Thursday, August 18, 2016

Enhancing Education While Honoring Staff

Donors establish educational scholarship in honor of beloved therapist

Saint Therese serves nearly 1,000 people each day. Many of those individuals are supported by the efforts and expertise of the rehab division of Saint Therese called Saint Therese Rehab (STR).

Mark Stanfield was a physical therapist for STR at the Saint Therese of New Hope campus. He began his career at Saint Therese in August 2007; he was hired as a physical therapist to support the development of the Better Balance for a Better Life program.

“Mark was adored by residents, tenants and staff,” said Amy Taylor-Greengard, Executive Director of Saint Therese Rehab. “His easy going attitude and commitment to physical therapy made him a favorite among many at Saint Therese.”

Mark supported a variety of patients as they recovered from illness, injury or surgery. He was instrumental in establishing the therapy clinic in the apartment building at New Hope. Mark made a difference in so many ways, to so many lives, as he took the time to make sure each individual he worked with felt heard and that their concerns were addressed.

Tragically, in the summer of 2015, STR therapist Mark Stanfield unexpectedly passed away. As the Saint Therese community mourned the loss of their therapist, co-worker and friend, the wheels began turning on the best way to memorialize Mark’s commitment to physical therapy, seniors and personal development.

Mark’s Legacy
Taylor-Greengard shared that Mark was always looking for ways to improve the rehabilitation experience for residents and tenants through education, “the education of his own interest, of his fellow therapists and of the individuals and families he served,” she said.

“When we started receiving memorial gifts in honor of Mark we knew we wanted to do something special; something Mark would have wanted,” said Taylor-Greengard. “We wanted to recognize his dedication and commitment to professional development.”

Therefore, the Saint Therese Foundation along with generous support from Mark’s family, the Mark Stanfield Memorial Scholarship was established, shortly after his death.

Candidates for the Mark Stanfield Memorial Scholarship must be full-time therapists at Saint Therese Rehab in physical, occupational or speech therapy. Recipients are nominated by their peers as someone who emulates Mark’s commitment to serving others by providing an exceptional level of compassionate care, as well as a drive for continued excellence in their field over the past year.

“We’ve chosen to award one recipient each October for at least the next 10 years,” said Taylor-Greengard. “The therapist will receive a $500 scholarship to be applied toward continuing education in their area of interest.”

Additionally, each recipient’s name and year awarded, will be engraved on a plaque showcased in the rehab gym at the New Hope and Oxbow Lake campuses.

The First Recipient
In October of 2015 the Saint Therese Foundation awarded the first recipient of the award: Iva Carey. With 30 years of dedication to her profession, Iva delivers quality, compassionate and personalized physical therapy to those in need.

According to the STR staff, Iva has demonstrated her commitment to providing superior care by earning her certification in NDT (Neuro-Development Technique) and by becoming a Geriatric Clinical Specialist. Additionally, she serves as STR’s Clinical Mentor for the University of Minnesota’s Geriatric Clinical Residency program as well as operating as the lead physical therapist at New Hope.

“Iva consistently goes the extra step to support patients and other therapists to ensure the best outcome possible and states she ‘really enjoys her patient care time,’” said Taylor-Greengard.
Iva plans to use her scholarship to pursue additional education related to treatment of neurological disorders and treatment of balance disorders.

“We are just thrilled to be able to offer this scholarship in memory of Mark,” said Taylor-Greengard. “We truly believe he would be proud knowing others will carry on his commitment to our field.”

If you would like more information about the Mark Stanfield Memorial Scholarship call 952.283.2217.

To learn more about Saint Therese Rehab visit

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Grand Opening of Transitional Care by Saint Therese

Saint Therese, a faith-based senior care and housing organization, celebrated the grand opening of Transitional Care by Saint Therese on May 25. Located on the fourth floor of North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale; 32 private skilled nursing rooms provide care to patients transitioning from hospital to home due to illness, injury or surgery.
Transitional Care by Saint Therese is one of the few post-acute care centers located within a hospital setting. The partnership with North Memorial was developed to improve patient satisfaction and decrease length of stay for many conditions.
“Saint Therese continues to provide innovative care options that meet the needs of older adults,” said Saint Therese President & CEO Barb Rode. “Transitional Care by Saint Therese offers a unique setting for individuals transitioning from hospital to home. We are pleased to partner with
North Memorial Medical Center to offer this level of care for patients.”
Transitional Care by Saint Therese provides care that involves a multidisciplinary team working together. Patients benefit from a continuity of care by being connected to North Memorial Medical Center and may receive regular visits from specialized physicians and nurse practitioners, on-unit physical, occupational and speech therapists, registered dieticians and pastoral care staff.
The latest technologies are being utilized at Transitional Care by Saint Therese to provide the very best in patient care including: a two-way nurse call system, an automated medication dispensing system and on demand, in-room education.
Saint Therese is excited for this addition to its growing senior care organization. It remains committed to providing exceptional care and better outcomes.

Photo: Zaneeta Best, Clinical Director Transitional Care by Saint Therese; Barb Rode,
President & CEO Saint Therese; Marcia Glick, City Manager City of Robbinsdale; Jeff Wicklander, President North Memorial Medical Center; William Blonigan, Council Member City of Robbinsdale; Julius Webster Vice President/Senior Project Manager D.J. Kranz Co., Inc.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

A Community of Faith

While Saint Therese strives to support seniors and their families to age well and live a vibrant life, there is a unique community which offers the opportunity for families to just be present with their loved ones as they journey through end-of-life.

“If we can help a mother have a baby, we can help a grandfather die well,” said Nolay Freeman, Nurse Manager at Saint Therese at St. Odilia. “End-of-life is not something to fear, it is something to honor with your loved one.”

The team at the Saint Therese at St. Odilia community has an uncommon perspective on death. While some individuals view death as the end, staff at St. Odilia see death and dying as an opportunity to give individuals and their families the time and space for reflection, to remember and celebrate the past, while considering the future.
Each day, staff provide exceptional physical, emotional and spiritual care to individuals and their families. Yes, nurses administer medication, bathe and dress individuals, but they also pray together, share a meal together and experience precious moments of understanding together.

“We are here to eliminate the fear that is associated with death,” said Nolay. “We are here to listen, to offer support and to say ‘it’s okay’.”
Just as important, the team at St. Odilia provides a peaceful environment for families to simply enjoy their loved one, often for the last time.

“We are here to allow families to just be,” said Nolay. “We ask them to let us take care of their loved one and make them comfortable so they can cherish the moments that are remaining.”
However watching someone experience end-of-life can be a heart-wrenching trial. Often families become emotionally and physically exhausted by the journey. For the staff at St. Odilia, this is where they shine and where their true talents are shown.

Nolay recalled a story of a man whose wife was dying of breast cancer. After an exceptionally challenging moment the man went outside the house to sit in the garden. Soon after Nolay followed him outside and without saying a word, sat next to him and held his hand. After a period of time, Nolay broke the silence and asked “how did you meet her?”
The man sighed, smiled and began talking. The two talked for over an hour as the man was able to share stories of a time when cancer was not part of the conversation.

“Part of what we do is just listen,” said Nolay. “We have a unique and amazing team at St. Odilia. Their willingness to help and commitment to what they do is inspiring, and I think it shows in the way they care for our guests.”

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Welcoming Second Generations

Saint Therese has been serving individuals and their families for over 47 years. In those 47 years the organization has expanded from a single campus in New Hope to a multi-site organization serving individuals in their home or in one of three communities around the Twin Cities metro area.

Over those 47 years Saint Therese has seen many trends in health care come and go.

Recently, the New Hope campus has seen a new trend. Or rather they have begun to see a few familiar faces at the apartments; faces, which not long ago, were the adult children of parents who were tenants at the New Hope apartments.
New tenants like Charles “Chuck” and Roberta “Bobbie” Schumacher. Chuck and Bobbie were first introduced to Saint Therese back in the late 1990s. Chuck’s parents moved to the New Hope apartments and the care center following a change in their health.

“They liked that Saint Therese was a Catholic setting,” said Chuck. “They were active in their own parish and they had a lot of friends here at the time.” “They were so happy here,” Bobbie added. The couple was active at the New Hope campus participating in weekly events like cribbage, bingo and happy hour.

Chuck and Bobbie both laughed and smiled saying “they would tell the kids not to come during happy hour.”

The experience Chuck’s parents had at Saint Therese made a lasting impression on the couple. “We just always said that when the time came for us, we wanted to be here,” said Bobbie. “Saint Therese had everything we needed.”
Now, 14 years following Chuck’s parents, the couple is calling the New Hope campus home as well. Bobbie said that with the structure of their home and all the work that goes with it, “we couldn’t keep up.” “So, we called Pete,” Bobbie said with a smile. “It was just like calling family.”

Chuck and Bobbie moved to the New Hope apartments in August of 2014. With five children of their own, 11 grandchildren and three great grandchildren, the couple is kept busy with a variety of events and activities.
They spend most of their summers at “the lake” near Perham, MN enjoying time with family and friends. When they are home at the New Hope apartments, their busy lifestyle doesn’t change. The couple plays card games like 500 and helps out with bingo.

“It’s a friendly, Catholic community that I would recommend to anyone,” said Bobbie. “There is just so much to do we cannot take it all in.”

Thursday, March 10, 2016

A Community Within

I didn’t expect life at this age to be so exciting. Everyday, our lives are expanding with new experiences, friendships and love,” said Margaret Hittner as she reflects on an incredibly eventful year. At age 89, she and Don Vandergon are enjoying life at Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake as newlyweds.
Don and Margaret both moved to the apartments at Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake with their spouses, Catherine Vandergon and John Hittner. Several years ago, their spouses passed away.
It was a difficult time for them both, but family and community support played a critical role in getting them through it. They both attended support groups led by Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake Director of Pastoral Care, Sister Marie Fujan. “By her example, Sister reminds us that to live in community is to be supportive and kind to one another,” said Margaret. As years went by, supported by family and the Oxbow Lake community, they learned to cope with their loss.
Sometime after, Don and Margaret began to get to know each other at various community gatherings such as the bridge card group, swimming classes at the pool and at Mass in the chapel. One Friday afternoon at a happy hour in the dining room at Oxbow Lake, Don worked up enough courage to ask Margaret if she would like to join him for dinner. And so they would have their first date enjoying one of Don’s famous chicken dinners. Shortly after there would be romantic getaway drives to see the autumn leaves, afternoon cookie baking with friends and gatherings with each other’s families. “As we spent more time together, love grew out of an incredible friendship,” Margaret said.
In early winter of 2014, Sister Marie led a discussion after tenants viewed the film The Lost Valentine. As the discussion continued on, Sister said “at our age, if there is something that we would like to do, we’d better go ahead and do it.” Inspired by this message, yet still very nervous, Don knew at that moment that he had to ask Margaret to marry him. As Don looks back, he shares that “if it weren’t for Sister, I would probably still be procrastinating on this.”
Just a short time later, on Valentine’s Day, Don gave Margaret a box of chocolates, roses and a valentine card. The card read “Will you be my Valentine?” Then below, a handwritten message with another question from Don, “Will you Marry me?” There were four options for a response with check boxes available for Margaret to choose. “Check yes, elope to Las Vegas. Check yes, get married in the chapel. Check yes, you decide where. Check here if I should slow down!”  Margaret checked yes, to get married in the chapel. It was an easy choice for Margaret. “The chapel is so meaningful to the community at Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake,” said Margaret. “It is the center of life here and the perfect place for our wedding.”
They didn’t waste any time. They married on May 2nd of that same year in the chapel surrounded by family and community. A first ever Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake wedding, the chapel was packed full. To ensure that this moment was shared with all of their friends at Oxbow Lake, the wedding was broadcasted live from the chapel to the televisions in everyone’s apartment. Following the wedding was an elegant dinner in the dining room and club room.
As Don sits next to Margaret, reflecting on this past year he smiles ear to ear and shares “it is never too late to live life to the fullest. Our lives are so complete for us now.”


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Merry Christmas from Saint Therese!

This year's Christmas card features the Terhaars.

Ray and Carol Terhaar’s Saint Therese story began nearly 40 years ago when Carol was the personnel manager at the New Hope campus. The couple raised four children in the New Hope community; all of whom worked in various positions at Saint Therese.

"Ray was the only one who never worked at Saint Therese," Carol said with a smile. "We needed someone to pay for our gas and keep the lights on while the rest of us went back and forth to Saint Therese."

In their retirement, Carol became a volunteer and was a past-president of the Saint Therese Auxiliary while Ray spent more time perfecting his woodcarving skills. In 2011 the couple moved to the Saint Therese at Oxbow Lake campus.

"We love it here," Carol said. "It has all been a great adventure and now we have made a full circle back to Saint Therese."

Saint Therese is honored and blessed by families like the Terhaars.

(Woodcarving pictured right by Ray Terhaar.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Constant Advocate

Long-time donor Anne Dolan Kelly supports seniors, Saint Therese.

Each and every day Saint Therese is honored by individuals and organizations that support the company’s dedication to the well-being of each individual. Without generous donations made by these individuals, Saint Therese would not be able to provide the quality of care and compassion offered.

 Through the support of individuals like Anne Dolan Kelly, Saint Therese has remained a leader in senior care in the Twin Cities metro area.

Anne Dolan Kelly has been a champion for philanthropy at Saint Therese for nearly 30 years.

She was first introduced to Saint Therese by Betty Hidding, a close friend and founder of Saint Therese. Later, Anne’s aunt lived at Saint Therese for several years. Inspired by the exceptional care and values of the staff caring for her family member, Anne quickly became involved as a volunteer and fundraiser.

Fundraising was a natural fit for Anne. She joined the Saint Therese Auxiliary and helped to raise funds for the Saint Therese of New Hope care center. She was also instrumental in the planning of the Associate Dinner for many years.

Over the years, Anne’s commitment to Saint Therese was strengthened. As a member of the Saint Therese Board of Directors and Development Committee, Anne was always finding ways to inspire her friends and networks to become involved. Many current Board Members and donors today can trace their involvement back to Anne.

Anne also became a member of the Heritage Society. The Heritage society recognizes those who support the mission of Saint Therese through their wills, estate plans or charitable life income arrangements.

When asked why she decided to include Saint Therese as a beneficiary on her life insurance policy, Anne said “I believed that if I was going to be representing Saint Therese, I should be committed to giving generously myself.”

Over 30 years later, Anne continues to advocate for seniors still. She offers her unwavering support and thoughtful ideas for many Saint Therese events, as well as providing suggestions to the Saint Therese Foundation for individuals to get in contact with regarding donations.

Saint Therese is blessed to have an advocate like Anne Dolan Kelly.