The Scuttlebutt 2018 in Review

125 Years of Caring for America's Heroes in Lisbon, ND

At the meeting of the First Legislative Assembly of the State of North Dakota, House Bill #305 and Senate Bill #60, entitled, "An Act Appropriating Money for the Erection of a Soldiers' Home at Lisbon, and for the Contingent Expenses Thereto", was passed and signed by Governor Andrew J. Burke on February 27, 1891. This bill appropriated money for the purchase of the land and the erection of the necessary buildings.

View this video to see the transformation of the North Dakota Veterans Home through the years.
125 Years of Caring for America's Heroes Saturday, September 8th 2018
Saturday, September 8th, 2018, was a beautiful day to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of the North Dakota Veterans Home. The day began with a fly over by Allen Yaggie in his 1950 North American T-6. American Legion Post #7 posted the colors and The Red River Valley Veterans Concert Band played the National Anthem. Master of Ceremonies, Robert Krause, led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. The audience listened to our many speakers, including several dignitaries, who shared information on the history of the North Dakota Veterans Home and reflected on the years of change we have seen and the future we need to plan for as we continue to care for America's Heroes.
Veterans Service Organizations Show Their Support
We were honored to have representatives from many Veterans Service Organizations at the 125th celebration. The individuals pictured and their fellow members are what sets the North Dakota Veterans Home apart from other facilities. Thank you for your unending support and generosity!
Volunteers of All Ages
All we had to do is ask and groups and individuals quickly volunteered their time to help with the 125th celebration. Individuals of all ages found unique ways of volunteering to make the day a success. We extend our heartfelt appreciation as we couldn't have pulled it off without our wonderful volunteers!
Families Enjoyed the Day
Time celebrating with family was the highlight of the day for several residents.
For More Highlights from the 125th Celebration View the Video
2018 at the North Dakota Veterans Home

Mark B. Johnson, NDVH Administrator

We had a number of amazing things happen in 2018.

In the spring we celebrated as some of our key staff won state and national awards. The North Dakota Veterans Home Foundation had a record turnout for its golf tournament in Mapleton. All proceeds raised at this tournament go to the Veterans Home to enhance programing and purchase equipment to improve the lives of our Veterans.

One of the programs the foundation has contributed towards is our aromatherapy program. We have seen significant milestones being reached with the implementation of this program. Residents have reduced their medications, behaviors have stabilized and residents are resting and sleeping better. The Aromatherapy program has been a great addition and we appreciate the support.

In September we celebrated our 125th year of operations. The celebration hosted approximately 800 people from several states. The event started with a 1950 North American T-6 plane fly over. We had excellent speeches by several dignitaries which were followed by a meal and great music.

The fall and winter kind of blended together with barbeque cook outs, car shows, a motorcycle rally and numerous Christmas parties.

We are currently experiencing a slump in our admissions on basic care and have seen a decrease in occupancy in the nursing home. We have worked with our local telephone cooperative, Dickey Rural Networks, to create some commercials that have already begun airing and Prairie Public Broadcasting did a television special on the Veterans Home.

Legislative session is upon us and we have made several trips down the icy and snow filled highways to testify on our funding bill, House Bill 1007. We have testified in the House and will soon be presenting to the Senate. We are hoping to get some of the budget cuts made by the House restored by the Senate.

In closing, I would like to thank Bob Nelson and Margie Ourenhagen for all their years of service. Both played a significant role at the Veterans Home and will always be remembered for all the things they did for the residents, staff and public. Their wisdom and sense of humor will be missed by all who worked with them. I hope their retirement will be everything they want it to be. They deserve a great one!


Mark B. Johnson, Administrator

Wanda Cavett, NDVH Director of Nursing, is the recipient of the 2018 Nurse Administrator of the Year award. Wanda received her award at the North Dakota Long Term Care Association’s banquet on May 2nd. Congratulations Wanda!

Here is an excerpt of what was read at the awards banquet:

Wanda is a very talented individual who credits her staff with being instrumental in helping the Veterans Home to be deficiency free for the last two years from the VA and State survey teams. During her tenure at the Veterans Home, she and her staff were instrumental in evacuating the building and staffing three different facilities during the flood of 2009. Wanda has great insight and always thinks outside of the box. She strives to build a culture of excellence and understanding. She is a huge resident advocate that is always willing to go above and beyond to meet a resident’s needs.

The North Dakota Veterans Home Staff and Governing Board thanks Wanda for her leadership and hard work. Congratulations from the residents, staff and governing board of the North Dakota Veterans Home.

We are proud to announce that Jann Neameyer, NDVH Director of Social Services, is the recipient of the Long Term Care Social Worker of the Year award. Jann received her award on May 2nd in Bismarck at the North Dakota Long Term Care Association’s banquet. Congratulations Jann!

Here is an excerpt of what was read at the awards banquet:

Multi-tasking is one of Jann's greatest strengths and she does that well as she serves as the Director of Social Services, Admissions, Activities and Transportation for a 150 bed facility. She is a hard worker and a born leader. Jann is known for thinking outside the box. Staff from all departments and disciplines seek her wisdom in difficult situations.

In all aspects of her many roles it is evident that Jann is a social worker. Jann is an advocate for residents and uses all resources to ensure that their needs are being met to the highest standard. From educating staff on resident rights, neglect and abuse and keeping the team updated on continuing regulation changes her guidance is invaluable. She has implemented Culture Change at the Veterans Home and has spent countless hours ensuring that the resident is the primary focus. Jann is not afraid of change and has helped develop staff roles into what they are today.

Congratulations from the North Dakota Veterans Home staff, residents and governing board.

Post‐Acute Care Administrator Receives ACHCA’s Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award

Washington, DC – May 10, 2018 – The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) honored Mark B. Johnson, Administrator of North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon, North Dakota with the 2018 Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award.

Fewer than 11% of facilities nationwide qualify. This year, 1,717 facilities met the selection criteria. Three hundred and fifty‐one administrators in 45 states were awarded the facility leadership award nationally.

Based on the premise that facility excellence reflects leadership excellence, this award recognizes the Administrator of record who provided such leadership for the full 2017 calendar year. Eligibility for this award is based on three years of skilled nursing facility (SNF) survey data, including the Health, Fire Safety, and Complaint Surveys, as well as top quarterly performance on designated Quality Measures. The criteria also include an 85% or greater facility occupancy and a three year avoidance of a Special Focus Facility status. This prestigious award is made possible with the support of ABILITY® Network Inc.

Activities of 2018


We had an amazing time at our Spring Fling this year with the theme being the fabulous 50’s. The day started with a meal of burgers and the fixings and ended with a performance by Elvis (Dan Wagner) and Marilyn Monroe (Elizabeth Bartholomay). They did a great job getting the whole crowd involved and we were lucky to have many family and friends here to share the occasion. The smiles and time with those we care about was priceless.


Our annual Easter Egg Hunt has become a highlight for many staff and resident families. Eggs are hid all over the main part of the building and the kids all scatter to get them when their age group is called. The Easter Bunny (aka Brenda Elijah) is there to hand out candy and take pictures with the kids. The Basic Care Resident Council buys a boy’s bike and a girl’s bike complete with helmets to be given away. There are also many other neat prizes to pick from.


A picture is worth a thousand words! A day on the lake fishing with fellow Veterans is good for the soul. Thank you to "Let's Go Fishing" for sponsoring and organizing this memorable trip.


We are very thankful for the compassion and kindness the North Dakota National Guard members have shown to our residents over the years. Each year Guard Members raise money and personally shop for a requested item for each resident of the Veterans Home. This party is a highlight of the season and the residents enjoy visiting with the guard members just as much as opening their gifts.


One of the neat events that happens every year is the American Legion Auxiliary Gift Shop. This is truly a remarkable day! The Town Hall is filled up with gifts such as cologne, blankets, tools, food trays, clothing, jewelry etc. The residents are able to pick out one gift for themselves and 2 gifts for other people who are special in their lives. These gifts are then wrapped and mailed/delivered to those special people. This is all done at no cost to the residents. This is a true picture of giving back to the Veterans and making their Christmas special by enabling them to give gifts to individuals they care about. There are many Auxiliary members that come from all over the state to help on this day. It is a huge event and is what Christmas is all about! Carol Jantz has been the leader of this event for many years and we are truly blessed to have somebody so dedicated take on this big undertaking year after year.


The residents enjoyed receiving gifts from the jolly crew of the West Fargo VFW. You are never too old to receive a visit from Santa.


Our annual “Poker Run” that we hold in December was a blast! This year we had many individuals tell us that their cheeks and stomachs hurt from laughing so hard. It is one of the few events we have where the whole building gets involved. Each year this has been done a little different and it involves some “friendly” competition. There are several teams formed in different areas of the building; each team must come up with a team name and a theme. The staff dress up based on the theme and have food, games and fun at their stop. The residents go from place to place gathering poker cards and enjoying each area. At the end of the event the resident with the best poker hand wins a grand prize. The team that has been voted as “most fun” receives a traveling trophy. This year the teams included “Redneck Christmas”, “The Christmas CoCo Nuts”, “Candy Land Christmas”, “Football Christmas”, “Super Hero Christmas”, “The Waddlers”, and “The Island of Misfit Toys”. There are already plans in the works for next year.


Vacation Bible School students teamed up with residents to write letters to our troops. Marvin N. enjoyed working with the kids.
Bob I., WWII Veteran, kept the students on task as they penned their good wishes to some hometown soldiers.


Mrs. Webb calls us every year at the beginning of the school year to set up several dates for her class of second graders to come to our home. Her class comes to do projects, interview the Veterans and visit. It is always entertaining and the special connections that are made are what is truly special.


The Oakes Girl Scouts personally delivered cookies to residents. The American Legion Auxiliary of Oakes sponsored this project which was a hit with the residents!


Mr. Lacina brings his class to help with the Pancake Breakfast every Veterans Day. The students help clear plates, serve the Veterans and thank them for their service to our country. The best part of this day is the conversations that happen and the time they spend visiting with the Veterans.
They also come to help us decorate for Christmas –which is no small task with a building this size! Thank you to the younger helpers pictured also.


Thank you to Deb Lee, Ransom County Extension Agent, for securing a gardening grant and working with the Hill and Valley 4-H kids to plant flowers throughout the campus. Several 4-H groups have visited us this year and sponsored bingos and other events. Thank you!
The Ransom County 4-H clubs joined forces to take down the Christmas decorations at the Veterans Home in record time.


The support we receive from Veterans Service Organizations such as the VFW, American Legion, AMVETS, DAV, VVA, Auxiliaries and motorcycle clubs is amazing. The Veterans love and appreciate that these groups come from all over (especially when it is from their home towns). Thank you for making such an impact on the Veterans Home and the lives of our residents .


The North Dakota Veterans Home Foundation Board had a successful Golf Tournament in Mapleton at the Maple River Golf Club in 2018. The Veterans Home is grateful for all the Foundation Board and it's members do to contribute to the quality of life for our residents.

To register for the 2019 Golf Tournament set for June, 14th at Maple River Golf Club contact Richard Belling 701-541-7222 or Robert Krause 701-680-0567.

Proudly golfing for Veteran Richard Moritz.
Veterans from all over the state came to participate in the tournament.
  • Lori Reed
  • Kevin Clauson
  • McDouglas Pewee
  • Jana Anderson
  • Alicia Sorby
  • Melissa Gilbert
  • Codee Fleck
  • Alyssa Thielges
  • Jeff Harris
  • Callista Martinez
  • Amanda Saxerud
  • Haley Rotenberger
  • Nancy Kath
  • Kaila Gruba
  • Kenzie Schwab
  • Brenda Honl
  • Samantha Lamb
  • Haley Wheeler
  • Krissy Holmstrom
  • Merle Reed
  • Kali Hanenberg
  • Amber Nims
  • Vikki Gates
  • Justine Bauer
  • Toni Flannery
  • Heather Gillespie
  • Lisa Lautt
  • Kaitlyn Wurtz
  • “Let’s Go Fishing” group
  • 188th Army National Guard Band
  • Air National Guard, Junior Enlisted Advisory Council of Fargo
  • Alaska Regional Office, Dept. of Interior, Natl Park Svs, Anchorage AK
  • Alexis and Regan Reinke
  • Aliceton 4-H Club of Lisbon
  • American Legion Auxiliary Dept. of ND
  • American Legion Auxiliary District #8
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #139 of Tioga
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #160 of McHenry
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #162 of Tolna
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #19 of LaMoure
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #213 of Sherwood
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #230 of Makoti
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #250 of Gackle
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #258 of Halliday
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #261 of Almont
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #265 of Streeter
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #298 of Ross
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #35 of Lignite
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #36 of Oakes
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #548 of Walcott
  • American Legion Auxiliary Unit #7 of Lisbon
  • American Legion Post #1 of Bismarck
  • American Legion Post #11 of Cavalier
  • American Legion Post #133 of Turtle Lake
  • American Legion Post #160 of McHenry
  • American Legion Post #181 of Thompson
  • American Legion Post #19 of LaMoure
  • American Legion Post #21 of Lakota
  • American Legion Post #221 of Sheldon
  • American Legion Post #223 of Erie-Arthur
  • American Legion Post #258 of Halliday
  • American Legion Post #265 of Streeter
  • American Legion Post #29 of New Town
  • American Legion Post #38 Brampton
  • American Legion Post #42 of Bottineau
  • American Legion Post #62 of Walhalla
  • American Legion Post #7 of Lisbon
  • American Legion Post #72 of Napoleon
  • American Legion Post #90 of Center
  • American Legion Post #92 of Northwood
  • American Legion Riders of Larimore
  • American Legion Riders of Oakes
  • AMVETS Auxiliary #10 of Minot
  • AMVETS Auxiliary #3 of Valley City
  • AMVETS Auxiliary #7 of Fargo
  • AMVETS Auxiliary #9 Bismarck
  • AMVETS Post #3 of Valley City
  • AMVETS Post #7 of Fargo
  • B&G Motorsports and Cycle Groups of Jamestown
  • Benji and Bobbie Froemke
  • Betty and Leonard Wall of Mayville
  • Betty Bauer Aipperspach
  • Bruce and Mary DeLange
  • Chase Justice and family of Williston
  • Chris Shields of Grand Forks
  • Cindy Koth of West Fargo
  • Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association 42-1XO
  • Concordia Lutheran WELCA of Benedict
  • Darlene Spooner of Casselton
  • Daryl Kuhnhenn Memorial Ride of Rugby
  • Daughters of American Revolution Dakota Chapter Sutton
  • DAV Auxiliary Unit #1 Fargo
  • DAV Auxiliary Unit #2 Grand Forks
  • DAV Auxiliary Unit #24 Valley City
  • DAV Auxiliary Unit #31 of Jamestown
  • DAV Auxiliary Unit #4 of Minot
  • DAV Chapter #2 of Grand Forks
  • DAV Chapter #24 of Valley City
  • Doosan Company of Gwinner
  • Flasher FCCLA
  • Gary Ebertowski of Grand Forks
  • Harold Weininger of New Town
  • Helen Bulzomi of Wimbledon
  • Hill and Valley 4-H Club of Lisbon
  • James F Dahl of Dickinson
  • Jamestown Drum and Bugle Corp
  • Janel and Paul Ruud of Fargo
  • Jeff & Jolette Krabbenhoft of Fargo
  • Jessica Close of Grand Forks
  • Jodi Burkhardt Bruns of Oakes
  • Kent E Hollands of Grand Forks
  • Kulm School Students
  • Lawrence D Hansen of Almira, WA
  • Lincoln Sportsman Club
  • Linda C. Ohm of Mandan
  • Lisbon 2nd Graders Mrs Webb and Mrs Rolf
  • Lisbon 5th and 6th Graders Mrs. Falk
  • Lisbon Boy and Girl Scouts
  • Lisbon High School Class of 1968
  • Lisbon Ransom County Fair
  • Loren Hudson and Earl Fust of Wyndemere
  • Loy Larson of Fargo
  • Maggie Stark of Grand Forks
  • Marie B Smith of Grand Forks
  • Mary Gorgi of Upham
  • Mary Jane Salwey of Rugby
  • MECCA chapter #5 O.E.S of Fargo
  • Mooreton Lutheran Church
  • Moose Lodge #239 Williston
  • ND Air Force Association of Minot
  • ND American Legion Riders Dist. 10
  • ND Korean War Vets of Sharon
  • NDVH Foundation
  • North Dakota Patriot Guard of Spiritwood
  • Our Redeemer Lutheran Church of Edgeley
  • Pat and Kristal Tanner and family
  • Patricia Lee of Ellendale
  • Paul and Kara Fladland of Fargo
  • Paul Swantstrom of Fargo
  • Paulette Leinen of Fairmount
  • Red River Valley Veterans Concert Band
  • Richard Johnson of Fargo
  • Richard Johnson of Grand Forks
  • Richard M Goellen of Fargo
  • Rose Ann Fehr of Wimbledon
  • Second Brigade Motorcycle Club of Lincoln
  • St. Agatha's of Hope
  • St. Thomas Senior Citizens
  • Stacy Spilovoy-Walton and family of Lisbon
  • Standing Rock Lutheran Church WELCA of Fort Ransom
  • Steve Voightman of Oakes
  • Steven A. Volk of Mandan
  • The Primetime Choir
  • US Dept. of Interior Natl Park Service Alaska Region of Anchorage
  • VFW Auxiliary #1326 of Bismarck
  • VFW Auxiliary #1874 of Grand Forks
  • VFW Auxiliary #2764 of Valley City
  • VFW Auxiliary #3507 of Britton, SD
  • VFW Auxiliary #4221 of Mayville
  • VFW Auxiliary #4251 Esmond
  • VFW Auxiliary #4324 Wahpeton
  • VFW Auxiliary #6264 of Strasburg
  • VFW Auxiliary #7564 of West Fargo
  • VFW Auxiliary #9050 of Enderlin
  • VFW Auxiliary #9367 of Grafton
  • VFW Auxiliary District 10
  • VFW Auxiliary District 8
  • VFW Auxiliary of ND
  • VFW Post #2707 of Northwood
  • VFW Post #2764 of Valley City
  • VFW Post #3379 of Cooperstown
  • VFW Post #7067 of Towner
  • VFW Post #7564 of West Fargo
  • VFW Post #9050 of Enderlin
  • VFW Post #9317 of Mantador
  • VFW Riders of West Fargo
  • Waldheim WELCA of Kathryn
  • West Fargo High School Key Club
  • West Fargo Packers School Dist. 5
By remembering those who have touched your lives your are touching many others in their memory.


Arthur Odegaard (2017)

Hernell “Myron” Hanson

Herbert Ertman

Kenneth Wallner

Leif Sundlie

Clinton Fors

John Glanner

Robert Billing

Kenneth Shinn

Leroy Schmidt

Pete Habben

Gene Weixel

Kenneth Sperry

Kenneth Matthew

Franklin Keller

Elaine Qual

Harry Hakanson

Donald Stoner

Irene Saar

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