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Lennox Good Samaritan Society announces closure

While the greater Lennox area is thriving in terms of new homes and an addition to the elementary school, many residents may be shocked to hear that the Good Samaritan Society is closing its doors.

Residents who live in the facility, as well as staff, have been given a 60-day notice to find other options, according to a press release from Sanford.

The company stated that “Lennox will consolidate services with Society skilled nursing facilities in Canton and Sioux Falls, effective July 15, 2022.”

For the last 65 years the Good Samaritan Society — Lennox has provided an option for long-term care close to home, and job opportunities for many who don’t wish to drive to Sioux Falls.

Its long run will come to an end due to staffing issues and a lack of funding, in the midst of numerous violations.

The closure is due to difficulty hiring new staff, and a significant rise in cost of care, according to the release.

The Lennox facility was plagued by multiple violations, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The DHHS document sighted the facility for staff not wearing proper protective equipment for COVID-19 testing, a lack of proper ventilation in some rooms, and a long list of other issues and complaints from residents.

Often, only one or two people were staffed over the night shifts, according to the report, and Good Samaritan failed on multiple accounts to make sure residents had care plans that “reflect their current condition.”

There were many issues with answering call lights in an appropriate time frame — sometimes taking “one-half hour to 45 minutes,” for an answer. And that only scratches the surface of the laundry list of complaints reported by the DHHS.

“Everyone is stressed out,” one resident said in the document.

“The nights here were horrendous,” another resident said. Last week, The Good Samaritan Society also announced closure of locations in Clearwater, SD, and Newell, IA, both of which had many violations and issues as well.

Without additional funds, many nursing homes across the state face the same fate as Lennox.

The cost to run the facilities does not match the reimbursement from the state for many of the residents, the release from Good Samaritan said.

South Dakota has the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rate in the United States, according to a 2019 report from the South Dakota News Watch.

When the report was published, nursing homes were losing roughly $35 a day for each Medicaid patient. This caused a $42 million overall funding shortage for long-term care facilities across South Dakota.

Despite additional assistance from Governor Kristi Noem, the company stated “the reality is that we need permanent funding solutions to support and address our workforce and resident care needs now and in the future.”

Many employees have been working at the Lennox location for 5, 10 and 20 plus years, and will now have to find another place of employment.

When it comes to residents, many will be moved to different Good Samaritan Society locations or other nursing homes. While staff have been notified of not having positions any longer, many of them do not have new jobs yet.

“We are grateful to our staff for their tireless commitment and we are helping them pursue employment opportunities at our nearby Good Samaritan Society locations,” Vice President of Operations Aimee Middleton stated in a press release.

When asked for a comment from staff members for this article, the staff said they were instructed to not give comments to the press.


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