News & Events

Congratulations on 40 years with SFHS

On Friday, April 1st, St. Francis Health Services of Morris celebrated Carol Raw, CEO/President, for 40 years and counting of service to SFHS.

When asked about her years of service to SFHS, Carol had this to say.

“I’ve told many today that it is unfathomable that I have reached 40 years in my work with St. Francis.  I am honored to have been entrusted to this position and know that it is intentional believing we are all put on this great earth for a specific purpose.  My heart tells me I have more to give, and so I will.”


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                        CONTACT: Libbie Chapuran

February 18, 2022                                                                                                                             

Saint Paul – (2/28/2022) – Jenelle Connors, a nurse manager at Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitative Center in Hibbing, MN, was recently honored by LeadingAge Minnesota with the District B Caregiver of the Year Award.

The District Caregiver of the Year Award honors individuals in older adult services who demonstrate exceptional commitment to older adults, and enhance and enrich the quality of life of those in their care. Jenelle was one of seven caregivers selected for the regional award out of a field of 50,000 professional caregivers throughout the state.

“Jenelle always goes above and beyond to help the residents to ensure they are safe and obtain the highest level of care,” said Shane Roche, Administrator at Guardian Angels Health and Rehabilitative Center. “During our most challenging times, Jenelle has stepped up with courage, strength, and dedication to provide direct care to our most vulnerable battling Covid-19 in our care center.”

LeadingAge Minnesota honored Jenelle and other Caregivers of the Year at its Institute & Expo, the state’s largest and most comprehensive aging services conference. Nearly 4,000 professionals in all aspects of older adult services attend the annual three-day event to learn about new and innovative programs, share best practices and network with their peers.

About LeadingAge Minnesota

LeadingAge Minnesota is driven to transform and enhance the experience of aging. Together with more than 60,000 caregivers, our members provide quality, compassionate care to nearly 70,000 older adults every day in all the places they call home including independent senior housing, assisted living communities, in-home care and skilled nursing facilities.

National Caregivers Day

Today we honor all individuals who selflessly provide care, including both medical and personal care. Whether the caregiver is a healthcare professional or a family member, a caregiver’s day can be long and demanding, requiring dedication and compassion.

Caregiving can tax your patience and foster fatigue, frustration and guilt, becoming a grueling grind that takes a heavy toll on the caregiver’s body and mind. Thirty-six percent of family caregivers characterize their situation as highly stressful, according to AARP and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC).COVID has exasperated caregiver burnout making it even more important to watch for the signs and take proactive steps to deal with it before it spirals out of control.

Lack of energy
Overwhelming fatigue
Sleep problems (too much or too little)
Changes in eating habits; weight loss or gain
A feeling of hopelessness
Withdrawing from, or losing interest in, activities you once enjoyed
Neglecting your own physical and emotional needs
Feeling like caregiving is controlling your life
Becoming unusually impatient, irritable or argumentative with the person you’re caring for and/or with others
Anxiety about the future
Depression or mood swings
Difficulty coping with everyday things
Headaches, stomachaches, and other physical problems
Lowered resistance to illness

Another tool to evaluate whether tending to a loved one is taking a toll is a caregiver self-assessment questionnaire that the American Medical Association developed and the American Psychological Association recommends.

If you or a caregiver you know is experiencing burnout ask for help. Take breaks when you need it and take care of yourself. Join a support group or communicate with others who are in your situation.  

Minnesota’s professional caregiver shortage has reached historic levels.

Without continued action from #mnleg and Governor Tim Walz, seniors will continue to lose access to the services they need

There are currently 23,000 job openings at senior living organizations throughout Minnesota. That’s about 20% of that industry.

‘There’s No One Here To Help Us’: Staff Shortages Devastating Senior Living Facility Residents – WCCO | CBS Minnesota (

Bath Safety

January is National Bath Safety Month

Did you know 80% of elderly falls happen in the bathroom?

If you are worried about the risks for yourself or a loved one in the bathroom, whether it be slipping, tripping or falling, connect with your medical professional to determine the best accessibility method of your personal needs. F26ent falls at our care center, read our press release regarding our Falls Reduction and Prevention Project here:

Here are a few tips for bath safety:

1.) Reduce Bathroom Clutter

2.)Keep things needed for the bath within arms reach.

3.)If you take showers, use a hand held showerhead.

4.) Use a weighted shower curtain to help prevent water from getting on your bathroom floor.

5.) Install Grab Bars.

6.) Install non-slip mats.

7.) Use a non-slip shower/bath chair.

8.) Consider installing a walk-in tub.

9.) Ask for help from a caregiver.

10.) Keep your bathroom pathway clear. “

Announcing a New CFO

We are delighted to announce Mari Chambers (pronounced Mary) will be joining St. Francis Health Services as our Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, effective January 31, 2022.

In this capacity, Mari will report to Carol Raw, CEO as a key member of the Executive Leadership Team with governance board responsibilities of strategic and financial direction.

Mari joins us with impressive gifts, education and experience to include her M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Utah coupled with over 25 years  in in all aspects of accounting, auditing,  revenue cycle, financial analysis and Financial Leadership.  

Mari shared with us that she has 2 beautiful daughters with 5 (soon to be six J) grandchildren.  During her free time, Mari and her husband head to Devil’s Lake, North Dakota where they enjoy camping, spending time on their pontoon and is endeavoring to learn golf !! 

Mari is relocating from Bismarck, North Dakota and has previously resided and worked in Minnesota.  She has expressed her eagerness to meet with her Team and contribute immediately.

Please welcome Mari to St. Francis and our team,

Our Journey to Recovery through Prayer, Commemoration & Reflection

A virtual service on healing, reflection and remembrance. The service was intended to bring us together in prayer to honor our family, our friends, and our frontline and essential workers and help us move forward together. This service was led by Fr. Tom Knoblach, the Consultant for Healthcare Ethics from the Diocese of St. Cloud and pastor of the Church of the Sacred Heart in Sauk Rapids.

Pioneer Network Leadership Training

St. Francis Health Services of Morris hosted an intensive leadership training program in Little Falls on June 8 & 9. This training was provided by Pioneer Network, the national leader for culture change that advocates and builds a culture of aging where care and environments are directed by the person and relationships with all who live in our communities are promoted. 

Joan Devine, Pioneer Network’s Director of Education, shared about core person-directed values: relationships, choice, dignity, respect, self-determination and purposeful living.  Carol Raw, CEO of St. Francis Health Services, said “We are excited to begin this journey of culture change.  I look forward to witnessing the transformation within our communities.” The Pioneer Network Training will continue at each of our care centers led by their respective culture change coordinator. The first step involves each care center completing an assessment (Artifacts of Culture Change) and providing all staff education to support person centered/directed care.

This training program was made possible by funding awarded to SFHS for their Falls Prevention Project by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) performance based incentive payment program (PIPP) grant.  SFHS and Pioneer Network will continue to collaborate and work together to not only decrease their fall rate, but to improve outcomes in care that enhance quality of life and safety for all individuals receiving services.  

SFHS Recognized for Achievement in Quality and Performance Excellence

St. Francis Health Services received the Award of Honor for Performance Excellence in Aging Services from LeadingAge Minnesota. The award recognizes an advanced level of continuous quality improvement and outstanding achievements in 24 management practices focused on leadership, strategy, customers, measurement, workforce and operations.

“The Award of Honor in Performance Excellence in Aging Services recognizes the distinct accomplishments and positive outcomes by providers who are committed to the quality of care, services and support provided to older adults in aging services settings,” said Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO, LeadingAge Minnesota. “We congratulate St. Francis Health Services for their demonstrated commitment to quality and excellence in all that they do.”

LeadingAge Minnesota created performance Excellence in Aging Services 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 demonstrated by high-performing organizations.

The Performance Excellence in Aging Services program Award of Honor recognizes organizations that have achieved the Award of Merit, the first level of performance excellence, and then continued their journey to implement an even more mature level of excellence in their organizational operations. To receive the Award of Honor, St. Francis Health Services was reviewed by trained evaluators and deemed as meeting established criteria, describing the systematic and effective processes they have in place for 24 different leadership and management practices within six key categories – leadership, strategy, customers, measurement, workforce, and operations.