FONTANELLE — BJ Baskerville began Aug. 9 as the new administrator at Good Samaritan Society Fontanelle.
Baskerville, originally from Fonda in northwest Iowa, is excited to get back into working in a long-term care facility like Good Samaritan after he worked for another non-profit in Des Moines for the last few years. This is Baskerville’s second stint working for Good Samaritan.
“I worked for Good Samaritan from 2011 to 2018, working in multiple communities for them during that time, and my last stop with Good Sam was up in Estherville,” Baskerville said. “I spent some time talking with my old boss, who still oversees the Iowa Good Sam communities, and talked with him about the position here in Fontanelle. Joining back with Good Sam, it seemed like a good time and a good fit. I’m happy to be here in Fontanelle.”
Baskerville said that in the last few weeks he’s been working in Fontanelle, he’s been reminded of how good of an organization Good Samaritan Society is. He has also enjoyed getting to know residents, their families, and the team of employees at Good Samaritan Fontanelle.
“We’re a smaller community, but I’m excited to see what we can do here,” Baskerville said.
Baskerville said that some of the heart he has for long-term care revolves around a shift he’s seen in the industry recently.
“The resident population we serve, you’re seeing them move from one generation to another generation, and we’re starting to see more baby-boomers who have different levels of expectations. I think that long-term care is an evolving industry. We have to learn to adapt, evolve and stay ahead of the curve as well,” Baskerville said. “I don’t necessarily have a set agenda for what I want done, but I hope in the coming time of being here and becoming comfortable with this team and this community, we can start to really grow ourselves and find different, unique ways to serve these residents and meet their needs.”
Mitigation always changing
While mitigation efforts for the pandemic were changing rapidly earlier in the pandemic, Baskerville said residents and staff alike are handling the measures that are still in place well.
Visitors still are screened at the door and all persons in the facility are required to be masked at all times. Officials constantly monitor local positivity rates and other factors to make decisions about levels of restrictions.
Sanford Health, of which Good Samaritan is an affiliate of now, also announced about a month ago that all Good Samaritan Society staff will eventually be required to be vaccinated. Baskerville said that the organization is working with all team members so they become comfortable with being vaccinated and are providing education to those who are more hesitant for various reasons.
“I think [requiring the vaccine], I think, is a good thing. You think about it, you’re working with some very vulnerable individuals. This industry has been hit pretty hard throughout this entire pandemic. These team members all love these residents. They spend hours and days with them, taking care of them. I think our team members are excited to see this come down. People get scared when they see a mandate, but it’s also positive for us so we can keep them safe and help their loved ones feel at ease.”