North Shore Health shares changes to Care Center and re-elects board officers

North Shore Health shares changes to Care Center and re-elects board officers

The first North Shore Health board meeting included traditional organizational duties such as the reelection of board officers, board assignments, and delegation to CEO/Administrator. In addition, during the Jan. 19 meeting, the board discussed recent changes to the Care Center and welcomed a presentation regarding senior care from Dan Nelson, the director of community engagement for LeadingAge Minnesota.  

The North Shore Health board started the meeting by reelecting board chair Kay Olson, board clerk Mary Sanders, and treasurer Randy Wiitala. 

Following reorganizational duties, the board listened to a presentation from LeadingAge Minnesota. Kimber Wraalstad, North Shore Health administrator, said the presentation provided insights into the issues occurring in long-term care. 

LeadingAge Minnesota recently wrapped up a long-term care imperative admissions survey. The data showed that in October, the typical care center declined 14 referrals, and the typical assisted living declined 3. It added up to more than 11,000 declined referrals statewide for the month. 

Wraalstad said the statistics are individuals looking for placement at nursing homes or facilities that are unable to accept due predominantly to workforce shortages and challenges. 

“And so as an association, we’re really asking for the legislature to assist with that,” Wraalstad said. “So we really need the legislature to participate in a long-term fix,”

During the presentation, LeadingAge Minnesota discussed with the board members ways to be involved and engaged with the elected senator representative and other elected officials. Wraalstad said she is meeting with legislators in March. 

There have been some recent changes at the Care Center. Wraalstad said North Shore Health implemented a new system to rearrange where the team provides care. 

“So we’ve kind of moved the Care Center around a little bit,” Wraalstad said. The Care Center is divided into two households: the ‘woods’ and the ‘waves.’ 

The ‘woods ‘household is for individuals who may need more assistance. Whereas the ‘waves’ household is designed for individuals who may not require direct hands-on caregiving, Wraalstad said. This new system will allow the staff to streamline care in an efficient manner. In addition, Wraalstad said the Care Center is in the process of reestablishing admissions to the local facility. 

“So we kind of want to figure out the best process to work with our existing team, continue to recruit, and then also continue to provide the excellent care that the team at the Care Center does,” Wraalstad said.

WTIP’s Kalli Hawkins spoke with Kimber Wraalstad following the Jan. 19 board meeting. Audio from the interview is below. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story suggested the Care Center was fully open and would allow full occupancy of 37 residents. WTIP apologizes for any confusion this caused.