The new executive director at Aase Haugen Senior Services is focused on education.
"I'm extremely committed to ensuring that my staff have educational advancement and opportunity made available to them," said Jeffrey Schmidt, MS, ACHACA.
Schmidt started at Aase Haugen May 20 and wanted to express "how impressed I am with the staff here at the facility."
"Despite the recent trials, the staff have remained committed to providing an outstanding level of care to their residents," said Schmitt.
Schmidt, originally from Vandalia, Ohio, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1978 and spent 20 years on active duty, providing healthcare to Marines and sailors on board ship. He worked closely with Navy Seal teams and a variety of Marine battalions before retiring and moving to Iowa in 1998.
Following his retirement from the military, he attended George Washington University and received a bachelor's degree in health sciences. He became a licensed nursing home administrator in July of 2005, and has worked in both Nebraska and Red Oak (Iowa) since then. He completed his masters in healthcare education from Capella University in March, and he plans to begin pursuing his doctorate in healthcare administration this fall.
Schmidt said his main goal is to position Aase Haugen to become the leader in post-acute care and elder care services for Decorah and the surrounding community.
He said Aase Haugen continues to grow and is currently at 95 percent of capacity.
"We are a continuing care retirement community, and we're looking forward to expanding our services in the near future," said Schmidt.
He added Aase Haugen will continue to provide enhanced short-term rehabilitation, sub-acute care and skilled care.
He plans to offer the staff every educational opportunity available to them, including additional education and resources to the professional nursing staff and "enhancing the education of our frontline CNAs."
"I'm extremely passionate about education," he said.
Schmidt recently moved to Decorah with his wife, Brenda, a clinical nurse consultant; his son, Joshua, who will start classes at NICC next month, and his Labrador, Charlie.
"My wife and son and I have been overwhelmingly impressed with the community of Decorah, its amenities and how welcoming everyone as been," he said.
"I have lived all around the United States and halfway around the world, and Decorah is a pretty cool place."
Schmidt said he plans to become part of the community by joining local service organizations, such as Rotary and the VFW.
Aase Haugen Senior Services will host a special welcome coffee to meet the organization's new leadership: Schmidt and Director of Nursing Brenda Johnson, RN.
The event is today (Tuesday, June 25) at 2:30 p.m. in the Aase Haugen Main Dining Room, 4 Ohio St., Decorah. The public is invited to attend.