I'm originally from Clark County Missouri and I have 3 children who are my life, when I'm not at work I'm soaking up the time with them or doing my photography. I grew up in a family with several caregivers. When I was little my grandma would take me with her sometimes to the home of an elderly couple she cared for and I just loved it. I have always had a huge heart full of love so when I got my first job as a CNA, it was no surprise to the people that know me. I don't see myself ever getting out of this line of work. It's been almost 10 years now and my whole heart is still in it. I grow very attached to my residents and I give them the love and care I'd want for my mom or dad.
One of my favorite things to do is to sing at work to Sue and show her pictures of my dogs, her laugh makes my heart happy! A good piece of advice that I try to live by is the golden rule, treat others how you'd want to be treated and to never take anything for granted because life is such a short and crazy ride!
Anthony has been with the KHCC team since early 2018 as a CNA, although recently Anthony has obtained his CMA license. We are proud to have anything on our team not only for his desire to grow within our facility, but for his dedication, compassion for our residents, and his ability to get along well with others. Anthony is a fun co-worker who many enjoy being around. He is quick to help when needed and assist his teammates. We are grateful to have Anthony on our team!
What are some one your hobbies?
– “Judo and jiu-jitsu”
Why do you like working at KHCC?
– “I like working with my cool co-workers.”
What is your favorite food?
– “Ice cream”
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
– “The purpose of life, as far as I can tell is to find a mode of being that’s so meaningful that the fact that life is suffering is no longer relevant.”
What was your first job?
– “I was a hay baler for a farmer at 12 years old.”
Mary Strait was selected as this month’s superstar for her positive attitude, cheerful personality, dedication to our residents, and knowledge if her field. We are so thankful to have Mary a part of our KHCC family. Get to know Mary by the information provided below.
Why I love working LTC: I mostly get to work with and form relationships with my residents and their families. No matter what walls you try to put up, they always manage to grab a piece of your heart.
Favorite Memory: So, so many! Most recently though was, when a resident scared the “bejeezus” out of one of my night shift CNAs. He and I laughed and laughed at her expense. Thank goodness she’s a good sport!
Favorite Hobby: My animals. I have 2 mini mares, 2 mini molly mules, 3 dogs, a cat, and my husband, father in-law, and I raise beef cattle. The pasture is my favorite place to unwind. Also, I’ve been accused of spoiling my many nephews, nieces, and Bonus kid rotten.
First job: I had 2 simultaneously. I worked at Hardee’s and at a LTC facility in Indianola in the dietary department.
Fun fact: After having aunts and a mom as nurses when I was growing up, I SWORE I would never be a nurse. And that leads to my bit of advice: Don’t run from the inevitable. Nursing is truly my calling and only ripped myself off by denying it for so long (I didn’t go to nursing school until I was out of high school 10+ years). I’m so very, very blessed to do what I do.
Tadden is our April Employee Superstar. She has been with our team only a few short months although her work ethic has really made a large impact. Tadden enjoys reading, drawing, and being outside. She enjoys working in the long-term care industry because she loves helping people, and her time with the residents. The best advice Tadden has heard is, “A positive mindset brings positive things.” We are grateful to have such a positive, caring, dedicated team member like Tadden!
Stephanie is our March Superstar. Stephanie is a RN here at KHCC and was nominated for her willingness to help her teammates, her dedication to her position, and for her compassion and love for the residents. Stephanie enjoys playing softball and volleyball, coaching her children’s sports, and baking. She enjoys working at KHCC due to the family atmosphere with the residents and her co-workers.
The best advice Stephanie has heard is, “Do what scares you, that’s what will change you the most.” Her first job was working at a gas station while in high school. Stephanie has put in the hard work to become the nurse she is today, and it doesn’t go unnoticed. We are grateful to have Stephanie on our team.
Becky has been an employee at KHCC for the past 24 years. Becky was nominated because she is dedicated to her position, she shows up for her shifts and is reliable to be here to care for the residents, she follows the dietary regimens in place for each resident. Becky is valued for her dedication and knowledge of the kitchen.
Some hobbies Becky enjoys are sewing, baking, making stocking hats, and reading. Becky enjoys working in the long-term care industry because the relationships she creates with the residents are rewarding. She enjoys being able to put her heart into the food she prepares to create dishes that are individualized and enjoyed by each resident.
Becky shared with us that her first job was working at her father’s gas station. And the best piece of advice Becky has heard is, “Get through the today, don’t worry about tomorrow until it’s here. Life is too short, enjoy today.”
Amanda is one of two of our February Superstars. Amanda was nominated for this award because of how she cares for the residents. She always ensures the residents have the care they need and are treated like family. She is friendly with her co-workers and has a sense of drive of wanting to go above and beyond.
Some of Amanda’s hobbies include crocheting, reading, and going to the movies with her son. She enjoys working at KHCC because she loves giving back to the community and being a part of such a caring team.
Amanda’s first job was as a waitress at a local pizza place. She also shared the best piece of advice she has received, “Never look back, you’re not going that way.”
Sofia is one of two of our January Superstars. Sofia works in our dietary department as a dietary aide. She mentions she enjoys working in long term care because of all the bonds she gets to create with the residents and enjoys making them happy. Sofia is always seen in a cheerful mood spreading positivity to not only other staff but the residents as well.
In her free time she participates in competitive dance, and enjoys spending time with her friends and family. The best advice Sofia has received is, “Always remember you can”.
She mentions one can do anything if they put in the work. We are grateful to have Sofia part of our team!
Virginia is one of our two January Superstars, she has been on our KHCC team in the dietary department for 5 years. Virginia has recently stepped into a dietary supervisor role due to her dedication and hard work. Virginia is dedicated to the residents here at KHCC always ensuring their meals are correct and picking up extra shifts when needed. In Virginia’s free time she enjoys remodeling her home, sewing, and collecting wolf décor.
She enjoys working here at KHCC because she has dependable, fun co-workers, and she enjoys the unique personalities of the residents. Virginia’s first job when she was 13 was picking tomatoes for $2/hr.
We are thankful to have Virginia a part of our team!
Lilly is one of our two December Staff Superstars. She is loved and valued here at KHCC by staff and residents. Lilly is recognized for her positive attitude, helping hand, and her educational skills when assisting her fellow team members.
Lilly is a mom of 2 teenagers and 1 basset hound. She loves hiking, baking, catering, and kayaking. My favorite thing about working at KHCC is the family atmosphere, not only among the staff and residents, but also the resident’s families.
Lilly mentions, “Moving to a new state and starting all over can be scary but finding a great job with great people has made this much easier. My advice for life is to always dance like no one is watching and run a little wild that way your life is truly lived.” We are grateful to have Lilly part of our KHCC family.
Bailee is one of our two December Staff Superstars. We are truly grateful that Bailee has joined our KHCC family.
She is known for her friendly smile, willingness to take on additional tasks to help out her team members, and her hard work ethic. Bailee is a role model around our facility and shows what it’s like to be a true, passionate CNA.
Bailee enjoys fishing, baking, and spending time with her friends and family. A few words from Bailee are, “I enjoy working at KHCC because I really feel like part of a great team. Walking into work and greeting the residents is my favorite part of my day. A piece of advice I have would be to be kind. You never know what someone else is going through and a moment of kindness can make a world of difference.”
It is no surprise that our seasoned veteran, Peggy Barrows has received this month’s Customer Service Super Star title. Peggy has been with Keosauqua Health Care Center since 1996. Within her time here she has demonstrated dedication, true passion, and has proven time and time again her value to our team. Peggy knows each resident’s preferences, offers to be flexible with her shifts when coverage is needed, is friendly and personable with staff and residents, and is someone we know we can count on to be a leader and demonstrate what it means to be a customer service super star.
One story that was shared demonstrating Peggy’s genuine care for the residents is when Peggy was on vacation she heard that one of our resident’s was wanting their favorite dish, liver and onions. Peggy kindly took the time out of her vacation to prepare and bring in the dish for this resident. If that doesn’t show Peggy loves what she does and who she works with I don’t know what would.
We also want to brag on a previous title Peggy has won under our previous owner, IMG. This “Over All Super Star Award” was based out of all of IMG facilities and out of 8 facilities Peggy won!
Fun facts about Peggy
What are your hobbies? “Cooking and baking, I love making my family’s famous Valentine’s cake which has a secret recipe.”
Why do you enjoy working at KHCC? “The people and residents are enjoyable to work with.”
What’s your favorite food? “My fried chicken.”
What’s a piece of advice that has stuck with you? “Do your job without complaining.”
What was your first job? “This one.” Peggy took her CNA courses through KHCC and has been here ever since.
Anthony Newland, Certified Nursing Assistant
Our customer service superstar is, Anthony Newland and he has worked at Keosauqua Health Care Center since January 2018. He is reliable and easy going, which makes him very well liked in this face paced environment. When our residents need extra cheering up or when our families are turned around or needing someone to answer their questions, Anthony has been there to help. Our residents have plenty of nice things to say about Anthony, “he is so positive every time he comes in to help me. He is strong and makes me feel safe and well cared for.”
Anthony is obviously a hard worker. Through the pandemic many people were feeling stressors all around them. But Anthony showed his reliability and many strengths during this time. His team members appreciate his positivity and caring manners. Anthony’s peers were quoted saying, “he is a consistent presence on the floor, making sure he is quick to respond and help if needed. He is considerate of his teammates time, not wasting moments that could be used sitting with a resident or charting.”
As always, we are so fortunate and proud to have Anthony apart of our team here at Keosauqua Health Care Center and are grateful for his time and hard work. Thank you, Anthony for your kindness and compassion for our residents, staff, and families.
Taija Hewett, Dietary Aid
Cecilia “Cece” has been working at Keosauqua Health Care Center as a Certified Nursing Assistant since June of 2017. She is an advocate for our residents and keeps their interest, as the number one priority. Cece is very responsible in keeping the nurse and all members of leadership updated on any new concerns she notices in the health and wellbeing of our residents. She is a hard worker, here to help her team members with an upbeat attitude and tries to see the positive in everyone and all situations.
Cece is thoughtful, sensible, and resourceful. For example, while walking a Resident who requires a metronome to help with her walking, realized they did not have the device with her, another staff member witnessed Cece improvising and making the beat or noise with her mouth, to help keep the resident on track and preventing a fall. She is quick on her feet like that and is always making the residents feel safe and confident.
Outside of working and picking up extra shifts, Cece is well known in the community as a caregiver in her free time. She has a strong religious faith and will be there for the residents when they need a prayer or for a church service minister. During the most restrictive times, she would volunteer to lead our church services because we weren’t allowed to let in the pastors.
One of Cece’s residents was quoted saying, “Cece is always cheerful and smiling. She always goes the extra mile to make me feel good.” She loves all of our residents and treats all of them just like they are her favorite.
As always, we are lucky and proud to have Cecilia apart of our team here at Keosauqua Health Care Center and are grateful for her time and hard work. Thank you, Cece for your kindness and compassion for our residents, staff, and families.
Taija Hewett, Dietary Aid
Taija has been working at Keosauqua Health Care Center for a little over a year and even though that is a short while, she has made a lasting impact on our residents and staff here. She is patient, compassionate and a hard worker. She enjoys working with the elderly and does her job well. Taija is always making sure that everything is clean before she leaves for the day. Never leaving anything behind for another staff member to worry about. She is willing to come in early and pick-up shifts for her department. She is an all-around team player!
Her supervisor has said, “Taija is very dependable and so considerate to our residents and staff alike. She’s an excellent employee!” Her professionalism shows in her work and the way she interacts with the residents. She never makes our residents feel rushed or like an “inconvenience.” This is a trait that seems to come naturally to Taija. Her customer service skills will undoubtedly help her in whatever her future holds. We are lucky and proud to have Taija apart of our team here at Keosauqua Health Care Center and are grateful for the hard work she puts in. Thank you, Taija for your kindness and empathy for our residents, staff, and families!
Tempis Rysdam, Certified Nurses Aid
Tempis started at Keosauqua Health Care Center in October of last year. During the pandemic, the busiest known time in Long Term Care. Tempis has a GREAT attitude day-in and day-out. She does not get flustered by the hustle and bustle of the call lights, phone calls, schedules, and testings. Marley Hall, our Activities Director said, “she steps up and is so thorough with the Residents and she does it all with a smile on her face.” Tempis enjoys caring for our Residents and making them feel heard. Our Residents enjoy how relaxed Tempis is, when working with them. “When she is relaxed, I feel more relaxed too,” they have said. She takes extra time with cares and does not make them feel rushed. Our Residents were quoted saying, “Tempis is detailed and always makes me feel comfortable. She answers my light quickly and doesn’t seem frustrated when it’s on.”
Tempis’ co-workers have voiced how when she is at work, she is focused and always lending a hand. She is easygoing and works well with the team. Cecilia, another C.N.A. that works often with Tempis said, “I admire her dedication and her sweet personality with staff and Residents. I have observed her sweet tenderness with the Residents, and she is very professional and funny. The Resident’s love her.” One time one of our Residents who just arrived needed some clothes, she went above and beyond to go the Residents wife to make sure he had enough clothes for his stay.
We are very proud and lucky to have Tempis on our team! Thank you, Tempis for all your hard work and being such an outgoing and friendly person for our residents during these past dark months. We appreciate you and all you do for us!