North Ridge Health & Rehab

An update for the residents, families and friends of North Ridge

Dear Residents, Families and Friends of North Ridge Health and Rehab,

By now, you may have read or heard about a media report that criticizes the response to COVID-19 in Minnesota during the early days of the pandemic, including at North Ridge Health and Rehab. The personal stories that were told are heartbreaking, and we grieve along with the families who have lost loved ones, or who experienced confusion or frustration during these trying times.

As the largest care community in the state of Minnesota, we experienced a COVID-19 outbreak at the start of the pandemic, as response practices and reporting recommendations were being developed at all levels and in the midst of a national emergency. Even as our staff worked courageously to do their best in these challenging circumstances, tragedies occurred. As we know first-hand, and as every corner of our country has since learned, COVID-19 is a devastating, unprecedented, and relentless virus.

While that is part of the story, it is not the whole story. As dangerous and awful as COVID-19 is, at North Ridge Health and Rehab, it was met with valiant and steadfast efforts on the part of our staff to bring the virus under control. Unfortunately, the inflammatory media report referenced above, failed to recognize the discipline, focus, and bravery our caregivers dedicated to controlling the virus at North Ridge. In fact, we worked closely with other care communities and the State of Minnesota to provide diligent and compassionate care to COVID -19 patients. We are proud of the care we have provided to hundreds of COVID positive residents, in our effort to  ease the burden on our community health care partners and neighbors in crisis.

Reports of any lapses in the quality of care we provide always concern us. When improvements are identified, we endeavor to make them. We embrace the inspection process as part of our mission to provide the best possible care that we can. Please know that we have now had 25 consecutive state Health Department visits, and visits from the Centers for Disease Control, without any deficiencies whatsoever.

I know how much heart and effort our staff members put into caring for our residents and patients,. As we have battled the virus here, we remain committed to promoting employment opportunities for our staff and our Community. To support our staff and our Community, we implemented new rounding pulmonologists to support our growing respiratory care program and a formal partnership with LifeSpark, which gives us preferred status at North Memorial Hospital. We are also developing an in-house hemo dialysis unit which will enable us to help an under-served population in a nursing home setting —a first in the state of Minnesota.

We also know that our ability to provide quality care to some of our community’s most vulnerable people is what matters most. We can always strive to be better. Continuous improvement is a goal rooted in our CARES values of Character, Attitude, Respect, Excellence, and Service.

Most of all, I remain proud that these values are demonstrated every day by our “Healthcare Heroes”— our staff. They have worked bravely and compassionately throughout this pandemic.

North Ridge will press forward, during this pandemic and afterward, with respect and compassion for our residents, patients, and fellow staff members. We are currently preparing for the arrival of COVID-19 vaccines, perhaps as soon as the end of December, which represents a light at the end of this long tunnel by providing a new level of protection for our residents and staff. 


Austin Blilie
Vice President Operations

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