Anne Carlsen Center adjusting to new life amid COVID-19


For the staff and residents of any Anne Carlsen Center locations across North Dakota, and in Moorhead, Minn., the Coronavirus pandemic has been a time of trials and tribulations.

CEO Tim Eissinger says that the Center, “right out of the gate, implemented a Pandemic Response Team that met twice a day.” The team continues to meet and respond to the needs during the pandemic, which is going on nearly a month across the world.

Eissinger compares to the process they’re going to as one involving a plane.

“We’re literally building the plan while flying it,” he said.

Their Jamestown facility, which is called their Medically Complex facility, is a facility that was likely one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. At that facility, 12 individuals are on ventilators. Eissinger says they had to move quickly to essential personnel only and change some things inside the building.

“We had to do cleaning, disinfection and infection control protocols like we’ve never done before,” he said. One factor that took them by surprise was the reactions to the “extremely stressful separations” between clients and families.

“It has created a ton of anxiety among staff and clients,” Eissinger said.

One of the things Anne Carlsen Center continues is “doing an exceptional job of maintaining the services that our families and clients expect.”

“We’re doing everything in our power to make sure nobody is going to slide back significantly,” Eissinger said. “We’re trying to normalize it as best we can.”

For example, the Center held an Easter parade on Good Friday. All of the clients were lining the windows, while the staff was outside. Eissinger said there was even an Easter Bunny “with a mask on.”

As far as needs, Eissinger says the major need right now is disinfecting wipes. Anyone with a supply, and is willing to donate some, call Holly at 701-252-3850.