Samaritan Bethany Joins CHHSM

Samaritan Bethany joins CHHSM this month as its newest member in an effort to better serve residents and team members. The senior care community located in Rochester, Minn., provides assisted living, independent housing and a nursing home, all on one campus.

Pastor Jean Boese, a United Church of Christ pastor and chaplain for Samaritan Bethany, suggested that the organization apply. “Becoming a CHHSM member is a public affirmation of our intent to be the hands, the heart, the voice of Christ to the elders we serve,” she said.

Boese is glad that Samaritan Bethany will become part of something larger than itself. “Always stronger as part of a like-minded group rather than standing alone, CHHSM membership allows us to pursue justice in new ways for our staff through participation in the Pension Boards, and to be part of a system that helps do justice in the health and human services field,” she said.

Sue Knutson, mission leader and CEO of Samaritan Bethany, is looking forward to being part of the CHHSM family. Knutson is searching for more cost-effective ways to insure her 430 employees.

Samaritan Bethany employs mainly “homekeepers” and nursing staff. Of its 200 employees who are eligible for insurance, only about 50 percent participate. “We have a variety of reasons why they don’t take our insurance, ranging from they are eligible for county assistance or it’s just too expensive and they make the choice not to take it,” Knutson said. Samaritan’s current health insurance plan carries a $5,000 deductible for individuals and an expensive premium.

Being part of CHHSM means affordable, comprehensive health care, dental care and pharmaceutical services.

“We are proud to welcome Samaritan Bethany to the CHHSM family,” says the Rev. Danielle K. Bartz, CHHSM program associate. “It’s important to us that our ministries are well taken care of and can access what they need to perform their work at its highest level.”

Samaritan Bethany started in 1922 as the Convalescent Hospital and Hotel of Rochester. It was established and operated by the Men’s Fellowship of Peace United Church of Christ of Rochester as an extension of the church to serve those in need.

More than 264 seniors live on the downtown campus, which offers long-term and short-term care. Samaritan Bethany Home on Eighth has 182 skilled nursing beds. Arbor Terrace has 32 units in its assisted living and memory care assisted living section and 50 independent apartments.

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