Brenda Allison is where she is because she listened to God.
In this case, that meant taking a risk and ultimately, greeting an unforeseen challenge.
She had seen first-hand the care the staff at Good Samaritan Society – Pine View in Valentine, Neb., devoted to her late father and she never forgot that. She also served on the location's advisory board and was familiar in a general way with how the Pine View community goes about its business.
That in itself did not make her an obvious choice to become the next administrator at Pine View, but God wasn’t looking for an obvious choice, Allison would learn. He was looking for the right choice.
“One thing led to another,” Allison says. “The signs were there. God kept saying this is what I’m supposed to do. I finally said okay.”
This former paralegal had a tough job waiting for her. She didn’t know it when she took the job, but her challenges would quickly be complicated by the spread of the coronavirus.
“She had thoughts about working with the Good Samaritan Society – it was a pay-it-forward mentality,” says Heather Krzmarzick, Good Samaritan Society Regional Vice President. “She felt blessed by the care her father received. When I went to that location and met her, we had great conversations. Right out of the gate she seemed like a strong leader.”
Even without the onset of the coronavirus, Allison had a learning curve to deal with in her new role. Existence of the pandemic made it all the more important to learn quickly.
“When I come to work I have the opportunity to make a difference in somebody’s life,” Allison says. “I’m part of a team that feels the same way. They put their heart and soul into caring for the residents.”
An example of getting up to speed: Allison wanted to know more about housekeeping within the residence. So how do you do that? You follow the housekeeper around for a day.
“Looking back on that, I think it was good for her to understand what the housekeeping job entails,” Krzmarzick says. “I also think it was great for our team to see that this was the way she was going to do things. She cared enough to learn.”
The impact of the coronavirus has necessitated strong leadership. A business-as-usual approach to Allison’s assignment wouldn’t be enough.
“She’s really been taking things on and getting things done,” Krzmarzick says. “She’s been great about reassuring the staff and the residents here that things are going to be okay.”
Allison does not hesitate to share that this has not been easy. However, she is bolstered by the belief that, as the Bible tells her, this calling from God would not come without the accompanying strength to handle the challenge.
“I keep reminding him of that,” she jokes.
She begins her day with prayer, asking for wisdom and discernment in carrying out her responsibilities for the benefit of the staff and the residents. Then she takes it all on.
“I couldn’t do this without God. There’s just no way,” she says. “I ask for the strength for the day – we can’t worry about the next day, just this day. Take on tomorrow when tomorrow comes.”