12.1.22 Staff update

A 7 minute Corporate Zoom from yesterday – most of the discussion  is about offering residents the opportunity to decline mask usage.

Happy VALLEYversary!

Please help us recognize the work anniversaries each week! Here is this week’s line-up of staff celebrating their Valleyversary:

November 30

1 Year – Carly Nelson, PCA/Med Assistant, Wheatland Terrace

December 1

18 Years – Jennifer Schultz, DON, Woodside Village

8 Years – Brianna Thoreson, LPN Treatment, Hearthstone

December 2

2 Years – Shannon Dodge, Dining Services, Valley on Columbia

December 6

1 Year – Emma Swenson, PCA/Med Assistant, Wheatland Terrace

Open Enrollment for 2023 Benefits – Ends December 5, 2022

Time is running out!! The portal to PlanSource (www.plansource.com/login) is only open for 2023 benefit selection until December 5, 2022. To ensure elections are made for 2023, we will be using the passive enrollment process. Passive enrollment means we will automatically reenroll you in the plans you are currently on if you do not elect benefit changes in PlanSource. However, if you have a health savings account (HSA) you do need to log into PlanSource to update the amount of your annual HSA contribution for 2023. Please contact Kathy Feist at 701-787-7956 with any questions.

VC and WV Offering Opportunity to Residents to Decline Mask Usage

When our county is in “High Transmission,” the CDC recommends that residents and staff in nursing homes should wear masks during care interactions and anytime they are outside their room. Grand Forks County has been in “High Transmission” for every day since May and it doesn’t appear that future months will be any different. A number of residents are not choosing to follow that recommendation and it is their right to make that choice. Within the next week each WV and VC resident or primary decision maker will be contacted by a care team member and given the opportunity to decline wearing a mask and acknowledge the risks associated with this decision. The requirement to wear a mask, regardless of a declination, will still be implemented in certain situations, such as when a resident is a close contact or a significant outbreak of COVID-19 is occurring in their neighborhood.

We are only able to offer this declination to residents. We are not able offer this to our staff or volunteers. There is an effort starting in December to promote removing Community Transmission levels from triggering mask usage from the current COVID restrictions. Today we learned the North Dakota Long Term Care Association (NDLTCA) is starting a second phase of advocating for fewer COVID related restrictions. The area that NDLTCA is focusing on that affects resident life is the CDC recommendation that masks are to be worn by residents and staff when the county is in “High Transmission.” While we may or may not be successful as an organization in this advocacy, Valley residents can make a decision right now on mask use by completing the declination form.

December’s Healthy Eating Habits Challenge – Presented by the Wellness Committee

This month, the Wellness Committee has put together a challenge/competition surrounding healthy eating habits. December is a month full of cheer, spending time with friends and families, eating together, conversing, and enjoying one another. However, it is easy to lose track of the progress you have made to better your health amongst everything that comes with the holiday season.

Use the provided journal to track your progress throughout the month of December. Complete 22 daily journal entries documenting the healthy eating habits you have implemented, or stuck to, throughout the month of December. We have provided some helpful tips to assist you in your wellness journey through December, but note, there are many other things a person can do than just those listed in the journal provided. Return your completed journal to HR by January 6, 2023 to enter for your chance to win one of eight $50 gift cards!

Christmas Decorations

As neighborhoods begin decorating for Christmas, please keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Decorations can hang from the ceiling but keep the decorations away from sprinkler heads and smoke alarms. They should not be hanging within 18 inches of these fixtures. Do not cover or hang anything from light fixtures. Also, nothing should be hung too low where staff/visitors/residents might bump into them while walking down the hallways. If you’re looking for guidance on how low to hang items, there should be a minimum of seven feet of clearance from the floor to where decorations are hanging.
  • Doors should not be covered with any items that are not deemed/labeled fire retardant. Do not cover doors in paper or paper/cardboard decorations. Paper/cardboard decorations may be hung on walls. Do not cover fire pull stations, light switches, or fire extinguishers.   
  • Be cognizant of any decorations that may be deemed a tripping hazard. Hallways are supposed to be free of carts, lifts, and clutter.

Winter Craft & Bake Sales

Valley on 42nd (Auditorium) – December 2, 2022 from 9:00AM – 2:30PM

Valley on Columbia (Community Room) – December 9, 2022 from 8:30AM – 3:00PM

COVID Results Update

In the past seven days, five residents and six staff have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one resident from the Prairieview neighborhood and four residents from Wheatland Terrace at Woodside Village; one direct care staff from Prairieview, one direct care from Hearthstone and two non-direct care staff at Woodside Village; along with two direct care staff from the Lanark neighborhood at Valley on Columbia. Through contact tracing, thirty-six close contacts have been identified.

Staff Illness

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.


11.23.22 Staff Update

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! Enjoy time with your families and loved ones and reflect on all that we can be grateful for!

#GivingTuesday – November 29, 2022

Support Valley Senior Living Foundation on Tuesday, November 29, for Giving Tuesday. Funds raised on Giving Tuesday supports the Chaplaincy Ministry Program that provides compassionate care and spiritual well-being for Valley Senior Living residents, their family members, and employees of all faiths.

We know there are so many charities deserving of your support this time of year. As you consider your year-end giving, we hope you’ll think of the impact the Chaplaincy Ministry Program has on over 500 residents and their family members, and the over 850 employees at Valley Senior Living. 

Happy VALLEYversary!

Please help us recognize the work anniversaries each week! Here is this week’s line-up of staff celebrating their Valleyversary:

November 23

2 Years – Jessica Hoff, PCA, Wheatland Terrace

2 Years – Alyshia Kom, CNA, Woodside Village

2 Years – Monica Slaughter, RA-CNA, Woodside Village

1 Year – Brenna Bertsch, CNA, Prairieview

1 Year – Dolapo Raji, CNA, Woodside Village

November 24

1 Year – Claudia Promschmidt, Cook, Tufte Manor

November 25

21 Years – Kristi Austin, RN, Riverside

20 Years – Sarah Salender, RN, Lanark

November 26

4 Years – Wendy Hackett, Recreation Assistant, Almonte

November 27

5 Years – Jessica Zelio, LPN, Valley on Columbia

5 Years – Angela Olson, Transportation Coordinator, Valley Senior Living

November 29

1 Year – Tonya Gramm

1 Year – Dylan Frericks

Open Enrollment for 2023 Benefits – Ends December 5, 2022

The portal to PlanSource (www.plansource.com/login) is NOW OPEN!! You have until December 5, 2022 to enroll for your 2023 benefits. To ensure elections are made for 2023, we will be using the passive enrollment process. Passive enrollment means we will automatically reenroll you in the plans you are currently on if you do not elect benefits in PlanSource, BUT, if you have a health savings account (HAS) you do need to log into PlanSource to update the amount of your annual HSA contribution for 2023. Please contact Kathy Feist at 701-787-7956 with any questions.

Diabetes Awareness Month – Presented by the Wellness Committee (You might want to read this AFTER Thanksgiving)

If you’re interested in preventing type 2 diabetes, the attached guide can help you get started. Congratulations on taking the first step! By reading this attachment, you’re already on your way.

Unsure if you have prediabetes? Find out now, in less than 1 minute, if you may have prediabetes by taking the Prediabetes Risk Test. If your result shows you’re at high risk for type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor about getting a simple blood sugar test to confirm it. Then, if you’re diagnosed with prediabetes, consider joining a lifestyle change program offered by the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP). This program is proven to cut the risk for type 2 diabetes in half.

COVID Results Update

In the past seven days, two residents and five staff have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes two residents from Valley Transitions, one direct care staff from Riverside and one contract staff at Valley on Columbia; one direct care staff from Prairieview and one non-direct care staff from Valley on 42nd, and one direct care staff from Tufte Manor. Through contact tracing, twelve close contacts have been identified.

Staff Illness

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.

RECRUITER BONUS – Recruit a full time CNA, LPN, or RN and cash in on $2000

Please continue to help us recruit new care partners and earn a recruiter bonus! Open positions and the application are available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.

Valley Volunteer Vibes

Volunteers are a significant group of people comprised of resident families and acquaintances that spend time within our care communities on a regular basis. If you know someone that you would recommend as a Valley volunteer, please have them contact Terri Heggie, Volunteer and Events Coordinator, at 787-7989 or email theggie@valleyseniorliving.org

Winter Craft & Bake Sales

Valley on 42nd (Auditorium) December 2, 2022 from 9:00AM – 2:30PM

Valley on Columbia (Community Room) December 9, 2022 from 8:30AM – 3:00PM

Veterans Day Fundraiser

Thank you to everyone that participated in the Potato Bar fundraiser! The $972.50 raised will be applied towards the granite bench at Veteran’s Memorial Park, to honor all veterans, especially those who call or have called Valley Senior Living home.

New Technology

Valley on Columbia will begin trialing a new technology offered through TENA absorbent products on a sampling of residents. The subject of the pilot program is a reusable, removable sensor strip that attaches to the outside of the TENA absorbent products. The TENA SmartCare Professional Care mobile application and related software, an app accessible through a smartphone, will monitor the status of the absorbent product and communicate through a monitoring system connected to the sensor. This communication will allow caregivers to monitor when the incontinence product is wet and may require changing. Benefits of the product are expected to be less waking of residents for checks and changes during resting hours.


11.16.22 Update

Last chance to RSVP! Deadline is Friday, November 18, 2022

Valley Senior Living Holiday Party – December 6 at Alerus Center. If you have not completed your RSVP to this year’s Valley Senior Living holiday party, please complete this survey to confirm your attendance and meal choice(s) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3BGPV3Q.

Breezy Shores Resort 2023 – Full-time, regular status employees that have been employed with Valley Senior Living for more than 3 years are eligible to qualify for the Breezy Shores Resort drawing for 7 nights of lodging on Big Detroit Lakes in a 2 bedroom town home with access to the indoor swimming pool. The week at Breezy Shores was a gift from a donor to the Foundation in 1996, and it has been offered to Valley Senior Living employees each year. Return your form to HR now!  

Happy VALLEYversary!

Please help us recognize the work anniversaries each week! Here is this week’s line-up of staff celebrating their Valleyversary:

November 16

1 Year – David French, Environmental Services, Tufte Manor  

1 Year – Gianna Jones, LPN, Valley Transitions

November 18

26 Years – Garth Rydland, President/CEO

3 Years – Jamie Rash, CNA, Prairieview

November 19

4 Years – Nadine Munging, CNA, Valley on Columbia

November 20

33 Years – Vicki Carter, HUC, Riverside

26 Years – Gloria Foss, Receptionist, Tufte Manor

November 22

1 Year – Kaylee Randall, CNA, Almonte

1 Year – Madelyn Colbert, Dining Services, Valley on Columbia

1 Year – Mary Schofield, RA CNA, Woodside Village

Open Enrollment for 2023 Benefits
To learn more about the available insurance benefit plans for the upcoming year, please attend one of our open enrollment meetings:

            November 17, 2022

            Valley on Columbia 10:00AM – 11:00AM (Community Room)

            Valley on 42nd 1:00PM – 2:00PM (Auditorium)

            November 18, 2022

           Valley on 42nd 10:00AM – 11:00AM (Auditorium)

            Valley on Columbia 2:00PM – 3:00PM (Community Room)

The portal to PlanSource (www.plansource.com/login) will open November 21, 2022. You have until December 5, 2022 to enroll for your 2023 benefits. To ensure elections are made for 2023, we will be using the passive enrollment process. Passive enrollment means we will automatically reenroll you in the plans you are currently on if you do not elect benefits in PlanSource. Contact Kathy Feist at 701-787-7956 with any questions.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Are you at risk for type 2 diabetes? 1 in 10 people have diabetes (most have type 2 diabetes).

You can stay healthier longer and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes with these steps:

  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Eat well
  • Be active

These factors increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes:

  • Being overweight
  • Race and ethnicity (African American, Hispanic/Latino American, American Indian, Pacific Islander, Asian American)
  • Being physically active less than 3 times a week
  • Having a parent, brother, or sister with type 2 diabetes
  • Being 45 years or older
  • Having had gestational diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy) or giving birth to a baby who weighed more than 9 pounds.

If you or someone you know has diabetes or is at risk for diabetes, check out the online resources available from the American Diabetes Association at https://www.diabetes.org/.

COVID Results Update
In the past seven days, five staff have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one direct care staff from Valley Transitions, one direct care staff from Lanark, and one non-direct care staff from Valley on Columbia; along with one direct care staff from the Oakcrest neighborhood and one non-direct care staff at Woodside Village. Through contact tracing, twenty close contacts have been identified.

Staff Illness
If you are calling in sick, leaving your shift early, or have had exposure to someone who has tested positive, it is very important to call the COVID staff illness line right away at 701-741-9646 to report any one new symptom of COVID (fever, cough, sore throat, headache, runny nose, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell) as this helps determine if testing with a PCR is required.

In addition, it is Valley Senior Living’s policy that staff are fever free for 24 hours (without taking fever reducing medications) and out 48 hours from their last episode of diarrhea and vomiting before you are cleared to return to work. If staff are tested for any of those symptoms, once they are cleared with a negative test, it is the supervisor’s responsibility to be in touch with their employee when their last episodes occurred and return them to work appropriately.

RECRUITER BONUS – Recruit a full time CNA, LPN, or RN and cash in on $2000
Please continue to help us recruit new care partners and earn a recruiter bonus! Open positions and the application are available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.

Valley Volunteer Vibes
Volunteers are a significant group of people comprised of resident families and acquaintances that spend time within our care communities on a regular basis. If you know someone that you would recommend as a Valley volunteer, please have them contact Terri Heggie, Volunteer and Events Coordinator, at 787-7989 or email theggie@valleyseniorliving.org

Mark Your Calendars for Our Winter Craft & Bake Sales!
Valley on 42nd December 2, 2022 from 9:00AM – 2:30PM (Auditorium)
Valley on Columbia December 9, 2022 from 8:30AM – 3:00PM (Community Room)


11.9.22 Update

First Storm of the Season – We are Implementing our Storm Policy on November 10

With the incoming winter storm, the storm policy will go into effect as of Midnight tonight (November 10). Please plan ahead for your shifts so you leave yourself enough time to get into work. If due to the snow/road conditions you are unable to get to work via your normal transportation method, please call in as you normally would and your supervisor can connect you with one of our volunteer drivers (volunteer drivers are all Valley staff). The drivers will stay within the city limits of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, so this won’t work for staff who are out of town. We will have drivers lined up starting Thursday afternoon. During a storm, weather related lates, tardies, and absences do not count for points on our attendance policy. You are paid back to the scheduled beginning of your shift as long as you are in before 25% of your shift has elapsed. If you picked up your shift for premium pay, you will only receive premium pay once you arrive for your shift. Premium pay will not be paid back to the beginning of your scheduled shift if you are late, tardy, or absent.  

Company Zoom

Click this link for the company zoom from today.

RSVP to the Valley Senior Living Holiday Party – December 6 at Alerus Center

Please complete this survey to RSVP for the holiday party and to confirm your meal choice(s) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3BGPV3Q. Employees must RSVP by November 18, 2022.

Veteran’s Day Programs – November 11

Join us on Veterans Day as we extend our appreciation by honoring all the residents and staff that have served our country in wartime or peacetime. 

Valley on Columbia – 2:00PM in Bethesda Crossing

Woodside Village – 3:15PM in Auditorium

Open Enrollment for 2023 Benefits

Valley Senior Living, in conjunction with our insurance broker North Risk Partners, had a very successful renewal with Medica and were able to obtain an average renewal increase of 1.1% for 2023. As a showing of our continued support and appreciation for our staff, Valley Senior Living will be increasing our contributions to the employer’s health insurance premium by 1.1% effective January 2023.

To learn more about the available plans for the upcoming year, please attend one of our Open Enrollment meetings:

November 17, 2022

Valley on Columbia 10:00AM – 11:00AM (Community Room)

Valley on 42nd 1:00PM – 2:00PM (Auditorium)

November 18, 2022

Valley on 42nd 10:00AM – 11:00AM (Auditorium)

Valley on Columbia 2:00PM – 3:00PM (Community Room)

The portal to PlanSource (www.plansource.com/login) will open November 21, 2022. You have until December 5, 2022 to enroll for your 2023 benefits. To ensure elections are made for 2023, we will be using the passive enrollment process. Passive enrollment means we will automatically reenroll you in the plans you are currently on if you do not elect benefits in PlanSource. Contact Kathy Feist at 701-787-7956 with any questions.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

Throughout the month, the Wellness Committee’s goal is to provide you with education and resources surrounding diabetes, diabetes prevention, and healthy life changes.

The National Diabetes Statistics Report provides information on the prevalence (existing cases) and incidence (new cases) of diabetes and prediabetes, risk factors for health complications from diabetes, and diabetes-related deaths and costs.

Key findings include:

  • 37.3 million Americans—about 1 in 10—have diabetes.
    • About 1 in 5 people with diabetes don’t know they have it.
  • 96 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes.
    • More than 8 in 10 adults with prediabetes don’t know they have it.
  • In 2019, about 1.4 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed.
  • For people aged 10 to 19 years, new cases of type 2 diabetes increased for all racial and ethnic minority groups, especially African American teens.
  • For adults with diagnosed diabetes:
    • 69% had high blood pressure, and 44% had high cholesterol.
    • 39% had chronic kidney disease, and 12% reported having vision impairment or blindness.
    • Diabetes was highest among African American and Hispanic adults, in both men and women.

COVID Results Update

In the past seven days, one non-direct care staff from Valley on Columbia has tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. Through contact tracing, one close contact has been identified.

Staff Illness

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.

Staffing Update

  • Overall we are making good progress with recruitment and posted positions in the nursing department and throughout the organization. We have 844 total staff, up from 826 in September and 809 in August. This is the highest number since March 2022.
  • CNA vacancy rates are improving. 30 positions open, 9% vacancy rate, and a 17 person CNA class in week 3 of a 4 week class. Tremendous progress from 47 positions and a 15% vacancy rate at the beginning of October. 
  • Nurse vacancy rates decreased to 9 positions and a 6% vacancy rate, improving from 12 positions and 8% in October and much improved from 20 positions and 14% vacancy in June.
  • October percentage of worked shifts to budget is as follows for each of the neighborhoods. Our goal is to be as close to 100% as possible, but with the numbers of open positions that we were dealing with throughout the month, you should all be congratulated for these results! As our vacancy rates continue to improve, these percentages will improve as well.

Neighborhood

CNA

Nurse

Almonte

91%

98%

Lanark

95%

98%

Riverside

91%

99%

Reeves

93%

96%

Valley Transitions

94%

92%

Hearthstone

95%

98%

Heartland

94%

94%

Oakcrest

99%

96%

Prairieview

95%

97%

RECRUITER BONUS – Recruit a full time CNA, LPN, or RN and cash in on $2000

Please continue to help us recruit new care partners and earn a recruiter bonus! Open positions and the application are available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.

Eden Alternative Principle 7 from Sandra Kemnitz, Activities Coordinator, Wheatland Terrace

We are more than our medical diagnoses. Medical treatment should support and empower us to experience a life worth living. The three plagues of loneliness, helplessness, and boredom can at times create symptoms that mimic true physical illnesses or ailments. But, if the root of the problem is related to the three plagues, no medication will truly alleviate those symptoms. Medication is beneficial when it’s used to find relief from pain, think more clearly, maintain health or to be able to do more for themselves. When we get to know our residents on a deeper level, as a person and not as a diagnosis, is when we can help find an alternative that will eliminate those plagues.

Valley Volunteer Vibes

Volunteers are a significant group of people comprised of resident families and acquaintances that spend time within our care communities on a regular basis. If you know someone that you would recommend as a Valley volunteer, please have them contact Terri Heggie, Volunteer and Event Coordinator, at 787-7989 or email theggie@valleyseniorliving.org

Winter Craft & Bake Sale

Valley on 42nd (Auditorium)

December 2, 2022 from 9:00AM – 2:30PM

Valley on Columbia (Community Room)

December 9, 2022 from 8:30AM – 3:00PM

Breezy Shores Resort 2023

Full-time, regular status employees that have been employed with Valley Senior Living for more than 3 years are eligible to qualify for the Breezy Shores Resort drawing for 7 nights of lodging on Big Detroit Lakes in a 2 bedroom town home with access to the indoor swimming pool. The week at Breezy Shores was a gift from a donor to the Foundation in 1996, and it has been offered to Valley Senior Living employees each year. If interested, you must return your forms to HR by November 18, 2022.


11.2.22 Update

Sign Up for the Valley Senior Living Holiday Party – December 6 at Alerus Center
It’s back! After two years off, the 37th Annual Valley Senior Living Holiday Party is scheduled for December 6, 2022, at the Alerus Center. Doors will open at 4:00PM, bingo begins at 4:30PM, and the meal will be served at 5:45PM. Employees may bring one guest but no children under 16 are allowed. Guest meals are $25 and payroll deduction is available. Please complete this survey to RSVP for the holiday party and to confirm your meal choice(s) https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3BGPV3Q. Employees must RSVP by November 18th.

Congratulations to November’s Longevity Recipients!

40 Years
Shelly Pilon, Director of Dining Services (Valley on Columbia)

20 Years
Sarah Salender, RN (Valley on Columbia)

10 Years
Mallory Bakken, Administrative Assistant (Tufte Manor)

5 Years
Angie Olson, Transportation Coordinator (Woodside Village)
Jessica Zelio, LPN (Valley on Columbia)

RECRUITER BONUS – Recruit a full time CNA, LPN, or RN and cash in on $2000
We are making significant progress with our CNA vacancies, largely thanks to your recruitment efforts! Keep it up! At the beginning of October, we had 48 positions (15% vacancy rate) available. Today we have 30 positions (9% vacancy rate) and a large class of CNA students who will complete their training on November 18. Please continue to help us recruit new care partners! Open positions and the application are available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.

VC and WV Staff – Please Read the Following Policy Changes
Two new policies and four policy updates have been implemented in response to new federal requirements effective in October of 2022. Some of these policies affect everyone at VC and WV, so please familiarize yourselves with the changes. There is a heavy focus on Resident Rights, Substance Use Disorder and Trauma Informed Care. The full policies are attached with a brief overview of each below.

  • Policy 600.10 Dignity, Respect/Right to have personal property.
    Staff may not search a resident’s body or possessions without resident/representative’s consent. In regards to observation that a resident or their visitor may have brought an illegal substance into the facility, a referral to local law enforcement may be warranted. If items are identified that pose health and safety risks and they are in plain view, staff may confiscate them. Examples of signs and symptoms of possible substance abuse are included in the attachment.
  • Policy 600.15 Resident Right to Receive/Deny Visitors
    Changes in this policy reference response to visitation for individuals who have history of bringing illegal substances into the facility which place the resident’s health and safety at risk. Again, this includes monitoring for signs or symptoms of possible substance use after interaction or outing with visitors. The policy provides guidance on how to implement changes or restrictions on visitation if indicated. The policy is also updated in reference to residents who are on transmission based (COVID) precautions.
  • Policy 600.28 Transfer and Discharge of Residents
    This policy discusses both resident and facility initiated discharges. A resident initiated discharge must include documentation of the resident or their representative’s intent to leave the facility, a discharge plan and documented discussions with the resident and/or their representative. A facility initiated discharge or transfer is one that did not originate with the resident/representative or that they object to. Examples are provided. Emergency transfers to acute care and hospital returns are also addressed. Basically, residents must be permitted to return to the facility unless they meet specific discharge criteria, explained in the policy.
  • Policy 600.55 Trauma Informed Care
    This policy includes new definitions for Trauma-Informed Care and Cultural Competence. This includes an approach to care that recognizes and responds to the effects of all types of trauma. All residents will have a PTSD 5 screen completed with the initial MDS. The life story may address trauma related history. If a screening indicates that the resident has a history of trauma, the need for interventions of care in order to eliminate or mitigate triggers that may cause re-traumatization, and ways to support a resident will be determined. Care planning needs to reflect the individual resident’s needs and preferences and align with the resident’s cultural identity, culture and practices. Residents with a history of trauma will be reviewed at Quality of Care meetings.
  • 600.63 Coordination of PASARR program
    This new policy refers to coordination of assessments with the preadmission screen and resident review (PASRR) program under Medicaid. That program exists to ensure that individuals with mental disorder, intellectual disability, or related condition receives care and services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. The policy reviews screening requirements for move in and continued stay in a nursing facility for individuals. Recommendations for any specialized services identified by PASARR determination/evaluation must be incorporated into a resident’s assessment, care planning, and transitions of care. The primary social worker assigned to the resident is responsible for keeping track of resident PASARR screening status and making appropriate referrals. Timely, accurate documentation is necessary.
  • 600.64 Behavioral Health Services
    This is a new, very detailed policy. It includes updated definitions for: Mental Disorder, Substance Use Disorder (SUD), Non-pharmacological Intervention, Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. All facility staff and volunteers are expected to have role appropriate competencies for meeting the behavioral health needs of residents. There is emphasis on person-centered care, specific to individual needs. The policy and compliance guidelines are also reviewed. Conditions, assessments, behavior contracts and examples of individualized interventions are included.

COVID Results Update
In the past seven days, seven staff and one resident have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one resident and one direct care staff from Valley Transitions, one direct care staff from Riverside, and one non-direct care staff at Valley on Columbia; one direct care staff from Hearthstone, one direct care staff from Oakcrest, and one direct care staff from Heartland at Woodside Village; along with one direct care staff from Tufte Manor. Through contact tracing, twenty-five close contacts have been identified.

Report Your Symptoms and Exposures
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.

Open Enrollment for 2023 Benefits
The portal to PlanSource (www.plansource.com/login) will open November 21, 2022. You have until December 5, 2022 to enroll for your 2023 benefits. To ensure elections are made for 2023, we will be using the passive enrollment process. Passive enrollment means we will automatically reenroll you in the plans you are currently on if you do not elect benefits in PlanSource. Contact Kathy Feist at 701-787-7956 with any questions.

Breezy Shores Resort Giveaway 2023
Full-time, regular status employees that have been employed with Valley Senior Living for more than 3 years are eligible to qualify for the Breezy Shores Resort drawing for 7 nights of lodging on Big Detroit Lakes in a 2 bedroom town home with access to the indoor swimming pool. The week at Breezy Shores was a gift from a donor that has been offered to Valley employees since 1996. If interested, you must return your forms to HR by November 18, 2022.

Mark Your Calendars for the Winter Craft & Bake Sale
Valley on 42nd (Auditorium) – December 2, 2022 from 9:00AM – 2:30PM
Valley on Columbia (Community Room) – December 9, 2022 from 8:30AM – 3:00PM

Interested in an additional Make It Home t-shirt?
The remaining inventory of the “Make it Home” t-shirts are now available for sale for $10 each. These are the green t-shirts that were handed out at ACE from the Valley Senior Living Foundation. Sizes available are somewhat limited. We have XS, Large, XL, 2XL, 3XL & 4XL sizes. We DO NOT have any Small or Medium sizes. Cash, checks to the Valley Senior Living Foundation or payroll deduction are available payment options. Shaun in the Foundation office can send payroll deduction forms if requested. Please call 701-787-7997 if you are interested or have questions.


10.26.22 Update

In case you missed it earlier, click on today’s Corporate Zoom.

Been putting off the booster? COVID Booster Day – November 1!
Now is the time to get your booster and be prepared for the holidays. Thrifty White Pharmacy will host an employee vaccine clinic on November 1 in the Auditorium at Valley Senior Living on 42nd from 12:00 to 1:00PM. If you would like to get your paperwork done ahead of time, register with Thrifty White Pharmacy at: https://www.thriftywhite.com/seasonal-vaccine/7TE3Y29  with access code 4XBK8. Cinnamon rolls and cider will be served!

Boosters are an important part of protecting yourself from serious illness and hospitalization due to COVID-19. CDC recommends that people ages 5 years and older receive one updated (bivalent) booster if it has been at least 2 months since their last COVID-19 vaccine dose, as long as you have completed a primary series. The updated (bivalent) boosters are called “bivalent” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5.

Bring your families and encourage the residents to invite their families for Trick or Treating at Valley this year!
Trick or treating will take place in the afternoon on October 31 at Valley on Columbia from 3:00 to 5:30PM and at Valley on 42nd from 4:00 to 5:30PM. While Trick or Treating is not open to the public this year, it is open to families of residents and staff! Tufte Manor does not have trick or treating on Halloween but rather is hosting a resident and family Halloween party on October 29 from 2:00 to 4:00PM.

CNA Class Started October 24
Please extend a warm welcome to the 17 new staff who started the CNA training class on Monday! I had the opportunity to meet all of them on Monday – they are a great group of future care partners and we look forward to having them as part of our Valley care teams in just a few short weeks!

The next CNA Training Class begins on November 28. We are currently interviewing and filling seats in that class. If you know of someone who is ready to shift careers, please share all the details with them for your chance to obtain a recruiter bonus. Recruiting a full time CNA is worth $2000. The application is available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.

Staffing Information from our Performance Improvement Project (PIP)
Staffing challenges have been prevalent in all sectors of the workforce. This led us to create a PIP for CNA Retention. Over the last month our open CNA positions have decreased and we look to improve on that this fall. We make significant progress pretty quickly when we can have CNA classes as large as the one we have right now!

An area I’d like to highlight today is our percentage of scheduled hours to actual hours worked. We all want the opportunity to do our best job for the residents each day and that is critical to retaining our staff. We know that some days it can be very challenging to do our best for the residents even if all scheduled hours are worked. We take our responsibility very seriously to make sure those schedules are filled. Obviously our goal is to be as close to 100% as possible, but the pandemic has made that even more challenging. Open positions have made this very challenging as well. Thank you to everyone who continues to pick up extra shifts so we continue to provide great care for the residents!

The following is a chart of the percentage of hours scheduled to actual hours worked on each neighborhood. We will report this information out each month to staff and residents so everyone can see how we are doing.

 Percentage of Hours Scheduled to Hours Worked – September 2022

Neighborhood

CNA

Nurse

Almonte

94%

99%

Lanark

96%

97%

Riverside

94%

98%

Reeves

95%

95%

Valley Transitions

95%

91%

Hearthstone

96%

97%

Heartland

96%

97%

Oakcrest

99%

97%

Prairieview

98%

99%

 

COVID Results Update
In the past seven days, four staff and one resident have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one resident from Prairieview and one direct care staff from Heartland at Woodside Village; two direct care staff from the Almonte and Valley Transitions neighborhoods at Valley on Columbia; and one non-direct care staff from Tufte Manor. Through contact tracing, nineteen close contacts have been identified.

Staff Illness
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.

A flu shot is required for all employees and must be received by tomorrow, 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.

Pastoral/Spiritual Care Week
Every year during the last week of October, Pastoral/Spiritual Care Week provides an opportunity to recognize our Chaplains and their ministry at Valley Senior Living. This year’s theme is “Relevant and Responsive in Times of Crisis” and speaks to the services that have been provided by Chaplains Bud and Gwenn and the flex time Chaplains John and Kerwin. Take a moment to extend your gratitude to them this week for their spiritual care, compassion and the ministry which they provide to our residents, families, and staff.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Mammograms are the best way to find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms.

Are you worried about the cost? Grand Forks Women’s Way offers free mammograms to women who have low incomes and are uninsured or underinsured. They can also help with navigating and answering questions about screening mammograms; call Tiffany at Women’s Way, 701-787-8118.

Don’t forget to wear pink on Friday’s in October to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives and to remember those we have lost, and support those who have survived!

Healthcare Academy Deadline is only 5 DAYS AWAY!!
Required modules 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.

Veterans Day
Care communities are preparing for Veterans Day programs and would like to recognize employees who are Veterans alongside our residents who are Veterans. If you are a Veteran and would like to be recognized, please submit more details here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YCP5WTS

Fundraising Meal for the Valley Senior Living Bench At Veterans Memorial Park
Valley Senior Living on 42nd and Valley Senior Living on Columbia will each host fundraising meals on Thursday, November 10. Proceeds from the meal will go to the Valley Senior Living Foundation to fulfill our financial commitment to the Valley Senior Living bench at the Veterans Memorial Park. Thank you in advance for  your support of this project and we hope you enjoy the loaded baked potato bar! Watch for posters and more details in each care community.

Get your RECRUITER BONUS!
Please continue to help us recruit new care partners and earn the recruiter bonus. Open positions and the application are available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.


10.24.22 Update

Congrats to the winners of the Carrie Underwood tickets. Please stop by the Human Resources office at Valley Senior Living on Columbia between 8 am and 4 pm to pick up your tickets before Thursday evening! 

  1. Deb Smedsrud   – VC
  2. Cheryl Vidden  – VC
  3. Tenneh Bility – 42nd
  4. Sarah Fortman – WT
  5. Maurine Lukong – Tufte
  6. Sarah Rapp – VC
  7. Bonnie Overby – VC
  8. Laurie Bondy – VC
  9. Madison Connors – VC
  10. Natalie Glaser – WV

10.19.22 Weekly Update

Well-Defined Space Employee Mask Use
There has been some confusion with our new guidance for masking or not in well-defined spaces ONLY such as team rooms/nurses stations, break rooms, offices, meeting rooms. While we are currently in “low” COVID-19 Community levels (not healthcare COVID-19 transmission levels), all employees may be unmasked AND do not need to follow physical distancing, regardless of vaccination status, unless:

  • You have suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or other respiratory infection (e.g., those with runny nose, cough, sneeze); or
  • You had close contact (residents or visitors) or a higher-risk exposure (employees) with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, for 10 days after their exposure

If you choose to not physically distance, it may increase your risk for exposure and subsequent testing. Unmasking is still not permitted in resident-care areas.

COVID Results Update
In the past seven days, eight staff and two residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes one resident from Almonte, three staff from Valley Transitions, two non-direct care staff, and one contract staff in the neighborhoods at Valley on Columbia, along with one resident from Wheatland, one non-direct care staff from Woodside Village, and one non-direct care staff from Tufte Manor. Through contact tracing, sixteen close contacts have been identified.

Staff Illness
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.

Flu Shots – 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 asap.

Healthcare Academy – Win Fall Décor!
Employees that complete all of the assigned HCA modules before October 21st will be entered to win a fall door prize sponsored by Valley Senior Living Staff Council. Required modules 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.

Nurse Call System Changes Effective October 25 at Woodside Village and Valley on Columbia
To best serve our residents and their needs, a number of changes will be made on October 25 to improve our residents’ call system. Many of these changes focus on escalation pathways. These changes will not only enhance our ability to delivery of care, but it will also assist with the efficiency and workflow for all of the Nursing Department. The attached document “Call Light Enhancements” gives the summary of all the changes. The biggest changes are around bringing increased attention to call lights that may be out of standard so that people know about it at the time it occurs:

  • Standard call: Our standard for answering a bathroom call light is 3 minutes and a normal call light is 5 minutes.
  • Overtime 1: When the call reaches those 3 and 5 minute thresholds, there is a white blinking light involved and a repage goes out to the walkies.
  • Overtime 2: When the call reaches twice the amount of time as our standard (10 minutes for a normal call and 6 minutes for a bathroom call), a flashing blue light is added and a repage goes out. A computer software program on med carts and team room computer screens will pop up. At that point, it is the expectation that everyone on the neighborhood will be involved in resolving the resident’s need for services as soon as possible.
  • Overtime 3 and 4 pathways are detailed in the attached document.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Empower yourself and the women around you that you love by taking the steps needed to find breast cancer early, when it’s easiest to treat by:

If you need assistance with knowing when to get screened, or need help paying for a screening or navigating the screenings or have questions, call Tiffany at Women’s Way, 701-787-8118.

Don’t forget to wear pink on Fridays in October to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives, to remember those we have lost, and support those who have survived!

Halloween at Valley
Trick or Treating is not open to the public this year but it is open to families of residents and staff. Trick or treating will take place in the afternoon on October 31 at Valley on Columbia and at Valley on 42nd. Times will be communicated next week. Tufte Manor is hosting a resident and family Halloween party on October 29 from 2 to 4 pm. 

It’s RECRUITER BONUS time!
Congrats to Brandi Rusczak, the second winner in the Valley recruiter social media challenge! Brandi won a $100 Scheels gift card for sharing our open positions and recommending Valley Senior Living! The 3rd week challenge is coming soon and staff will have a chance to win tickets to see Carrie Underwood at the Alerus Center. Stay tuned for contest details soon.

Please continue to help us recruit new care partners and earn the recruiter bonus. Open positions and the application are available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.


10.12.22 Weekly Update

COVID Results Update
In the past seven days, one staff and seven residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes two residents from Riverside, two residents from Reeves, and two residents from Almonte in the neighborhoods at Valley on Columbia, along with one resident and one non-direct care staff from Tufte Manor. We are currently caring for 10 residents at Valley on Columbia with two who have moved to Valley Transitions and eight sheltering in place. The resident identified as positive at Tufte Manor is being cared for off-site. Through contact tracing, fourteen close contacts have been identified.

Staff Illness
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.

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 Friday, October 14, 2022.

Eden Alternative Principle 6 from Lisa Warner, Life Enrichment Coordinator, Tufte Manor
The opportunity to do things that we find meaningful is essential to human health and wellbeing. It is important to all of us to stay engaged with the people and things we find meaningful. Often when a person moves into a nursing home they have many losses: their spouse, their health, and many of the things they worked for their whole lives. Working together, we all have the opportunity to find ways to help create meaningful moments. It starts with building relationships. As we get to know each individual’s interests (which can be found in their life story/simple pleasures) we all can help create moments of joy – no matter what your role is at Valley Senior Living.

September Fruits & Vegetables Challenge Winners
Congratulations! Please contact the HR department to make arrangements to collect/receive your gift card!
   Twyla Bartel
   Karen Basting
   Victoria Cole
   Jodi Dub
   Kathy Feist
   Sarah Fortman
   Tamie Frericks
   Andrea Hahn
   Sara Herman
   Christa Lembke
   Paula Nowatzki
   Angie Praska
   Kate Woodworth

Healthcare Academy – Win Fall Décor!
Employees that complete all of the assigned HCA modules before October 21st will be entered to win a fall door prize sponsored by Valley Senior Living Staff Council.

Required modules 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.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Valley Senior Living and Women’s Way are teaming up this year to raise breast cancer awareness!

We invite you to decorate a pumpkin in honor of someone affected by breast cancer or just to help raise awareness, all pumpkins are welcome to be submitted to the patch. Submit a picture of your pumpkin virtually by sending via email to GFhealth@grandforksgov.com or Facebook Messenger @GFpublichealth. You could win a great prize package from Smiling Moose, Avant, and All Seasons. For more information visit www.grandforksgov.com/pink.

Watch this video for some inspiration from last year!

Pumpkins are welcomed to be placed on display at All Seasons Garden Center for everyone to enjoy!

Women’s Way encourages women to talk to their healthcare provider about starting annual breast cancer screening with mammograms after they turn 40 and/or if you notice changes in your breast. Women’s Way can help with scheduling and provide a way to pay for your screening; call Tiffany at 701-787-8118.

Don’t forget to wear pink on Friday’s in October to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness initiatives and to remember those we have lost, and support those who have survived!

HALLOWEEN Decorating Tips and Trick or Treats
Halloween candy donations are being collected at all neighborhoods at Valley on Columbia and by the recreation department staff at Woodside Village, Wheatland Terrance, and Tufte Manor.

As decorating begins on the neighborhoods, please keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Decorations can hang from the ceiling but keep them away from sprinkler heads and smoke alarms. They should not be hanging within 18 inches of these fixtures. Do not cover or hang things from light fixtures. Also, nothing should be hung too low where staff/visitors/residents might bump into them while walking down the hallways. If you’re looking for guidance on how low to hang items, there should be a minimum of seven feet of clearance from the floor to where decorations are hanging.
  • Doors should not be covered with any items that are not deemed/labeled fire retardant. Do not cover doors with paper/cardboard decorations. You can hang paper/cardboard decorations on walls, just stay away from doors.
  • Do not cover fire pull stations, light switches, or fire extinguishers.
  • Be cognizant of any decorations that may be deemed a tripping hazard. Hallways are supposed to be free of carts/lifts and other clutter.

Trick or Treating is not open to the public this year but it is open to families of residents and staff. The schedule for trick or treating at each location will be shared once those schedules have been determined.

Valley on 42nd Employee Craft & Bake Sale
The Valley on 42nd Employee Craft & Bake Sale is this Friday, October 14th from 9:00AM to 2:30PM in the Auditorium at Woodside Village.

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

It’s RECRUITER BONUS Time!
Congrats to Tiffany Campbell, the first winner in the Valley recruiter social media challenge!
You still have time to participate in week 2 and 3. We want you to help us pick the best care partners to work alongside you and to care for the residents! Open positions and the application are available at valleyseniorliving.org/apply.

Tag and share our open positions on social media with everyone you would like to work with! Don’t forget the hashtag #MakeItHome. Click the link for more details about ca$hing in on a Recruiter Bonus.


10.5.22 Weekly Update

Help us recruit the best people to Valley!
With our recent pay increases, we are seeing a nice increase in applications, particularly for our upcoming CNA class. We want you to help us pick the best care partners to work alongside you and to care for the residents throughout Valley! Open positions and the application are available at https://valleyseniorliving.org/careers. Don’t forget the hashtag #MakeItHome. Click the link for more details about ca$hing in on a Recruiter Bonus.

COVID Results Update
In the past seven days, ten staff and six residents have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes three residents from the Reeves neighborhood and three residents from the Riverside neighborhood at Valley on Columbia, with all residents sheltering in place. Staff testing positive include one non-direct care staff and seven direct care staff (2 Riverside, 2 Valley Transitions, 2 Reeves, 1 Almonte) at Valley on Columbia; along with one direct care staff from the Hearthstone neighborhood, and one non-direct care staff at Woodside Village. Through contact tracing, thirty-nine close contacts have been identified.

As we navigate the recent outbreak at Valley on Columbia, we are also adjusting to the new guidance that is more endemic in nature. With the new guidance and a recent bivalent booster for residents, we are more permissive in continuing dining for residents who are not close contacts in the neighborhoods with the outbreaks. This is the first outbreak that we are no longer having dedicated CNA staffing for COVID positive residents; we observe transmission-based precautions for those residents and care for them with their regular caregivers.

Staff Illness
Nothing changed with our requirements for symptomatic COVID testing! 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.

CONGRATULATIONS to our Care Partners of the Quarter!
Valley on Columbia
Andrew Cardinal, RN Valley Transitions
Ruby Carter, RN Reeves
Jennifer Enninga, RN Riverside
Vanessa Gonzalez, CNA Almonte
Kari Schindler, LPN Lanark

Tufte Manor
Traci Olson, PCA

Wheatland Terrace
Jodi Dub, Administrative Assistant

Woodside Village
Chelsey Gerszewski, CNA Hearthstone
Jordan Jacobson, LPN Prairieview
Nenabell Jasper, CNA Heartland
Leticia Severson, CNA Oakcrest

CONGRATULATIONS to our Care Partners reaching new milestones!
20 Years
Wanda Armstrong, LPN (Woodside Village)

10 Years
Angela Borgen, RN (Woodside Village)
Marylou Kuster, Cook (Valley on Columbia)

5 Years
Stephanie Bielawski, LPN (Tufte Manor)
Andrew Cardinal, RN (Valley on Columbia)
Baillie Hanson, CNA (Valley on Columbia)
Philomena Kazmierczak, RN (Woodside Village)
Emily Reynolds, CNA (Woodside Village)
Tim Tuma, Accounting Manager (Valley on Columbia)

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Valley Senior Living’s Wellness Committee is collaborating with Women’s Way to provide meaningful and useful education and tools through the month of October, emphasizing the importance of regular preventative mammography screenings.

We are asking staff and residents to show support for breast cancer awareness initiatives, those who have survived and those we have lost, by wearing pink each Friday during the month of October.

Receiving a regular mammogram is the best method available to detect breast cancer early, when it is most treatable, and before it is big enough to feel or cause symptoms. In some cases, finding a breast tumor early may mean that a woman can choose surgery that saves her breast or she may not require chemotherapy. Regular mammography screenings can save lives as research estimates indicate that if 10,000 women age 50 were screened every year for 10 years, about 37 lives would be saved.

Have questions or need help navigating or paying for a mammogram? Women’s Way can help! Please call Tiffany at 701-787-8118.

Flu Shot Clinic
The next flu shot clinic Valley Senior Living is offering for employees to complete is at Valley on 42nd on October 12 from 6:00AM to 12:00PM in the Auditorium. Coffee from Caribou and fall breads will be provided at the flu shot clinic!

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.

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.

Valley on 42nd Employee Craft & Bake Sale
Mark your calendar! The Valley on 42nd Employee Craft & Bake Sale is October 14th from 9:00AM to 2:30PM in the Auditorium at Woodside Village.

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.


9.28.22 COVID Precaution Changes at Valley

On Friday we received updated guidance from Centers for Disease Control and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A number of pandemic related precautions were dropped or changed. Thank you for your letters to CDC and CMS – they made a difference! Mark Parkinson, President of the American Health Care Association, credits North Dakota long term care providers as being a “superstar” in leading a grassroots letter writing campaign. Within North Dakota, Valley Senior Living staff represented over half of our entire state’s letters!

To help describe the changes, watch the Corporate Zoom. Also, two documents are attached that detail the measures with a “before” and “after” picture for staff and residents.

While we didn’t get everything we wanted, a number of items on our list were addressed:

  • There are no longer differences in how up-to-date and not up-to-date residents and staff are treated!
    • Not up-to-date staff do not need to test and do not need to be removed from work upon exposure.
    • Not up-to-date residents can eat at tables with other residents.
  • No more eyewear for everyone! Eyewear is only necessary when caring for people with transmission based precautions or certain aerosolizing procedures.
  • Taking our temperatures and signing in (active screening) is no longer required by visitors and staff. It is still required for residents.
  • Basic Care and Assisted Living gets to follow a less restrictive “COVID-19 Community Level” similar to the general public. Cases and hospital capacity determines the level of risk. Residents and visitors wear masks when the risk is “medium” or “high” and do not wear masks when it is “low”. With this new guidance applied to the past year, Tufte and Wheatland residents and visitors would have worn masks for approximately 4 months and not worn masks for 8 months. The Community level is currently LOW so residents and visitors do not need to wear masks at Tufte and Wheatland only! The following chart details how low, medium, and high are calculated for COVID-19 Community Levels. Our current number of cases is about 160 per 100,000 population. If it increases to over 200 per 100,000 population, the masks go back on.

  • Nursing home residents and all healthcare staff need to continue to utilize the more restrictive healthcare “COVID-19 Community Transmission” guidance. With this new guidance applied to the past year, we would have had approximately 2 months without masks and 10 months with masks for all Valley staff and all Woodside Village and Valley on Columbia residents and visitors. The Community Transmission level is currently HIGH, so we are unable to have any changes on masking in the nursing homes or for any staff. Our current number of cases is about 160 per 100,000 population and our positivity rate is about 18%. If the rate of cases is below 100 and the positivity is below 10%, the masks can come off!

Testing CANCELLED!

Asymptomatic testing is no longer a requirement! Upcoming testing events have been cancelled. If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19 you are still required to contact the COVID Staff Illness Line at 701-741-9646 to report your symptoms and for testing instructions.

COVID Results Update

In the past seven days, one resident and six staff have tested positive throughout Valley Senior Living. This includes, one resident and one direct care staff from the Reeves neighborhood, one direct care staff from Lanark, 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 one direct care staff from Wheatland. Through contact tracing, twelve close contacts have been identified.

Flu Shot Clinics

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

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

Coffee from Caribou and fall breads will be provided at each flu shot clinic!

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.

Healthy Eating in September Continues

The last Fresh Fruit Friday this month is September 30 in the staff breakrooms at all communities. Fresh fruit is being provided as a healthy snack alternative from our Wellness Committee.

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.

Healthcare Food Service Week

Join in the fun during Healthcare Food Service Week and help us recognize the great staff we have working in our dining services department! There will be special treats and prizes daily for dining services staff:

  • Monday, October 3 – Let’s Get Started: Caffeine & Juice Bar
  • Tuesday, October 4 – Ya’ll so Sweet: Carmel Apple Bar
  • Wednesday, October 5 – When the Chips are Down: Nacho Bar
  • Thursday, October 6 – A Little Tart, A Little Sweet – But Always Awesome
  • Friday, October 7 – You Make Our Team POP-corn Bar

2022 Halloween Neighborhood Challenge – WOODSIDE VILLAGE

It’s back! The Halloween neighborhood challenge is voluntary but what a great opportunity to win a pizza party for residents and staff of the winning neighborhood. Neighborhoods that participate but don’t win, will receive a special Halloween snack. Resident involvement in the planning, decorating, and costumes will be taken into account. Decorating of the neighborhood can begin the week of October 9-15. Videos and pictures must be submitted to the Recreation Department by October 25. They will turn your photos/video into an iMovie that will be posted to the Facebook page for judging to take place. Voting will be open October 28 at noon and will close on October 31 at noon. The winning neighborhood will be announced that afternoon. Please direct any questions to the Recreation Department or Dan Kostad at 787-7814.

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

Valley Senior Living Apparel

Check out the latest trends in Valley Senior Living apparel by visiting https://probitasstore.com/valleyseniorliving/.

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

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

9.23.22 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!