News and Events

Falls Prevention

Duluth 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.

1st Dose of Vaccine has been Administered!

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, Suncrest has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Viewcrest has had 2 additional residents test positive for COVID-19 this week and 4 additional staff members.  All staff and residents were tested on 1/7/2021 and we are awaiting results. Our care center continues to test staff weekly. 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. Suncrest staff and tenants received their first doses on 1/8/2021.

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 Chelsey Lindstrom Infection Control Nurse at 218-279-4204. 

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 look at opening visits as soon as our COVID unit is closed.  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.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health 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 Tara Adkins, Administrator @ 218-279-4203if you have any questions or concerns.

National Guard Aiding in Staffing at Viewcrest

Dear Family and Friends,

Today we were notified that we had two additional residents test positive for COVID-19. We are still waiting some results from the testing completed on December 28th and 30th. Should any additional positive cases occur, we will notify all residents, staff, and family representatives promptly. Our next round of testing will be conducted on January 4th.

The residents that tested positive for COVID-19 have been transferred to our COVID unit. 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 will be equipped with N95 masks, face shields and gowns. Staff will enter and exit the segregated unit from a separate door to prevent exposure to the rest of our care center, residents and employees.

Due to the impact on staffing from the COVID-19 virus, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has coordinated with the National Guard to provide us with staffing relief starting Saturday, January 2nd.

We appreciate all the support, prayers, and offers of help that we’ve received. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Melissa Hoglund, Director of Nursing at 218-279-4219 if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly Update

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, Suncrest has no confirmed cases of COVID-19. Viewcrest has had 8 additional residents test positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours and 3 additional staff members test positive for COVID-19 within the last 24 hours. As of today we have received testing back from Monday, 12/21/20 and some from Wednesday, 12/23/20. We are currently awaiting test results from Monday, 12/28/20 testing. Our care center continues to test residents and staff twice weekly. 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 looking forward to receiving the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine in the near future. 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. Assisted living vaccination dates will be sent out soon.

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. We continue to not allow visitors at this time.

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.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health 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 Melissa Hoglund, Director of Nursing at 218-279-4219 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

Viewcrest and Suncrest tested all residents and staff for COVID-19 this week. The results are shown below. 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).

• Viewcrest – 9 residents and 12 staff tested positive. No indoor visitation at this time. Testing staff twice weekly due to county positivity.

• Suncrest – 0 tenants and 0 staff tested positive. No indoor visitation at this time. Testing staff twice weekly due to county positivity.

We are eagerly awaiting the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines pending approval by the FDA. We anticipate this will occur before 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 Jeremy at 218-279-4210.

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.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health 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 Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.

Weekly PPT Results

Dear Family and Friends,

Viewcrest and Suncrest tested all residents and staff for COVID-19 this week. The results are shown below. 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).

Viewcrest –Residents were tested on Monday this week and staff were tested on Monday and Thursday. No positive cases were noted. No indoor visitation at this time. Testing staff twice weekly due to county positivity. •

Suncrest – Tenants and staff were tested on 11/27 & 12/4. One additional employee tested positive. No indoor visitation at this time. Tenant and staff testing will continue weekly until 14days have elapsed with no positive cases.

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) held an emergency meeting this week to review allocation recommendations for vaccines in phase 1 distribution. The advisory committee voted to include residents of long-term care communities in Phase 1A of vaccination. We anticipate a vaccine being available in the coming weeks and will keep you informed.

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.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health 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 Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.

Viewcrest Staff Member Positive for COVID-19

November 23, 2020

Family and Friends,

Duluth Health Services regrets to inform you that we had a staff member of Viewcrest test positive for COVID-19 on 11/22/20. Point Prevalence Testing (PPT) will continue this week on Monday and Wednesday. We are excited to announce that we no longer have any residents with active COVID. We are closing our COVID unit as of today, November 23rd.

As a reminder any staff who test positive will be quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they recover from the virus, are symptom free and pass the employee screening protocols. Our staff are equipped with specific training and personal protective equipment (PPE) to continue to provide safe, quality care, services and support to the residents of our community. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 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.

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 me at 218-279-4203. 

Sincerely,

Tara Adkins, Administrator

Positive Staff Member at Viewcrest

November 23, 2020

Family and Friends,

Duluth Health Services regrets to inform you that we had a staff member of Viewcrest test positive for COVID-19 on 11/22/20. Point Prevalence Testing (PPT) will continue this week on Tuesday and Friday. We are excited to announce that we no longer have any residents with active COVID. We are closing our COVID unit as of today, November 23rd.

As a reminder any staff who test positive will be quarantined at home and will not be allowed to return to work until they recover from the virus, are symptom free and pass the employee screening protocols. Our staff are equipped with specific training and personal protective equipment (PPE) to continue to provide safe, quality care, services and support to the residents of our community. We continue to follow all recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Free

Dear Family and Friends,

Viewcrest Care Center conducted entire-site testing for both residents and staff on 11/17/2020. We are excited to announce that we have no additional cases of COVID-19 this week! We will be testing again on 11/24/2020. Suncrest Assisted Living continues to have no known cases of COVID-19.

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.

Suncrest Assisted Living is in one of the four counties that are in the “yellow zone.” Their staff will be routinely tested on a weekly basis. Indoor visitation is still available.

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.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Viewcrest Health 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 Tara Adkins, Administrator, at 218-279-4203 if you have any questions or concerns.