I was all set to tee off on Sanford Health. But just maybe Doug made a difference.

When I heard Mott, North Dakota's Good Samaritan Society Nursing Home was closing this July, it made me wonder how this southwestern city of under 700 was going to cope with not having a nearby senior living facility.  More miles mean more infrequent visits and more of a disconnect for seniors that cherish their small cities.

It's true that economics drive decisions but at what price?

The Evangelic Luthern Good Samaritan Society is owned by Sanford Health.  There are more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations and world clinics worldwide. On July 22, 2022, there will be one less. That's the closing date of the Sanford Health senior living facility in Mott. The good people of Mott came up with a proposal to purchase the facility.

The good people of Mott were met with the evil of economics.

Good Samaritan Society-Mott executive Phil Samuelson released a statement pointing out the reasons for the impending closure. A decline in residents, staffing challenges, and increased operating costs all contributed to the decision.  The facility had only joined Sanford Health in 2019.  Surely the pandemic posed a problem for all assisted living facilities. So I don't begrudge Sanford's decision to cut their losses and move out of town.

It was a clause attached to the future sale of the building that got me furious.

According to Samuelson, there would be a stipulation in the sale of the building forbidding any future owner from using it for medical purposes. This shot down the plans and hopes of city leaders looking to find some other entity or individual to continue to operate the facility as senior assisted living.  It's slash-and-burn economics and it has no place in rural North Dakota.

Jumping forward to this week and hopefully a Sanford Health change of heart.

It seems that after some urging from our very own Governor Doug Burgum, Sanford Health President and CEO Bill Gassen has shown his group may be open to gifting the building to the city of Mott AND removing the language barring medical usage.

Hallelujah! It's a corporate conversion!

There's a lot of hard work ahead for Mott to make this work. Maybe it just isn't plausible to operate an assisted living facility in a truly rural area. But at least they'll have the chance. So without all the details yet released, I'll optimistically say thanks in advance to Sanford Health and hope the best for the good folks in Mott.

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