Pine Haven Improvements Featured In BizTimes

Milwaukee Biz Times recently highlighted the changes Pine Haven Christian Communities have made to improve the lives of their residents - by hiring new Life Enrichment Manager, Martina Wessels, and Chef, Crystal Thomas.

You can read the full article here.

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 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 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 Major Expansion of Senior Care Facilities and Programs

Roger Leys, Chief Executive Officer of Pine Haven Christian Communities was excited to announce that on March 25, 2013, “The Pine Haven Board of Directors set the number one priority of Pine Haven’s future multi-phase strategic plan. The 1st priority recommended by the Clinical Programs and Quality Improvement Committee and approved by the Board of Directors is the building of a new nursing home and restorative therapy complex on the 50 acre Pine Haven Prairie Crossing campus in Sheboygan Falls. Leys commented, “Pine Haven’s mission is to provide quality, compassionate, Christ-centered care. We make no decision without a certainty that God is leading our organization and staff. The past board purchased the property at the Prairie Crossing site for future development. We are not abandoning the Giddings Avenue location, but due to our being “land locked”, we cannot develop the type of skilled nursing and rehabilitation center we know the community needs.”

The Board also approved a recommendation for demolishing the current nursing home’s north and south wings. There will be major improvements made to the Residential Center allowing for more green space, improved resident/community access and parking off of Giddings Avenue. Leys explained, “Future phases will be implemented as resources and plans are approved, but the future is exciting for Pine Haven and our communities. Services will be expanded, employment opportunities will grow as will our campuses to meet the needs of residents and families throughout Sheboygan County.”

The newest section of the nursing home is over 40 years old with the oldest section being over 60 years old. The actual cost of a complete overhaul and update of the inner mechanicals and design would be close to the cost of building new. The updates to the nursing home lobbies and hallways of 2011 were needed in order to keep our facility viable and encourage new residents to come live or rehab with us. Any doors, railing, furniture, lighting, ceiling tiles, etc. currently in the nursing home will be not be wasted, but instead moved and utilized throughout our facilities.

Michele Oostdyk, Director of Clinical Services stated, “As our residents’ needs change and grow more complex, we need to assure that our facilities can accommodate them in the most homelike environment. We want to also provide our staff, a well-designed, innovative and efficient workplace that allows them to continue providing exceptional care that is resident focused and meet all needs: physical, emotional and spiritual.” Staff’s insight and ideas will all be considered as the design plan is finalized. A timeline of the plan will be provided to the board by August 2013.

Pine Haven’s Director of Sales, Marketing and Resident Services stated, “Being Sheboygan County’s 2012 Reader’s Choice Award winner for Best Assisted Living and Nursing Home is an honor we hope to preserve for many years to come. This is why we will gather all necessary data so we can assure we are accountable to our treasured residents, cherished staff and Christian focus. Our mission remains. Pine Haven Christian Communities will provide the aging population we serve an environment that is a Christ-centered, safe haven offering quality, compassionate care.”

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, 114 licensed rooms in the Residential Center, 22 rooms in Covenant Home assisted living for memory care, 30 apartments in Oostburg and 40 apartments at Prairie Crossing assisted living facilities. For more information about Pine Haven visit or contact us at 920-467-2401 or email

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 or contact us at 920-467-2401 or email