made a difference over the years by contributing to the great care provided to the residents of our community at Oak Hill.