Annie Kloos has taken a wide and thoughtful view of her role at Good Samaritan Society – Deuel County at a time when this community can really use it.
Annie is the director of nursing here and reacted with speed and clarity when one of her nurses tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result of her efforts and that of the staff, the community has been spared further incidents.
The affected nurse is now healthy and has returned to work. It’s a story with a happy ending, you could say. And it didn’t happen by accident.
“Annie is the epitome of service leadership,” says Good Samaritan Society – Deuel County Administrator Luke Wanous. “She sees work that needs to be done and she just goes and does it. She will pitch in with a helping hand with whatever is needed.”
That’s not just talk. When it was the director of nursing’s turn to take pivotal action that would end up positively affecting the future of the entire community, she did not shy away.
When Annie discovered that one of the nurses had tested positive for the coronavirus, in Luke’s words, “She sprang into action.”
It was one of the first reported cases for rehab/skilled care communities in the state. In this instance, dealing with it efficiently meant being up to speed on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services guidelines before it was urgent to do so.
“Part of it was learn-as-you go,” Luke says. “I’m so thankful for the way Annie handled it, and our infectious disease nurse Carla Bruinsma handled it. We have a solid team here. We’re just trying to keep everybody safe.”
Luke was working as an interim administrator in Valentine, Nebraska, when he took over as administrator at the Deuel County center on Jan. 1. There was going to be a lot of learning going on for the recent graduate under any conditions, but especially so with the presence of the coronavirus.
A key part of being able to deal with the pandemic effectively involves converting pages of guidelines into actual practice within the center. It was particularly important when additional protocols became part of the job.
“She saw the need,” Luke says. “She took the guidelines released by the CDC and CMS and filtered them into easy-to-understand guidelines for our community. The result is that everyone here clearly understands their responsibilities.”
The best part about her work is that there have been no new positive tests. It’s a testament to her diligence as well as that of the staff that on that count.
In recognition of her efforts, Annie was recently named winner of the Millie E. Olson Award. In the news release announcing the honor, it reads that she has “gone above and beyond the scope of director of nursing.”
Luke has seen all these qualities play out in well-timed increments that have benefited the staff and residents.
“March seemed like it went on for a few years here and the next thing you know, April was over,” Luke says. “It was definitely an experience for all of us, but I’m so thankful for Annie and her leadership ability to pull the team together.”