Co-ops provide vital gift to North Dakota long-term care facility

Three people standing with a temperature reader
Verendrye Electric Cooperative General Manager Randy Hauck presents the check to Kaylene Kitelinger, administrator of Souris Valley Care Center. Verendrye Electric Administration Assistant Val Heisler, who is also on the board of the care center, is at right.

Three cooperatives came together to equip a North Dakota long-term care facility with tools needed to care for its residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Basin Electric Class C member Verendrye Electric Cooperative, headquartered in Velva, North Dakota, teamed up with CoBank and Basin Electric to provide the Souris Valley Care Center, also located in Velva, a $7,500 donation to be used to purchase a vital sign monitoring machine and a temperature screening unit.

The vitals sign monitoring machine measures the basic medical indicators of health, including temperature, pulse, breathing, and blood pressure. There are now two machines at the facility which allow staff to more quickly check the vitals of all the residents.

The temperature screening machine allows individuals to have their temperatures checked simply by walking up to it. With this device there is no need to dedicate staff to take temperatures. It is an ideal alternative to handheld readers, as it reduces the risk of staffs’ exposure and frees up the their time, enabling them to focus more on caring for the residents.

Verendrye Electric administrative assistant and board member of the care center, Val Heisler, explains how helpful the donations have been. “The center only had one vitals cart and the addition of a second one was of particular importance when the center had to be isolating residents who had COVID,” Heisler says. “The temperature scanning unit was put in the entrance foyer to the center, allowing for employees and visitors to be scanned before entering the facility.”

Heisler adds why it was important Verendrye extend its support. “Verendrye was pleased to be able to help the Souris Valley Care Center with providing grant funds for these two pieces of equipment, which is helping them care for their residents and staff during the pandemic and beyond.  Verendrye has always had a strong commitment to community and we try to be responsive to the needs of our local communities,” Heisler says.