News and Events

Falls Prevention

Guardian Angels Health & Rehabilitation Center, an affiliate of St. Francis Health Services of Morris (SFHS), is pleased to announce we were recently awarded a Minnesota Nursing Facility Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) grant by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) focused on preventing falls.  The initiative for fall prevention and fall reduction began January 1, 2021 and will continue through December 31, 2022 within our care center and related SFHS’ skilled nursing care centers.

The Falls Prevention Project will provide our care center with additional resources to make positive system improvements to prevent falls for individuals receiving services that is focused on each individual’s preferences and needs.  This program will have three components; expanding falls prevention and person centered education, implementing Safe Being technology, and increasing exercise program opportunities.

The education component of the Falls Prevention Project comes to us with a new partnership with Pioneer Network to expand our work force knowledge of Person Centered/Directed care. Pioneer Network is the national leader for culture change that advocates and builds a culture of aging where individual choices are respected and fosters care that is directed by the person receiving it.  Staff will learn how to better address needs and lifestyle choices to reduce an individual receiving services’ risk for falls. 

In the second part of our Falls Prevention Project, we will be installing Safe Being technology in our care centers.  The Safe Being system provides the capability for real time remote monitoring while respecting the person’s privacy.  Safe Being uses a watch-like device that provides data on lifestyles and daily activities and interprets gestures identifying how/when a resident is moving, eating, drinking and sleeping.  Each person wearing the device will send an alert when there is a change in status or has been identified as being at risk for a potential fall or has fallen. 

The third component of the Falls Prevention Project will be increasing exercise program opportunities such as Bingocize and Otago to improve strength, flexibility, and balance to help reduce falls. 

The Falls Prevention Project is intended to build sustainable practices throughout our care center beyond the original two year grant period.  SFHS is a faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization.  In addition to their skilled nursing care centers, they offer a variety of services that include customized/assisted living, a full range of therapies, senior housing, transitional and skilled nursing care, and behavioral and residential programs throughout the State of Minnesota.

Next Vaccination Date set for February 1st!

Weekly Update

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff weekly. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are bringing in the New Year with new hope and excitement. We have administered our first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in our care center. Our next vaccine clinic will be on February 1st. Geri Patregnani, who has been eagerly awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine says, “I feel an obligation to do what I can to protect the individuals around me. I want to have protection for myself and I trust in science”.

​We have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand why the vaccine is so important in defeating COVID-19. You can find this along with the Moderna Fact Sheet, on our website at sfhs.org/resources/covid-19/. If you have any other concerns or questions, please contact Bobbie Radaich, DON/Infection Control Specialist.

We will continue following our infection prevention and control practices along with the latest guidance from MDH and CDC regarding safe visiting for our residents. As of today, our care center plans to open for indoor visits the week of January 11th. We will continue regular communication with our residents, friends and family on our COVID response, visitation guidelines and testing results.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

Date Set for COVID-19 Vaccine!

Weekly Update 12-31-2020

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff weekly. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are excited to announce that our care center is scheduled to receive the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and will host 3 clinics for vaccinating our residents and staff! Our first clinic is on 01-04-2021.  The second dose of the vaccine will be administered 4 weeks after the first round and the third will be administered 4 weeks after the second. Protection from vaccine is not immediate; vaccine is a 2-dose series and will take 1 to 2 weeks following the second dose to be considered fully vaccinated. Vaccine efficacy is 94-95%. This data was assessed with two doses being administered. It is very important to get both doses to ensure good protection.

When someone receives the vaccine they may experience side effects up to three days after vaccination. These side effects include injection site pain, tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, swelling (hardness), and redness. General side effects include fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea, and low grade fever.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you, particularly those who are at increased risk for severe illness. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough.  Getting the vaccination will not only protect you from being infected; it will help us reduce visitation restrictions in the future.    

While the vaccine is a significant factor in our fight against the virus, it is just the beginning to reopening our care centers. We continue to use the county positivity rate to measure the spread of the virus in our local communities and follow the recommendations from MDH and CDC on reopening. Currently our county positivity rate is 6.1% and will allow us to open for scheduled indoor visits in the chapel area once we have not had any cases in staff or residents in a two week span. We are asking that all visitors have a negative COVID test prior to their scheduled visit.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

1 Staff Member Positive for COVID-19

12-14-20

Dear Residents and Families,

Testing update from 12-11-2020

We conducted point prevalence testing (PPT) for staff on 12-11-20. We had one staff member test positive from that testing. All other staff tested were negative. Our care center continues to test staff twice weekly and residents once weekly. Any staff who test positive will be self-quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they recover from the virus; 10 days following positive test and 72 hours from last fever without using medication. We continue to follow recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Weekly Update 12-11-2020

We conducted point prevalence testing (PPT) on residents and staff on 12-8-20. We have no new confirmed positive Covid 19 cases from our testing. Our care center continues to test staff twice weekly. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines pending approval by the FDA. We anticipate this will occur before the end of December. We appreciate and support the decision made by the federal government to prioritize long-term care residents and staff in the distributions of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our vaccination process for staff and residents will be based on guidance from MDH as well as official CDC recommendations that have yet to be released and we will share this with you very soon!

The beginning of December brought a surge of cases throughout Minnesota. Please help us protect our staff and residents by wearing a mask and social distancing. We again ask that you refrain from taking your loved one home over the Christmas holiday and schedule video visits with Kelly Squires at 218-231-8119.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Unit Now Open

Dear Family and Friends,

Weekly Update 12-04-2020

We conducted point prevalence testing (PPT) on 12-1-20. We have one additional resident and one essential caregiver that tested positive. We currently have three residents residing on our Covid unit. Our care center continues to test staff twice weekly. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) held an emergency meeting this week to review allocation recommendations for vaccines in phase 1 distribution. The advisory committee voted to include residents of long-term care communities in Phase 1A of vaccination. We anticipate a vaccine being available in the coming weeks and will keep you informed.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Weekly Update 11-27-2020

We conducted point prevalence testing (PPT) on 11-24-20. We have one resident and two employees in our care center who have tested positive for Covid-19. Our care center continues to test residents weekly and also staff twice weekly. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This Thanksgiving season we want to thank our residents, family and friends for their support and prayers throughout the COVID Pandemic. We thank you for your continued patience and the sacrifices you have made. With you we will work through this pandemic. Remember to wear a mask, social distance when possible and practice proper hand hygiene. On behalf of our entire team, please stay safe and healthy.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanksgiving

Dear Family and Friends,

We recently learned that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the federal Medicare agency (CMS) are advising against residents leaving their care center for holiday visits. As we continue to fight against COVID-19, we ask that you not take your loved ones out this Thanksgiving.

By not taking your loved one out for a holiday visit, you will help us in protecting the health of everyone who lives and works here. One of the best things that you can do for your family this holiday season is to not gather in groups and keep everyone safe by wearing a facemask when you do.

We know just how special the holiday season can be and spending time with family is what adds meaning to our celebrations.  However, we need your help to protect our residents, our staff, and yourself during this pandemic’s risky time by limiting our contact with the broader community.  As Governor Walz told us the other night, the COVID-19 surge is at a dangerous level in Minnesota.

This past year has been a challenge like no other and we deeply appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family have already made during these past months. The hope of a COVID-19 vaccine is promising, but until that time we all need to use extra caution to slow the spread of this highly contagious disease.

If a resident does choose to go to a holiday gathering outside of our care center, the resident will need to quarantine in his or her room for 14-days after returning as a necessary precaution. Even when being very careful and following all of the guidelines, the risk of being infected when being out in the general public is high.

Our staff is committed to keeping you connected during the holiday seasons. We have a variety of activities planned that will engage our residents and are doing all we can to facilitate alternative means of communication between you and your loved one. If you have any gifts or cards you would like to give to your loved one or wish to schedule a virtual visit, please contact Kelly Squires at 218-231-8119.

We know that this news may cause concern or that you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 218-231-8106. 

Sincerely,

Shane P. Roche

Administrator

County Positivity puts us in the “RED ZONE”

Dear Family and Friends,

Weekly Update 11-20-2020

This week we tested residents and staff for COVID-19.  Although we have a few results pending, as of today, we have no new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in our care center.  We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our county positivity rate has risen above 10% putting our care center in the “red zone.” According to CMS calculations, all Minnesota counties, but four, are now in the “red zone.” Being in the “red zone” requires our care center to routinely test our staff twice weekly. We are also required to suspend all indoor visits at this time. We encourage you to use alternate ways to connect with your loved ones such as Zoom, Facebook Portal, Phone, and Facetiming. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Kelly Squires at 218-231-8119.

With hospital beds nearing capacity and healthcare staffing shortages, Governor Walz issued even more COVID restrictions this week. Restaurants, breweries, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and bars will be take-out only. Gyms will close and organized indoor sports will be suspended. We need your help to control the spread of the virus in our community. We encourage you to use masks, social distance and abide by the Governor’s Orders.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitation Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Shane P. Roche, Administrator, at 218-231-8106 if you have any questions or concerns.

NEW COVID CASE IN OUR CARE CENTER

Dear Residents and Resident Representatives,

On 11-16-20, we were notified that a staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. Our top priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are collaborating with our Medical Director and the Minnesota Department of Health and are following all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps at this time. Any staff who test positive will be self-quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they recover from the virus; 10 days following positive test and 72 hours from last fever without using medication.

Due to the positive staff test, we will again be including residents in our weekly testing beginning today Tuesday, November 17th. This also means that we must cancel indoor visitation and open window visits until further notice.  Essential caregiver and compassionate caregiver visits will remain in place. We will continue to use technology and closed window visits for resident connection with you.

We will continue to update you on any news or additional changes in our operations via Bright Arrow messages, email, website, and our Facebook page. For any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at 218-231-8106.

Sincerely,

Shane P. Roche

Administrator