There is a new administrator at Medicalodges Neosho.
"I am a victim of the Joplin tornado," said Marlane Williams, administrator of Medicalodges Neosho. "I was at Joplin Healthcare Center for about 10 years. I had been with the previous company 23 years, had lived out of state, and had moved back to Missouri, which was home to me, the northern part of the state around Moberly. But I had a chance to get back to Missouri in June 2002, and I started with Joplin Healthcare Center. I was the administrator there until the tornado came through; it ended up doing enough damage to the building that they did have to actually demolish the building."
Williams said she continued to work for the company performing clerical and administrative tasks and to work with the insurance company on rebuilding.
She was contacted by a representative of Medicalodges about the position in Neosho.
"I could have stayed with the company that I was previously with, if I was willing to move, but I didn't want to move," she added. "I have made this area my home."
Williams began her duties at the Neosho center on Sept. 10, 2012.
So what does an administrator do?
"In your job description, you can sum it up in one sentence that you are responsible for the operations of the building," she said. "But it goes from everything from ensuring that your patients are taken care of. Even though I am not doing direct patient care, I am ensuring that my director of nursing and her staff are taking care of those patients, that is first and foremost. Making sure that families are happy and that they are pleased with the care, that is second on my list. And also making sure that your staff are happy as well. So you are working with all of those different relationships, that is a big part of your day. Then there is plenty of paperwork, state paperwork, making sure that you are meeting state and federal guidelines."
Medicalodges Neosho generally runs about 100 patients – which includes an Alzheimer's unit. They also have about 100 employees.
"That number will vary, as we do have people that go to the hospital or new admissions coming in," said Williams. "We have 114 beds. We have several Medicare patients that we do take care of here, which is one of our favorites to take care of is when you have someone coming in from the hospital, they have had surgery, and they come in for therapy and they are able to go back home again. That, to me, is always a success story."
The residents have a lot of activities.
"You are going to find some that are not interested in many of the things that are done, and they have a choice," she said. "We have got some that they are happy in their rooms watching television. We have got others that are out here amongst everybody and they are involved in every single activity – whether it be all of the church services that are taking place, all of the musical things that we are doing, the card playing, the bingo."
Page 2 of 2 - Williams said she enjoys her job, especially from the first day.
"They welcomed me with open arms and I was pleased," she said. "When I came in, I immediately felt welcomed into the building. The staff has been very helpful, there is a lot of things that we have been working on as far as organization, time management, there is a lot of things that we are working on, communication to get things all headed in the right direction. When I first walked in the building for my interview, I felt welcome and the building had a good feel about it.
"I read happiness when I see smiles and laughter on my residents and with my staff members, that they are actually enjoying the work that they do here every day," she said. "When I see family members stop in and say, 'thank you' or give me hugs, I believe in having good relationships with those families. I like having those relationships with those families."
Outside of working at Medicalodges, Williams has a dairy farm and has since 2002.
"I know how many that I am milking. I have 56 milking currently," Williams said. "It is a passion of mine as well. It is Guernsey cattle, and is a lot of work. I get up early in the morning, I finally had to hire some part-time help and I still run until midnight on the farm. I love living on the farm, I was raised on a farm and I just can't get that out of my system. And that is one of the things that I like about this area, is that Neosho is such a rural area. I show, the cattle are registered, it is more than just producing milk, I truly do have a passion for them."
She sells her milk to Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), which picks up milk every two days. Other companies then buy the milk from DFA.
"I started milking cows with my mom when I was 8. She taught me very early on how to milk by hand. Of course with the number that I have, I am milking by machine. I have 10 milking units where 10 cows are milked at one time, so with that it is easy. The old-fashioned way is not. Milking is like riding a bicycle, you never forget."
When the weather warms up, she would like to have a farm day at the center or some type of event for the residents.