October 01, 2022

Good Samaritan facility in Fontanelle to close

Citing “unprecedented stress” the pandemic has put on the senior care industry, Good Samaritan Society announced its facility in Fontanelle will close Saturday, Nov. 19. Family of loved ones living there were notified of the closure earlier this week.

A number of factors, including ongoing staffing challenges, a decline in the number of residents, increased operating costs and inadequate Medicaid reimbursement rates that do not keep up with the cost of care have unfortunately led to a situation that is not sustainable, the company said.

“Closures are always a last resort and we recognize this is a very difficult situation for the community,” said Good Samaritan Society executive director Dustin Scholz. “We look for creative solutions, but unfortunately, sometimes short-term fixes are not enough to address the long-term challenges. In Fontanelle, it has been extremely challenging to hire and retain nursing staff to ensure we can continue to maintain the high-quality, safe care our residents need and deserve.”

Scholz went on to say that Good Samaritan Society, and other senior care companies, need permanent funding solutions to support and address their workforce and resident care needs now and in the future. More than 70% of the residents Good Samaritan Society serves live in rural communities.

“We remain resolute in ensuring they have access to care as close to home as possible. We care deeply about our residents, who are like family to us, and are committed to a smooth transition of all residents to nearby Society locations or other locations meeting their needs,” Scholz said. “We are grateful to our staff for their tireless commitment and are helping them pursue employment opportunities, including at other Society locations.”

The idea of a nursing home coming to Fontanelle was the result of the 1962 annual meeting of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church. A committee was formed to seek more information. Through that process and much research, the community received the go-ahead in 1964 to follow through with the idea of such a facility. The Good Samaritan Center opened in 1965, but since then, many updates have been made to the facility.

The facility is currently home to 24 residents, a media relations person with Good Samaritan Society told the newspaper. It is licensed to hold 46 residents.

Good Samaritan Society also announced that a facility in Postville, Iowa will also close Nov. 19.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.