Interim administrator helps search for his replacement
With an interim administrator firmly in place, the St. Luke’s Lutheran Care Center board of directors has turned its attention to searching for a new full time leader at the facility in Blue Earth.
The application deadline for the administrator position closed last Monday, Jan. 10. Last Thursday, a committee composed of staff, administration and board of director members, looked over the nearly 12 applications, and were deciding which ones to conduct interviews with. Those interviews will be conducted by the executive board.
Meanwhile, Dennis Reiman began his duties as the interim administrator at St. Luke’s on Dec. 27. He is employed by Pathways Health Services, which supplies temporary personnel for health care facilities.
“I was filling in at a care center in South Carolina, so another interim administrator filled in for me, until I could start,” Reiman says.
He lives in Farmington, near the Twin Cities, but is no stranger to southern Minnesota.
“I retired in October of 2007,” he says. “At that time I was the administrator of the Good Shepherd Nursing Home in Rushford – where I had been for eight years. But, I also worked at the care centers in Owatonna and Slayton before that.”
Reiman was in Rushford during the flood of 2007, and retired two months after the flood was over.
“The nursing home was not hit directly by the flood, but we didn’t have water for several weeks,” he recalls. “I had men with five gallon buckets going around ‘flushing’ the toilets. It wasn’t the best situation.”
Parts of the facility were used as a temporary shelter for displaced citizens, and for community services.
“The community was hit hard, but has really rallied,” he says.
After a year of retirement, Reiman decided to get back to work, and was hired at Pathways.
“This is the best of both worlds,” he says. “I am retired, but am able to help out a facility for a short term.”
He says he has been very impressed with St. Luke’s.
“This is a fabulous facility,” he says. “The staff is marvelous. The residents are very well taken care of.”
He says the management team, and the board of directors, take a very strong interest in the residents, and are determined to make St. Luke’s a really great place for them to live.
“I am very happy to announce that Becky Plocker has returned to St. Luke’s as our director of nursing,” Reiman says. “I have worked with many D.O.N.s during my 15 years in the industry, and she is as good as any of them. She is dedicated to her job, and respected by the staff and the residents.”
But, he adds, all of the management team is composed of dedicated, well-respected people.
“They are pretty exceptional,” Reiman says.
He is also impressed with some of the many improvements at St. Luke’s.
“With the new Alzheimers care unit, the apartments, assisted care center – this is a terrific place,” he says.
Reiman has made a few changes in the operation in the few short weeks he has been there, working with the staff on new ideas. He says there are some changes coming in the near future.
“One of the first things I did was move my office from the back of the facility to the front, right in the center of everything,” he says. “I like to be right in the middle of what is going on.”
How long he will be in the middle of things at St. Luke’s is not yet determined.
“I will be here until the new administrator is hired and on the job,” he says. “As long as it takes.”
Reiman expects the interviews to take place in the next few weeks, then a decision will be made by the executive board, with assistance from Reiman.
“These things always take longer than the public expects they will,” the interim administrator says. “It usually takes a couple of months to accomplish.”