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Renville Health Care expanding services and its hospitality focus

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RENVILLE — With a waiting list that continues to grow, Renville Health Service in Renville has brought back four skilled nursing home beds, and will be adding four more on April 1.

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Cami Peterson-DeVries, administrator, said the facility was able to obtain state approval to return the beds in the RenVilla nursing home. It will bring the number of skilled nursing beds at the facility back to 52.

The return of the beds is among a series of improvements that were announced during an open house on Saturday. The health care campus was acquired by the non-profit St Francis Health Care system in 2005, and underwent a major renovation shortly after.

The renovation has made the nursing home well-known for its spacious atrium and street-themed corridors holding resident rooms. The atrium features towering trees and potted plants, a cabana, and flowing water. The resident rooms and corridors were remodeled to represent the fronts of houses on different streets in the community. The nursing home’s front lobby area replicates the community center of the community’s downtown.

An earlier decision to offer single rooms for all nursing home residents and transform from a “medical model to hospitality model’’ in approach has helped make this a facility of choice in the region, according to Jane Dikken, director of admissions and marketing.

It’s a facility that is also continuing to lead the way, said Dikken.

It is currently preparing to offer an adult care service beginning July 1. It will be able to assist five adults daily.

She said the facility is also adding two new suites to the nursing home. Each will feature a private living room, bathroom and bedroom.

The health system is also planning to develop a second spiritual area. The current chapel is located in a dining room area. The new, smaller spiritual area will allow for a more quiet and private time for residents and their families.

The nursing home’s emphasis on hospitality led it to revamp its food services strategy to allow residents to choose from at least two, main offerings at each dinner. Just like at a restaurant, residents make known their choice to a staff member who presents a menu at their table.

The nursing home also added a small café-style coffee room, the Cup of Joy. It is designed as a quiet setting where residents and their guests can enjoy conversation, coffee and treats, said Dikken.

The open house was also hosted as an opportunity to show the public the new exercise equipment added to the nursing home thanks to an annual fund-raiser golf event held at the Stony Creek Course.

And, the event was an opportunity for residents in the community to meet new staff joining the facility, Peterson-DeVries among them. The new administrator joined the Renville facility at the start of the year. She is an Atwater native.

The health system campus on the south edge of Renville also includes the Meadows on Main assisted living and East Ridge Court affordable care apartments.

The Ren Villa Health Services campus is one of Renville’s largest employers, with over 100 full- and part-time workers and an annual payroll in excess of $2 million.

Peterson-DeVries and Dikken said they also hope that the open house will let community members know that volunteers are always welcome. “We’re not sure the community knows how rewarding it is and how much of a difference they can make,’’ said Dikken.

The Ren Villa Nursing Home will mark its 50th anniversary this summer.

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Tom Cherveny
Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.
(320) 214-4335
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