Testing is a critical component to ensuring identification and treatment of aging services residents and staff with COVID-19 and protection of others near them. We strongly urge Congress to establish a federally administered and financed aging services testing program. Tell Congress that they must provide testing funds for aging services providers in the next COVID-19 relief bill. Contact your lawmakers in Washington, D.C. today. Take action here.


The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted older adults and their care providers across the country and Congress has not done enough to support them. Join us, LeadingAge and thousands of other organizations on the #Act4OlderAdults National Day of Action TODAY as we virtually visit lawmakers on Capitol Hill! We urge Congress to pass comprehensive COVID-19 relief for all providers and the older adults they serve.

#Act4OlderAdults Take Action Link

Restorative Ambulation and Mobility Project

St. Francis Health Services of Morris (SFHS), is pleased to announce their Restorative Ambulation and Mobility Project (RAMP).  The RAMP Project is a result of SFHS’s long term care collaborative of 7 care centers being awarded a Minnesota Nursing Facility Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) grant by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS).  Implementation of the RAMP Project began January 1, 2020 and will continue through December 31, 2020. 

The goal of the RAMP project is to improve the quality of care and quality of life for our residents. The project will help each resident reach their highest attainable level of function in ambulation and mobility. A Walk to Dine and a Balance Exercise program will be integrated into our Restorative Program. The Walk to Dine program will assist the resident in maintaining functional ambulation abilities to support maximum level of independence for the highest quality of life. The Balance Exercise program is intended for a resident that had a recent fall. Many respond to a fear of falling by reducing activity levels, which results in loss of muscle strength and balance.   This evidence-based program would be designed and implemented to reduce fear of falling and increase activity levels.

The RAMP Project will provide us with additional resources to make positive system improvements to support good outcomes, focusing on our residents’ preferences and needs.  We want our residents to experience their highest quality of life, and feel this program promotes this by impacting their ability to achieve and/or maintain their optimal physical function.

This project is another way we are carrying out our mission of “Expressing Christ’s love by providing care that values every human life.” If you have any questions about the RAMP project or want more information, please contact the care center.

National Skilled Nursing Care Week

May 10th-16th, 2020

National Skilled Nursing Care Week has been held annually since 1967. It was created by the American Health Care Association to recognize the vital role care centers have in providing for our seniors. For years, care communities use this week to share the relationships that develop between staff and residents; the activities that are a part of each day and the memories made by all who live and work within its care communities. This event is an opportunity to display the advances in person-centered care and the achievements of the care centers. However, like most scheduled events this year, Skilled Nursing Care Week will be different. Friends and family will not be able to enter the buildings to join in the celebrations. Never the less, it is more important than ever to honor our residents and staff for the work they do within a skilled nursing care center. We urge everyone to join in virtually to support our residents and staff.

“Sharing Our Wisdom” is the 2020 theme for National Skilled Nursing Care Week. This theme intends to celebrate the residents and their staff by showing the unique insight our seniors have on life. This speaks volumes for what our world is currently enduring. Our seniors have a way of reminding us to be present, to cherish what we have and to not take things for granted.

As we start this week, we want to say thank you to all those involved in helping enrich the lives of our seniors. We appreciate all of our staff and volunteers for their incredible dedication and passion for their work. This year St Francis Health Services received the Award of Merit for Performance Excellence in Aging Services from LeadingAge Minnesota for our demonstrated commitment to quality and continuous improvement. We recognize that this would not have happened without the strength of our staff who continue to surpass any expectations we may have and bring joy to our residents every day.

We appreciate you and we thank you for every kind act that you show to those you work alongside to provide care for those entrusted to us!

-St. Francis Health Services

Award of Merit for Performance Excellence in Aging Services

St. Francis Health Services Recognized for Achievement in Quality Morris, MN – February 5th, 2020 – St. Francis Health Services received the Award of Merit for Performance Excellence in Aging Services from LeadingAge Minnesota for its demonstrated commitment to quality and continuous improvement. “Quality improvement in long-term services and supports is a continuous process, bettering our best each day to provide exceptional care and services to older adults,” said Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota. “We congratulate St. Francis Health Services for their demonstrated commitment to quality in all that they do. By completing this intensive program, St. Francis Health Services and their dedicated employees are working together as a collaborative team to deliver higher quality care and services to the older adults they serve.” Performance Excellence in Aging Services was created by LeadingAge Minnesota in 2017 to help aging services providers innovate and improve the quality services and supports they provide to older adults. The continuous learning and development program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which focuses on seven areas of achievement and improvement: leadership, strategy, customers, measurement, workforce, operations and results. To achieve the Award of Merit, St. Francis Health Services completed an in-depth organizational self-assessment to identify, prioritize and address improvement opportunities in their organization. By completing this initial phase of the Performance Excellence in Aging Services program, St. Francis Health Services has demonstrated that they have effective systems in place that will enable them to better serve older adults, empower staff teams, and achieve and sustain quality efforts more efficiently and effectively. Carol Raw, CEO/President states “As the newly appointed CEO/President of St. Francis Health Services, I sought confirmation from an external source that the systems we had in place were truly aligned with our strategic goals; that the services we provide are a reflection of the needs of the communities we serve and that our leadership staff are engaged in the creation of, and accountable for, the strategic plan outcomes. I also felt the messaging of our mission and core values had lost its strength as the main cultural component. While we had many quality initiatives in place, ironically we had no corporate level quality review to identify as a team the cause of our problems, or a method to create and implement action plans to resolve problems and achieve objectives. Each of these areas have now been addressed and we are beginning our first year of accountable strategic planning using annual objectives and action plans to measure our progress. The Performance Excellence program provided us with the tools to methodically assess our organization and collaboratively reach an understanding of who St. Francis Health Services is overall, but specifically in the areas of leadership, strategy, customers, measurement & analysis, workforce, operations and results. We are excited to continue down the path of assessment, but more so in working together as an executive and operational leadership team, to take meaningful strides forward in our continuous quality improvement.” For more information, contact Cami Peterson-DeVries, VICE PRESIDENT of Corporate Compliance & Ethics and Leadership Development at 320.589.4922 or About Organization St. Francis Health Services of Morris, Inc. (St. Francis) was created in 1984 as a not-for-profit organization committed to providing quality services to people of all ages with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities. Our service focus is the rural areas of MN with populations under 20k although we own and operate care centers in Duluth MN and a campus in Farmington MN. St. Francis was formed specifically to strategically expand services to meet the complex and diverse needs of vulnerable aging adults and people of all ages with physical, mental and intellectual disabilities. St. Francis’ corporate office provides operating support and oversight for 13 SNFs, 10 Assisted Living, 2 Independent Living and 74 Community Based Residential Group Homes throughout the state of Minnesota. St. Francis’ services include skilled nursing care (subacute, long-term, and memory care), assisted living with home healthcare and memory care, a full range of therapies, and community and residential services to people with physical, mental, and intellectual disabilities. St. Francis provides care to 838 residents within our SNFs, 342 tenants within our Assisted Living properties, and 309 persons who receive residential group home services in communities throughout MN. About LeadingAge Minnesota Driven to transform and enhance the experience of aging, LeadingAge Minnesota works alongside its members, caregivers, advocates and consumers to collectively shape the future of aging services and ensure older adults in every community live with dignity, meaning and purpose. Together with more than 60,000 caregivers, LeadingAge Minnesota members provide services and support to nearly 70,000 older adults every day in independent senior housing, assisted living, adult day, home care and skilled nursing settings.