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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.

Corporate news

Sep 30, 2015

In 2008, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enhanced its Nursing Home Compare public reporting site to include a set of quality star ratings for each nursing home that participates in Medicare or Medicaid.


The Nursing Home Compare website features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating of between 1 and 5 stars. 


This provides residents and their families with an easy-to-understand summary of three dimensions of nursing home quality:


  • health inspection results
  • staffing data 
  • quality measure data


The goal of the Five-Star Rating System is to help consumers, families and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily to help identify areas about which you may want to ask questions.


CMS also intends for the system to help nursing homes identify areas for improvement.

Click here to download
"What are the components
of the Nursing Home Compare
Five-Star Quality Rating System?"


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Corporate news

Sep 28, 2015


(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – Laura Miller says God has given her family a second chance so they can help save lives. 


"We are here for the Founder's Day project, and we are going to give out carbon monoxide detectors to a lot of the elderly. I brought my girls, Allison and Mackenzie, and we’re going to have some fun today, spread the message and go plug in some detectors," Laura says.


On a sunny Saturday, Laura and her daughters teamed up with other volunteers to help the Good Samaritan Society install carbon monoxide detectors in 100 seniors' homes in Sioux Falls.


"It’s our 93rd anniversary as the Good Samaritan Society," says Melinda Larson,  the Good Samaritan Foundation’s associate director of volunteers. "We decided to celebrate through service and a good way to show that today is by providing some carbon monoxide detectors to some seniors in our community. We want to keep them safer in their homes, and hopefully save a life. We’re going out to 100 homes with about 50 volunteers."


Laura and her daughters know just how important the CO detectors are.

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Corporate news

Sep 26, 2015

(Sioux Falls, South Dakota) – Sioux Falls Fire Rescue, the Good Samaritan Society, and a youth group from Mitchell, South Dakota, teamed up today to install carbon monoxide detectors in up to 100 seniors’ homes in Sioux Falls.


Carbon monoxide is called “the silent killer” because you can’t see it or smell it. This toxic gas is estimated to kill more than 400 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The elderly, who may not be able to recover from poisoning, are especially susceptible.

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Center news highlights

Sep 25, 2015


(Arthur, North Dakota) – It's not a typical day's work for Abby Vandelanotte, but cleaning up a cemetery is giving her and other co-workers a special glimpse into the history of the Good Samaritan Society.


Abby, who works in accounts receivable, and 11 other Good Samaritan Society staff members recently had the opportunity to spend some time in Arthur, North Dakota, on a mission trip.


"We’re taking an overrun cemetery and sprucing it up and making it look good again," says Jane Teal, a Society accountant and one of the staff members working alongside Abby.


Twelve Good Samaritan Society staff members came together for mission work at the organization's founding location in Arthur, North Dakota.

"It’s the cemetery in which our founder is buried and which many of the first residents are buried," says Judy Ryan, a former president of the Good Samaritan Society.


Caring for this legacy is meaningful to the group, says Rebecca Hodgson, administrator at Good Samaritan Society – Arthur.


"It’s a respect thing for me, I think, because we need to honor these folks," Rebecca says. "We care about our community. We care about the lineage and the heritage here."


And for Greg Wilcox, senior pastor and vice president of mission effectiveness, it's also a family thing.


"For the last three or four years, when I would come and visit I would see the overgrown bushes and trees and monuments, and it was a little bit of a heartache because I have both my mom and dad buried here, as well as other
family members and other people in Good Sam."


Bob Blom, a Society business analyst, explains that plans began a few years ago.


"The recon started two years ago as part of the annual bus tour to Arthur for new employees. And out of that experience I noticed the unkempt status of the cemetery," he says.


"The opportunity presented itself. I was then able to come up here for a day and walk through the cemetery and the center and began to envision what we might be able to do with the skills and talents we might be able to bring up on a mission trip."


The crew worked to clean momuments, dig out old grass and weeds, and clean up rocky areas and overgrown trees.

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Center news highlights

Sep 24, 2015

"I just get joy when I come here," says Pastor Paula Mehmel of Good Samaritan Society – Arthur, a place she has come to love.

(Arthur, North Dakota) – When Pastor Paula Mehmel was offered a job at Good Samaritan Society – Arthur, she admits she was hesitant at first.


Her mother, who has dementia, is in a nursing home, and a few years ago, Paula's children watched their 51-year-old father die in a nursing home.


But it turns out life at a Good Samaritan Society nursing home isn’t anything like what Paula expected. “And I’m so very grateful for that,” Paula says between spiritual activities she leads for residents.


“I just get joy when I come here,” she says. “This is not a depressing place. This is a joyful place.”


In her role as chaplain at the rural North Dakota skilled care center, Paula offers spiritual support to the seniors who live there. Some have lived in the area their whole lives and have family nearby, but many don’t.


“There are a large number of individuals for whom the Good Samaritan Society center really is their community, really is their home,” Paula says. “That’s one of the things I really appreciate about being the chaplain here. There is that sense that you’re part of a family here.”



"This may be the last stop
on their journey,
but their journey hasn’t stopped. And they see that."


The deep friendships and camaraderie throughout Good Samaritan Society – Arthur inspire Paula.


Especially, she says, “with the residents, and their ability to find joy. This may be the last stop on their journey, but their journey hasn’t stopped. And they see that.


“Whether it’s engagement in Bible study, or bingo, or the activities, or the conversations, or the relationships that are built at the table, the care that they have for one another, that happens all the time. And it’s an act of joy. I see it everywhere.”



Click the video above to hear Pastor Paula talk about what she loves most about being
a chaplain at the Good Samaritan Society.

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