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Society news

Events, milestones and celebrations occur every day within the Good Samaritan Society. Here, you can read
all corporate news, Society news, center news or center news highlights.

Center news highlights

Sep 30, 2014

Eddie the Comfort Dog is specially trained to reach out to people in distress.


(Grand Island, Nebraska) – There’s something comforting about knowing a friend will be there for you without judgment and understands what you are feeling, even without saying a word. At Grand Island Village, that warm friendship comes from Eddie. Eddie, or Sir Edward Isaiah 65:1 by full name, is a K-9 Comfort Dog.


Supported by Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) through Peace Lutheran Church in Grand Island, Eddie interacts with people at churches, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, events, and in disaster response situations. He visits Grand Island Village several times a month.


Comfort Dog Eddie shares his friendship with Grand Island Village residents Wayne and Lyna Abshier and Chaplain Rod Armon.

When you meet Eddie, you can tell that he is no ordinary golden retriever. He demonstrates awareness, docility and intelligence, and senses the needs of those around him. Although he achieved most of this through his training as a young pup, his caregiver, Don “Mo” Moeller, explains that not all pups are cut out for the job. “All of the dogs go through an intricate selection process upon birth. Every LCC K-9 Comfort Dog is a golden retriever, and they train for a year and a half before they are officially certified,” he says.

The comfort dog ministry began as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The first Comfort Dog began duty in Northern Illinois in 2008.

Mo says he has seen Eddie help many people. “I can count eight to nine incidents every month that Eddie reached out to a stranger in public, and when I told them he is trained to respond to stress and strong emotions, it was a very moving moment for them,” he says. “Almost everyone had lost someone recently, and Eddie just knew.”


Eddie and Moses, Nebraska’s other Comfort Dog that lives in Cairo, are able to visit the campus because of a gift from Grand Island Village to the Comfort Dog ministry.

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Corporate news

Sep 30, 2014

Think you know what life is like in a Good Samaritan Society senior living community or care center? Unless you're imagining parties, weekly activities and fun neighbors (sounds like dorm life, doesn't it?), think again! Find a center that suits you by taking our quiz.


What kind of music do you like?

a) I’m into acoustic, folksy tunes.

b) Swingin’ sounds from the '20s and '40s. 

c) Drums beat with my heart!

d) Don Ho makes me happy.




How do you partake in arts and crafts?

a) By sampling baked goodies that others make!

b) Bring on the mud: Let's learn about pottery.

c) I’d like to knit or crochet for a good cause.

d) Can I write my memoirs?





What do you want to see out your window?

a) Rows of crops and grain bins.

b) A mountain path.

c) Lots of sunshine.

d) Tropical flowers.






When it comes to exercise and entertainment, would you rather:

a) Play pool.

b) Dance.

c) Practice tai chi.

d) Work in a hobby shop.




Decorating time! What colors bring you to life or help you relax?

a) Give me natural blue, green, red and yellow.

b) Warm, southwestern hues for me!

c) I’m energized by neon colors.

d) Sunset on the water: Pink, purple and orange, please.





How active are you?

a) I like to water the flowers my daughter plants for me in the spring, but I need her help to rake my yard. 

b) My son, his kids and I get together every Sunday to ride our motorcycles for a few hours.

c) I enjoy painting and organizing my coin collection—or anything I can do sitting.

d) I rode a zipline in the Bahamas last Christmas.





How much social time do you need?

a) I’m a wide-open spaces kind of person, but it’s nice to know there are people around.

b) I like meals with friends on occasion, but I have a lot of hobbies and grandkids to keep me busy.

c) I’d be happy if someone visited me for a few hours every day.

d) Lunch with the gang, dinner with someone special and an evening with buddies? Sounds like a perfect day!







How do you feel about animals?

a) I’ll “goat” wild for a small, hooved animal.

b) I consider myself an equestrian.

c) As long as they’re not real, they’re fine!

d) Dogs are man's best friend.





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Corporate news

Sep 29, 2014

Click the video to watch Good Samaritan Society President David J. Horazdovsky and
Executive Vice President Tom Syverson participating in the 2014 Founder's Day project.


(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – Falls are a leading cause of injury in older adults, and cost billions of dollars each year to treat. Injuries from a fall also can trigger a cascade of other problems for seniors, including overall declining health, long-term disability and feelings of loss and isolation.


Statistics show:


  • More than 30 percent of seniors age 65 and older will fall each year.
  • 25 percent of all hospital admissions of seniors are due to falls.
  • Falls lead to 40 percent of all nursing home admissions.

"Debunking the myths
of older age falls

– National Council
on Aging


Seeking to reduce the risk of falls and raise awareness of the issue, the Good Samaritan Society challenged its locations across the country to organize service projects in their communities focusing on fall prevention.

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Corporate news

Sep 26, 2014


(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) — A visit to a Good Samaritan Society location in Minnesota will help a national advisory committee form recommendations in a report on rural healthcare challenges and opportunities to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Telehealth was among the areas of special interest to the National Advisory Committee on Rural Health and Human Services when the group gathered for meetings in South Dakota and Minnesota this week. The panel’s observations and recommendations will go into a report for HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell.


The meetings also provided an opportunity for Good Samaritan Society staff members to describe the organization’s understanding of rural health and call for recognition and policy change at a federal level, says Michele Juffer, NAC member and administrator at Good Samaritan Society – Wagner in Wagner, South Dakota.


“Having the committee here was beneficial for us and for the long-term care industry as a whole, as it allowed us to show them how vital we are in rural communities, and how advanced we are in terms of technology and care,” she said.

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Corporate news

Sep 26, 2014

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – Over the past 92 years, the Good Samaritan Society has learned a lot about helping seniors live their best lives. But as we celebrate our anniversary this week, we turn to two of our eldest residents for their suggestions on how to live a full life and reach a special milestone: turning 100.


Ellen Bryan is a resident of Good Samaritan Society – Settlers Trail in Lodi, Wisconsin. She celebrated her 102nd birthday in August, surrounded by friends and family at the center.


Ellen grew up in Lodi, and still remembers what life was like 92 years ago — when the Rev. August “Dad” Hoeger was developing his plan for the Good Samaritan Society in North Dakota.

At left, Ellen takes a selfie with staff member Cheryl Huie.

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