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Barnes leaving Parker Oaks

By Staff | Oct 30, 2011

Deb Barnes

One of the largest employers in Winnebago may be seeing a restructuring of management soon.

Deb Barnes, director of Parker Oaks Communities Inc., has submitted her resignation effective Nov. 1.

“Deb is a leader and very knowledgeable of the industry. She’s somebody any organization would like to have as part of their management team,” says Jim Birchem of Little Falls and owner of Parker Oaks.

Birchem says he isn’t surprised with Barnes leaving because she discussed it with him and his wife Kathy when they visited the home earlier this month.

In addition to overseeing the nursing home and veterans assisted-living facility in Winnebago, Barnes helped with the purchases of long-term care facilities in Truman and Wells. She also fulfilled an interim management contract with a Mapleton nursing home.

Barnes has been director at Parker Oaks for eight years.

The nursing home employs 90 and has an annual payroll of nearly $1.3 million.

“I love Parker Oaks and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here. It is a wonderful, wonderful home-like family facility for residents to receive care,” she says.

Barnes says after working 30 years in the long-term care field she is exploring her options in new areas of management.

“There are three companies I’m looking at. I have been in discussion with one for quite awhile,” she adds.

State Sen. Julie Rosen, R-Fairmont, is aware of Barnes’ expertise in long-term care.

The lawmaker asked her to serve on a committee to give input on a pilot program creating an alternative to the current regulated system.

Birchem says he and his wife plan to meet with staff sometime during the first week of November.

“We haven’t yet figured out what were going to do. We’ll probably look at doing some re-organization. We usually do that when someone leaves,” says Birchem.

For now, the position is expected to be filled in-house temporarily.

ElderCare operates 30 facilities in Minnesota including Parker Oaks. Most are located in the northern part of the state.

Ten of the facilities are skilled-level operations, while the rest are assisted-living units.