National Guard completes 3-week stint at Good Sam

Published 9:00 pm Friday, January 21, 2022

Ten Minnesota National Guard soldiers recently completed a three-week stint at Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea as part of a statewide initiative to help address staffing shortages at nursing homes. 

Katie Davis, Good Samaritan Society administrator, said the Minnesota Department of Health on Nov. 23 announced applications for potential National  Guard assistance for shortages unrelated to COVID-19. 

An initial cohort of 400 National Guard soldiers were trained as certified nursing assistants or temporary nursing assistants and were deployed to the first round of skilled nursing facilities Dec. 6. Deployments were initially two weeks, but most facilities asked for and received an additional week of service. 

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Davis said the soldiers were in Good Samaritan from Dec. 27 through Tuesday and assisted not only with daily operational items, but were also able to assist in special projects on the campus. 

“I am so incredibly thankful for their service to our facility,” she said. “They truly made an impact on the lives of not only our residents but also our employees.”

She said Good Samaritan, like most other senior care organizations, continues to face workforce shortages.  

“They came into our building ready to serve our residents and our employees,” she said. “I will be forever grateful to each of the soldiers and the service they provided to our campus.”