When the operators of Selby’s nursing home announced plans to pull out of the facility nearly three months ago, the town’s residents took action. Selby is a town of less than 700 people in north central South Dakota. The community set out to raise half a million dollars to take over operations of their nursing home by December 1st.
Dan Biel is chair of Walworth County Care Center Incorporated—the non-profit Selby residents established to take over operations of the nursing home. After months of fundraising efforts, he says they officially took over operations just after midnight on Saturday with more than 400 thousand dollars raised.
“That’s very good, actually, and can get us up and operating," Biel says.
The non-profit is working with Nebraska-based Rural Health Development to manage the home. Biel says they’ve hired a permanent administrator and a director of nursing. Their focus now is ensuring a steady transition, but they’re also hoping to hire more locally-based nursing and CNA staff.
“—and help the local economy and help the local people out who need a job, and hopefully they come and work for us,” he adds.
Biel adds the fundraising efforts aren’t over now that the transition has happened.
“As a non-profit we’re always gonna need money unless we can make a lot of money, but in the nursing home industry now our goal is to be even at this time," he explains.
A community meeting Tuesday night resulted in a plan to send fundraising mailers to alumni of Selby’s high school. A local donor has agreed to match the first 20-thousand dollars raised from those mailers. Biel refrained from naming the individual.
Selby’s nursing home houses nearly 50 residents.