Russ Newby, of Republic, has taken the helm at Red Rose Health and Rehab in Cassville. Newby began serving as the facility's administrator over three weeks ago.
"Hopefully, I bring a passion for the elderly to this facility," said Newby. "That is our purpose for being here, to provide excellent care.
"The staff does an excellent job here, but you still need to preach about that purpose at times," continued Newby. "I have a real passion for seniors. I've always been ministry oriented, and working with seniors is a ministry for me."
Newby, who grew up and attended high school in Nevada, earned undergraduate degrees in Biblical literature and Christian education from Ozark Christian College in Joplin before he began his career in heathcare. Today, he is state certified by the Missouri Board of Nursing Home Administrators.
"I've spent the last 16 years in some type of healthcare," said Newby, "from home health to long-term care."
Newby's professional background includes experience as a supervisor for a home health organization in Green County and over seven years in adminstration at long-term care facilities.
"They had an opening here, and I recently had a change at the facility where I was working at," said Newby. "I have always loved southwest Missouri and I wanted to stay in southwest Missouri so this position was a good fit."
Newby is interested in overseeing some cosmetic changes at the Red Rose facility, including painting and other improvement projects. Under his direction, the facility is already receiving new lighting fixtures, which give the building a brighter atmosphere.
Later this month, Red Rose Health and Rehab will also welcome a new director of nursing. McKelia Scott, an experienced nursing director from Mt. Vernon, will join the staff on Feb. 25.
"We continue to have therapists at this facility," said Newby. "We offer physcial, occupational and speech therapy, and we work to rehab individuals home.
"We also have an activities director on staff, and we continue to offer activities for our residents," added Newby.
In addition to long-term healthcare and rehabilitation services, Red Rose Health and Rehab offers a locked Alzheimer's unit.
Newby lives in Republic with his wife, Mary, who teaches sixth grade math. The couple have two daughters, Jasmine, a sophomore, and Hayley, an eighth grade student. Both girls are active in 4-H, spending their summers showing pigs, and Hayley plays volleyball through school and traveling programs throughout the year.