St. Lukes Home plans expansion projectDedicated June 2, 1958, just over 51 years ago, St. Lukes Home has been a source of long-term nursing home care in Dickinson
By: John Odermann, The Dickinson Press
Dedicated June 2, 1958, just over 51 years ago, St. Lukes Home has been a source of long-term nursing home care in Dickinson.
Construction of a new St. Lukes facility is set to begin this summer in an attempt to improve care and make it more of a “home.”
“We’re just really trying to create a facility that the residents that live there deserve to live in,” said Jim Ozbun, board member and chairman of the fundraising committee for the new St. Lukes. “We need to change the environment to make it into a home so that it’s more comfortable for the residents as they move into it.”
The $14.7 million facility will replace the existing facility with construction on a new two-story, 44-bed structure between the existing building and Park Avenue Villa.
Once complete, residents will relocate and St. Luke’s current home will be demolished with a new 40-bed two story section constructed in its place. During the second phase a “town square” communal area will be built.
The area will include a wellness center, game room, beauty salon, community center/theater, meditation chapel and coffee shop.
“All of this allows us, first of all, to better focus on our residents as individuals, providing them with an even better quality of care,” St. Lukes Foundation Director Yvonne Kroll said. “They will have more and more choices as to the things that they do and be able to keep their own calendar.”
The finished product, which Ozbun said the board hopes can be complete in two years, will include 84 rooms, 52 of which are considered private.
The existing building has 28 private rooms and 28 double rooms measuring 11 feet by 11 feet 6 inches.
The new building will have 52 private rooms measuring 12 by 15 feet with 16 semi-private suite-like rooms.
“Our goal is to give the citizens of Dickinson and the surrounding areas a place of comfort, peace, and enjoyment while continuing to receive high quality health care,” said Karen Boulden, St. Lukes administrator.
The resident’s rooms will be located in wings made up of 10-12 rooms called “households” and two wings will make up a “neighborhood.” Each neighborhood will share a community kitchen area.
“Living healthier and happier at St. Luke’s is the goal. Many new models of short and long term care are emerging throughout the United States. Small residential style living areas where ‘quiet’ is the word ... where there are no buzzers or bells or paging ... where private rooms, each with a bathroom and a shower is the norm ... where a few people eat together. Each choosing and then ordering from their menus,” Boulden said.
The construction will be funded through a combination of loans and philanthropy, Ozbun said, adding the board plans to raise $2.5 million in private gifts for the project.
Rates will go up Ozbun said, but that is unavoidable because they are set by the state.
“When you have a facility that will provide the kind of care that we are talking about the rates will definitely escalate just based on the formula that the state provides,” Ozbun said.