Fundraising for new Manor successful!

By Scott Tedrick

News Editor

It’s a little painful for Mark Jensen to look back at the last years of his father’s while confined to a nursing home up north. Paralyzed by a sudden stroke  in Valentine’s Day 2002, Jensen recalled how tough it was to see him suffering, not only from the loss of function, but the loss of dignity as he had to exist in such a state while packed tight into a tiny, six–person room separated only by a cloth divider.

“He would have accidents happen and they would have to clear everybody out of the room so that staff could clean up and wheel him into the bathroom,” recalled Jensen. “To me, everyone should have their own room with a bathroom and shower, and when those things do happen you can still maintain the dignity at the end of life that we were all born with.”

With the memory of his father’s tears as he begged to be brought home still fresh in his mind, Jensen says that he has embraced the opportunity to help others avoid such indignities as a member of a ten member community leadership team working to raise $2 million for the new Granite Falls Manor.

“I get my passion for the project from my father,” Jensen said simply.

Capital campaign

Since December the leadership team has worked to roll out a Community Capital Campaign under the guidance of fundraising experts, Jackson and Associates, of Evergreen, Colorado.

Thus far the leadership team has reached to lead business and individual donors––and with nearly $1.4 million of the $2 million capital campaign in hand, to say that the effort has been successful thus far is an understatement.

“I’ve been blown away by what people have committed,” said Granite Falls CEO and Manager George Gerlach. “To see the level of confidence and support for our vision to service the community… I don’t know how to say how gratifying that is.”

The city of Granite Falls broke ground on a new Manor facility this past August on Jordan Drive east of Granite Ridge Place, an independent living senior housing facility.

A $11.8 million, 40-year USDA Rural Development loan, is funding the 48-bed nursing home which consists of two, 24 resident ‘neighborhoods’ and ‘four,’ 12 resident households,” for 40 private rooms and eight semi-private rooms.

The original loan, Gerlach said, covers the barebones of the project while the fundraising efforts will serve to provide the bells and whistles––from aesthetic landscaping to indoor barbecue equipment––that has the capacity to make the Granite Falls facility the standard when it comes to the western Minnesota manor facilities.

“Statistics say we’re all going to end up in a nursing home some day,” said Jensen. “That’s why we want this to be a nice campus where anyone would want to go.”

While well on the way with the capital campaign, a half-million dollars is still a long ways to go.  Jensen said the next step for the capital campaign is to pursue loans from area organizations and individuals until donations, regardless of their size, see the hospital and manor reach or surpass their goal.

For an example of how many hands make for light lifting, one need look no further than the Granite Falls Hospital and Manor staff itself where 29 employees have given over $50,000, either in cash donations or payroll deductions.

Jensen says he hopes to continue to tap into the community members generosity so that the Manor is able to realize its fullest vision, but that he doesn’t want them to feel as if they’ll be harassed while heading down main street.

“We just want a nice campus where anyone would want to go,” he said.

Construction of the project is slated to be completed in late summer, early fall. Individuals interested in contributing to the project should contact Sheryl Walters at 320-564-6202 .

All radiology tech’s now CT registered!

The Granite Falls Municipal Hospital Radiology department is dedicated to giving their very best to the patient’s we serve. We are very excited to announce, that ALL of our Technologist’s are now CT registered. This means that they have passed an advanced examination in CT. We are also accredited by the ACR or American College of Radiology in both CT and mammography.


Angie Neuman and Chantel Jaenisch


Greg Frank and Shannon Sander


Kayla Anderson and Alyssa Amborn


Granite Falls Hospital now has a Certified Lactation Consultant!

Debbie Eakes, Childbirth Educator at Granite Falls Hospital, has passed her Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC) course and exam. Her services are going to offered to all breastfeeding mothers who deliver at the Granite Falls Hospital. If you have questions, please call 320-564-3111 and ask for the nurses’ station. The nursing staff can assist with questions regarding breastfeeding and get you touch with Debbie if needed.

EAKES DEBBIE 358 - PhotoShare

Debbie Eakes


More information about Debbie:

I’d like to introduce myself as one of the new Childbirth Educators with Granite Falls Municipal Hospital. I am experienced both personally and professionally with childbirth; I am a mother of seven, ranging in age from 9 to 33, and also a grandmother to four.

In various locations where our family has lived I have become involved with pregnancy programs. In Monterey, CA, it was with the local high school pregnancy and childcare programs. In San Diego, Care House Life Ministries, placing women in crisis pregnancies into shepherding homes. While in the Hampton Roads, Virginia I volunteered as a coordinator, instructor, and doula for the prenatal, childbirth and parent education classes at a local pregnancy center for eight years. I also volunteered as a doula for Operation Special Delivery serving the spouses of deployed servicemen.

In 2006, my husband retired from the Navy and began medical school and I began midwifery school. I began apprenticing in August of 2008 and have trained with several midwives, participated in sixty births to date. Currently I am an assistant with Yellow Medicine Midwifery. I enjoy the opportunity to instruct new mothers in breastfeeding and consider it a privilege to help them walk through pregnancy and birth into motherhood. I have continued my education by attending four midwifery conferences, one with the focus on surviving sexual abuse. My future goals are to complete my midwifery education and support my husband in his family medicine practice. We have a heart to serve in rural communities and feel blessed to be in the Sacred Heart/Granite Falls communities.

Breaking Ground on the Future

By Scott TedrickNew Manor Ground breaking copy

The City of Granite Falls broke ground on a new nursing home this past August in a front of a crowd of community well-wishers. “We are very pleased to get to this point and be able to break ground after three years,” said Hospital General Manager and CEO George Gerlach. “It will be a facility that the community will be proud of and that residents will want to live in.”

Gerlach offered a brief speech before hospital staff and board members joined representatives of Tremain Architects and Planning, of St. Paul and Kraus-Anderson Construction in donning hard hats and tossing piles of earth to the air, to kick off construction of the $8.41 million, 48,000 square foot facility.

Located adjacent to Granite Ridge Place on the east side of town up on an 8.1 acre plot of land, the project will also include roughly $1.5 million in new street and utilities developments to the site on East Jordan Drive

Financed through USDA Rural Development, the project will replace original structures that date back to 1948 and 1959. That 57-bed nursing home was deemed “obsolete” in two separate facility studies that were implemented in 2002 and 2011.

Employing a modern, more cost efficient, single floor layout the new 48-bed manor plan goes to great lengths to address desires for more space and privacy while also featuring an array of additional upgrades amenities that would allow nursing home staff to cater to needs of most any type of patient.

Construction is expected to be completed in the fall.

New Manor Ground breaking copy

New Manor Ground breaking copy


Linda Ims Retires

After 22 years of service to the Granite Falls Hospital, Linda Ims, LPN has retired! She is a fantastic nurse and will be greatly missed by her co-workers and patients. Best of luck in retirement Linda! linda

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