721 Hickory Street | Akron, OH 44303

A Passion for Care

Left to right: Bob Speelman, Sarah Buckner, and Karen Ginder

November 6, 2019

NOTE: This story was taken from the blog of Foundations Health Solutions leader Bob Speelman. Each week Bob works at one of our Foundations Health facilities in different roles. Whether working in housekeeping or as a nursing assistant, he sees firsthand how we embody the vision of our founder and nursing home developer, Brian Colleran, to be "A Culture of Care."

I spent the day at Hickory Ridge Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, our 170-bed facility in Akron. Karen Ginder is the administrator there and is doing a fantastic job with our Culture of Care. One of those care team members is an STNA by the name of Sarah Buckner - and I had the privilege of work with her. Sarah is 33 years old, a single mom of three, and has two boys, ages 14 and 11, and a daughter, age 10.  

Sarah has been an STNA for 14 years and began giving care when her father became sick. She took care of him for years until he passed. Sarah was very close to her mother and told me she gets her caregiver's heart from her mom. Her mom was an STNA early on and then got a factory job. She told me that her mom was a hard worker and she learned her work ethic from her. Sarah's mother passed away suddenly several years back, and that was a very difficult time for Sarah.

Sarah picks up shifts all the time. She said, "Having three children is expensive. Groceries and clothes alone are a huge expense." Despite those costs and bills, Sarah is invested in her residents. We worked with one resident who had the most amazing personality. Sarah told me, "Tomorrow's her birthday, she loves ribs, and I was so excited when I saw that the grocery store had a two for one sale in ribs. I am bringing her in a rack of ribs tomorrow for her birthday as a surprise." That's Sarah's heart. No matter how tight things are, she finds a way to stretch a dollar to show love and do nice things for her residents.  

You see, for Sarah, being a caregiver isn't just a job, and it's more than a career. This is her calling. I asked her if she had a goal to become a nurse or to do something different. She looked at me and said, "This is what I love, this is what I was meant to do." It's care team members like Sarah that live out our Culture of Care every day across the State.

The interesting thing about my time at Hickory Ridge was that all throughout the day my interactions with the staff were pure joy. I saw smiles on everyone's faces. Each department, whether nurses, activity assistants, social workers, dietary staff, maintenance, or anywhere in between - it was pure joy. The residents were smiling from ear to ear too. This is our Culture. This is WHY we do what we do.

"Working hard for something we don't care about is called Stress.

Working hard for something we love is called Passion."
Simon Sinek

Part of Hickory Ridge's Care Team

Thank you, Sarah! Thank you, Karen! Thank you to the entire team at Hickory Ridge! My time with you felt like a big loving family. Your passion for care and your love for each other is inspiring.  

Bob Speelman, STNA

Each week, Bob Speelman visits a Foundations Health Solutions nursing home. He works alongside a variety of departments to ensure Foundations Health is excelling in the vision of founder Brian Colleran's "Culture of Care." Foundations Health continues to practice the principles nursing home developer Brian Colleran instilled, such as resident and family satisfaction, positive employee culture, and investment in the community. 

Bob's Blog

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