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Gov. Burgum Signs SB 2226

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Residential End-of-Life Facilities Can Now Operate in North Dakota

Bismarck, ND – On Thursday April 1, 2021, Gov. Doug Burgum signed Senate Bill 2226, legislation to change North Dakota Century Code to allow residential end-of-life facilities to operate in the state. Under SB 2226, the Department of Health will license these facilitates in North Dakota.

“The state now has an additional, innovative option for end-of-life care that will provide a nurturing and dignified experience,” said Gov. Burgum.

The Rockstad Foundation supported the passage of SB 2226, which provides another option for people facing the end of their lives and who prefer to remain in a residential environment rather than a hospital or nursing home.

“We thank Gov. Burgum for signing this into law, and the Senate and House members for passing the bill,” says Terry Rockstad, Founder of the Rockstad Foundation. “We are also thankful and grateful to the sponsors of SB 2226, including Sens. Dick Dever, Nicole Poolman, and David Clemens, as well as Reps. Robin Weisz, Todd Porter, and Karen Rohr. They recognized the need for this service in North Dakota.”

“We heard stories from so many people who wished their loved ones had been able to choose a residential end-of-life facility for their final days. I’m very pleased that North Dakotans will have that option moving forward,” Sen. Dick Dever, R-Bismarck.

North Dakota is believed to be among the last states in the United States to license the operation of homey places where end-of-life patients can spend their final days in comfort, surrounded by family and friends. “Residential end-of-life facilities provide another option for those who do not have someone in their life to provide 24/7 care in their home, or do not want to burden family and friends with that responsibility,” explains Kilee Harmon, Executive Director of Gaia Home. Harmon is leading the effort to secure 501c3 status for the planned residential end-of-life facility to be built in Bismarck.

Gaia Home will include 12 private twin homes in which people can receive hospice services from a provider of their choosing and 24-hour end-of-life care provided by the home’s staff in a true home setting. “We will be staffed around the clock with caregivers who take the caregiving role off the family members’ shoulders, so they can live with their loved one and focus on spending quality time making lasting memories. Gaia Home guests and their families will receive loving, supportive care in a place that nurtures their spirits through the end-of-life journey,” says Harmon.

“There have been many conversations throughout the years about offering this type of home for the community,” said Chad Wachter, Gaia Home Board Chairman. “We’re excited that law is now passed, recognizing this concept so we can confidently continue to develop more relationships with people and organizations who support this option.” 

A projected $35 million development campaign for Gaia Home will begin in 2021 with a forecasted opening date of 2025 for the residential end-of-life facility. Currently, $3.5 million in commitments for Gaia Home have been secured thus far. To learn more about the project, visit


The Rockstad Foundation’s mission is “Inspiring Human Kindness and Leadership Development.” The foundation is a legacy to the Rockstad family’s philanthropic core values of giving back to the communities it served during ownership of Dan’s Super Market, Inc. Dan’s hallmark reputation began when Roy Rockstad and his partner purchased the first store in 1949. Dan’s contributed to numerous community organizations over the 66 years it was owned by the Rockstad family. The Rockstad Foundation has expanded its focus to include global causes and recognizes the importance of continuing this legacy by supporting a world of mutual trust and respect through acts of human kindness and leadership development. To learn more about Rockstad Foundation, visit