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Bob’s Blog

Robert Speelman In 2017, I decided I was going to become a State Tested Nursing Assistant (STNA). I made this decision because I felt it was important for me to understand our company once again from the ground up. The industry was facing a major shortage of nursing assistants, and I wanted to find out why, and what we could do to fix it. My aim was to work alongside the nursing assistants in our facilities and engage them to help us solve this problem. I wanted to know why they work for us, what we do well as a company, and what we could do better. At the end of the day, I hoped to learn what makes a great caregiver and how we could get more of them.

What I wasn’t expecting was to fall back in love with our industry and our people. You see, as I rose further up in my career, I became removed from our amazing frontline staff. As an Administrator, I interacted with them every day, but when I became a Regional Director and then Vice President, the meaningful interactions became less and less. When I was at a building, it was usually for a meeting or tour. Pretty soon, everything I knew about each building was from a financial and a spreadsheet. I no longer knew our people.

My weekly visits to our facilities are now intentional. The purpose of each visit is to work with one of our amazing caregivers. To get to know them. To listen and learn. These blogs are about those visits to our facilities and the incredible caregivers that I have had the privilege to work alongside and get to know. These blogs are their stories and the lessons that I have learned. These remarkable caregivers ignited in me, once again, a love and passion for long-term care. I hope you enjoy reading them as much I have enjoyed writing them. We have an outstanding team of caregivers here at Foundations, and I am so proud to call them my friends.

Bob Speelman, STNA

Bob's Blog


The Wounded Healer
Chanel Watkins has been at Maria Joseph, our facility in Dayton, Ohio, for 19 years. Chanel first started in long-term care back in 1990 in the Dietary Department at another facility. The HR Director at that facility saw something special in Chanel and encouraged her to become a Nursing Assistant.



Life is Too Short, You Gotta Enjoy it!
I was at McNaughten Pointe, one of our facilities in Columbus, Ohio, several weeks ago working as a Nursing Assistant when a Nursing Assistant from Bella Care Hospice walked onto the unit, and everyone lit up.



That One Person
I had the honor of working with two amazing Nursing Assistants by the names of Chris Cichon and Christine Hoffman-Ulmer. They have both been Nursing Assistants for 11 years, and they both started at Country View of Sunbury.



Leading the Way to the Summit
I spent the day working with Terri Nelson, a Nursing Assistant at Tuscany Gardens, our Center located in Pataskala, Ohio. Terri is 25 and has been a Nursing Assistant ever since she turned 16. Terri became a Nursing Assistant because her sister didn’t want to do the classes by herself, and so she decided to take them with her.



Transformed by Love
I had an amazing day today with a young lady by the name of Akira Palmer. Akira has been a Nursing Assistant for only 1 year and 1 month and is 21 years old. If you only spend just a few minutes with Akira you instantly know this is what she is suppose to be doing.



Putting Her Whole Heart In
I spent the day with Bonita Bryant-Reed, an amazing Nursing Assistant at The Home at Hearthstone in Cincinnati, Ohio. Bonita will be turning 57 next month and has been a Nursing Assistant for more than 30 years.