News and Events

No New Cases of COVID-19 in our Care Center

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff monthly. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Unfortunately, while cases in long-term care centers remain relatively low due to vaccination efforts, case rates in our local communities have climbed dramatically again. County positivity rates continue to dictate testing frequency and visitation policies. Data published Tuesday show there were 193 people in Minnesota’s hospitals getting intensive care for COVID-19 complications the day before, a rise of 21% from last week.

You are a key partner in keeping our care center open for visiting and ending this pandemic. We encourage you to connect with your primary health care provider or use the Vaccine Locator map (Vaccine Locations / COVID-19 Updates and Information – State of Minnesota (mn.gov)) to find a vaccine appointment near you.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Browns Valley Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Autumn Herzog, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Please welcome BVHC’s new Director of Dietary Services

Dani Sagissor, CDM

Hello.  My name is Danielle “Dani” Sagissor, the new Dietary Director for BVHC.  I am beyond excited to be a part of this amazing facility and being given the opportunity to be part of the care team of a special group of residents. Just a little about me….

I grew up and graduated in Melrose, MN.  I attended college at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and MN West Community College obtaining my degree in Medical Coding, Transcribing, Medical Administration and Phlebotomy.  My plan was to finish my RN, however after some soul searching, I decided that food is my niche. I am a proud mother of three children (adults), Traeton 21, Preston 20, and Maiya 19.  They are all working/in college. I have been in the hospitality business for 37 years; managing for others and owning my own businesses, however, I have always had the compassion, caring and heart for the elderly. I worked as an NAR at BVHC and grew to love the facility and those in it…here I am!!!! My goal here at BVHC, is to bring Kind Dining to the forefront, do more home-cooking, get residents involved in menu planning/selection and be known as the nursing home with the BEST FOOD & SERVICE!!!!  I am a manager who is very involved in the production and presentation of the food, as well as working side by side with those on my team.  I believe we all learn from each other.

My mentality as a Dietary Director is that this is the residents’ home and meals are something that they really look forward to…good, hot meals. I believe in making the rest of their life the best of their life, one meal at a time. 

Dani started her role as BVHC’s Dietary Director on 4/1/2021.

COVID Exposure to BVHC

Date: 04/07/2021

Dear Community Members,

Although not unexpected, yesterday 04/06/2021 we have been notified of 1 positive contracted vendor of Coronavirus (COVID-19). This vendor is currently self-quarantining at home. Residents who have been treated by this vendor has been placed in quarantine. We will continue entire site testing of residents and staff until we have 2 weeks of negatives. All staff from 4/5/2021 test date tested negative.

We will complete point prevalence testing for Residents this week on Thursday 04/08/2021 and staff and residents next week on Monday 4/12/2021.Until we have one round of all negatives from staff and Residents from 4/12/21 test date we are unable to have visitors inside. However essential care givers and compassionate care givers are able to come in the care center. For residents who are not in quarantine due to exposure they are still able to leave the care center for outings anytime they wish. Dining and activities will resume as normal for residents who are not in quarantine.

We are taking aggressive infection control measures which we believe will help us manage this situation as effectively as possible. We are working with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps. In addition, we are following recommended COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to protect our residents and staff from this virus and will continue to take every action possible to prevent it from spreading in our setting.

We will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or additional changes in our operations via Bright Arrow, email, website, and our Facebook page. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Autumn Herzog,

LNHA, Administrator

MDH Recommendations for Safe Family Gatherings

MN Department of Health

Information for Safe Family Gatherings

Plan ahead

Take steps to lower the risk of COVID-19

  • If you are unvaccinated, limit chances for contact with someone with COVID-19. Two weeks prior to your gathering, avoid people who do not live with you and settings where you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others. Avoid bars, restaurants, or carpools where people do not consistently wear a mask.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask when you are inside places other than your home.
  • Wear a well-fitting mask at outdoor events where you cannot stay at least 6 feet away from others. See CDC: Improve How Your Mask Protects You (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/yourhealth/effective-masks.html).
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly and ask people coming into your home to do the same.
  • Stay at least 6 feet from others who live outside your household, whenever you can.

Create a safe setting

Create a safe setting for visitors

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

Contact the nursing home or assisted living-type facility

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

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

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff twice weekly. We have not had a positive COVID case in our care center since 2/2/21. We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Currently, vaccines are being distributed to adults 65 and older, educators, school staff, child care workers, health care workers, and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. We have received many calls requesting information about vaccinations. If you qualify in one of the above categories, please check the state’s online vaccine locations map (https://mn.gov/…/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp) or contact your health care provider about appointment availability. Our staff and residents continue to have opportunities for on-site vaccinations through our pharmacy partnership. Our next clinic is on 03/09/2021.

Minnesota continues to see new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations as MN lessons the restrictions in public areas. The numbers of cases and attributable deaths are declining as vaccinations roll out. State and local health officials continue to stress social distancing, mask use, and frequent hand washing or sanitizing.

With vaccinations becoming more prevalent, and knowledge that vaccinations are providing a positive impact in reduction of active outbreaks; it is frustrating that use of PPE and visitation constraints must continue within our care centers. Until the CDC and MDH have supporting science to assure the spread of COVID-19 is reduced with vaccinations, we are required to maintain the same infection control protocol.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Browns Valley Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Autumn Herzog, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Positive Staff Member at BVHC

Date: 02/02/2021

Dear Community Members, Although not unexpected, today 02/02/2021 we have been notified of 1 positive staff member of Coronavirus (COVID-19) that got tested outside of our routine testing. This employee did work 48 hours prior to having symptoms which puts our building in full droplet isolation that will take effect today 2/2/21.

This employee is currently self-quarantining at home. Due to the active cases of COVID in our community we limit visits to closed window and virtual visits. We will continue entire site testing until we have 2 weeks of negatives, we will complete point prevalence testing for Residents this week on 2/4/2021 and staff and residents next week on 02/09/2021.

We are taking aggressive infection control measures which we believe will help us manage this situation as effectively as possible. We are working with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to ensure we are taking all appropriate steps. In addition, we are following recommended COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) to protect our residents and staff from this virus and will continue to take every action possible to prevent it from spreading in our setting.

We will continue to update you on any news, emerging issues, or additional changes in our operations via Bright Arrow, email, website, and our Facebook page. We appreciate all the support, prayers, and offers of help that we’ve received. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Autumn Herzog, LNHAAdministrator

320-695-2165

aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff weekly. We will continue to test staff and residents weekly until we have 2 weeks of all negatives.  We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This week’s results:

1/19/21 Test date# Staff Tested: 55  Staff Positives: 0  Staff Negatives: 55  
1/19/21 Test date# Residents Tested: 28  Residents Positive: 0  Residents Negatives: 28

BVHC has moved out of PPT as we have not had a positive COVID since 12/31/20. We are still in the “yellow zone” and need to conduct testing weekly for all who enter the building. If you would like to get tested on our current testing schedule you must contact Deb Heck at 320-695-2165 ext. 30 by 12pm o 1/25/21.

This week, Minnesota is beginning a new COVID-19 vaccine pilot program. There will be nine vaccine sites that will serve persons 65 years of age and older as well as prek-12th grade educators, school staff, and child care workers. All appointments available for the nine sites were immediately booked. These sites will begin administering vaccines at the end of this week.

We are thrilled to see the enthusiasm and determination of our community to be vaccinated and help protect our most vulnerable from the COVID-19 virus.  The CDC has released data proving that this Pandemic has disproportionately affected seniors. From May 2020 to August 2020, 78% of COVID-19 deaths were aged 65 and older. As a reminder, our care center will be hosting 3 separate clinics for vaccinations for our staff and residents. Any residents or staff members who were unable to attend the first clinic are encouraged to attend the 2nd and 3rd clinics for their free vaccinations. Our next clinic is on 2/9/2021.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Browns Valley Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Autumn Herzog, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

COVID Update

Dear Family and Friends,

As of today, we have no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our care center. Our care center continues to test staff weekly. We will continue to test staff and residents weekly until we have 2 weeks of all negatives.  We are following recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

This week’s results:

1/12/21 Test date# Staff Tested: 52  Staff Positives: 0  Staff Negatives: 52  
1/12/21 Test date# Residents Tested: 29  Residents Positive: 0  Residents Negatives: 29

Please be patient about changes in safety protocols as vaccinations roll out across Minnesota. Even though the vaccine is here, the virus is still being transmitted throughout our state and we need to continue to be cautious to protect the health and well-being of residents and staff.

Until we receive updated guidance from the State, we ask that everyone, even those not connected directly with our care center, continue infection prevention and control practices. Please wear a mask, wash your hands, don’t touch your face when you’re out and stay home if you’re feeling sick.  These measures will help keep the positivity rate low and allow our care center to host safe and socially distanced visitation for residents.

Looking for ways to help? We have a variety of positions available with flexible scheduling and on the job training. For more information or to apply, visit www.jobswithus.org.

Please follow our Facebook page (@Browns Valley Health Center) or our website (www.sfhs.org) for all COVID updates and information on what is happening inside our care center. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Autumn Herzog, Administrator, at 320-695-2165 or by email at aherzog@bvhc.sfhs.org if you have any questions or concerns.

Falls Prevention

Browns Valley Care Center, an affiliate of St. Francis Health Services of Morris (SFHS), is pleased to announce we were recently awarded a Minnesota Nursing Facility Performance-based Incentive Payment Program (PIPP) grant by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) focused on preventing falls.  The initiative for fall prevention and fall reduction began January 1, 2021 and will continue through December 31, 2022 within our care center and related SFHS’ skilled nursing care centers.

The Falls Prevention Project will provide our care center with additional resources to make positive system improvements to prevent falls for individuals receiving services that is focused on each individual’s preferences and needs.  This program will have three components; expanding falls prevention and person centered education, implementing Safe Being technology, and increasing exercise program opportunities.

The education component of the Falls Prevention Project comes to us with a new partnership with Pioneer Network to expand our work force knowledge of Person Centered/Directed care. Pioneer Network is the national leader for culture change that advocates and builds a culture of aging where individual choices are respected and fosters care that is directed by the person receiving it.  Staff will learn how to better address needs and lifestyle choices to reduce an individual receiving services’ risk for falls. 

In the second part of our Falls Prevention Project, we will be installing Safe Being technology in our care centers.  The Safe Being system provides the capability for real time remote monitoring while respecting the person’s privacy.  Safe Being uses a watch-like device that provides data on lifestyles and daily activities and interprets gestures identifying how/when a resident is moving, eating, drinking and sleeping.  Each person wearing the device will send an alert when there is a change in status or has been identified as being at risk for a potential fall or has fallen. 

The third component of the Falls Prevention Project will be increasing exercise program opportunities such as Bingocize and Otago to improve strength, flexibility, and balance to help reduce falls. 

The Falls Prevention Project is intended to build sustainable practices throughout our care center beyond the original two year grant period.  SFHS is a faith-based, not-for-profit healthcare organization.  In addition to their skilled nursing care centers, they offer a variety of services that include customized/assisted living, a full range of therapies, senior housing, transitional and skilled nursing care, and behavioral and residential programs throughout the State of Minnesota.