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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

Mar 23, 2015

Click the image to watch the video.


(Waconia, Minnesota) – When it comes to finding a new home after years or a lifetime in one community, research, visits and word-of-mouth go a long way. But what if you had a guardian angel to help guide and comfort you in this time of change?


Since 2006, members of the Angel Group at Good Samaritan Society – Waconia and Westview Acres have welcomed new tenants to make sure everyone feels welcomed and incorporated into community life all year long.


"We send out birthday cards and get well cards,” says Maddy Schalow, listing off the number of cards sent out at the beginning of the year. “In January we sent out three sympathy cards, five get well cards, and four birthday cards.”


“We also try to just be there for people when they arrive,” says Joan Mason, who recalls meeting a new tenant, asking her about a wound on her arm, and then spending the next few months helping the woman get better. “It turned into being a whole year-long ordeal, taking her to the doctor and so forth, but she didn’t have any family here, and was glad to have a new friend looking out for her,” she says.

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Center news highlights

Mar 20, 2015


(Holstein, Iowa) – Virgil Schlinz has always been a fan of John Deere. He preferred using the equipment while farming and had always dreamed of one day watching one of the company's tractors being built.


Volunteer Mark Demarest volunteered to bring Virgil Schlinz to the John Deere tractor assembly plant in Waterloo, Iowa.

Virgil's wish recently came true thanks to a wish-granting program launched by Good Samaritan Society – Holstein, says Brianna Butcher, director of human resources and resource development.


Staff members simply asked residents to name a wish or dream they had. That's how Virgil got to spend a day at the John Deere tractor assembly plant in Waterloo, Iowa.


"It was more than I expected," Virgil says of his trip. "It was interesting to see the changes from my first family tractor that was purchased in 1935."


Brianna says the trip to Waterloo is just one example of how the Holstein center strives to
help each resident feel loved and valued. The wish-granting program has funded trips to a nearby casino and bowling alley. One resident even visited the place where she grew up and favorite locations nearby.


“We offer this program to help residents feel at home,” Brianna says. “Some may not have had the opportunity in the past to see and do things on their wish lists. Others just want to experience a favorite outing or event one more time.”

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Center news highlights

Mar 18, 2015

Staff Sgt. Christopher Brink (standing, left) and First Lt. Sebastien Mahieu present a Quilt of Valor to resident veteran Ragnar Nelson.


(Waukon, Iowa) – Staff member Tanya Brink has a lot of reasons to be patriotic. The certified nursing assistant grew up in Germany, where her mom, Jean Brink, was stationed at Ft. Knox while serving in the U.S. Army. Jean served for six years before continuing her career as a civilian technology specialist. Tanya’s brother, Christopher, also serves his country as a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army Infantry.

Sgt. Brink recently visited Waukon during his leave with an important mission in mind. He had a quilt to present to Good Samaritan Society resident Ragnar Nelson. Ragnar served in the Army Infantry in Germany, Belgium and France during World War II.

The quilt is part of a project started by Tanya and Jean. Jean owns Queen Jean Quilting, a fabric and quilt shop in Waukon.

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Center news highlights

Mar 11, 2015

Billy Bottcher

(Syracuse, Nebraska) – Billy Bottcher wanted to go home. After heart surgery and nine days in the hospital, the Syracuse native was ready to sleep in his own bed again.


So when he entered the rehabilitation program at Good Samaritan Society – Syracuse after his discharge from the hospital, he was determined to get better as soon as he could.


“Billy wasn’t very strong when he came to us, but we got him into therapy right away,” says Melissa Ostrander, physical therapy assistant. “He liked using the AlterG treadmill, and he always did the exercises we asked him to.”


The AlterG treadmill is a type of treadmill that reduces gravity’s impact on the body. By programming the machine to support up to 100 percent of the body’s weight, a person on the treadmill experiences less force as he walks or runs. This allows rehab patients to train with less joint and muscle stress, and in Billy’s case, less stress on his recovering heart.


Billy completed his rehab routine three times a day for three weeks, growing stronger as the days passed. Typically, a person who spends one day in a hospital bed loses three days of strength. So Billy had to work on recovering overall physical strength as well as strengthening his heart.

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Center news highlights

Mar 10, 2015

Farm-to-table food options are among the highlights for resident meals prepared under the guidance of Chef Tim Ralston.


(Howard Lake, Minnesota) – When Tim Ralston found the posting for a chef at The Lodge of Howard Lake, he couldn’t believe he’d found his dream job.


"They were looking for a person to run the kitchen. They wanted high-quality food — and it was a way to serve others," he says.


"I’ve always wanted to be of service to others, but it was a question of how can I do that, follow my passion and make a living. I was like, 'Wow, this is it'."


Click here to learn more about the need for interesting food choices as we age.

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