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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

May 19, 2015

Resident Maxine Leggott loves to relax in Prairie View Gardens’ comfy living room and listen to music. Residents have access to playlists on iPods as part of the campus’ Music & Memory program.

(Kearney, Nebraska) – Cozied up in a chair in Prairie View Gardens’ living room, Maxine Leggott is smiling as a favorite song pipes through the headphones she’s wearing.


“I like a little bit of everything,” she says of her musical tastes. “A lot of gospel songs remind me of playing the organ at church.”


Maxine is one of two dozen residents who live in the campus’ memory care apartments. And the music she’s listening to is coming from an iPod the campus bought with designated donations to implement a Music & Memory program here two years ago.


Music & Memory is a nonprofit organization that helps care centers offer residents personalized playlists on iPods.


Music can be a strong emotional trigger for many people, and research has shown that it can have a deeply profound effect on people with dementia and other memory issues.


“I thought this program would be perfect for our memory care residents,” says Sharon Rees, the campus’ director of nursing.


Sharon has been instrumental in leading the implementation and progress of the Music & Memory program at Prairie View Gardens.


“I have a musical background and have seen how music can change and enhance people’s lives,” she says. “Dementia care can be challenging in senior communities, with so many personalities and cognitive abilities all living together. Individualized music programs are wonderful for helping to calm and unite residents.”

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Center news highlights

May 19, 2015


(Ellsworth, Kansas) – Mason May has a mission on his mind – and it isn't bingo.


"We call it 'Kids with a Mission,' with the idea that we’ll go out after we have our devotions and serve other people like the people here," Mason says.


Take a closer look here at Good Samaritan Society – Ellsworth and you’ll see about 20 younger faces; fourth-graders from local churches, watching cards and listening for numbers with the residents.


Mason wants the kids to learn that they each have unique gifts to offer when they volunteer.


"We think we're planting seeds. We're hoping it should be a two-way street," he says. "The residents hopefully enjoy some young people, and it gives our fourth-graders ... they don’t see too many older people, other than grandma once in a while. This kind of shows them other people that are hurting, that need some care and need some service, and hopefully we can see the other side of what they might encounter daily."


Good Samaritan Society – Ellsworth is blessed with all kinds of volunteers from the community.

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Center news highlights

May 13, 2015

It's Monday morning and the crayons are out at Water Valley Senior Living Resort.


Resident Mary Alice Jensen

(Windsor, Colorado) – Who says coloring is only for children?

Every Monday morning, the Coloring Club gathers at Good Samaritan Society – Water Valley Senior Living Resort. Residents are invited to express their creativity with crayons and coloring books made specifically for adults.

While coloring is a lot of fun, it also benefits seniors’ health with its capacity to stimulate the brain and reduce stress. Many publishers have been launching coloring books specifically for adults. The trend is growing in Europe and North America.


Resident Jo Ebben had been coloring for some time after her daughter introduced her to adult coloring. She recommended a coloring program to the campus’ director of Lifestyle Enrichment, and Jo donated several coloring books to get the group started.


The group has as many as 11 participants at one time. They listen to music while coloring, and residents say the creative time is very relaxing.

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Center news highlights

May 12, 2015

Sharon St. Mary

(Robbinsdale, Minnesota) – Sharon St. Mary’s 23-year career with the Good Samaritan Society has been one of evolution and growth.


Sharon started her career working with juvenile delinquents and their families. When a sudden change forced her to find a new job, she answered a newspaper ad placed by a long-term care center.


“I wasn’t actually hired by the Good Samaritan Society; it was University Health Care Center at that time,” she says. “I was just looking for a job, but God is always very serendipitous.”


The Good Samaritan Society purchased University Health Care Center five months after Sharon began working there, and her career interests started to shift. As she began to work for the Society, she learned about the organization’s mission of sharing God’s love by providing care and services to people in need.


“Over time, I’ve learned the mission and vision, and it’s been something I evolved into,” Sharon says.


But growth doesn’t just apply to Sharon’s own trajectory. Nurturing success in others is part of her philosophy for serving and supporting clients, residents, staff and even other healthcare professionals.


Sharon has served as an administrator and as the executive director for Good Samaritan Society – Specialty Care Community in Robbinsdale and Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater. She has coached administrators-in-training, students from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire and participants in the Leading4Life program.



"People always want to grow. They want to constantly be challenged and grow their skills and learn something of value. That’s part of what mentoring is about — helping people see that in themselves. A lot of my staff see that and nurture it in others.”

 – Sharon St. Mary

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Center news highlights

May 12, 2015

Don Worke enjoys playing accordion and harmonica for residents and visitors.

(Albert Lea, Minnesota) – Don Worke takes requests.


Secretly, he hopes you’ll suggest The East Side, West Side Polka.” That’s his favorite.


Coffee time, birthday parties and other special events at Good Samaritan Society – Albert Lea are when Don, the “Good Sam Musical Man,” plays his favorite songs on the accordion.


Don has played accordion for 79 years, starting when he was 10 years old.


He’s lived at Good Samaritan Society – Albert Lea since 2013 and has been sharing his musical talents all over campus.


His frequent appearances at campus parties and dances are earning him a little celebrity.


Don even has a “manager,” his best friend Don Drommerhausen.


“I just enjoy assisting with all the shows the Musical Man is participating in,” he says. 

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