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Sanford Health considers options for Mott nursing home, including possible donation of facility to city

In call with Gov. Doug Burgum, Sanford CEO walked back a controversial deed restriction for the Mott nursing home.

Good Samaritan Mott
The Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Mott is pictured.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press
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MOTT, N.D. — The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, which is owned by Sanford Health, announced last Tuesday, May 24, in a letter to staff, families and residents that they would be closing their nursing home in Mott — the only senior living facility in the rural southwest community.

The city of Mott, in conjunction with several local business leaders and politicians, began the process of drafting a proposal to Sanford Health for purchase of the facility. Later the same evening, Sanford informed the city of Mott that it would be moving ahead with the closure on July 22, and putting the building up for sale with a stipulation that it could not be used for rendering health care services of any kind moving forward

A week later, on May 31, at the urging of Gov. Doug Burgum, Sanford Health President and CEO Bill Gassen indicated a willingness to gift the Good Samaritan Society building in Mott to the city. The announcement and subsequent conversations between Burgum and Gassen came amid widespread coverage of the planned closure and public outrage at a stipulation barring the future owner from using the facility for any medical purposes.

Doug Burgum
Gov. Doug Burgum urged Sanford Health CEO Bill Gassen to consider impact of Mott nursing home closure in phone conversations on Tuesday, May 31.
Dickinson Press file photo

According to the Governor's Office, instead of selling the skilled nursing facility, Sanford Health will consider donating the facility as well as remove the controversial deed restriction that would have prohibited the facility from being used for health care purposes.

During a more than 30-minute phone call on Tuesday, as a follow-up to discussions began following the announcement the previous week, Gassen offered to gift the facility versus selling it. The North Dakota Department of Human Services Executive Director Chris Jones, who also participated in the call, urged a greater focus on how to serve seniors where they are, through home and community-based services, transportation and nutrition programs.

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Sanford representatives told Burgum that they planned to meet with Mott officials Wednesday to discuss the facility’s future in greater detail.

“The Good Samaritan Society is an important employer and health care provider for Mott and the surrounding region, and we appreciate Sanford’s willingness to work with the community on options for the facility and long-term care in the Mott area,” Burgum said in a statement.

Sanford, which bills itself as “the largest rural health care system in America,” and is headquartered in Sioux Falls, has 47 medical centers, 2,800 Sanford physicians and advanced practice providers, 170 clinical investigators and research scientists, more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations and world clinics in eight countries around the globe.

Mott
The small town of Mott, North Dakota.
Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

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