To say Tom Syverson shares a deep connection with the Good Samaritan Society would be an understatement. The Society’s director of external affairs is nearing 35 years of service at the organization.
“The way that we’ve adapted to change has been fun to see over the years. When we started, we weren’t even in long-term care,” Tom says.
The Society is now one of the largest not-for-profit providers for senior care and services in the United States. It’s also approaching 100 years of operation.
“We have moved from what I would say was purely a social ministry organization to now a business that has to deal with a lot of complex regulations and requirements that have multiplied over the years,” Tom says.
Staff members can provide advanced care at each of the Society’s locations. With family members living at the Society in Mountain Lake and St. James, Minnesota, Tom sees their incredible efforts firsthand.
“Our family has been served by the Society for all the years that I have been employed,” Tom says. “I always bless those administrators because we have a lot of stubborn Norwegians in our family.”
'We're here to serve our communities'
Tom was once a Society administrator himself. He’s also been in a number of executive roles and was the chief operating officer when the organization merged with Sanford Health in 2019.
“What’s most important is we’re here to serve our communities. That is the most critical thing. How do we do that in the best possible way? That is coming together and being able to provide health care. Not just in one setting but across the whole continuum,” Tom says.
He adds teaming up with Sanford Health will bring residents and future clients more options for care.
“Baby boomers, we’re going to want to have that care provided at home as long as possible. There’s always going to be a need for long-term care services in a skilled setting. As we’ve seen over the years, that has moved more to short-term stays and more of our long-term stays have moved to assisted living and senior living,” Tom says.
Carrying out the mission of the Society has been a huge part of his own story. He’s grateful for teammates who share the same passion. Tom says the Society boasts more than 160 people who’ve served for 40-plus years.
Tom’s son Bryton is also now carrying the torch forward. He works on the legal team at Sanford Health.
“The thing that is very humbling to me is our caregivers on the front lines. The compassion and care that they provide is just amazing to me. It’s not easy work and we have so many dedicated people,” Tom says. “That’s a huge blessing to those communities and to me personally as a family member.”