9.23.22 Update

Late this afternoon CDC released new guidance for nursing homes. Many changes have occurred. After consultation with Kayla and Carra (our infection Preventionists), here are the things that we are changing immediately:

  • You do not need to wear eye protection anymore! Eye protection is only required in resident rooms with transmission based precautions. Eye protection should be stocked in the carts with the other transmission based precaution supplies. Sanitize the eye protection after each use and return it to the cart.
  • Asymptomatic testing is cancelled immediately. Monday’s testing event and all subsequent testing events are cancelled! We need to continue with testing people when symptomatic or following a testing protocol post-exposure. Continue to call the COVID Staff Illness line at 741-9646 for symptoms or exposure.
  • Not Up-To-Date Staff are no longer excluded from work post exposure. Everyone now has a similar post-exposure testing protocol, regardless of vaccination status

There are many other changes to the protocols that we will need to discuss as a COVID Command Team next week, but these are many of the changes we have been waiting for over the last year for staff. Click here for the link to the current CDC guidance

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

9.22.22 Weekly Update

In the past seven days, 4 staff have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes three direct care staff (2 Valley Transitions & 1 Almonte) at Valley on Columbia, one direct care staff from the Prairieview neighborhood at Woodside Village, and one non-direct care staff from Town Square. Through contact tracing, 12 close contacts have been identified.

If you have been experiencing symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and determine if testing is required.

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Monday, September 26 – Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Thursday, September 29 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Flu Shot Clinics

Valley Senior Living is offering two clinics for employees to complete:

Valley on Columbia – Tuesday, October 4, 12:00 to 6:00 PM in the Community Room

Valley on 42nd – Wednesday, October 12, 6:00 AM to 12:00PM in the Auditorium.

A flu shot is required for all employees and must be received before October 27, 2022. If you have received your flu shot anywhere other than Valley Senior Living, you must submit a copy of the documentation. If you are seeking an exemption, please complete the paperwork (obtain from Human Resources) and return to Human Resources no later than October 14, 2022.

Bivalent Booster
Individuals 12 years of age and older who have completed their primary COVID-19 series and are at least 2 months from their last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a bivalent booster. If you are interested in this booster, please complete with Thrifty White Drug. If received, please turn in documentation to Human Resources. Valley Senior Living will look at coordination of an onsite clinic for employees in the future, more to come.

Oktoberfest & Silent Auction
Thank you to all staff that attended Oktoberfest last night at the Alerus Center! It was a great night of German cuisine and Oktoberfest brews from our local breweries. Thank you to everyone who bid on items and purchased items in the silent auction. We will share total proceeds for the Community Connections program from the event next week in next week’s communication.

Healthy Eating in September Continues
Only two Fridays left to take advantage of Fresh Fruit Fridays in the staff breakrooms at all communities. Fresh fruit is being provided as a healthy snack alternative from our Wellness Committee.

The Wellness Committee sponsored free healthy meal to staff (chicken Caesar salad):

            Valley on Columbia – September 21

            Valley on 42nd and Tufte Manor – September 28

Reminder to keep tracking your daily servings of fruits and vegetables on the challenge log. Turn the log in at the end of the month to be eligible to win gift cards to local GF grocery stores. Completed logs must be turned in to Adam Edwards no later than October 6, 2022. Entries may be submitted via interoffice mail, hand delivered, or scanned and emailed to aedwards@valleyseniorliving.org.

Livewell – Your Employee Assistance Program
Open Communication Tips – You can benefit at work and home using open and effective communication skills. Learn more about opening up in a healthy way by visiting www.livewellworklife.com (Click: Living Well Resources, Company Code: Valley) to access online seminars and other valuable resources.

Let them help! Call toll-free: 1-866-831-2181 or email: EAP@livewellworklife.com. Their services are always available, free, and confidential. 

Healthcare Academy Reminder
Required modules are now available on Healthcare Academy. These must be completed by October 31st. You will receive education hours for completing these modules. See your direct supervisor with questions or concerns. Log in to www.healthcareacademy.com to get started.

Employee Craft & Bake Sales
Valley on Columbia – September 30 from 8:30AM to 3:00PM in the Community Room
Valley on 42nd – October 14 from 9:00AM to 2:30PM in the Auditorium

Earn a BONUS for Helping Recruit or Change Status to Full Time!
The recruiter bonus is $2,000 for full time CNA, LPN, or RN recruits. This is a great opportunity to earn some extra money! If you know of someone who would make a great care partner, send them to valleyseniorliving.org/apply to complete an application. We have licensed nursing positions, certified nursing positions, personal care assistants, dining services, housekeeping, and recreation positions! Once you have recruited someone, please notify HR to start the bonus process.

LPNs/RNs currently in flex and part time positions, Valley Senior Living is offering:

  • $2,500 sign-on bonus to licensed staff that move from flex to part time
  • $5,000 sign-on bonus for licensed flex or part time staff that move to full time
  • Both bonuses fully paid in 12 months

Bonuses Currently Available for New Employees
Sign-on bonuses available for new employees include:

  • $10K for full-time, $5K for part-time RN/LPN/CNA/CNA Class

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

9.14.22 Weekly Update

In the past seven days, four staff have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one non-direct care staff and two direct care staff (Valley Transitions & Reeves) at Valley on Columbia, and one direct care staff from Tufte Manor. Through contact tracing, twenty-two close contacts have been identified.

If you have been experiencing symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and determine if testing is required.

Testing Schedule

We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, September 15 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, September 19 – Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Thursday, September 22 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Required Flu Shots

A flu shot is required for all employees and must be received before October 27, 2022. Valley Senior Living is offering two clinics for employees to complete:

  • Valley on Columbia – Tuesday, October 4, 12:00PM to 6:00PM in the Community Room
  • Valley on 42nd – Wednesday, October 12, 6:00AM to 12:00PM in the Auditorium.

If you have received your flu shot anywhere other than Valley Senior Living, you must submit a copy of the documentation. If you are seeking an exemption, please complete the paperwork (obtain from Human Resources) and return to Human Resources no later than October 14, 2022.

Bivalent Booster

Individuals 12 years of age and older who have completed their primary COVID-19 series and are at least 2 months from their last dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a bivalent booster. If you are interested in this booster, please complete with Thrifty White Drug. If received, please turn in documentation to Human Resources. Valley Senior Living will look at coordination of an onsite clinic for employees in the future. Stay tuned for more details!

National Assisted Living Week

Mayor, Brandon Bochenski, has proclaimed the week of September 11 – 17 as National Assisted Living Week in Grand Forks. This year’s theme, Joyful Moments, honors the assisted living staff, communities, residents, and families that come together as a large extended family to create joyful moments and special memories together.

National Environmental Services Week

THANK YOU to the entire team of environmental services professionals that ensure our Valley Senior Living communities are clean and safe for our residents, their families, and other staff!

Eden Alternative Principle 5 from Paula Nowatzki, Recreation Director at Valley on Columbia

Everyone needs some spontaneity in their life to help take away the boredom they might be experiencing.  For example, you have a friend who you have not seen or heard from in a very long time, they call and ask you to go out to lunch. Instead of the daily routine you are used to this unexpected visit breaks up your daily routine. In turn this is the antidote to boredom. People thrive when they have variety and spontaneity in their lives.

September’s Wellness Train

All aboard Valley Senior Living’s Wellness Train to promote healthy eating!

Track the fruits and vegetables you eat daily during the month of September on the Fruits and Vegetables Challenge Log to be eligible to win gift cards to local GF grocery stores. Completed logs must be turned in to Adam Edwards no later than October 6, 2022. Entries may be submitted via interoffice mail, hand delivered, or scanned and emailed to aedwards@valleyseniorliving.org.

During the month of September, the Wellness Committee is also presenting Fresh Fruit Fridays where fresh fruit will be provided as a healthy snack alternative and made available in the staff breakrooms at all communities.

The Wellness Committee is sponsoring a free healthy meal to staff (chicken Caesar salad):

  • Valley on Columbia – September 21
  • Valley on 42nd and Tufte Manor – September 28

Oktoberfest Silent Auction

Only one week away from the 2nd Annual Valley Senior Living OKTOBERFEST and the Oktoberfest Silent Auction is now live and open for bidding! For more details, follow this link to purchase tickets and register to bid on some great Oktoberfest Silent Auction packages. Proceeds from Oktoberfest and the Silent Auction benefit the Community Connections program at Valley Senior Living.

The Recipe for Caring is Sharing
Additional recipes are needed for a resident from Valley on Columbia that is diligently putting together a cookbook. Residents, family, and staff from all Valley Senior Living communities are encouraged to share their favorite recipes! Handwritten or hard copies of recipes may be dropped off at the reception desk or emailed to Jill at jswingen@valleyseniorliving.org.

Employee Craft & Bake Sales

  • Valley on Columbia – September 30 from 8:30AM to 3:00PM in the Community Room
  • Valley on 42nd – October 14 from 9:00AM to 2:30PM in the Auditorium

Healthcare Academy

Required modules are now available on Healthcare Academy. These must be completed by October 31st. You will receive education hours for completing these modules. See your direct supervisor with questions or concerns. Log in to www.healthcareacademy.com to get started.


9.9.22

Join Us in the Potato Bowl Parade

The Potato Bowl Parade is this tomorrow, September 10, at 10:00AM. Staff and your families are welcome to join the buses in the parade to walk and throw candy. Our float entry is #93. We will line up along North 12th Street near Braaten’s Quality Auto Service. It will be most convenient to join us at the bottom of the Demers Avenue bridge and start walking with the buses down Demers Avenue into East Grand Forks. This will also give you a chance to watch the majority of the parade before you join in with our entry!

We encourage those who join us and walk in the parade to wear the green “Make it Home” Valley shirts, or any Valley or UND gear. 


9.7.22 Update

Weekly COVID Update

In the past seven days, six staff and one resident have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one resident from Valley Transitions and one non-direct care staff at Valley on Columbia; one direct care staff from the Heartland neighborhood and one non-direct care staff at Woodside Village; and three direct care staff from Tufte Manor. Through contact tracing, nine close contacts have been identified.

If you have been experiencing symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and determine if testing is required.

Testing Schedule

We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, September 8 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, September 12 – Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Thursday, September 15 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Prairie Business Announces 2022’s 50 Best Places to Work

Prairie Business announced Valley Senior Living as one of 50 Best Places to Work! Employees across the region nominated companies by identifying reasons they believed their place of work was the best in workplace culture, opportunities for employee growth, teamwork, employee morale, etc. We appreciate the recognition and want to thank all of our employees for the ongoing care and dedication that enriches the lives of our residents.  

Congratulations to September’s Longevity Recipients

30 Years

Paula Nowatzki (Valley on Columbia Recreation Director)

25 Years

Angie Goulet, RN (Tufte Manor Administrator)

10 Years

Kaley Littlejohn (Human Resources Assistant Director)

5 Years

Hannah Holt (Woodside Village CNA)

Jordan Jacobson, LPN (Woodside Village)

Kyle Slaathaug, RN (Valley on Columbia)

Krubo Joploh (Valley on Columbia CNA)

Healthcare Academy

Required modules are now available on Healthcare Academy. These must be completed by October 31st. You will receive education hours for completing these modules. See your direct supervisor with questions or concerns. Log in to www.healthcareacademy.com to get started.

Earn a BONUS for Helping Recruit or for Changing Status to Full Time!

There is a new recruiter bonus for dining services aides: $500 for part time and $1,000 for full time! The recruiter bonus continues to be $2,000 for full time CNA, LPN, or RN recruits. This is a great opportunity to earn some extra money. If you know of someone who would make a great care partner, send them to valleyseniorliving.org/apply to complete an application. We have licensed nursing positions, certified nursing positions, personal care assistants, dining services, housekeeping, and recreation positions! Once you have recruited someone, please notify HR to start the bonus process.

LPNs/RNs currently in flex and part time positions, Valley Senior Living is offering:

  • $2,500 sign-on bonus to licensed staff that move from flex to part time
  • $5,000 sign-on bonus for licensed flex or part time staff that move to full time
  • Both bonuses fully paid in 12 months

Bonuses Currently Available for New Employees

To make the process of recruiting new employees more enticing, we have many sign-on bonuses available for new employees. Current offers include:

  • $10K for full-time, $5K for part-time RN/LPN/CNA/CNA Class
  • $5K for full-time, $2,500 for part-time Dining Services Aides

Fresh Fruit Fridays

Reminder from Valley’s Wellness Committee that Fresh Fruit Friday takes place every Friday during the month of September. Fresh fruit will be provided as a healthy snack alternative and made available in the staff breakrooms at Valley on Columbia, Valley Senior Living on 42nd, and Tufte Manor.

Potato Bowl Parade

The Potato Bowl Parade is this Saturday, September 10, at 10:00AM. Staff/your families are welcome to join the buses in the parade to walk and throw candy. Our float entry is #93. We will line up along North 12th Street near Braaten’s Quality Auto Service. It may be most convenient to join us at the bottom of the Demers Avenue bridge and start walking with the buses down Demers into East Grand Forks. We encourage those who join us and walk in the parade to wear the green “Make it Home” Valley shirts, or any Valley or UND gear. Call Sally 701-787-7984.

Employee Engagement Survey Update

Congratulations to the Lanark Neighborhood for winning the QDOBA party! Thank you to everyone who completed a survey as your willingness to provide feedback regarding your satisfaction at work is greatly appreciated.

QDOBA Leaderboard:

  1. Lanark 94%
  2. Riverside 85%
  3. Almonte 81%
  4. Hearthstone 77%
  5. Oakcrest 76%
  6. Heartland 76%
  7. Valley Transitions 76%
  8. Tufte 74%
  9. Wheatland 73%
  10. Reeves 70%
  11. Prairieview 69%
  12. Town Square: 66%

Greater Grand Forks Bake-Off
Brityn Proulx submitted her third pie in the bake-off but unfortunately she did not advance to the final round. If you see her around Woodside Village, be sure to congratulate her on her awesome pie baking!

Oktoberfest

Got your ticket(s) for Oktoberfest? The 2nd Annual Valley Senior Living OKTOBERFEST is scheduled for September 20 from 5:30-8:30PM. Join us for an evening of German cuisine and brews, receive a commemorative beer stein, and enjoy live music from Matt Hodek and the Dakota Dutchmen. Tickets are selling fast so don’t delay! Follow this link for more details about Oktoberfest.

Valley on Columbia Employee Craft & Bake Sale

Mark your calendar! The Valley on Columbia Employee Craft & Bake Sale is September 30th from 8:30AM to 3:00PM in the Community Room at Valley on Columbia.


9.6.22 Update
Important Healthcare Academy Update:

Please do not complete the below modules due to overlap in education:

  • CMS Hand in Hand module 5: Preventing and Reporting Abuse  
  • Conflict Management
  • Communication basics
  • HIPAA staff confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement

8.31.22 Weekly Update

If you missed the company zoom earlier today, here is the link >> 8.31.22 ZOOM

Thank you once again to the 540 people that wrote a letter to CMS and CDC advocating for changes to their COVID restrictions and a special thank you to the staff that helped residents write their letters! Staff, residents, and families are welcome to write letters at any time to voice their opinions to CMS and CDC. If families or residents or visitors voice frustration with the measures we continue to use, please print out the attached form and give them a copy so they can write their own letters and we will continue to send them!

Grand Forks County COVID cases and positivity rates have been declining for three straight weeks but we continue to be well above the trigger for “High” Transmission. Over the last week, 19 people have died from COVID in North Dakota. It’s encouraging to finally see a downward trend in cases and positivity rates. Grand Forks County Chart on PCR Positivity during 2022 shows that while we have been in decline since the beginning of August, we are still above 20 percent positivity on PCR tests in the county:

At Valley in the past seven days, nine staff and zero residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one non-direct care staff and three direct care staff from Woodside Village (1 Heartland, 1 Prairieview, 1 Oakcrest); along with one non-direct care staff and two direct care staff at Valley on Columbia (1 Riverside, 1 Valley Transitions). 

If you have been experiencing symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and determine if testing is required.

Testing Schedule

We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, September 1 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Tuesday, September 6 – Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm (No Testing September 5 due to Labor Day)
  • Thursday, September 8 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

“Healthy Eating” is September’s Wellness Theme

Valley Senior Living’s Wellness Committee presents Healthy Eating as September’s wellness theme! A few exciting things are planned during the month of September:

Fruit & Vegetable Challenge begins September 1st!

  • Individuals will track the fruits and vegetables eaten during the month for a chance to win gift cards to local GF grocery stores.
  • Please see attached for further details on the challenge and the challenge log to complete. 

Fresh Fruit Friday

  • Every Friday during the month of September, fresh fruit will be provided as a healthy snack alternative and made available in the staff breakrooms at Valley on Columbia, Valley Senior Living on 42nd, and Tufte Manor.

Wellness Committee Sponsored Free Staff Meal

  • In collaboration with our fantastic dining services departments, the Wellness Committee will be providing a free healthy meal to staff (Chicken Caesar Salad)
    • Valley on Columbia – September 21st
    • Valley Senior Living on 42nd and Tufte Manor – September 28th

Celebrate the 56th Annual Potato Bowl with Valley

We will be celebrating Potato Bowl week with potato bars at each Valley Senior Living location:

  • Valley Senior Living on 42nd (Auditorium Kitchenette) – Wednesday, September 7:  9:30 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
  • Valley on Columbia (Center Court) – Wednesday, September 7:  1:30 pm to 3:00 pm
  • Tufte Manor – Friday, September 9: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Employee Engagement Survey Update

Today is the final day to submit your survey!!

QDOBA Leaderboard:

  1. Lanark 94%
  2. Riverside 85%
  3. Almonte 81%
  4. Hearthstone 77%
  5. Oakcrest 76%
  6. Valley Transitions 76%
  7. Tufte 74%
  8. Heartland 73%
  9. Wheatland 73%
  10. Reeves 70%
  11. Prairieview 69%
  12. Town Square: 66%

Greater Grand Forks Bake-Off
Congratulations to Brityn Proulx who has advanced to the third round of the Grand Fork Herald’s pie bake-off with her second entry – a salted caramel apple pie! Updates are posted throughout the contest on the Woodside Village Facebook page.

Oktoberfest

Have you purchased your ticket(s) for Oktoberfest? The 2nd Annual Valley Senior Living OKTOBERFEST is scheduled for September 20 from 5:30-8:30pm. Join us for an evening of German cuisine and brews, receive a commemorative beer stein, and enjoy live music from Matt Hodek and the Dakota Dutchmen. Tickets are selling fast so don’t delay! Follow this link for more details about Oktoberfest.


8.24.22 Weekly Update

Thank you all for the letters you wrote in our ACE meetings over the last two weeks regarding our continued pandemic precautions! We have sent over 530 letters to CMS and CDC (mostly staff). Both WV and VC’s resident council officers signed letters representing the residents and the fact that they would like to see many of the COVID pandemic measures go away as well.

In the past seven days, seven staff and zero residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes three direct care staff from Woodside Village (1 Hearthstone, 1 Heartland, 1 Oakcrest) along with one direct care staff from Valley Transitions and three non-direct care staff at Valley on Columbia. 

If you have been experiencing symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and determine if testing is required.

Testing Schedule

We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, August 25 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, August 29 – Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Thursday, September 1 – Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

NDLTCA Nurse Scholarship Opportunity Ends August 31

If you are enrolled furthering your nursing education in an approved program, do not miss out on your opportunity for a chance to win a $1,000 or $5,000 scholarship from the North Dakota Long Term Care Association. Two letters of recommendation from the DON, ADON, and/or Administrator is required, so please reach out to ask for a recommendation soon, as the registration deadline is August 31, 2022 @ 1:00PM CST.  For more details, visit http://www.ndltca.org/education/scholarships/.

Care Partner of the Quarter

Voting ends August 31st for Care Partner of the Quarter. Ballot boxes are located in each neighborhood’s common area/family room.

Employee Engagement Survey Update

One week left! The engagement survey will close on August 31st. A final reminder will be sent out this week via text. Please take a few minutes to complete your survey if you haven’t done so already, every survey counts!

QDOBA Leaderboard:

  1. Lanark 84%
  2. Riverside 79%
  3. Almonte 77%
  4. Valley Transitions 76%
  5. Tufte 74%
  6. Hearthstone 73%
  7. Wheatland 73%
  8. Reeves 70%
  9. Prairieview 69%
  10. Oakcrest 69%
  11. Heartland 68%
  12. Town Square: 60%

Greater Grand Forks Bake-Off
Congratulations goes out to Brityn Proulx as she has advanced with seven other bakers to the second round of the Grand Fork Herald’s pie bake-off. Updates will be posted throughout the contest on the Woodside Village Facebook page.

Financial Wellness Webinar

Alerus Financial presents monthly webinars designed to cover all aspects of your financial life. Visit Alerus.com/Take-Flight/ to register for an upcoming webinar or view recordings of past webinars. Other helpful resources designed to help pave your path towards financial freedom are also accessible through their website.  

Self-Care Strategy Tips

Self-care is a proactive way to limit daily stress. Taking “me time” for yourself will help you become more mindful and present. Visit www.livewellworklife.com (Company Code: Valley) to access online seminars and other valuable resources. Their services are always available, free, and confidential. 

HIPAA Hints from Harley

Following HIPAA rules regarding “Minimum Necessary”

If you have access to Point Click Care this does not give you the right to access information on all residents.  You may only seek or obtain information, including PHI, regarding a resident if it is required in order to perform your job duties. If you are not involved with that resident or their care, do not look in their medical record for any reason.

Following HIPAA rules regarding “Photographs/Videos”

You may not take, store or send pictures or videos of residents with a personal      electronic device, including a cell phone for any reason. Only approved staff may post a photo/video of resident’s in a community newsletter or to a social media page upon written permission from the resident/primary decision maker. Violations of this policy may be subject to disciplinary action. 

Oktoberfest

The 2nd Annual Valley Senior Living OKTOBERFEST is scheduled for September 20 from 5:30-8:30pm. Join us at the Alerus Center for an evening of German cuisine and brews, receive a commemorative beer stein, and enjoy live music from Matt Hodek and the Dakota Dutchmen. Tickets are selling fast so don’t delay, buy your tickets today! Follow this link for more details about Oktoberfest.


8.17.22 Weekly Update

In the past seven days eleven staff and one resident have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one resident and three staff from Wheatland Terrace (2 direct care and 1 support), one non-direct care staff from Woodside Village, one direct care staff from Tufte Manor, and six direct care staff from Valley on Columbia (2 Riverside, 2 Valley Transitions, 1 Almonte, 1 Reeves) that have tested positive. Through contact tracing, four close contacts have been identified at Wheatland Terrace, one close contact at Tufte Manor, zero close contacts at Woodside Village, and three close contacts identified at Valley on Columbia.

Thank you for the hundreds of letters you have written to CMS and CDC! Please help the residents if they need help creating their own letters. We sent out an appeal today for residents to complete their own letters just like you did.

Please continue to practice social distancing. Mask use is required by all staff and are only to be taken off when in a non-resident area and in places where you can still maintain 6-foot distancing.

If you have been experiencing any symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and determine if testing is required.

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, August 18, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, August 22, Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Thursday, August 25, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Parking Lot Closures
Please note the following schedule for cleaning and striping activities in the parking lots outside of Woodside Village:

  • Monday, August 22 – Woodside Village (back parking lot) and Wheatland Terrace (north parking lot)
  • Tuesday, August 23 – Wheatland Terrace (east lot), Town Square (front lot) and Country Estates (front lot)

Earn a RECRUITER BONUS
We need your help recruiting! Dining services has openings for FT and PT positions. We will also begin a new CNA training class on September 19 and encourage you to recruit care partners!

The recruiter bonus continues to be $2,000 for full time CNA Class, CNA, LPN, or RN recruits, and the bonus for all other full time positions is $1000 and $500 for new part time recruits. This is a great opportunity to earn some extra money. If you know of someone who would make a great care partner, send them to valleyseniorliving.org/apply to complete an application. We have licensed nursing positions, certified nursing positions, personal care assistants, dining services, housekeeping, and recreation positions! Once you have recruited someone, please notify HR to start the bonus process.

Vote for Care Partner of the Quarter
Voting is now open for the nominees for Care Partner of the Quarter until August 31, 2022. Ballot boxes are located in each neighborhood’s common area/family room.

Employee Engagement Survey Update
Two weeks left! The engagement survey will close on August 31st. A final reminder will be sent out next week via text. Please take a few minutes to complete your survey if you haven’t done so already.

QDOBA Leaderboard:
  1. Lanark 75%
  2. Valley Transitions 71%
  3. Tufte 71%
  4. Hearthstone 69%
  5. Almonte 68%
  6. Prairieview 67%
  7. Wheatland 61%
  8. Riverside 59%
  9. Oakcrest 59%
  10. Heartland 59%
  11. Town Square: 58%
  12. Reeves 52%

Greater Grand Forks Bake-Off
Valley Senior Living is sponsoring Brityn Proulx in greater Grand Fork’s first pie bake-off. Brityn’s Dad is a resident in the Prairieview neighborhood at Woodside Village. Brityn will be competing in the first round on Monday, August 22. Updates will be posted throughout the contest on the Woodside Village Facebook page. Good luck, Brityn!

Oktoberfest
ICS, Inc. presents the 2nd Annual Valley Senior Living OKTOBERFEST! Join VSL on September 20 from 5:30-8:30pm for an evening of German cuisine and brews, a commemorative beer stein, and live music from Matt Hodek and the Dakota Dutchmen. Buy your tickets today before this event sells out! Follow this link for more details about Oktoberfest.

Cookbook
We have a resident that is putting together a Valley Senior Living on Columbia cookbook. Residents, family, and staff are all encouraged to contribute their favorite recipes! Handwritten or hard copies of recipes may be dropped off at the reception desk or emailed to Jill at jswingen@valleyseniorliving.org.


8.10.22 Update

Testing Update
In the past seven days 13 staff and 14 residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes 12 residents from the Reeves neighborhood at Valley on Columbia, one from Almonte and one resident from Wheatland Terrace. Nine residents in the Reeves neighborhood are sheltering in place, 4 residents have moved to Valley Transitions for isolation in private rooms and the resident from Wheatland Terrace is hospitalized. Staff testing positive include 11 from Valley on Columbia, 1 from Prairieview at Woodside Village and 1 from Wheatland Terrace. Through contact tracing, 3 close contacts have been identified at Wheatland Terrace, 25 are currently identified at Valley on Columbia and 3 at Woodside Village.

We are implementing a new testing plan so that when a resident is newly identified as a positive (on a neighborhood that is currently not experiencing positive cases), Valley Senior Living will complete a Binax test for all residents on that neighborhood (if eligible) approximately 24 hours after notification.

  • The purpose of re-introducing this infection prevention measure is to provide a baseline surveillance test and identify the extent of transmission that may have already occurred on the neighborhood (possible asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission).
  • We will continue to conduct contact tracing to identify higher risk exposures among residents and staff and follow our current protocols for these individuals.

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, August 11, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, August 15, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Thursday, August 18, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

2022 Annual Corporate Education (ACE) Meetings
These are in-person required continual education sessions for ALL Valley employees. Contact your supervisor to sign up. The remaining sessions will be held at the Alerus Center (enter through doors 4 and 5).

  • August 17 8:00am – 12:00pm 1:00pm – 5:00pm
  • August 18 8:00am – 12:00pm 1:00pm – 5:00pm

Employee Engagement Survey Update
Thanks again to everyone that have completed their annual employee engagement survey. If you have not yet completed your survey, please go back to your text from August 1st. If you cannot locate this text, a reminder text will be going out this week, otherwise, you will have an option to complete your survey at your scheduled ACE session. Don’t forget, the neighborhood with the highest participation will win a catered in meal from QDOBA!

QDOBA Leaderboard

  1.  Hearthstone 65%
  2.  Tufte 61%
  3.  Valley Transitions 59%
  4.  Oakcrest 57%
  5.  Almonte 52%
  6.  Lanark 50%
  7.  Riverside 49%
  8.  Townsquare 48%
  9.  Reeves 47%
  10.  Prairieview 45%
  11.  Wheatland 45%
  12.  Heartland 34%

Note: For those of you that are within your first 100 days of employment with Valley as of August 1, 2022, you did not receive this survey as you are part of the new hire survey process.

Earn a BONUS for Helping Recruit or for Changing Status to Full Time!
The recruiter bonus continues to be $2,000 for full time CNA Class, CNA, LPN, or RN recruits. This is a great opportunity to earn some extra money. If you know of someone who would make a great care partner, send them to valleyseniorliving.org/apply to complete an application. We have licensed nursing positions, certified nursing positions, personal care assistants, dining services, housekeeping, and recreation positions! Once you have recruited someone, please notify HR to start the bonus process.


8.9.22 Update

Yesterday four additional residents from the Reeves neighborhood tested positive. We are currently caring for 12 residents from the Reeves neighborhood and one resident from the Almonte neighborhood who have tested positive over the past week. Nine of the residents are sheltering in place and four have moved to rooms within the Valley Transitions neighborhood to allow for isolation in private rooms. As a precautionary measure, all residents from the Reeves neighborhood were tested late yesterday afternoon as a surveillance measure to eliminate the risk of additional virus transmission in that neighborhood.

Today one resident from Wheatland Terrace has tested positive. The resident is currently being cared for in the hospital. Through contact tracing, three residents have been identified as close contacts. Testing of all eligible residents from Wheatland Terrace will be conducted soon as a surveillance measure to assess the potential for asymptomatic spread.

Normal operations continue in all neighborhoods and communities with the exception of the Reeves neighborhood. Communal dining, activities and common area use is currently suspended within Reeves at Valley on Columbia and care partners are utilizing N95 masks. We will continue to reassess the situation and resume normal operation as soon as possible.

In addition, five direct care staff from Valley on Columbia have tested positive (1 Almonte, 2 Reeves, 1 Lanark, 1 Riverside). Through contact tracing, 10 residents have been identified as close contacts.


8.5.22 Update
Busiest day in a long time with COVID with 6 staff and 3 residents testing positive. Two residents from the Reeves neighborhood and four staff (three direct care and one non-direct care) from Valley on Columbia have tested positive. One resident from the Prairieview neighborhood and two direct care staff from Woodside Village have also tested positive. Through contact tracing, six residents have been identified as close contacts.

With the most recent cases in the Reeves neighborhood, staff are wearing N95s and residents will not have communal dining, activities, common area use, and beauty shop access until the cases stop occurring. For Almonte and Prairieview, at this time we are continuing life as normal unless there are additional cases in which case we will reevaluate at that point.

This uptick in cases at Valley is consistent with the community numbers of cases and positivity rates. PCR Positivity rates for Grand Forks County is 31 percent and all test positivity rate is 21 percent. In the entire pandemic, we have only seen higher positivity rates once – during the peak of Omicron this winter.


8.3.22 Update

If you missed the company zoom earlier today, here is the link >> 8.3.22 ZOOM

Testing Update
In the past seven days three residents and nine staff have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. All residents testing positive are from Valley on Columbia and include two residents from the Reeves neighborhood and one resident from Almonte. The Reeves residents reside in a semi-private room and will shelter in place, and the Almonte resident is moving to a room within the Valley Transitions neighborhood. Through contact tracing, four residents from the Almonte neighborhood have been identified as close contacts. Positive results have been received for five staff from Valley on Columbia (3 support staff, 1 non-direct care, and 1 direct care [Reeves]) and four staff at Woodside Village (2 support staff and 2 non-direct care).

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, August 4, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, August 8, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

2022 Annual Corporate Education (ACE) Meetings
These are in-person required continual education sessions for ALL Valley employees. Contact your supervisor to sign up. All sessions (except management) will be held at the Alerus Center.

            August 9          12:00pm – 4:00pm      5:00pm – 9:00pm

            August 10        8:00am – 12:00pm      1:00pm – 5:00pm

            August 11        12:00pm – 4:00pm

            August 17        8:00am – 12:00pm      1:00pm – 5:00pm

            August 18        1:00pm – 5:00pm

Congratulations August 2022 Longevity Recipients

40 Years

Toni LaFrenz, LPN (Valley on Columbia)

20 Years

Tara Gereau (Wheatland Terrace PCA)

15 Years

Laura Schauer, RN (Wheatland Terrace PCS)

Kari Gerszewski (Woodside Village Care Coordinator)

10 Years

Carra Hindberg, RN (Woodside Village Infection Preventionist)

5 Years

Rebecca Peterson (Valley Senior Living Medical Records, Housing Coordinator)

Tyler Piche (Valley on Columbia Dining Services)

Lisa Kerry (Woodside Village LSW)

Vote for Care Partner of the Quarter
Voting is now open for the nominees for Care Partner of the Quarter until August 31, 2022. Ballot boxes are located in each neighborhood’s common area/family room.

Employee Engagement Survey Update
Thank you to those of you who have already completed your annual employee engagement survey! So far, we have had 206 surveys completed across the organization. If you have not yet completed your survey, please go back to your text from August 1st. If you can’t locate this text, a reminder text will be sent next week so be on the lookout for that. Otherwise, you will have an option to complete your survey at your scheduled ACE session.

Don’t forget, the neighborhood with the highest participation will win a catered in meal from QDOBA!

QDOBA Leaderboard

  1. Valley Transitions 44%
  2. Almonte 39%
  3. Wheatland 31%
  4. Prairieview 29%
  5. Riverside 29%
  6. Reeves 29%
  7. Lanark 28%
  8. Tufte 25%
  9. Hearthstone 23%
  10. Oakcrest 21%
  11. Heartland 20%

Note: For those of you that are within your first 100 days of employment with Valley as of August 1, 2022, you did not receive this survey as you are part of the new hire survey process.


8.1.22 Update

Our annual engagement survey goes live today, August 1st! Later today, you will receive a text and/or email from RETAIN asking you to complete your annual engagement survey. Please complete the survey when you are able. You will also have the opportunity to complete your survey during your scheduled ACE session if you would prefer.

We value your feedback and use it to improve your workplace environment. We encourage you to be open and honest in your responses. The survey will remain open for the entire month of August. As a reminder, these surveys are anonymous.

The neighborhood with the highest participation will win a catered in meal from QDOBA!


7.27.22 Update

Testing Update
In the past seven days eight staff and zero residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This included three staff from Valley on Columbia (1 non-direct care, 2 direct care [Lanark, Riverside]), four staff at Woodside Village (1 support staff, 2 direct care [Prairieview, Heartland], and 1 non-direct care), and one non-direct care staff at Tufte Manor. Through contact tracing, one resident has been identified as a close contact at Valley on Columbia.

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, July 28, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, August 1, Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Complete RETAIN Profile – win a $20 gift card to Valley Dairy! Congrats to our latest winners!
While most employees have now completed their profiles with Pinnacle Quality Insights, there are still several employees who have not. Please take a few minutes to sign up this week for your chance to win a $20 gift card. Please find the original text message you received and click on the link to set up your RETAIN profile. In order to be entered into the drawing, you must have an email, phone number, and picture. We will be using this platform for new hire and annual engagement surveys. If you need help getting your profile set up, please email Megan at manderson@valleyseniorliving.org.

Congrats to our latest gift card winners! Tufte Manor: Michele Heilman (Dining Services) and Pamela Mathson (Receptionist); Valley on 42nd: Breyar Baker (PCA), Erin Leiser (RN), Jacqueline Ewert (CNA), Lisa White (RN), Isabelle Herberg (CNA), Michaela Knutson (CNA), Nidida Figueroa Guzman (CNA), Leroy Helmoski (Dining Services), and Janie Braaten (Housekeeper); and from Valley on Columbia: Nadine Munging (CNA), Sally Rude (Restorative Aide), Katie Curran (Care Coordinator), Kayla Larson (CNA), Allison Jacobson (CNA), Claire Garcia (CNA), Stacey Vancamp (RN), Rachael Boman (HUC), and Marylou Kuster (Dining Services).

Sign Up for Annual Corporate Education (ACE) Meetings
The Annual Corporate Education (ACE) is approaching quickly and this is an in person, required continual education session, for all staff. Sessions will begin the week of August 8.
WHERE TO SIGN UP?
Nursing: Contact the Scheduling Department
Other Departments: Contact your Supervisor

Eden Alternative Update from Cheryl Ekren, Housing Manager at Valley Senior Living on 42nd
Principle three of the Eden Alternative states we thrive when we have easy access to the companionship we desire. This is the antidote to loneliness.
Companionship takes place in many ways and forms. There are neighbors, roommates, tablemates, care partners, family, friends, children and animals around to get to know and visit with. When common interests are discovered, it only enhances a deeper connection with others. Being a part of Valley’s community, whether you work or live here, gives everyone the opportunity to be a part of one another’s lives.

17th Annual Valley Senior Living Golf Classic
Thank you to everyone that donated door prizes, purchased tickets for the golf ball drop, volunteered, and/or participated in the 17th Annual Valley Senior Living Golf Classic. This year’s golf scramble was successful in raising nearly $61,000 to benefit music therapy and the Greg V. Hanson scholarship fund. Two residents from Woodside Village attended a portion of the tournament and one resident even took a few swings on the course!

Congrats to Tim Olson from Larimore! Tim was the lucky winner of $3,400 in the 50/50 raffle and golf ball drop at the conclusion of the golf tournament. Tim was a tournament participant and golfed on the Fransden Bank and Trust team. Thank you to all staff and residents that supported this raffle for music therapy.

Alzheimer’s Walk Silent Auction
Thank you to everyone who participated in the silent auctions last week and the taco in a bag fundraiser for the Valley walk team in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. We will report the total when all funds are collected. The annual t-shirt fundraiser is underway. Order your t-shirt at the front desk at Woodside Village, Tufte Manor or Valley on Columbia. Payroll deduction is available.

Oktoberfest
Save the date! Oktoberfest will be September 20 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at the Alerus Center. Enjoy German cuisine, German brews and great entertainment from Matt Hodek and the Dakota Dutchmen! All proceeds from Oktoberfest support the community connections for residents. (Funds needed to help them stay connected with the community, attend events, and continue doing community focused activities they want to be involved in!)


7.20.22 Update

In case you missed the company zoom earlier today, here is the link >> 7.20 ZOOM

COVID Update
In the past seven days, two staff from the Lanark neighborhood at Valley on Columbia and no residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. Through contact tracing, six residents have been identified as close contacts. The CDC community transmission level remains high for Grand Forks County and the positivity rate is over 21% on PCR tests. If you have been experiencing any symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and determine if testing is required.

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on COVID vaccines twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, July 21, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, July 25, Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Complete RETAIN Profile – win a $20 gift card to Valley Dairy! Congrats to our first 5 winners!
Last week you should have received a text message from RETAIN. Valley is partnering with Pinnacle Quality Insights to complete employee surveys. Many employees have completed their profiles and we congratulate Adam Maurstad CNA VC, Alexis Jerome CNA VC, Shana Tronson Head Cook TS, Janet Gadaire LPN WV, and Kristina Bischoff PCA TM, as the first set of winners of a $20 gift card to Valley Dairy. You still have time to sign up and win! Please find the original text message you received and click on the link to set up your RETAIN profile. In order to be entered into the drawing, you must have an email, phone number, and picture. We will be using this platform for new hire and annual engagement surveys. If you need help getting your profile set up, please email Megan at manderson@valleyseniorliving.org .

Sign Up for Annual Corporate Education (ACE) Meetings
The Annual Corporate Education (ACE) is approaching quickly and this is an in person, required continual education session, for all staff. Session will take place in August.
WHERE TO SIGN UP?
Nursing: Contact the Scheduling Department
Other Departments: Contact your Supervisor

17th Annual Valley Senior Living Golf Classic
Tomorrow is the annual golf tournament at King’s Walk Golf Course. This year’s golf scramble will benefit music therapy and the Greg V. Hanson scholarship fund. Good luck to everyone who purchased chances to win in the golf ball drop!

Alzheimer’s Walk Silent Auction
The silent auction at Valley on Columbia and Woodside Village will end on Thursday at noon. Place your bids now for the amazing gift baskets donated by employees, neighborhoods and departments! All proceeds go to the Valley Senior Living walk team participating in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on September 17.


7.13.22 Update

Testing Update
In the past seven days, six staff and zero residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes four direct care staff from the Hearthstone neighborhood at Woodside Village, one direct care staff from the Riverside neighborhood, and one from the Almonte neighborhood at Valley on Columbia. Through contact tracing, two residents have been identified as close contacts within the Hearthstone neighborhood and 20 residents within the Almonte neighborhood.

The CDC community transmission level remains high for Grand Forks County and the positivity rate has increased again this week to 25%. We continue to monitor the changes in our area and stress the importance of continuing to use caution when visiting.

If you have been experiencing any symptoms related to respiratory illness onset or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, please call the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646.

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on vaccine twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, July 14, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, July 18, Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Scholarship Application Deadline – July 15
If you are interested in applying for a nursing education scholarship or loan repayment/tuition reimbursement, please see Leah Larson, ADON, Kate Woodworth, ADON or Angie Praska, ADON for the information packet. All paperwork is due to Human Resources by July 15.

Scholarship Loan Repay Flyer

Text Message from RETAIN – win a $20 gift card to Valley Dairy by completing your profile!
Earlier this week you should have received a text message from RETAIN. Valley is partnering with Pinnacle Quality Insights for Employee Survey.  If you have not done so already, please find the original text message you received and click on the link to set up your RETAIN profile. Everyone who signs up has a chance to win one of twenty-five $20 gift cards to Valley Dairy! In order to be entered into the drawing, you must have an email, phone number, and picture. We will be using this platform for new hire and annual engagement surveys. If you need help getting your profile set up, please email Megan at manderson@valleyseniorliving.org .

Sign Up for Annual Corporate Education (ACE) Meetings
Annual Corporate Education (ACE) is an in person, required continual education session, for all staff to attend. Session will take place in August.
WHERE TO SIGN UP?
Nursing: Contact the Scheduling Department
Other Departments: Contact your Supervisor

50/50 Raffle – Golf Ball Drop at 17th Annual Valley Senior Living Golf Classic
The Valley Senior Living Foundation is selling the chance to win up to $3750 in a 50/50 raffle with numbered golf balls for $10 each. All golf balls sold will be placed on a lift and dropped from above a hole on the golf course on July 21 during the 17th Annual Valley Senior Living Golf Classic. The ball that lands in the hole or closest to the hole wins! You do not need to be present to win. To purchase your number for the golf ball drop, please visit/contact the care coordinator on your neighborhood or contact Sally or Shaun in the Foundation office. Your entry can be purchased with cash, check (Valley Senior Living Foundation), VENMO, or even payroll deduction!

Massage Chair Schedule
Valley on Columbia from July 14 to July 22
Tufte Manor from July 22 to August 1


7.8.22 Update

This communication is in response to concerns that staff are not being treated fairly in our recent changes with nurse differential pay versus the differential pay that the rest of the company is getting.

For a number of years, our philosophy in compensation and differentials has been and continues to be that we pay everyone as much as possible within their base pay so everyone receives a similar raise based on every single hour you work. This has been a successful strategy historically.

At Valley we recently encountered a situation where it was determined our compensation was not competitive in to recruit and retain nurses, primarily in the area of differentials. In order to retain and recruit nurses at Valley, we need to align our compensation for nurses with how acute care compensates their staff.

Please know that we haven’t ruled out the potential to equalize differential pay in the future for all staff. I just ask that you give us some time to evaluate the entire job market as it rapidly changes. In the last 15 months, Valley has been very aggressive to move base pay in many departments at different times in response to the market. Here are the percentages of salary increases to starting wages since April 2021:

Housekeeping: 16% increase

        RNs: 17% increase

        CNAs: 19% increase

        LPN Treatment: 20% increase

        Dining Services Aide: 24% increase

Since there is a limited amount of dollars available for increases, we want to carefully evaluate that because additional pay for specific shifts limits our ability to give as high of a base pay increase across the board for all staff. Our statewide salary survey from the North Dakota Long Term Care Association should be available in September and will help us make decisions to offer competitive and fair compensation for all employees at Valley.

Thank you for voicing these concerns and know that you can reach out to me or Human Resources with any additional concerns or questions.


7.7.22 June MOVEMENT Challenge Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the June Movement Challenge. Congrats to the following winners:

Grand Prize $150 Gift Card – Ruby Evans

FITBIT – Janet Moen

Scheels $20 Gift Card

  • Andrew Ogaard
  • Darci Bohn
  • Hunter Viau
  • Jill Swingen
  • Kaley Littlejohn
  • Karen Basting
  • Katie Curran
  • Kayla Porter
  • Sonja Hathaway
  • Twyla Bartel

Stop by Human Resources to pickup your prize. 


7.6.22 Update

If you missed the company zoom earlier today, here is the link >> 7.6 ZOOM

REMINDER of COVID Pay Benefit Changes Effective July 10:
As we transition to an endemic response to COVID, staff will use their own ESL and PTO related to any illnesses, including COVID-19. The specific COVID-related funding that was available to healthcare organizations during the pandemic has stopped. Most employers never gave this benefit to their staff. For those that did, they stopped access to these benefits when vaccines became available. I’m proud to say we continued to extend these benefits well beyond any of our peers, but the new COVID illness pay structure will become effective on July 10, 2022 and will be the same protocol as it would be for any other illness. 

  • If respiratory illness onset occurs, it remains required for employees to report those illnesses to the COVID Staff Illness line at 701.741.9646.
  • Testing requirements will be determined and directed by COVID Staff Illness line.
  • Employees will use paid time off (PTO) for the time that passes until test results are received.
  • If an employee tests positive, three days of PTO will be used dating back to the first missed day due to symptoms. The remaining time away from work will be compensated through extended sick leave (ESL) until the COVID infection resolves.
  • If an employee does not have PTO or ESL available, shifts not worked will be unpaid. We understand that there are a number of staff who do not have PTO or ESL to take due to their employment status. We will work with staff to transfer into regular status positions if these changes are of concern to you.
  • Absences related to COVID symptoms will continue to not have any assigned points related to our attendance policy.

For those staff that are in the middle of their COVID related leave on July 10, the prior benefits will apply until they are cleared to return to work. For example, a staff has symptoms on July 9 and tests positive on July 11, that infection started prior to July 10 and those staff would have the prior benefits apply through their span of infection.

The $5.00/hour differential for primary caregivers in COVID care areas will be discontinued on July 10. The differential will be available for shifts through the PM shift on July 9. Due to vaccines making the severity of COVID much less for residents, we have closed our COVID care areas and switched to caring for people in their own rooms. In addition, we have moved to having CNAs caring for the residents and grouping cares from the nurses at the end of their shift, if possible. Often the people assigned to caring for residents are now caring for one or two individuals rather than their group of residents.

Pay related to absences due to post COVID vaccine symptoms will continue. The vaccine guidance that we receive is an area that makes us different than the rest of the workforce, so we continue with full pay in these circumstances that does not affect your PTO or ESL balances.

Testing Results
In the past seven days, 10 staff and zero residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes:

  • 1 Wheatland Terrace – direct care
  • 8 Valley on Columbia
    • 5 non-direct care
    • 1 Reeves
    • 1 Valley Transitions
    • 1 Lanark (7 close contacts)
  • 1 Woodside Village (Prairieview)

Testing Schedule
We continue to be required to test all staff who are not up to date on vaccine twice weekly. The upcoming testing schedule is:

  • Thursday, July 7, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Monday, July 11, Woodside Village from 12:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 14, Valley on Columbia from 12:30 to 3:30 pm

Valley to Partner with Pinnacle Quality Insights for Employee Surveys
It’s important to us to help our staff love and be proud of their job. Effective 7/8/22, one of the ways we will be doing that is by asking each of you how your job is going and your ideas for improving it. We are partnering with Pinnacle Quality Insight to do just that.

New Employees within the last 90 days:

For those of you who are within your first 90 days of employment, Pinnacle and RETAIN software will reach out to you via text or email at 15, 30, 60, and 90 days of employment (you will receive the survey that you are closest to as of 7/8/22). Each time, you will be invited to take a short survey (4-6 questions), asking you how your new job is going. These surveys are not anonymous so that we can directly follow up on people’s questions or concerns. It should only take two minutes to respond. After your first 90 days, RETAIN will check in with you twice a year to make sure things are going well.

All Staff
Pinnacle Quality Insights/RETAIN will reach out to you through email and/or text message, twice per year, to see how things are going. You’ll receive an invitation to complete an anonymous survey. Each survey is designed to take less than five minutes to complete.

In the next few days, RETAIN will contact you via email or text. Please configure your preferred contact method and verify some basic profile information. We’d appreciate it if you uploaded a profile photo when prompted, so we can put a face to your name. We are very excited to receive feedback from each of you!

Sign Up for Annual Corporate Education (ACE) Meetings
Annual Corporate Education (ACE) is an in person, required continual education session, for all staff to attend. Session will take place in August.

WHERE TO SIGN UP?

Nursing: Contact the Scheduling Department

Other Departments: Contact your Supervisor

Congratulations Longevity Awardees for July!

20 Years

Sandy Kemnitz, Wheatland Terrace, Activities Coordinator

 15 Years

Kayla Porter, RN Valley on Columbia, Infection Preventionist

 5 Years

Delaney Brooks, CNA Valley on Columbia, Recreation Assistant

Congrats to the 2nd quarter Care Partners of the Quarter!

Valley on Columbia

Valley Transitions, Jennifer Allrich, RN

Almonte, Seth Dutenhafer, CNA

Reeves, Mary Van Camp, HUC

Riverside, Shubhana Rai, CNA

Lanark, Lynn McGarry, Social Worker

Woodside Village

Oakcrest, Alycia Thompson, CNA

Prairieview, Alexis Horner, CNA

Hearthstone, Emily Denman, CNA

Heartland, Kylie Brune, LPN

Tufte Manor

Jacinda Nelson, RN

Wheatland Terrace

Lavonda Haahr, Housekeeper

50/50 Raffle – Golf Ball Drop at 17th Annual Valley Senior Living Golf Classic
The Valley Senior Living Foundation is selling the chance to win up to $3750 in a 50/50 raffle with numbered golf balls for $10 each. All golf balls sold will be placed on a lift and dropped from above a hole on the golf course on July 21 during the 17th Annual Valley Senior Living Golf Classic. The ball that lands in the hole or closest to the hole wins! You do not need to be present to win. To purchase your number for the golf ball drop, please visit/contact the care coordinator on your neighborhood or contact Sally or Shaun in the Foundation office. Your entry can be purchased with cash, check (Valley Senior Living Foundation), VENMO, or even payroll deduction!