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Libby Care Center hires local administrator

by Canda Harbaugh & Western News
| January 19, 2009 11:00 PM

After going through three administrators in the past two years, the Libby Care Center opted to choose a local to take on the job.

Cathy Ann Jenkins, who has worked for the center on and off for the past 37 years, accepted the role of administrator earlier this month. The former director of nursing now manages all departments of the long-term eldercare facility.

Members of the center staff are upbeat about the local pick.

“I think they made a great choice by finding someone that is homegrown,” said Kandis Peterson, the center’s activities director. “She knows about the community and what it goes through as far as being in a rural area.”

Cindy Banich, the current director of nursing, pointed out Jenkins’s commitment to Libby and the center.

“Cathy Ann really cares about the community,” Banich said. “She wants to make (the center) a popular place.”

Jenkins had to pass a state test before being considered for the position and will be an interim administrator at least until she passes a national test. At that point, corporate supervisors will decide whether or not to retain her as administrator.

“They offered it as an interim to see if I like the position and see if I can make the transition from nursing to administrative,” Jenkins said.

Banich believes that Jenkins’s nursing experience is her biggest strength in her new position.

“The most important thing is that she’s a nurse, and she has so much experience in long-term care,” Banich said. “She knows what it takes to run the center well.”

Jenkins has been in nursing since graduating from the St. Patrick’s School of Nursing in Missoula in 1970. While she has taken on different jobs throughout her career, she has mostly worked in long-term care nursing.

“It just keeps calling me back,” Jenkins said.

As an administrator, Jenkins believes her nursing experience will help her look past census numbers and conference calls and see the overall goal center staff should be working toward.

“This is the resident’s home and we need to make sure we manage it correctly and provide for their needs,” Jenkins said. “I just want to continue to ensure that this is a home-like atmosphere for the residents.”

Jenkins is being trained by a corporate supervisor, but has a leg-up because she’s already familiar with daily operations of the center.

“I think the transition is going to go really smoothly,” Banich said. “I just think it’s going to be positive all the way around … 2009 is going to be a good year for the care center.”