Madison Lutheran Home History

A Historical Look at the past 60 Years of Madison Lutheran Home

Madison Lutheran Home has been a story of people making things happen. Each decade had its own mark, a mixture of events with the purpose of seeking the best future of healthcare for the elderly. No one could see what was down the road and decisions were made on a combination of information available, blind faith, and intuition of the best path to follow.


In the 1940’s, eighty-three Lutheran Congregations associated with the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America banded together to form the Lutheran Old People’s Home at Madison, MN. The dedicated members of the first board of directors and the first Superintendent – Rector, Rev. Richard Syrdal, were leaders of extraordinary vision, proven by the passing years.


In the 1950’s, the first expansion added “infirmary beds” for the care of the frail and handicapped elderly. This initiated the medical are now essential in nursing homes. Business was conducted in a fairly simple manner, and for the first time, the superintendent had a part-time bookkeeper.


In the 1960’s, the expansion continued with the establishment of Luther Haven in Montevideo under the financial and administrative auspices of the Madison Lutheran Home. This highly successful venture expanded the availability of nursing home beds, and the association with the Madison Lutheran Home continued until 1972. Other nursing homes sere being established in the surrounding towns. In 1968, the Madison Lutheran Home again expanded by 68 beds with a substantial addition adding resident rooms, main floor kitchen and dining, community areas, and business offices. Major health department regulations and licensure requirement were introduced in the 1960’s and the expansion was built entirely “up to code.”


The 1970’s were prosperous years. The farm economy of the area was good, enticing people to return to their home area to farm and set up businesses The prospective payment system in place at the time in the state of Minnesota enable nursing homes to allow for planned growth and expansion. In 1977, another addition was built. It was designed to replace resident rooms in the “original 1914 building” which no longer met building codes. After completion of the addition, the 1914 building was razed. It was the last remnant of the Lutheran Normal School which had stood on the grounds and formed the original basis of the nursing home’s beginnings.


In the 1980’s, plans were made for the building of Hilltop Residence through the Housing and Urban Development program. This far-sighted move provided subsidized housing for older people and made it possible for them to live in close proximity to the nursing home, having access to some of its social opportunities. During the 1980’s, legislative changes affected nursing home payment systems. Medicare coverage was expanded to nursing homes, and regulatory agencies made the care of the elderly a very controlled business. Other programs were developed to encourage care of the elderly in other less expensive settings and a moratorium on the development of new nursing home beds was mandated. The days of expansions were over and it became  necessary for administrators of nursing homes to be business oriented with much attention to finances. At the Madison Lutheran Home, the groundwork was laid in the late 1980’s for the nursing home and hospital to become one business entity. Health care in rural areas, both acute and long term, was in transition and it was very difficult to determine the best route for the future.


In the 1990’s, the Madison Lutheran Home Inc. comprised of the Madison Hospital, Madison Lutheran Home, Hilltop Residence, and Lac Qui Parle Clinic. As on business entity, the four facilities, under the management of the Board of Social Minsitry, offered the full range of health care in the rural area. The anniversary year of 1993-1994 of the Madison Lutheran Home was a year of refocusing of direction, remodeling of spaces for increased efficiencies, and expansion of services. The challenge is to be positioned for the changes anticipated in the delivery of health care. Part of that challenge was to relocate the Lac Qui Parle Clinic onto the Madison Lutheran Home’s campus. This started to happen with a capital campaign in the mid 1990’s and toward the end of the 1990’s space was made available for the clinic to be relocated on the east end of the Madison Hospital.


In the 2000’s, the Madison Lutheran Home has seen many changes. Once a 176 bed nursing home, Madison Lutheran Home witnessed a declining population in the area and the census saw a steady decline. As the demographics changed so did the expectations of future residents. Not only did people enter nursing homes at an older age, but families and incoming residents expected private rooms for privacy and a more home-like environment to live in. With that in mind Madison Lutheran Home embarked on a major capital improvement plan. Starting in 2004, Madison Lutheran Home has made it a priority to transform many of the double and semi private rooms into single private rooms. Additional rooms were also taken out to remodel more activities space as well as restorative care space to help the improvements of resident’s activities of daily living (ADL’s). MLH also made a lot of cosmetic updates to the interior by providing more modern eating and lounge areas. With all the remodeling and the vision to turn the once, institutional looking nursing home into a modern home for the elderly, Madison Lutheran Home is now licensed for 87 beds, of which 57 of them are single rooms and 15 are still considered double rooms.

Currently Madison Lutheran Home underwent a name change and is now Madison Healthcare Services (MHS).  The clinic, hospital, and care center are all under one umbrella and share the same name.  The care center now is a 65-bed skilled nursing facility. MHS has a continued vision to provide a more home-like atmosphere and to fulfill the needs of our residents who reside here.   Along with our entire staff we are all committed to providing the best quality care for our residents and keep our facility up-to-date.