Archived Story

Timbers third anniversary today

Published 9:28am Friday, July 19, 2013

If you see a dog wearing a corsage today, it’s The Timbers of Cass County’s third anniversary.

Murphy the golden Labrador won’t be alone.

Community Liaison Barbara Groner pins a corsage on Jean Frenthway, 96, of Cassopolis. The two women worked together at Red Brick School when it was a seventh grade building.
Community Liaison Barbara Groner pins a corsage on Jean Frenthway, 96, of Cassopolis. The two women worked together at Red Brick School when it was a seventh grade building.

There are 13 employees and 10 residents who will be wearing corsages celebrating the 104-bed Five Star facility on Colby Street which represents 152 jobs, is close to 90-percent capacity for July and attracting residents with a television commercial airing on WSBT-TV in South Bend, Ind.

Original employees since July 19, 2010, when Atrium reopened unrecognizable Dowagiac Nursing Home include: Genny Leiter, manager dietary services; Cheri Nowicki, activity director and Murphy’s owner; Pam Black, physical therapy assistant; Pati Foley, maintenance assistant; Barbara Groner, community liaison; Maria Page, LPN; Tori Smith, LPN, medical records; Karen “Belle” Hubbard, CNA; Susan Curtis, therapy director; Melissa Sowders, CNA; Dena James, CNA; and Kim McGauvran, housekeeping.

The by-invitation community advisory board convened its quarterly meeting Thursday morning.

In attendance were Assistant City Manager Rose Scherr; Norm Burns, a nursing home entertainer; Janice Clark of Guardian Alternatives in Niles; Cass County Council on Aging Director Bob Cochrane; Rebecca Jellison, dean of the Southwestern Michigan College School of Nursing; Steve Grinnewald, Dowagiac Public Safety Department director; Groner, a retired Cassopolis Public Schools educator and Dowagiac GED examiner; Dr. Fred L. Mathews, SMC Board of Trustees chairman, for community development; John Ryder, Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital chief operating officer; Cassie Sikes, Pride Care Ambulance; Realtor Bruce Springsteen; Tim Stowers, Hospice of Southwest Michigan; and Stacey Wilder, pastor, Calvary Bible Church.

Administrator Karen Schalte, Marketing Director Gay Waterman, Regional Marketing Director Gary Vandenberg, Lake Shore Region Operations Director Brenda Stewart and Nursing Director Tammy Coney represented Atrium Centers.

“We started with a group of 14 local people who met with Atrium and Timbers key people,” Groner said. “Ours is the first Atrium Living Center to have a community advisory board, and it is an idea that is catching on with other Atrium facilities.”

Vandenberg reviewed with the panel data collected through a 22-question family/resident satisfaction survey conducted by My InnerView of Minnesota in May.

There were 223 surveys distributed and 65 returned for a 29-percent response rate, but they are shooting for 40 percent.

Sixty-one percent chose The Timbers for its location and 13 percent for its good reputation.

Ninety-seven percent were satisfied overall, with the top-rated areas commitment to family updates, cleanliness of premises, safety and respectfulness of staff.


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