Just Keep Swimming

Candas Schouvieller, Administrator

Recently, I was asked by a staff member why I am committed to Oak Hills with all of the adversity we face? That is easy. Each resident who has called Oak Hills home over the past 16 years has left a mark on my heart. Several of our staff came together to celebrate January birthdays and were reminiscing on some of our longest residents and those who left us with many stories to tell. The love in that room was palpable. You could feel how much each of our staff love their jobs, love our residents and gladly serve through adversity. Yes, it is hard work caring for those who can no longer care for themselves. These people built our town, raised our current leaders, loved on grandchildren and contributed to their churches and those who were less fortunate.

We are turning over every rock, opening every door and window to explore each opportunity to continue to ensure our elders have a place to call home as their bodies tire and fade. We are including information on how you can contact your legislators to ask for changes to funding now and in the future. Internally, we are shifting our focus to caring for Oak Hills. Our work has not stopped, however we are limited in our ability to stretch already stressed resources to advocate for an entire industry.

Funding for skilled nursing facilities has shifted from a financial issue to a human issue. Assisted living and home health can only meet the needs of humans to a certain level before 24-hour skilled care is needed to meet quality of life needs. We have all of the equipment to safely lift and transfer residents who have lost mobility without injuring them, their caregivers or risk skin breakdown from being left in bed.

We wish we had a wonderful update on changes made by our legislators to help aid the industry who cares for those that can no longer care for themselves. We continue to do what we do best, by providing activities of daily living, incorporating laughter, music, activities and great food while we pray that our legislators understand how important it is to care for the humans affected by each of the bills and decisions made in St. Paul.


Minnesota’s seniors have a right to care and housing in their communities. We must do everything we can to attract caregivers and encourage innovation to serve the growing populations of seniors. It’s the state’s responsibility.

·1 in 4 Minnesotans who will be age 65 or older by 2030; 50,000 Minnesotans will turn 80 in the next five years.

·Someone turning age 65 today has almost a 70% chance of needing some type of long-term care services and supports in their remaining years.

·81% of Minnesotans believe seniors have the right to receive care, housing and other support (Morris Leatherman statewide survey, Dec 2022)

·The State of Minnesota has a responsibility to ensure we have the resources we need to care for older adults.

·When seniors lose access to care facilities, it impacts the entire health care system. When seniors cannot be transferred from hospitals to long-term care, it impacts hospital access for everyone.

Staff Celebrate Years of Service

Carmen Broste has served in long-term care for 32 years, all with Oak Hills Living Center. She started her career as a volunteer, progressed to a nursing assistant, charge nurse, case manager and now director of nursing for the past 7 years. Carmen has seen many changes with Oak Hills Living Center including our name itself. Her career began when we were still Highland Manor and continued through the building our current facility, a moratorium grant and culture change and presently the challenge with staffing and a pandemic. Through it all she has remained positive and encouraging of all staff, residents and families including a strong emphasis on self-care. After three experiences as interim Director of Nursing, she accepted the call to permanently lead our nursing department and has excelled in the role. Thank you, Carmen!

Rachal Becker is celebrating 27 years with Oak Hills. As our facility’s Recreational Therapist/Activity Director she organizes activities that enhance the lives of our residents and addresses their psychosocial needs. She took on the role of Household Coordinator for several years in addition to her Activity Director role and was able to further enhance the quality of life of our residents. Rachal recently received her nursing assistant certification, and she is always willing to jump on the floor and help when needed. Her energy and upbeat personality are infectious and always brings a smile to the faces of residents and Oak Hills employees. Thank you, Rachal, for your years of commitment to Oak Hills and our residents. You are greatly appreciated!

Margie Ehresmann, RNA/Restorative has been a care giver at Oak Hills for 24 years! That is quite an accomplishment! Marg is another one of our staff that pays attention to details, and notices the little things that make a big difference to our residents. Thank you Marg for leading by example, working hard, and for your dedication to Oak Hills all these years! Congratulations!

February Employee Anniversaries

NameHire Year
Diane Thomas2001
Deb Webster2003
Jean Luehring2017
Megan Kelley2019
Jeffrey Hogan2019
April Seifert2020
Abby Fortwengler2020
Tessa Tauer2020
Helen Fischer2022

Employee of the Month

Congratulations to employee of the month, Molly Fischer. Molly was nominated for always being willing to jump in wherever help is needed. One of her coworkers had this to say about her, “She helps everywhere, with a great attitude, and she is cute too!” Thank you, Molly!

20th Annual Bowling Classic

February 27, 2023

Concordia Lanes

**New** Lunch & Bloody Mary Bar 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Slammy Jammy Shotgun Start: 12: 30 pm

Live Auction: 3:00 pm

Click to Learn More or call 507-233-0851

Fun Memories & Activity Professionals Week

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