New Roaring River Health and Rehab employees focus on facility, residents
Kuhn: ‘This is their home; they will be heard’
Roaring River Health and Rehabilitation staff and residents see both new and familiar faces with some recent changes in administration.
The familiar face comes from Katherine Taylor, director of nursing at Roaring River Health and Rehab, who had worked for two years previously as the charge nurse.
“Being on the floor as long as I was really helped give me an idea of what the staff and residents want and need,” she said. “I left last December and came back and started this new position on April 1.”
Taylor said she likes this new position because it still allows her to work closely with the staff and the residents.
“It lets me see things from behind the scenes, as well,” she said. “More than I did working as a nurse on the floor.”
Taylor said she considers the staff and residents as a part of her family.
“I spend as much time with them as I do with my home family,” she said. “I love that being part of a small town, it is easy to connect with the residents and have a bond through knowing someone or be a part of an event.”
Taylor said the Roaring River Health and Rehab staff take excellent care of its residents, and that is the real goal.
“Moving forward, it is our job to continue that level of care and look for ways to improve,” she said. “This is the residents’ home, they deserve dignity and respect just like anyone else.”
Taylor said it is her job, as well as the rest of the staff’s, to make sure the residents are cared for and treated with kindness.
“We develop relationships with the residents,” she said. “Sometimes they don’t have family that comes to visit, and so we provide that family for them by talking and listening to them.”
Taylor said she feels as though she and the staff are the window to the outside world sometimes, and she aims to give them the care they deserve.
“Overall, our priority is to make the residents feel happy and safe,” she said. “In some residential homes, people aren’t happy, here they joke and have fun, and that is important for the staff as well.”
Taylor said providing a happy environment that is safe is key.
“My door is open to the staff and residents,” she said. “I want them to know that I am here for them.
“We are a family and we care about one another, I love our staff and residents.”
The new and friendly face at Roaring River Health and Rehabilitation belongs to Christine Kuhn, administrator of the facility.
Kuhn began her position in November 2018, but she has worked in long-term care since 2002.
“I started in 2002 as a certified nursing assistant for another facility,” she said. “Most of my family work as nurses, so I always new that was where I would end up.”
Kuhn said she has worked in several different facilities in every possible position in long-term care.
“I had worked under several administrators, and one day I decided that I could be the person to make positive change in long-term care,” she said. “I knew the medical director for this facility, and when I was presented with the chance to become an administrator, I was excited for the chance to let residents and families speak and be heard.”
Kuhn said one of her main priorities is to meet the needs of her residents.
“Another part of that is community involvement,” she said. “It is important for the residents to continue to be a part of the Cassville community, but also for the facility to be a part of the community.”
Kuhn said Roaring River Health and Rehab is not a stereotypical nursing home.
“Our whole mission is to take our residents, rehab them and get them back in their homes living an independent life again,” she said. “That is what is important, and we want the community to see that is what we are about.”
Kuhn said that was why she decided to do an Open House a few weeks ago, to get the community involved and understand what Roaring River Health and Rehab is.
“I want to positively represent this community, and I want to bring in and share ideas with other local organizations,” she said. “For my staff, I want them to feel empowered.
“At the end of the day the staff build the relationships with the residents, and their voices will be heard.”
Kuhn said as far as the residents, Roaring River Health and Rehab is their home.
“Their choices will be respected and honored,” she said. “We are here to create a comfortable and safe environment for them, this is their home, they will be heard.”