News & Events

Falls Prevention

Pennington Health Services, an affiliate of St. Francis Health Services of Morris (SFHS), is pleased to announce we were recently awarded a Minnesota Nursing Facility Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) grant by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) focused on preventing falls.  The initiative for fall prevention and fall reduction began January 1, 2021 and will continue through December 31, 2022 within our care center and related SFHS’ skilled nursing care centers.

The Falls Prevention Project will provide our care center with additional resources to make positive system improvements to prevent falls for individuals receiving services that is focused on each individual’s preferences and needs.  This program will have three components; expanding falls prevention and person centered education, implementing Safe Being technology, and increasing exercise program opportunities.

The education component of the Falls Prevention Project comes to us with a new partnership with Pioneer Network to expand our work force knowledge of Person Centered/Directed care. Pioneer Network is the national leader for culture change that advocates and builds a culture of aging where individual choices are respected and fosters care that is directed by the person receiving it.  Staff will learn how to better address needs and lifestyle choices to reduce an individual receiving services’ risk for falls. 

In the second part of our Falls Prevention Project, we will be installing Safe Being technology in our care centers.  The Safe Being system provides the capability for real time remote monitoring while respecting the person’s privacy.  Safe Being uses a watch-like device that provides data on lifestyles and daily activities and interprets gestures identifying how/when a resident is moving, eating, drinking and sleeping.  Each person wearing the device will send an alert when there is a change in status or has been identified as being at risk for a potential fall or has fallen. 

The third component of the Falls Prevention Project will be increasing exercise program opportunities such as Bingocize and Otago to improve strength, flexibility, and balance to help reduce falls. 

The Falls Prevention Project is intended to build sustainable practices throughout our care center beyond the original two year grant period.  SFHS is a faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization.  In addition to their skilled nursing care centers, they offer a variety of services that include customized/assisted living, a full range of therapies, senior housing, transitional and skilled nursing care, and behavioral and residential programs throughout the State of Minnesota.

Residents Tested Positive – COVID Unit OPEN

01/08/2021

We regret to inform you that Thief River Falls Care Center has had five residents test positive for COVID-19 as of 01/08/2021.  We have now opened our COVID unit. The five residents testing positive have been transferred to the unit where they will receive all the cares required to see them through this illness.  We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

As a reminder, staff that work in our segregated unit will not care for residents outside of the unit or interact with any employees that are providing direct care to residents outside of the unit. All staff in the segregated unit are equipped with N95 masks, face shields, gowns, and foot covers. Staff enter and exit the segregated unit from a separate door to prevent exposure to the rest of our care center, residents and employees.

We appreciate all the support, prayers, and offers of help that we’ve received. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our care center.

Next Vaccination date set for January 27th!

Dear Family and Friends of Thief River Care Center,

This week we have 0 staff and 0 residents test positive for COVID-19.  We are currently testing residents and staff weekly. Due to being in PPT, we are unable to open to indoor visits at the time. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are bringing in the New Year with new hope and excitement. We have administered our first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in our care center. Our next vaccine clinic will be on 1/27. Farrah Benitt, RN Manager, who has been eagerly awaiting the COVID-19 vaccine says, “I want to resume my life, I am concerned about bringing it into the facility or taking it home to my family”.

We have prepared a Frequently Asked Questions to help you understand why the vaccine is so important in defeating COVID-19. You can find this along with the Moderna Fact Sheet, on our website at sfhs.org/resources/covid-19/. If you have any other concerns or questions, please contact (Diane Lee at 218-683-8102), DON/Infection Control Specialist.

We will continue following our infection prevention and control practices along with the latest guidance from MDH and CDC regarding safe visiting for our residents. As of today, our care center plans to open for indoor visits on date. We will continue regular communication with our residents, friends and family on our COVID response, visitation guidelines and testing results.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) or our website (www.trcc.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out us.

COVID-19 Vaccinations have Started!

Dear Family and Friends of Thief River Care Center,

Today we were informed of one resident testing positive for COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff weekly and will initiate point prevalence testing (PPT) on January 4th, testing residents weekly as well. Due to being in PPT, we are unable to open to indoor visits at the time. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are excited to announce that our care center has received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and will host 3 clinics for vaccinating our residents and staff! Our first clinic was on 12/30/2020.  The second dose of the vaccine will be administered 4 weeks after the first round and the third will be administered 4 weeks after the second. Protection from vaccine is not immediate; vaccine is a 2-dose series and will take 1 to 2 weeks following the second dose to be considered fully vaccinated. Vaccine efficacy is 94-95%. This data was assessed with two doses being administered. It is very important to get both doses to ensure good protection.

When someone receives the vaccine they may experience side effects up to three days after vaccination. These side effects include injection site pain, tenderness and swelling of the lymph nodes in the same arm as the injection, swelling (hardness), and redness. General side effects include fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea, and low grade fever.

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you, particularly those who are at increased risk for severe illness. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others, but these measures are not enough.  Getting the vaccination will not only protect you from being infected; it will help us reduce visitation restrictions in the future.    

While the vaccine is a significant factor in our fight against the virus, it is just the beginning to reopening our care centers. We continue to use the county positivity rate to measure the spread of the virus in our local communities and follow the recommendations from MDH and CDC on reopening.  

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) or our website (www.trcc.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out us.

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends of Thief River Care Center,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines pending approval by the FDA. We anticipate this will occur toward the end of December.  We appreciate and support the decision made by the federal government to prioritize long-term care residents and staff in the distributions of the COVID-19 vaccine. Our vaccination process for staff and residents will be based on guidance from MDH as well as official CDC recommendations that have yet to be released and we will share this with you very soon! 

The beginning of December brought a surge of cases throughout Minnesota.  Please help us protect our staff and residents by wearing a mask and social distancing.  We again ask that you refrain from taking your loved one home over the Christmas holiday and schedule video visits with Lori Thompson, Activity Director, at 218-683-8106.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) or our website (www.trcc.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out us.

Thanksgiving Update – COVID Free

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Please consider how your Thanksgiving plans impact others. We encourage you to stay home and gather with people within your household. Most importantly, visit with your friends and loved ones in our care center virtually as much as possible. Share family recipes over the phone or Zoom. Send letters and photos instead of an in-person visit during our current visiting limitations. For more ways you can connect with your loved one or to schedule a virtual visit, please contact Lori Thompson at 218-683-8106 or by email at lathompson@trcc.sfhs.com.

This Thanksgiving season we want to thank our residents, family and friends for their support and prayers throughout the COVID Pandemic. We thank you for your continued patience and the sacrifices you have made. With you we will work through this pandemic. Remember to wear a mask, social distance when possible and practice proper hand hygiene. On behalf of our entire team, please stay safe and healthy.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Thanksgiving

Dear Family and Friends,

We recently learned that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the federal Medicare agency (CMS) are advising against residents leaving their care center for holiday visits. As we continue to fight against COVID-19, we ask that you not take your loved ones out this Thanksgiving.

By not taking your loved one out for a holiday visit, you will help us in protecting the health of everyone who lives and works here. One of the best things that you can do for your family this holiday season is to not gather in groups and keep everyone safe by wearing a facemask when you do.

We know just how special the holiday season can be and spending time with family is what adds meaning to our celebrations.  However, we need your help to protect our residents, our staff, and yourself during this pandemic’s risky time by limiting our contact with the broader community.  As Governor Walz told us the other night, the COVID-19 surge is at a dangerous level in Minnesota.

This past year has been a challenge like no other and we deeply appreciate the sacrifices that you and your family have already made during these past months. The hope of a COVID-19 vaccine is promising, but until that time we all need to use extra caution to slow the spread of this highly contagious disease.

If a resident does choose to go to a holiday gathering outside of our care center, the resident will need to quarantine in his or her room for 14-days after returning as a necessary precaution. Even when being very careful and following all of the guidelines, the risk of being infected when being out in the general public is high.

Our staff is committed to keeping you connected during the holiday seasons. We have a variety of activities planned that will engage our residents and are doing all we can to facilitate alternative means of communication between you and your loved one. If you have any gifts or cards you would like to give to your loved one or wish to schedule a virtual visit, please contact Lori Thompson at 218-683-8106 or by email at lathompson@trcc.sfhs.com.

We know that this news may cause concern or that you may have questions about what we are doing to keep everyone safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our care center.

County Positivity Rate puts us in “RED ZONE”

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our county positivity rate has risen above 10% putting our care center in the “red zone.” According to CMS calculations, all Minnesota counties, but four, are now in the “red zone.” Being in the “red zone” requires our care center to routinely test our staff twice weekly. We are also required to suspend all indoor visits at this time. We encourage you to use alternate ways to connect with your loved ones such as Zoom, Facebook Portal, Phone, and Facetiming. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Lori Thompson at 218-683-8106 or by email at lathompson@trcc.sfhs.com.

With hospital beds nearing capacity and healthcare staffing shortages, Governor Walz issued even more COVID restrictions this week. Restaurants, breweries, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and bars will be take-out only. Gyms will close and organized indoor sports will be suspended. We need your help to control the spread of the virus in our community. We encourage you to use masks, social distance and abide by the Governor’s Orders.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We routinely test staff weekly. We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This week Governor Walz announced new COVID-19 restrictions. These include earlier bar and restaurant closing times and 10 person limits on all indoor and outdoor gatherings. We encourage everyone in their efforts to control the spread of the virus including wearing masks, social distancing and the recent turning back of the dial by the State.

We continue to see outbreaks in our rural communities and this has the potential to impact our care center’s ability to allow indoor visits. In order for visits to occur, there can be no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and the care center cannot currently be conducting outbreak testing.  County positivity rates could also limit our ability to allow indoor visits.

Due to high demand and the safety of our residents, all visits must be scheduled 24 hours in advance. As a reminder only two people may visit at one time. To schedule your visit or for more information on our visitation policy, please contact Lori Thompson at 218-683-8106 or by email at lathompson@trcc.sfhs.com.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

TRCC Continues to be COVID FREE

Covid UpdateDear

Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. We routinely test staff biweekly. We continue to work with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and are following COVID-19 recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Our top priority is to support and protect our residents and dedicated caregivers. We have equipped our staff with the training and supplies needed to provide safe, quality care, services and support to our residents. We continue to urge everyone to practice proper hand hygiene and safe physical distancing.

We are committed to ensuring that physical distancing does not mean isolation. We are working to have a variety of small group activities that engage our residents. We know that you too are making sacrifices and we appreciate your patience as we continue to navigate through this Pandemic. To schedule a visit with your loved one, please contact Lori Thompson at 218-683-8106 or by email at lathompson@trcc.sfhs.com.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Don’t forget to get your flu shot this season to help protect our community. Please follow our Facebook page (@Thief River Care Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Judy Bernat, Administrator, at 218-683-8101 or jbernat@trcc@sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.