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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

My Calling
Tonya Fails has been a Nursing Assistant for over 30 years. We have been lucky enough to have her on our care team at the Respiratory and Nursing Center of Dayton for the last 7 years. Her mother and her aunt were both Nurses, but Tonya said, “My calling is to be hands-on and to take care of my residents, and the best way I can do that is to be a Nursing Assistant.”

Making Work Feel Like Play
I spent the day at Darby Glenn Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Hilliard, Ohio, yesterday. I had the absolute privilege of working with Meshannda “Mesha” Elmore. Mesha has been a Nursing Assistant for seven years and is absolutely amazing. I asked Mesha how she got into long-term care, and she said it was because of her mom.

I did something different this week at the suggestion of Melissa Berger, the Administrator at Johnstown Pointe in Johnstown, Ohio. Melissa asked me if on my visit, rather than working with a Nursing Assistant, I would consider working with Jason, her Maintenance Director.

She Cares for Me Too
I spent the day with Haley Freels, a Nursing Assistant at Respiratory and Nursing Center of Dayton(RND), one of our facilities in Dayton, Ohio. Haley was amazing to shadow. Her passion to make a difference was immediately apparent when I asked her why she loved long-term care and taking care of her resident.

Kultura ng Pagmamalasakit
I spent the day today at Crown Pointe Care Center in Columbus, Ohio. This facility has a special place in my heart because back in 2002, I was the Administrator there. It was my first building with Foundations Health Solutions. At the time, Foundations had two buildings in Columbus, Ohio, and today we are the largest skilled nursing company in the state.

Tori Bryant is 22 and is an STNA(State Tested Nursing Assistant) at our Meadow Grove facility in Grove City, Ohio. Prior to becoming an STNA, Tori worked at Kroger as a cashier and grocery stocker. A friend of hers worked at Meadow Grove and told her about the TNA(Temporary Nursing Assistant) program that the Federal Government approved during COVID to help alleviate the staffing shortage of Nursing Assistants in Nursing Homes.