Social Services

Mary Schmitz LGSW – Director of Resident Services and Quality Care

I have worked at Birchwood since 2007,and as Director of Resident Services since 2008.  I am a licensed Social Worker, and recently completed my Masters Degree in May 2014.  My duties include but are not limited to overseeing admissions and discharges, behavior management, completing regulatory requirements, as well as miscellaneous duties.  Birchwood is a wonderful place to work and live.  Staff is exceptional; they go above and beyond making Birchwood a home for our residents.  I have three adult children and one granddaughter.  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, gardening, working on my house, watching Vikings football and doing church related activities.  If you are interested in Birchwood as a place to live for yourself, family member or client please contact me at 612-823-7286 or  I would be happy to give you a tour.


We try to make the admission process as uncomplicated as possible. Individuals requesting admission must be in need of nursing care and must require the type of supportive services that our facility can provide. All residents come to live at Birchwood Care Home upon a doctor’s recommendation. Before admission, staff consults with prospective residents or their responsible parties to confirm financial arrangements.

Resident Services staff offers support for residents and family members. Our role is to promote the highest level of mental, emotional, physical and social functioning for each resident. We also offer individual counseling and support groups and can provide information about, as well as referrals, to community agencies that furnish appropriate services. Our goal is to assure that each resident’s individuality and dignity is respected.



Admission policies are established to insure the most effective use of the home’s facilities and services and to be certain the facility can meet the needs of the residents accepted for care.

There shall be no discrimination with respect to residents on the grounds of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, color, payment source, religion or national origin.

Whenever possible, applications are made in person by the individuals and/or social worker/caseworker/conservator/family requesting admission, following a tour of the facility and explanation of the services provided. Residents at Birchwood Care Home are screened for appropriate placement before being admitted to Birchwood to ensure that we will be able to meet the unique needs of each person.

Physician’s orders must accompany each new resident or be obtained by telephone the day of admission. These physician’s orders must include an admitting diagnosis, statement of medical condition, diet, all medications and treatments and the record of a physical examination or an updated physical no sooner than 5 days prior to or 72 hours after admission, and the results of a Mantouxtest.If results of the Mantoux test are not available on admission, a Mantoux will be done on the day of admission. Other physical, psychological and social information may be requested.


Each resident admitted is under the care of a physician who will keep him or her informed of their medical condition. Regularly scheduled, as well as miscellaneous appointments will be arranged as needed and upon request of the resident. The nursing staff, resident and family all work together to coordinate appointments to meet the resident’s needs and ensure compliance with State and Federal regulations


An individualized plan of care is begun upon a resident’s admission. An initial care conference is scheduled on or before the 21st day after admission to develop the care plan with resident, family and/or responsible party. The care plan is a personalized plan of daily care based on the resident’s diagnoses, prescribed treatment, problems, needs, goals and discharge potential. Each department will be utilized in the initial care conference to insure quality care and coordination of services between all departments. Care plans are reviewed and revised as needed, but no less than every 90 days. A resident’s likes, dislikes, interests and self-goals will be integrated into the plan. The resident and any other party the resident chooses to participate in their plan of care are invited to attend the care conference. The Director of Nursing is responsible for the coordination of the overall plan of care and is available to consult with residents. Special conferences may be held to discuss problems or concerns.


Birchwood Care Home is certified by the Federal Government and licensed by the State of Minnesota. The resident’s physician determines the level of care required when the resident enters the home. It is the responsibility of the nursing staff in consultation with the resident’s physician and other related professionals to determine when physical and psychological changes have occurred, which necessitate a change in level of care. The resident and responsible party will be consulted regarding possible level of care change.

The State of Minnesota establishes rates and individual classification levels for each case mix classification. Your case mix classification may change if you are hospitalized and at other designated times.


Any resident can be transferred or discharged for any reason permitted by law, including but not limited to: non-payment, substance abuse, abusive behavior and language, emergency care and when the facility is unable to adequately meet the needs of the resident.


When residents are admitted to Birchwood Care Home, we will make every effort to take into consideration individual preferences, including suitability of roommates and availability of space. It is the policy of Birchwood Care Home that residents are not moved arbitrarily, but for appropriate reasons; including but not limited to: medical conditions, accommodation of admissions, resident’s welfare, other residents’ welfare and per resident’s request.

The resident and responsible party will be given a seven day written notice of room transfer, except in the case of an emergency or with resident approval.


If a resident plans to spend time away from the facility, they need to inform the nursing staff. Visits with relative or extended absences should be reported at least 24 hours in advance to enable staff to package necessary medications. If you are leaving for more than 23 hours you and/or a responsible person must sign forms located at the nursing office and notify your nurse when you return. In addition, you must sign out when you leave the building and sign in upon your return.


Birchwood Care Home follows the principles of the Residents’ Bill of Rights. Everyone who comes to live at Birchwood Care Home is given a statement of these rights in accordance with state and federal law. The resident and/or responsible party is asked to acknowledge their awareness and receipt of these policies and rights by signing a statement.