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Area nursing homes get high marks on online rankings

FULDA -- Stars are abundant for Fulda's Maple Lawn Nursing Home at the Minnesota Department of Human Services online Web site. And that pleases Maple Lawn Administrator Arlan Swanson.

"I'm very pleased," Swanson said Friday. "It's kind of a feather to our staff who has worked very hard. Our turnover is low, and that helps all of our numbers. That helps us provide stable care."

According to the Nursing Home Report Card, which rates each of Minnesota's 396 certified nursing homes, Maple Lawn earns a perfect five stars (three stars is the state average) in resident quality of life, five stars (three is average) in staff retention, and four stars (three is average) in staff turnover.

Several other area nursing homes also rate favorably in key areas. Edgebrook Care Center in Edgerton has four stars for resident quality of life, five stars for Minnesota quality indicators which rates level of care (three is average), four for staff turnover and five for staff retention. Arnold Memorial Health Care Center in Adrian rates four stars for resident quality of life, four for Minnesota quality indicators, four for staff turnover and four for staff retention. Sogge Good Samaritan Center in Windom gets four stars for resident quality of life, five for Minnesota quality indicators and four for staff turnover. Crossroads Care Center in Worthington achieves four stars for resident quality of life and four stars for hours of direct care (three is the state average). Lakeview Home in Heron Lake, while getting just one star for staff turnover, gets four stars for resident quality of life.

The online site can be accessed at

Swanson said he is unsure whether all the Web site indicators are valid, noting the subjective nature of grading. As an example, he pointed out that he is unable to increase staffing levels because rates are set by the state. Generally, Swanson said, nursing homes do quite a lot with little because "quality is still tied an awful lot to resources."

Several area nursing homes rate at or below the state average in hours of direct care. Maple Lawn was given two stars in that area, while Lakeview, Sogge, Arnold and Edgebrook facilities earned three stars.

But Swanson likes the idea of the online site.

"We are all looking for good quality. I think, to focus people's attention on quality is a good thing."

While applauding his own staff, Swanson said there is good staff everywhere in southwest Minnesota.

"I can't imagine the people who provide care in Fulda are that much different than that of, say, Adrian," he said.

Doug Wolter

Doug Wolter is the Daily Globe sports editor. He served as sports reporter, then sports editor, news editor and finally managing editor at the Daily Globe for 22 years before leaving for seven years to work as night news editor at the Mankato Free Press in Mankato. Doug now lives in Worthington with his wife, Sandy. They have three children and seven grandchildren. Doug, retired after a lengthy career in fast-pitch softball, enjoys reading, strumming his acoustic guitar and hanging around his grandchildren. He also writes books on fiction. Two of his stories, "The Genuine One" and "The Old Man in Section 129" have been distributed through a national publisher.

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