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National Nursing Home Week 2020 - A Letter from the President

May 15, 2020

Happy National Nursing Home Week! For those who don’t know, Concordia takes this week every year to celebrate Employee Appreciation Week at all of our locations and home and community service offices – and every year, it’s a great time. Each day of the week includes a different themed dress down day, a snack or meal, and a gift for each employee. This year’s gift was a nice blue quarter zip sweatshirt!

Obviously, with the COVID-19 pandemic all around us, this year’s festivities looked and felt a little different than past years, but it was important to us to maintain this tradition to make sure our staff knows that they are truly valued. We would love to go on and on about just how awesome our team is, but we think the letter below from our President and CEO Keith Frndak, which was published in our employee newsletter yesterday, sums it up really well.

Take a look, and then enjoy the MANY photos we have below from the week! And if you’re feeling extra bold, visit the Careers section of our website to see about joining the Concordia family. Last, if you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can like, comment and share most of these photos, since we've been posting them all week. Go check it out!

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KEF 9 19As we celebrate National Nursing Home/Employee Appreciation Week this year, I hope we do so with even more joy for each other than we have in previous years. We have all been through a lot over the past few months ~ and Concordia’s employees have shown immense wisdom, graciousness, empathy and kindness through it all. I am proud and thankful for how each of you has stepped up to serve, care for and protect our residents and patients.

While COVID-19 has certainly changed the healthcare landscape for the foreseeable future, this isn’t the first time a pandemic has touched Concordia. Way back in 1918, when Concordia was known as the Evangelical Lutheran Concordia Home for Orphans and the Aged and didn’t have access to the infection control precautions we have now, the 1918 influenza pandemic sickened the superintendent, his wife and 73 of the 81 children living there that winter.

That year, while nearly all of Concordia was bedridden, the employees and community came forward to put their Faith in Caring. The teachers, other staff members and women from the community nursed the children tirelessly, and neighboring farmers sent milk and other provisions to help. By January, all but one of the children made a full recovery, and they finally celebrated Christmas on January 9, 1919.

Though over 100 years separates us from those early employees, I see the same spirit of caring and community in every one of you, whether you work in direct caregiving/nursing, therapy, housekeeping, maintenance, food service, accounting, administration, or in any of our other vitally important departments. We have all buckled down to handle every challenge this pandemic has thrown at us, following CDC and state guidelines to enact new policies, employing common sense interventions at every opportunity and adapting when situations change.

You have done all of this while still fulfilling our Mission Statement: to serve our aging community with a continuum of high quality caregiving options, provided in a Christian environment, and to serve those with limited funds to the best of our ability.

Concordia has faced many trials over our 139 years, but you, our employees, have always gone above and beyond to see our residents and patients through. I’m blessed to work here with all of you, and I thank you this week, and every other week of the year, for being our Healthcare Heroes.

In His Service,

Keith E. Frndak
President & CEO

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