Special to the Star News
Guardian Angels Care Center ended 2016 on a high note by celebrating on Dec. 8 the grand reopening of its 100 Wing, which is the original care center building which opened in 1965.
In the fall of 2015, following its 50th anniversary, the care center was awarded a moratorium exception grant by the Minnesota Department of Health to renovate its 50-year-old facility. When originally built, nursing homes served more as board-and-care facilities.
This meant residents were provided a lovely living environment but did not require many additional services. There were very few wheelchairs; residents used mostly canes and walkers and floor space for patient lifts and additional equipment was not necessary.
Today, the Guardian Angels Care Center is serving as a post-acute facility. Most of the residents are non-ambulatory requiring wheelchairs and patient lifts for mobility.
In 1965 bathrooms were not built with showers, space to accommodate wheelchairs and lifts or the required staff needed to assist residents. Aged fixtures and equipment made it difficult for staff to safely and economically provide for the increasing needs of residents.
The renovation provides for:
•New larger restrooms and energy efficient windows in all resident rooms
•An open, inviting dining room integrated with a new sun room
•Efficient nurses work area, nourishment area and entry vestibule
•Equipment upgrades including energy efficient boilers and air handling equipment
The 100 Wing Renovation provided for needed building upgrades but it did not provide residents and staff with “state of the art” technology, equipment such as patient lifts, and new furnishings for their rooms and common spaces. The funding gap was $600,000.
In recognition of Guardian Angels’ 50-year history and to “continue their legacy” of providing exceptional health care to seniors, the Guardian Angels Board of Directors launched the 100 Wing “Continuing Our Legacy” Campaign to raise these funds.
The campaign was a community wide-effort which raised $600,000 for Guardian Angels’ 100 Wing Renovation.
This feat was done in record time due to the leadership of campaign co-chairs — Jack Hines and Jim Barthel, major gift chair — Don Schumacher, and the generosity of supporters. Guardian Angels’ leadership was overwhelmed and thankful for the outpouring of support for this effort.
“To have a successful capital campaign it takes all levels of support,” said Deb Weston, the director of fund development. “All contributions are vital but lead and major gifts are crucial. The campaign committee was humbled by the generosity of so many that provided major gifts.”
Throughout the Wing are numerous plaques that recognize the individuals and companies that stepped forward by making a major gift.
Also, at the entrance of the care center are the two donor walls – recognizing donors who so generously contributed to this capital campaign and cumulative giving.
“This is a truly a testimonial to Guardian Angels’ superb leadership, staff, and volunteers who continue to carry out their mission of providing exceptional health care, housing and supportive services to seniors and their families in the spirit of Christ’s love,” Weston said. “Annually, the care center serves over 600 seniors and their families.”
100 Wing renamed Bailey Lane
Guardian Angels is thankful to the Bailey families for blessing them with the lead gift to this campaign and for more than 50 years of loyal service and support.
John Bailey Sr., a founding member of Guardian Angels Board of Directors, worked tirelessly to help bring a care center to Elk River. He not only gave generously of his time and financial resources, but as CEO of Cretex, encouraged Cretex and its leadership to give similar support, according to Guardian Angels officials.
His brothers, Albert and Charles, shared this commitment to Guardian Angels and provided their ongoing support.
“This great partnership with Cretex has continued for over five decades,” Weston said.
To honor the memory of John Sr. and Rosemary Bailey, Albert Bailey and Charles and Ann Bailey, their extended family including John and Patty Bailey, Musz Bailey, her children Tim and Maggie Bailey, Steven and Patty Miller; the family of Chuck and Ann Bailey; Mike Healy, and what the Elizabeth Bailey Watson Family have so generously provided the lead gift for the naming opportunity of the 100 Wing, it is now be known as Bailey Lane, Weston said.