Letter to the Editor: Supporting Scandia Village

Across the country, health care facilities such as hospitals and senior-care centers are facing unprecedented challenges. Though not necessarily caused by the pandemic, the challenges have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and in many cases, have been brought to a crisis point. 

In northern Door County, our own Scandia Village has not been spared these challenges. The facility is experiencing an unprecedented number of departures of loyal staff, safety and care violations cited by state inspectors, and difficulty in recruiting, training and retaining compassionate and skilled staff. We are grateful to dedicated staff members who have remained. 

Although there are no easy answers or quick fixes to the challenges, the undersigned have been working for several months as a community task force of concerned citizens who are committed to retaining Scandia Village as the vital community asset that it has been for the past 41 years. 

In 1981, Scandia Village was begun by a small group of local civic and business leaders who believed that a vibrant community includes the ability to care for its elders. Since Scandia Village’s inception, the community has supported this facility, which, for many years, has been highly esteemed and highly valued throughout the region. 

As a task force, we have been in conversation with management, staff, residents, family members and corporate representatives of Sanford Health, the present owner of Scandia Village. Sanford is a major health care system that concentrates on facilities that serve rural markets. 

From the beginning of our task force, the goal of our organizing and our action has been to work positively to ensure that Scandia Village remains a vital and flourishing community asset well into the future. We want our community to know that there is a group of dedicated citizens, working on behalf of the community and for our valued elders, to preserve senior care in northern Door County. 

Bob Lindahl, facilitator, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin; Ralph Blankenburg, Sister Bay, Wisconsin; Judy Bush, Sister Bay, Wisconsin; Dave Callsen, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin; Vonnie Callsen, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin; Kristy Champeau-Nelson, Ephraim, Wisconsin; Betty Chomeau, Ephraim, Wisconsin; Solbjorg (Sue) Daubner, Sister Bay, Wisconsin; Gloria Dougherty RN, MN, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin; Terry Goode, Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin; Paula Hedeen, Sister Bay, Wisconsin; Reverend Jim Honig, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin; Judith Jackson, Sister Bay, Wisconsin; Dr. John Ludwigsen, Ellison Bay, Wisconsin; Reverend Barb Sajna, Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin; Reverend Dawn Volpe, Ephraim, Wisconsin; Kathy Wagner MS, RN, Sister Bay, Wisconsin