Paul Edlund

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Minnesota Nursing Home Provides Free Care For Patients

Minnesota Nursing HomeTypically I help spread awareness and discuss fair treatment of elderly citizens by calling out employees or care facilities guilty of neglect or negligence, but today I want to commend a hospice care center and it’s staff for their great work.

Our Lady of Peace hospice center in St. Paul provides free care to terminally-ill patients in the last stages of their personal battles. The home only holds 21 beds, but they are all free of charge for residents.

“It’s a place you really couldn’t explain unless you’re there,” said Paula Windsor, whose sister stayed in the home for two weeks near the end of her bout with colon cancer.

According to a 2011 survey, the average cost of a private nursing home room in Minnesota was $205 a day for a single room and $184 for a shared room. By providing free care, patients and family members can put money towards other medical bills and end-of-life expenses. Windsor said her sister could not have afforded care elsewhere when she was admitted.

Generous Donations

The Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne originally established the nursing home in 1941, and the Franciscan Health Community currently runs the home. Mike Randall, director of development for Our Lady of Peace, said the center is able to provide the free beds because of an endowment from the founding nuns and from generous donations.

“Our bread and butter is estate gifts,” Randall said. “No one knows why, because the sisters weren’t out promoting it.

While some nursing homes provide free care for hospice patients after their health significantly declines, Our Lady of Peace is believed to be the only Minnesota care facility that offers free services from the date of admission.

This is truly a great story and I commend the center and the staff who help the residents at a difficult time in their life. To learn more about the hospice center, or to donate to the cause, click here to visit their website.

Related source: Star-Tribune

Minneapolis Moves Forward With Police Body Cameras

Police body camsSlowly but surely, police body cameras are making their way into more police departments across Minnesota and the United States. Monday, the city of Minneapolis joined the movement by approving a $170,000 pilot program to equip 36 police officers with body cameras.

While the move will only outfit a small percent of officers, the pilot program is just the start of what the Minneapolis City Council hopes will be a major expansion over the next few years. The city has pledged an additional $1.1 million to the program beginning in the fall of 2015, but the council hopes to work out any potential kinks in the meantime.

To start, the 36 officers will be equipped with a camera in one of two locations: on their chest or attached to their eyeglasses. The city council wants to see which method is better at capturing video and less cumbersome for the officers. The pilot program will be evaluated each step of the way, with larger reports coming at a six-and nine-month intervals. It’s not certain when the police will begin wearing body cameras, but the city council is expected to hammer out the rest of the details by the end of the week

Minneapolis Follows Suit

Minneapolis is following in the footsteps of Duluth and Burnsville, who were among some of the first departments nationwide to adopt police body cameras, and the movement is gaining traction. Activists in Denver and New York City are demanding that the departments equip their officers with cameras, and the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri, only strengthened the support of body cameras.

I believe the pilot program will be successful and the city will look towards outfitting the entire force in the coming years. All it takes is one prevented lawsuit against the city to offset the cost of the cameras. It will be interesting to monitor the program as it gets going in the coming months.

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