Candas Schouvieller, CEO/Administrator
The past year has been a whirlwind! As I sit to write this, I recall how just 1 year ago we were preparing for groundbreaking on our assisted living expansion. From inflation to supply chain issues and then the need to focus on legislative advocacy we have been moving at a fast pace. We will forever be grateful to Senator Gary Dahms for taking a stand for nursing homes at the 11th hour of session this year. The funding we received helped us continue working on the moratorium project and protects us from immediate financial collapse. We are still working on how we can increase our staff wages with the increases received. Each nursing home in Minnesota received $225,000 on August 1, 2023 and August 1, 2024 for payment of long term debt. We received our official notice from the State of Minnesota mid-July that informed us if these funds are used for wage increase our rates will decrease. So did we really get an infusion from the State if they are essentially going to be taking it back if we use it on our staff? Yes, we have talented accounting professionals who can help us strategize and we must keep on our State government.
Senator Mark Johnson wrote an editorial to the Mankato Free Press on July 6, 2023. He states, “Finally, this needs to be abundantly clear: Gov. Walz had absolutely nothing to do with the nursing home money secured by the Senate Republicans. The writers from Mankato might be shocked to learn Gov. Walz and Democrats have previously proposed cutting nursing home funding, and barely mustered up $100 million in loans to nursing homes, which is just kicking the can down the road…Democrats could not have cared less about making sure our vulnerable seniors have the care they need to live their final days with the dignity they deserve.”
It may not be a budget year and we all would prefer to be talking about how the Twins are doing this season, however, reality for our greater Minnesota nursing homes is that we must continue to advocate within every level of government to keep this essential service in our communities. Our Reality Train, conducted by Dr. Ann Vogel and filled with concerned citizens of New Ulm will be back on the tracks this fall. We won’t back down until long-term sustainable change is made in Minnesota. We represent skilled nursing and look forward to collaborating with the entire human services industry from group homes to home care. We all received a little this legislative session, yet for no one was it enough.
Wine & Dine
On July 13, 2023, our residents and families enjoyed fine dining, “Wine and Dine”, with steak and shrimp along with their choice of wine or beer. A resident favorite, we are grateful to be offering again thanks to 100 Women Who Care. This event will now remain on our activity schedule every other month. The cost for this event was $1, 158.12*. Thank you for keeping Oak Hills Living Center in your giving plans. *Family members who attend pay for the cost of their meal.
Staff Celebrate Years of Service in July
Kara Fluegge, RN, celebrated 19 years with Oak Hills Living Center. Kara truly has done a little bit of everything! She started as a nurses aide, becoming a TMA, and then charge nurse. From there she has been a nurse in the Assisted Living, teaches skills classes for nurses aides, and has been our PIPP leader for several successful PIPP programs! Thank you for your support, dedication, and commitment to Oak Hills!
Mandi Malcolm, LPN, celebrated 16 years with Oak Hills Living Center. Mandi has held many positions and all with a positive can do attitude. She stays cool and calm in all situations. She leads by example, demonstrating good boundaries while being kind and approachable. Thank you Mandi for your leadership, dedication, and commitment to the Oak Hills! We appreciate you!
Employee of the Month
Gwynne Gutzke, TMA\RNA, is a role model leading by example at Oak Hills Living Center. Recently, she was recognized by a family member and resident as an excellent caregiver. Hardworking, efficient, and humble are just a few works to describe Gwynne. She leads with her heart and it is felt among all who live and work here at Oak Hills. You are so appreciated. Keep up the great work!
August Employee Anniversaries
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Contact Wendy Broderson. 507-233-0851. [email protected]