Rise of the Phoenix - Our DON in the News Graphic

Going through your own personal struggles can truly help build empathy for better caregiving - and that certainly has been the case with our own director of nursing, Dawn Nimtz.

Check out the attached image - a copy of the article about her own fight through cancer and the support and strength she found by joining Team Phoenix is the Milwaukee area.

We are so blessed to have Dawn on our team!

Pine Haven New Hires Will Improve Dining, Overall Wellness

Pine Haven Christian Communities has recently added two new staff positions: Pine Haven Chef, Crystal Thomas, and Pine Haven Resident Wellness Manager, Martina Wessels.

“We’re always looking at ways to better serve our residents. We saw opportunities within our activities department, to increase focus on overall well-being, and in our dining service, to increase the number of options available to our residents and improve efficiency so that we could provide additional from-scratch options at every meal,” said Lori Albsmeier, Director of Human Resources at Pine Haven Christian Communities. “The talent and experience of Crystal and Martina are sure to enhance every one of our resident’s lives.”

The organization purchased and installed new, state-of-the-art technology in dietary food preparation including a “combi-oven” and a “blast chiller” over the summer. This equipment, which is new to the long term care industry, allows Pine Haven staff to provide fresher and healthier food, while increasing the variety of options. In order to make the most of the new equipment and further enhance dining service, Pine Haven hired Crystal Thomas as their new chef.

Crystal has a degree in culinary arts, baking, and pastry arts & science from Johnson and Wales University, as well as a certificate in education and supervised culinary interns. She has over 18 years experience as a chef in a variety of settings, including restaurants, resorts, and country clubs. Locally, she has worked at The Osthoff Resort, Lake Street Café, and The Gear Box. Crystal spent 10 years in the United Kingdom working at a resort with a castle and hotel, where they transitioned from traditional cooking equipment to the same food preparation method Pine Haven will now be using.

Looking to enhance the daily lives of residents, Pine Haven also hired a new Resident Wellness manager, Martina Wessels, in early September. Martina Wessels earned her bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois. Since graduating, Martina worked for Alliance Rehab at a retirement community similar to Pine Haven providing fitness services to residents in independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation and dementia care environments. Martina has created exercise programs, coordinated activities within a resident fitness center, planned and coordinated games and fitness activities, created displays on health topics and presented seminars on fitness and wellness topics.

Martina has already structured a new “Gym to Go” program, where she works with individual residents to assess their condition, set goals, and conduct a personalized workout routine with them on a regular basis. This is the first of the new initiatives Martina will be developing to help improve the overall wellness of all Pine Haven residents.

Residents are pleased with the changes. Compliments from residents about the food began as soon as the new equipment was being used, and continue to come in as residents enjoy the new and tasty creations. And many people have already signed up for the newly launched “Gym to Go” program.

For more information about Pine Haven visit www.pinehaven.org or call 920-467-2401.

Scholten & Pilgrim Earn CDP® Designations

Pine Haven Christian Communities proudly announces Rhonda Scholten, RN and Nicole Pilgrim, LPN have earned their Certified Dementia Practitioners designations. With this designation they have joined the National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (NCCDP) and International Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners (ICCDP).

The goal of the NCCDP/ICCDP is to develop and encourage comprehensive standards of excellence in direct-care skills, education and sensitivity in the area of dementia care. The Council was formed to promote standards of excellence in dementia education to professionals and other caregivers who provide services to dementia clients.

Scholten and Pilgrim are both staff nurses at Pine Haven Christian Communities Covenant Home-Assisted Living for Memory Care. For more information about Pine Haven visit www.pinehaven.org or call 467-2401.

Lemmenes Receives Director of Nursing- CLTC Credentials

Pine Haven Christian Communities is pleased to announce that Gina Lemmenes, RN has completed the Director of Nursing in Long Term Care Certification Program offered by the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing.  She also passed the exam to earn her DON-CLTC credential.  The program is designed to provide a comprehensive training program in leadership, clinical, regulatory and legal information.

Gina has responsibility for the clinical care provided to our residents in the Nursing Home. She most recently served as the assistant director of nursing at Sheboygan Senior Communities and had also worked there as a nurse supervisor and staff nurse.  Prior to that, Gina worked for 10 years as a critical care nurse at Aurora Valley View Medical Center.  Gina also worked as a nurse at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Heights, Illinois.  Gina earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights.

Pine Haven Names New Housekeeping/Laundry Services Manager

Pine Haven Christian Communities has announced the promotion of Cheryl Marti to the position of housekeeping/laundry services manager.  Cheryl has been part of the Pine Haven family since May 2009.  Most recently, Cheryl has worked as a LPN on the day shift at Pine Haven-Oostburg.

Cheryl brings over 30 years of professional experience in housekeeping and laundry to this position.  She and her husband, Paul, have owned and operated Paul’s Janitorial Service and Troy/Twinbrook Cleaners.  Cheryl believes in working together as a team, maintaining good communication with others, and assuring that she will fulfill our residents’ needs. We believe Cheryl’s experience and dedication to our mission will continue our excellent reputation of providing clean, pleasant and healthy accommodations for all of our residents.

Pine Haven Christian Communities Announces Promotions within Leadership Team

Roger A. Leys, Chief Executive Officer of Pine Haven Christian Communities recently announced promotions of two staff members as the first step in a multi-year succession plan approved by its Board of Directors in November.  The succession plan will support Pine Haven through the organization’s building project which was announced in fall 2013 with plans to break ground in spring 2014.  The new facility will continue to provide Pine Haven’s unique continuum of care on one campus with enhanced services provided in a dedicated rehabilitation/therapy facility. The succession plan will establish the framework for Pine Haven’s leadership structure which will lead the organization into the future while fulfilling its mission and vision.

Ron Walvoort has been promoted to the position of chief financial and operating officer. In this new role, Walvoort continues to have responsibilities for Pine Haven’s budget and financial planning. He also continues to oversee the Business Services, Dietary, Housekeeping/Laundry, Information Technology and Maintenance departments. This change will allow time for Ron to be a member of the project team responsible for design and construction of our new facility and renovations at the Giddings Avenue campus. Prior to joining Pine Haven, Walvoort earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from Dordt College in Iowa and worked as an accountant with local companies. Walvoort became director of finance at Pine Haven in 1999 and was promoted to chief financial officer in 2010. He earned his Nursing Home Administrator License in November 2011 and served as administrator at Pine Haven since December 2011. He will maintain his administrator license and serve as assistant administrator.

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Michele Oostdyk has been promoted to the position of director of clinical services and administrator.  Oostdyk joined Pine Haven as director of clinical services in January 2012.  She continues to have responsibility for leading and managing all clinical services provided throughout Pine Haven facilities.  Oostdyk has a key role in developing the clinical programs being planned for the new rehabilitation and therapy program.  As administrator, Oostdyk will have responsibility for regulatory compliance of all departments in each Pine Haven facility.  She earned her Associate Degree in nursing from LTC, her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from Mt. Senario College, and her Master of Science in Management from Cardinal Stritch University.  Oostdyk served in nursing leadership roles with Extendicare, St. Nicholas Hospital and Aurora Health Care prior to joining Pine Haven.  She earned her Nursing Home Administrator License in October 2013.

National Association Awards Two Pine Haven Employees

Joan Spindler and Mary Aderman recently received Longest Tenure awards from LeadingAge for their service and dedication to the residents of Pine Haven Christian Communities.

LeadingAge is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to making America a better place to grow old. The association advances policies, promotes practices and conducts research that supports, enables, and empowers people to live fully as they age. Pine Haven Christian Communities nominated Spindler and Aderman for the Longest Tenure award which recognizes those with 30 years or more service to a member organization.

Joan Spindler is a licensed practical nurse and Pine Haven’s medical records clerk. She has 38 dedicated years of service to Pine Haven. Mary Aderman is the manager of dietary services and has served Pine Haven for 37 years.

Pine Haven Christian Communities began in 1950, with the opening of Pine Haven Christian Home in Sheboygan Falls. With multiple expansions, today offers 50 beds in skilled nursing, 136 licensed rooms in the residential center wing, 30 apartments in Oostburg and 40 apartments at Prairie Crossing assisted living facilities. Pine Haven’s mission is to provide quality, compassionate, Christ-centered care. For more information about Pine Haven visit www.pinehaven.org or please contact us at 920-467-2401 or email bhuenink@pinehaven.org

Pine Haven Christian Communities Honors Staff

Pine Haven Christian Communities recently held a celebration to recognize staff who reached milestones in their service to the organization in 2012. Twenty individuals were recognized for a total of 175 years of service to Pine Haven’s residents.

Individuals recognized for five years of service include: Jean Loepfe, Orson Najacht, Paulette Mullen, Jennifer Maitland, Courtney Kohlhagen, Brittany Schwinn, ReBecca Frank, Lisa Pahl, Liza Thelen, Charlene Pratt, Linda Ongna and Linda Miner.

Donna Bifano, Dawn Hutchins and Joslyn Lau celebrated ten years of service.

Staff recognized for fifteen years of service include: Christa Gollnick, Pamela Simmelink, Andy Sterzen and Robin Lappegard.

Peggy Eder was honored for twenty-five years of service to Pine Haven.

Pine Haven Christian Communities began in 1950, with the opening of Pine Haven Christian Home in Sheboygan Falls. With multiple expansions, today offers 50 beds in skilled nursing, 136 licensed rooms in the residential center wing, 30 apartments in Oostburg and 40 apartments at Prairie Crossing assisted living facilities. Pine Haven’s mission is to provide quality, compassionate, Christ-centered care. For more information about Pine Haven visit www.pinehaven.org or contact us at 920-467-2401 or email bhuenink@pinehaven.org

Pine Haven Christian Communities Welcomes New Staff

We are very excited to announce the hiring of four strategic positions within Pine Haven Christian Communities.

Kelley Rodriguez joined Pine Haven as the new clinical care supervisor on February 11th. Kelley’s responsibilities will include assessments of potential residents, communication with medical providers and families, change of condition assessments, maintaining service plans, and supervision of clinical staff. She earned her Associate Degree in Nursing at Lakeshore Technical College. Most recently, she served as the infection control/nurse education coordinator with Sheboygan Senior Community. Prior to that, Kelley worked as a RN supervisor, director of nursing, assistant director of nursing, and LPN at three different nursing facilities, including Sheboygan Progressive and Morningside Health Care Center.

Marcia Adams is the new social services coordinator effective March 11th. Her responsibilities will include assisting residents and families with the social and emotional aspects facility transitioning; assisting with difficult resident or family situations; providing emotional support as resident needs arise; and connecting residents and families with community and government benefit programs and resources. Marcia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from UW-Milwaukee. Prior to joining Pine Haven, Adams was employed by Hospice Advantage as a social worker and volunteer coordinator. She has also served as the senior center supervisor at the Sheboygan Senior Center, director of social services with Sunny Ridge Health and Rehabilitation Center, and social worker/ discharge planner at St. Nicholas Hospital. Together, Kelley and Marcia will be responsible for the oversight of Prairie Crossing and Pine Haven Oostburg.

Kelly Honkanen has accepted the position of human resources representative effective March 4th. Her primary responsibilities will include recruitment, benefit administration, and employment verifications. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources from UW-Milwaukee. Honkanen has over 13 years of experience working in Human Resources for a variety of organizations, most recently with Geneva National Golf Club.

Brad Huenink has filled the newly created position of Information Technology Coordinator, on March 18th.

He majored in Management Information Systems, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from UW-Milwaukee. Brad has experience working in IT, primarily in quality assurance roles. Brad has worked for an insurance company, an on-line retailer, and a software solutions firm. He has experience working with a wide variety of users and looks forward to helping us to improve our use of technology. He will be instrumental in leading us into electronic charting and the future of computerized medical information exchange.

Pine Haven Christian Communities began in 1950, with the opening of Pine Haven Christian Home in Sheboygan Falls. With multiple expansions, today offers 50 beds in skilled nursing, 136 licensed rooms in the residential center wing, 30 apartments in Oostburg and 40 apartments at Prairie Crossing assisted living facilities. Pine Haven’s mission is to provide quality, compassionate, Christ-centered care. For more information about Pine Haven visit www.pinehaven.org or contact us at 920-467-2401 or email bhuenink@pinehaven.org

Pine Haven Recognizes 27 Employees with Service Awards

Pine Haven Christian Communities paid tribute to 26 staff members on April 3, 2012 with the annual service awards recognition. We thank and honor each of these employees for their commitment to Pine Haven’s mission of quality, Christ-centered care. Together they account for 295 years of service to Pine Haven and our residents!

  • 5 Years: Brenda Unhold, Kelsey Prinsen, Debbie Koeppen, Joni White, Maria Lampe, Mary Lou Herwig, Jane Kesting, Violet Pfeifer, Debra Liebig, Tammy Wield, Joyce Muehlberger, Marisa Van Maaren, Sandy Patt, Jacquie Petrie
  • 10 Years: Meredith Wilson and Barb Kwiatkowski
  • 15 years: Becky Burt, Tricia Balde, Evelyn Droge, Jane Rammer, Mary Schmitt
  • 20 years: Chris Zoran
  • 25 years: Judy Lorier, Bonnie Hilbelink, Marilyn Rauwerdink
  • 35 Years: Mary Aderman

Pine Haven Christian Communities began in 1950, with the opening of Pine Haven Christian Home in Sheboygan Falls. With multiple expansions, today offers 50 beds in skilled nursing, 136 licensed rooms in the residential center wing and 40 apartments at Prairie Crossing their assisted active living facility and 24 apartments at the Oostburg assisted living facility.

For more information about Pine Haven visit www.pinehaven.org or contact us at 920-467-2401 or email bhuenink@pinehaven.org