Brookings Health System Breaks Ground for New Skilled Nursing Facility

Posted: 5/16/2012

Brookview Manor residents and staff prepare to release 79 balloons to kick off groundbreaking celebrations. Each balloon is attached with a tag, asking people who find the balloon to contact Brookview Manor to tell them where the balloon landed.Although digging began in April, yesterday Brookings Health System ceremonially broke ground for construction of the organization’s new skilled nursing facility.

Celebrations kicked off at 1 p.m. with Brookview Manor residents and staff releasing 79 balloons, signifying the 79 licensed beds at Brookview Manor and the new skilled nursing facility.

Festivities continued at 5 p.m. with a public ceremony held in the Brookview Manor parking lot. Brookings Health System CEO and President Jason Merkley started the ceremony with a few opening comments.

Seventeen dignitaries dug the traditional first shovel of earth at the new skilled nursing facility construction site. Picture from left to right are: Brookview Manor Medical Director Dr. Dan Cecil; Former Board of Trustees Chair Rob Jones; Foundation Board Chair Roberta Olson; Board of Trustees Chair Al Baker; Long-Term Care Administrator Jason Hanssen; Brookview Manor Resident Joy French; CEO and President Jason Merkley; Brookview Manor Resident James Nichols; Director of Nursing Terri Mohror; Board of Trustees Secretary Jim Booher; Assistant Director of Nursing Jill Mutziger; Board of Trustees Member Arne Brown; Mayor Tim Reed; Board of Trustees Member Walt Wosje; Architect Rick Moore; Board of Trustees Member Sandra Faltemier; Board of Trustees Member Julie Whaley.“This new center reflects new trends in long-term care and a more social and interactive model,” said Merkley. “Baby-boomers will expect a higher level of care and technological advancements from skilled nursing. They will expect to live as active of a lifestyle as possible, even after they come to stay at a facility like ours.”

Following Merkley, Mayor Tim Reed, Brookings Health System Board of Trustees Chair Al Baker, and Long-Term Care Administrator Jason Hanssen also offered opening remarks.

After the opening speakers, a group of 16 dignitaries dug the traditional first shovel of earth at the site.

The groundbreaking ceremony coincided with National Nursing Home Week, May 13-19, which recognizes residents in long-term care settings and the staff who provide care and support services for them.

Construction of the new skilled nursing facility is phase two of Brookings Health System’s overall Master Campus Plan. The 67,000 square feet structure, being constructed under the guidance of general contractor Clark Drew construction, will triple the existing space at Brookview Manor.

Brookings Health System intends to build a pod-style facility with three distinct neighborhoods. Each neighborhood will consist of two households. Each household will accommodate 13 residents with a total of 26 residents per neighborhood. The neighborhoods and households will include kitchen and living spaces as well as private family dining rooms, spa areas and other amenities.

Centrally located between and connecting the three neighborhoods will be Town Center. Town Center will be the heart of social activity within the new skilled nursing facility and act as the community’s Main Avenue. Here residents will gather for social interaction with each other and loved ones, including religious services, coffee, and purchasing sundries. Areas to be incorporated into the Town Center include:

  • Country Store
  • Café
  • Library with Internet Café
  • Chapel
  • Beauty/Barber Shop with Manicure Station
  • Large Gathering Hall
  • Lobby and Lounge Area
  • Administration Offices

The new skilled nursing facility will initiate a culture change, creating a home-like, neighborhood environment focused on residents. It will adopt the universal worker concept, diversifying staff’s capabilities and consistently assigning them with a small group of residents. With more space and respect for residents’ rights, Brookings Health System’s goal will be healthier residents and individually tailored care.

More information and graphic renderings detailing the new skilled nursing facility is available on Brookings Health System’s website,

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed Brookview Manor nursing home, and Brookhaven Estates apartments. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock medical-nursing care for patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at