Body and soul: Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck provides holistic long- and short-term care

In the summer, residents enjoy sitting in gardens and socializing with friends and staff.

Accessible bikes allow residents and staff to stay active and enjoy the outdoors together.

The Mobility Courtyard allows short-term residents to readjust to everyday situations, from walking on an incline to loading groceries into the car.

Dedicated nurses and therapists use Benedictine’s strong values to guide them in providing physical and spiritual care to residents 


In the Benedictine tradition, there’s a distinction between curing the body and healing the spirit. The integrated care team at Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck (BHCI) strives to do both, attending to residents’ physical and spiritual needs through holistic treatment and diverse programming. 


The residence consists of four different “neighborhoods”: a short-term rehabilitation facility, two long-term care facilities and a memory care unit. As part of the Benedictine Health System, it is sponsored by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth. 


“Work is considered a ministry, a vocation, a sacred relationship,” explains Director of Spiritual Care Fran O’Connor. 


She acknowledges that moving for long-term care isn’t always something people look forward to. Caregivers focus on getting to know residents, encouraging them to share their interests and participate in social and spiritual life at a level with which they’re comfortable.


“Our staff continues to invite, very nonjudgmentally,” says O’Connor. “And when that person ventures out to come to a musical event or go on an outing, that’s healing.”


The intentionality with which BHCI approaches residents’ well-being stems from a holistic view of what it means to be healthy. Residents receive regular care visits from nurses, as well as masseuses and even a music therapist.


“Our music therapist will go in one-to-one and play her flute,” O’Connor says. “Our healing touch person will go in and maybe do a hand massage or some aromatherapy. Our activities folks will do some reminiscing and storytelling.”


As president of the Resident Council, John Pollak is in charge of planning outings and special events. He can often be found reaching out to new residents, encouraging them to stay positive and branch out. 


“I like being with the other residents and have formed friendships since I’ve been here,” he says. “Some of the nurses I’ve been very close to. We joke around and have fun.”


Another thing that sets BHCI apart is the fact that many employees have been with the center for more than 20 years. It’s common to see staffers attend events and activities with the residents, occasionally bringing their own families along as well. With support systems in place to guide them through difficult times, employees are as much a part of the community as residents. 


“We even have one lady who’s worked here for 50 years,” says Marketing Director Nicole Ulrich, who volunteered at BHCI for six years before coming on full time. “I think that says a lot about our community.”


The center’s unique and thoughtful approach has earned it an over 90-percent satisfaction rating with short-term residents, as well as five stars for Statistical Care and Staffing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. An integrated community, as well as an integrated approach to healthcare sets BHCI apart. 


As dedicated caregivers devote themselves to residents’ physical and spiritual well-being, everyone heals and grows together in a supportive environment.


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