Stafholt administrator retires

Published on Fri, Jan 3, 2003 by Meg Olson

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Stafholt administrator retires

By Meg Olson

“I’ll miss turning the corner on a foggy morning and seeing this bright green roof,” said retiring Stafholt Good Samaritan Center administrator Ann Walter, who will hand over the reins to Kari Johnson-Dick January 3.

Walter came to Stafholt 25 years ago, to a different building and a facility with a different focus. “It was more of a retirement home then and didn’t really fill nursing needs,” she said of the old facility on D Street. As more and more of her customers needed nursing care, Walter said the need for a new building became glaring. “We only had one bathroom for 15 people,” she said.

In 1986 the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, a national leader in geriatric care facilities, adopted the Blaine facility and on the top of their list was a new facility. “We all had input in designing the new building,” Walter said. “When you work in a building you know how it needs to work.” The new building on C Street was completed in 1990.
Since then Walter has continued to work to expand both the facility and the programs it offers, adding a new annex for assisted living facilities and starting a program to train nursing assistants.

As the facility has grown, so has Walter’s job. A registered nurse with no accounting background, she’s had to learn to manage a growing budget, which reached $3.5 million this year. “This job has evolved,” she said. “Today you aren’t just taking care of people but of quite a bit of money.”
Walter said she will miss staff and residents, but she won’t miss red tape. “I won’t miss state bureaucracy and trying to make ends meet with a Medicaid budget doomed to fail,” she said.

Johnson-Dick has a degree in health care management and gerontology, Walter said, and lots of enthusiasm. “I’ve been here a long time and it’s time for someone with lots of energy and new ideas,” she said. “She fits in very well with the staff and it’s been a wonderful transition.”

There will be an open house at Stafholt on January 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. to say goodbye to Ann and hello to Kari..
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