Original North Dakota location provides pandemic relief

Good Samaritan Society helps Sanford Medical Center Fargo expand patient capacity

Good Samaritan Society nurse in scrubs and face mask works at a stand-up desk in a hallway at the Arthur, North Dakota location.

Footsteps away from where the Good Samaritan Society was founded 100 years ago, caregivers are, once again, coming from all over to serve those in need in rural North Dakota.

“I’m from Oklahoma,” Denelle Foster, LPN, says as she takes a break at Good Samaritan Society – Arthur.

Normally, Justin Jones is the administrator for Good Samaritan Society – Canton in South Dakota. He’s also helping, temporarily, in Arthur.

Relieving COVID-19 pandemic pressure on the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo is the unique mission.

Jones says his team is caring for “some of the patients from Sanford Fargo that are essentially at a step-down level. So, they don’t need to be in the hospital and the hospital needs those beds to be able to take care of anyone else that’s coming through their doors.”

“That’s when we stepped in and we put up this nursing home and got people out here and started admitting residents as of December 17.”

‘On the ball all the time’

Battling a bacterial infection, Army veteran Jerry Anker is recovering quickly in an unused wing connected to Arthur’s assisted and independent living units.

“Four operations and then they sent me here and I’ve got another one or two left,” Anker says. “It took me by surprise but they’ve done a real good job here. They told me three to six months of healing. It’s two months on the 22nd. I should be going home soon.”

He’s loving the integrated health system’s crew assembled in Arthur.

“Oh, they’re right on the ball all the time,” Anker says.

Some are Society employees, some are from Sanford Health, and others are on contract. They’re caring for as many as 18 residents at a time, ages 20-80.

“Some of them are on IV antibiotics, some of them have wounds. Some of them just need a little bit of extra rehab so they can go on home,” Jones says.

Answering the ‘call to help’

The nurses and CNAs are even living on campus, with the residents, while they’re here.

“These are definitely good people. Since I’ve walked through the door, it’s been spectacular,” Danielle Swinney, a CNA from St. Louis, Missouri, says.

Foster adds she “couldn’t ask for a better team. We all work together. We communicate well.”

Providing quality care for everyone, even during a pandemic.

“To me it says that Good Sam is willing to answer the call to help. That’s our whole motto,” Jones says.

“This facility may not have been revived had there not been that need from Sanford Fargo. We’re happy to be able to use our resources to the best potential.”

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Posted In Coronavirus, Fargo, Rehabilitation & Therapy, Senior Services