This Saturday (10/1/16), we will be celebrating our One Year Anniversary in the new building. As someone who has spent much of his career working in old-style nursing homes (two people to a room, four people to a bathroom, shower at the end of the hall, tile floors, beige walls…), it is a privilege for me to work in this beautiful space. And I am ever grateful to people like my predecessor Joan Kleist and our (all volunteer) Board members who spent countless hours on every aspect of designing and decorating the new facility. I am sure they all learned far more than they wanted to about everything that is involved in creating a new living center literally from the ground up.
But for our residents and their families, what really matters is not the surroundings. Rather it is the quality of care and services we provide every day. That is where our employees really stand out. About a week ago, I met with a woman whose husband had recently transferred to SSC from another area facility. Tears came to her eyes as she was telling me how pleased she was with the nursing care, therapy, food, etc. that her husband had received while recovering from a serious medical event, and how happy she was that he was ready to come home. That’s pretty powerful stuff.
But for all the positive feedback, I know we are not perfect, and always have things to work on. As someone I used to work for once told me, I don’t expect perfect, but I do expect progress. Much of our room for improvement continues to be around staffing. Finding enough qualified, dedicated employees has always been a challenge in senior care, and that is true now more than ever. To that end, we recently sent letters to over four-dozen former employees asking them to consider rejoining our team. We don’t know if this will bear any fruit or not, but we are always looking for new ways to recruit and retain the best employees.
That said, I want to thank our outstanding nursing and dietary employees who continue to meet and exceed our resident expectations by working extra shifts, coming in early, staying late, and more. We truly could not do it without you, and words can’t really express how much we appreciate the sacrifices that you (and your families) make to be sure our residents are well cared for.
While on the topic of sacrifice, I want to publicly thank the members of our management team who spent many nights and every weekend in the summer of 2015 getting the new building ready for occupancy by spending countless hours moving equipment, records, supplies, and more to the new facility after working their day jobs in the old one. And of course, a huge thank you to the employees who worked so hard to move our residents and their belongings on Moving Day, all the while ensuring everyone was safe, well-fed, and well cared for that day, and then helped us get settled in the days and weeks after. No matter your position, if you were worked at SSC around that time, you have much to be proud of.
One last thing – did you know that over 10,000lbs of linen are washed at SSC everyone month? Our laundry staff of Sharon, Lisa, and Joan all do a great job working ‘behind the scenes’ and we are lucky to have them on the SSC team. They are all quiet, but they sure do work hard doing their part serving our residents. So when you see them, please be sure to say thank you for all that they do
Paul Treffert, Executive Director