25000 Country Club Blvd. Suite 255, North Olmsted, OH 44070

Quart Jars of Love

Front: Sierra Houck
Back: Lychele Dials, Annette Casto, McKenzie Norton, Bob Speelman, Chris Cowels, and Brian Tipton

September 25, 2019

I worked with the most amazing care team yesterday at Country View of Sunbury, our 5 Star, 116-bed facility located in Sunbury, Ohio. Lauren Limbacher is the administrator and Matthew Clark is the director of nursing.  

I worked on the rehabilitation unit, which is called "Autumn Court." Annette Casto is the unit manager, Lychele Dials and McKenzie Norton are the nurses on this unit, and Sierra Houck, Chris Cowels, and Brian Tipton are the STNA's. This team is a family! They all credit Annette (the unit manager) for creating the team environment. Annette was answering call lights, feeding residents, going to meetings, and directing the staff on items that needed attention. Brian and I were talking, and she came by and asked us if we could wipe down a mattress and concentrator to sterilize them. This unit was her baby and the employees were her family. You could feel the love and mutual respect.

As I worked throughout the day with Brian, Chris, and Sierra, I noticed that all three of them knew each and every resident in this unit. I'm talking about their medical condition, which they knew inside and out, I'm talking about their story. What they came from, why they were here, what they did in their life, their family - their entire story.

Brian has an incredible sense of humor and is always joking with his coworkers and the residents - and they love it. He told me, "life is short, why be miserable." His love and compassion for his residents were heartwarming to see. 

Chris and Sierra were just as compassionate and loving toward their residents. I was sitting after lunch talking to Clara, a resident that is 93 when Sierra walked by, Clara reached out her arms to Sierra, and said, "That's my baby!" Sierra came over and gave Clara a big hug. With tears in Clara's eyes, she told Sierra, "I love you." It was a beautiful thing to witness.

As Clara and I talked about where she grew up and her family, she told me she came from a family of nine children. Every day at dinner, her dad would sit at one end of the table, mom at the other, and at the end of the meal, they had a ritual. Her father would have them go around the table and they would say anything that bothered them or was on their mind. Clara said that their dad had them work it out before they left the table. Clara said that they never went to bed with a cluttered head.

Clara also told me that growing up they didn't have much, but it was always enough. She said that from time to time, a beggar would come to the door asking for help. She said that her mom and dad would always give them a quart jar of food and whatever was left from their meal. She remembers her dad saying, "You never know if it might be the Lord."

I think these stories from Clara sum up my experience at Country View with Annette's team. I see them as the family around the table, working things out, loving, and respecting each other. That's what makes them such a strong team. They are all there to care for their residents and each other. I also witnessed them giving quart jars of love to each and every resident they cared for. They weren't afraid of running out, they knew they had an infinite supply.

As I was leaving, Betty, a resident, sitting on the couch, reached her arms out for a hug. I hugged her and got my quart jar of love for the road.

Annette, Luchele, McKenzie, Sierra, Chris, and Brian – Thank you for yesterday! Thank you for every day that you love each other and love our residents. Thank you for the lessons you and your residents taught me.

- Bob Speelman, STNA

p.s. – Every family has someone a little crazy. Country View has Penny Beitzel. She's the social worker there and every so often she dresses up and does down the hall spreading joy and love. I couldn't resist including this picture I took yesterday. She was walking the hall squirting employee's and spreading joy and love to all. Love this team!

Each week, Bob Speelman visits a Foundations Health Solutions nursing home. He works alongside a variety of departments to see how Foundations Health is excelling in the vision of founder Brian Colleran's "Culture of Care." Striving for excellence in resident and family satisfaction as well as positive employee culture are some of the hallmarks of nursing home developer Brian Colleran instilled at Foundations Health and their nursing homes across Ohio.

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