News & Events

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.

MDH Recommendations for Safe Family Gatherings

MN Department of Health

Information for Safe Family Gatherings

Plan ahead

Take steps to lower the risk of COVID-19

  • If you are unvaccinated, limit chances for contact with someone with COVID-19. Two weeks prior to your gathering, avoid people who do not live with you and settings where you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others. Avoid bars, restaurants, or carpools where people do not consistently wear a mask.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are inside places other than your home.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask at outdoor events where you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others. See CDC: Improve How Your Mask Protects You (
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly and ask people coming into your home to do the same.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others who live outside your household, whenever you can.

Create a safe setting

Create a safe setting for visitors

  • Before anyone enters your home, ask if they have had a fever, cough, body aches, fatigue, runny nose, or other symptoms of COVID-19. People with symptoms should stay home and away from all others. They should be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
  • Before anyone enters your home, ask if they have recently been near someone with COVID-19. People who have spent time near a person with COVID-19 should stay home and away from others. They should be tested five to seven days after the contact.
  • Before bringing someone who needs long-term care into your home, get yourself and your household members tested for COVID-19.
  •  Before anyone enters your home, especially someone at-risk for more severe illness, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose completely.
  • Before anyone enters your car, wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose completely. If people staying with you can also wear a mask, ask them to do so as well.
  • Before anyone enters your home, set up your house so people can stay 6 feet apart from others. See Indoor Air Considerations: COVID-19 ( LONG – TERM CARE GUIDANCE FOR OUTINGS.
  •  For current recommendations about creating a safe space for visitors, see Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19 (

Contact the nursing home or assisted living-type facility

Nursing homes and assisted living-type facilities follow strict regulations and guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their buildings. Before taking someone out of nursing homes or assisted living-type facilities, make sure you understand the current guidelines.

Vaccination for COVID-19 is ongoing. We look forward to the day when more restrictions can be removed.

LTC Administrator Week

May be an image of 13 people, people standing and text that says 'Long Term Care Administrator's Week Week March 8th 13th さ HEALTH ST.FRANCIS Morris THANK YOU SFHS ADMINISTRATORS!!'

Administrators are key players in our care team and are entrusted with the responsibility of managing the care of our loved ones. They touch the lives of residents and families, and, most importantly, ensure that their staff provides the highest level of quality care to a vulnerable population.

To become an administrator takes commitment and dedication. They undertake a rigorous classes, followed by state and national exams. Upon becoming an administrator, they must continue life-long learning to provide the best care possible. They are masters of multi-tasking, taking into account every aspect of a person’s life, not just their medical needs, while building a sense of home and community

This year LTC Administrator’s Week takes on added significance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team’s Administrators have lead the way in the battle with this virus.


Autumn Roark, LNHA
Browns Valley Health Center

Chester Fishel
Chisholm Health Center

Elizabeth Letich
Farmington Health Services

Brittany Loosbrock
Franciscan Health Center

Shane P. Roche
Guardian Angels Health & Rehabilitation Center

Madelyn Blaha
Little Falls Health Services

Casie Knoshal, LNHA
Renville Health Services

Tara Adkins
Duluth Health Services

Paula Henrickson
Morris Health Services

Laura Erickson
Zumbrota Health Services

Stephanie Fairchild
Koochiching Health Services

Emily Straw
Pennington Health Services

Ali Meyer
Aitkin Health Services

Welcome Emily Straw as PHS Administrator!

We are pleased to announce

Emily Straw

Has Joined Our Team

As Pennington Health Services Administrator

Emily has lived in the Greenbush area since her childhood and attended college at the University of Minnesota – Moorhead obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Administration and her Administrator’s license in 2008.  She comes to Thief River Care Center with over ten years of experience as a licensed Administrator.

Emily is a member of the Catholic faith and enjoys serving senior citizens and looks forward to meeting residents of Pennington Health Services.  Emily and her husband, Nick, have three children ages 11, 8 and 4.  Emily and her family enjoy summertime activities like camping, beach-going and swimming.  Emily enjoys reading, baking, and arts like painting.  

Emily will begin her duties with Pennington Health Services on February 22nd, 2021.  Please help us in giving her a warm welcome.