Local Care Center hires new administrator

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KayLee Ries (left) has accepted the position as Guttenberg Care Center administrator, and Lou Ann Wikan has provided guidance during the transition. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

By Caroline Rosacker

In 1968, Riverview Care Center, named the most modern nursing home in Iowa, opened for the inspection of the public on June 29 - 30.

The facility was purchased by ABCM Corporation in 1983, and renamed Guttenberg Care Center. ABCM has 29 licensed facilities in the state of Iowa, along with 22 independent & assisted living, including Eagle Ridge Independent & Assisted Living attached to Guttenberg Care Center.

Although the name has changed, the dedicated administration, department heads, and direct-care staff continue to provide compassionate care to area residents. 

Lou Ann Wikan

Throughout the years, Lou Ann Wikan, longtime administrator for Northgate Care Center in Waukon, also owned and operated by ABCM Corporation, has stepped in to assist when the administrative position changed hands. Wikan is a licensed administrator in the State of Iowa; has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Care Administration, and a Masters Degree in Health Education. 

"This is my seventh opportunity to assist the new administrator at the Guttenberg Care Center" she noted. "My role as interim administrator is to provide education and  training if the individual is not yet licensed or is new to the administrator role. I find the Guttenberg Care Center, and the community to be very welcoming." 

KayLee Ries

KayLee Ries has accepted the position as Guttenberg Care Center administrator. She has a Masters Degree in Nursing with an executive leader concentration, and has recently passed her boards to become a licensed administrator. "KayLee was originally hired to fill an open nursing position. Now we are focusing on the administration side of it. She is a quick study!" Wikan said with a smile. 

KayLee resides in Guttenberg with her husband, Andy, and their children, Bella, Peyton, and Griffen. 

"I have lived in Guttenberg all my life and know the community well," Ries noted. 

Rehab to home

There has been restructuring in the nursing home field to better meet individual needs, blending long-term stays and short-term rehabilitation services. 

Over the past few years, Guttenberg Care Center has remodeled its lower level to house Rehab-to-Home Suites, conveniently located next to the ABCM Outpatient Therapy Center, which has also been updated and remodeled. "We still offer long-term placement, but now are able to better assist those who are looking to recover from a surgery, illness, or weakness with the goal of returning back home," commented Ries.

Government developed programs, and home health care agencies, including ABCM Healthy Living Home Care, a service of Guttenberg Care Center, provide care so individuals can remain in their own home longer. Assisted living facilities like Eagle Ridge Independent & Assisted Living, also provide long-term care by combining housing, supportive services, personalized assistance with activities of daily living, and health care. “We want to make sure an individual placed in our facility will be successful, and that we can meet their needs, and our continuum of care campus at Guttenberg Care Center provides many different options depending on the level of care needed,” stated Ries. 

Guttenberg Care Center administration works closely with medical director Dr. Michele Dikkers. "Dr. Dikkers helps us out when we have questions," Wikan told The Press. "There are several facilities available within the ABCM Corporation that provide other specialized services and we work closely with our sister locations to meet the needs and care of the residents and their families." 

Ries is looking forward to working with area families that she knows personally. "I think my lifelong connection to Guttenberg will be an asset to the facility," she concluded.

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