2021 August

A First-hand Look at a Risk Manager’s Role

Arielle Schultz, Compliance and Risk Manager at Mennonite Village

MHS interviewed Arielle Schultz, Compliance and Risk Manager at Mennonite Village in Albany, Oregon to give our readers a first-hand look at the experiences of a risk manager.

Share how you came to the role of Risk Manager at Mennonite Village.

I worked at the Mennonite Home as a CNA/Team Leader in the rehab unit for roughly 4.5 years as I was going through school. During these years I received my Associate of Arts degree from the local community college then changed my major from nursing to communications and enrolled at a university about 40 minutes away. I spent two years driving back and forth from work to class working extremely modified shifts to make my educational dreams happen. After I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts in communication with a minor in Spanish, I continued working as a CNA for another 2 months when the position as Compliance and Risk Manager became available. At the time, my staffing coordinator, called me and urged me to apply. It was a quick turn around from that conversation and within a few weeks I had two interviews, both while still wearing my scrubs, and was offered the position.

What have been the greatest challenges in your role and work that you’ve had to overcome?

The greatest challenge for my role has been advancing this role from a nursing-based risk management position to a campus wide risk management and compliance one. I do not think the rest of campus knew what to think of this new role stepping into their territory, and unfortunately it was met with some resistance at first. It took time to relay to all the departments that my role was here to be a support and not a replacement to any of their existing staff. I was able to find my way into these groups to where they saw me as an asset and not a hinderance. Once this position truly became a campus wide role, I was able to bridge the gap between the departments since I attended such a variety of meetings and was part of most departmental committees. This change also brought the ability to increase consistency across departments, in minutes, trainings, and processes. These were hurdles at the time, but well worth the time and energy to get there.

Share a positive highlight, achievement or something you are proud to have accomplished in your role.

I am very proud of the educational components of my role that have been streamlined. There are more campus wide trainings on our campus than ever before. We now have a campus wide compliance, risk management, HIPAA, setting realistic expectations, and fair housing trainings that are given to all staff. The formatting is consistent, all staff receive the same information, and all the requirements are streamlined for effectiveness. I feel that we are able to now show accountability for these trainings, and that staff truly learn something throughout the process. I make sure to update each training annually with new examples and statistics, which I feel makes for a strong level of engagement.  

The Risk Manager role comes with great responsibility, share how you are able to work within the team at Mennonite Village to ensure there is a culture of safety.

This has been a difficult challenge over the years, but slowly has gotten easier with each year that has gone by. I think that the best way to try and ensure a culture of safety is to be open and transparent about the issues and concerns on your campus, and then offer suggestions and training that can be easily relayed to all staff. I think when staff feel they can see a clear view of the concerns then they are more apt to be engaged in the process of trying to correct them. Finding a way to increase consistency across campus only helps the process. It is great to see staff from across our campus have the same understanding of key risk management processes and that reporting concerns ultimately leads to less work for them and a safer environment for the residents.

Understanding that you work with the Peace Church program, share how their resources and services support you in your role.

It has been great having the resources from the Peace Church available, especially ECRI. Knowing that there are resources available so that you do not always have to start from scratch is a nice comfort. Also, the continued number of pertinent webinars cannot go unnoticed either. It is great to use such a vast variety of resources to educate our campus and stay up to date on current trends in risk management.

Anything else that you would like to share with MHS members about the risk management role at Mennonite Village?

With every role, consistency is key and sometimes that results in some uneasiness when departments have been doing the same thing for years. Getting buy in from multiple departments and developing one plan that works best to satisfy the needs of all departments is a difficult road, but the best one to go down. Being a risk manager is a tough role, but if you are diligent, focus on doing the right thing, and remain approachable, it will only align to make your job easier to navigate and better for the community overall.

2021 August

Your Words Responses for August 2021

What’s your happy place?

Sitting on the beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina watching the waves crash.

Jerry Lile, CEO of Fairmount Homes

Lido Beach

Leland Sapp, CEO of Peaceful living

My happy place is seeing an organization achieve it’s mission and strategic initiatives!

Allon Lefever, Board Chair of Landis Communities

With my family, wherever that may be!

Jennifer Schwalm, Partner with Baker Tilly

The beach with sand, a book, and my husband

Christa Held, Director of Donor Engagement with Peaceful Living

Cedar Brook

Roberta Linscheid, Executive Director of Sierra View Homes

Being with my husband and daughter.. preferably on vacation!

Arielle Schultz, Risk Management and Compliance Director at Mennonite Village


Randall W Gasser, Executive Director at Woodhaven Retirement Community

The utter privilege and blessing of relating with residents and reflecting together on the journey!

Randy Murray, Chaplain at OrrVilla Retirement Community
2021 August

The Board’s Role in Risk Management

by Karen Lehman

What is the role of the Board when it comes to risk management?   There are several reasons why a governing Board needs to pay attention to issues that relate to organizational risks;

  • It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure effecting planning for all of the programs and service lines of the organization, including the awareness of where the organization may have its greatest liability risk and ensuring there is protection or safeguards in place, 
  • Overall protection of the organizations assets and resources requires a solid risk assessment and plan,
  • And finally, the Board’s ultimate responsibility is to ensure the legal and ethical integrity of the organization which can only be done through a robust and thorough risk management program. 

For a full review of the Board’s role in risk management, please see the BoardSource resource that is available to you. One of the benefits of your MHS membership is being able to ask questions about governance related matters to MHS staff.  Send questions to Info@mhsonline.or

2021 August

Alisa Miller to Leave MHS and MHS Consulting

After more than eight years of service, Alisa Miller will resign as MHS Chief Financial Officer and MHS Consulting Managing Director, to pursue a new opportunity as CEO of Kairos Health Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of LeadingAge PA.

Alisa joined MHS Consulting in January 2013.  In that role, she served MHS members and other clients by providing various consulting services.  In September 2014, Alisa took on the Vice President of Finance position with MHS.  In November 2017, Alisa was named the MHS Consulting Managing Director, balancing both roles for the last four years.

MHS President/CEO, Karen Lehman says, “I am deeply grateful for Alisa’s dedication and leadership to MHS throughout these years.  She’s been a great colleague and will be missed!”

Jarrod Leo, chairman of the Kairos Board of Directors says, “We are thrilled to welcome someone of Alisa’s caliber and experience to Kairos, and look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead under her leadership.”

Miller’s last day at MHS will be August 27, and she will be succeeded by Jeremy Kauffman, who has been with MHS Consulting since 2019. All of us at MHS and MHS Consulting wish Alisa the best as she moves into her new role and responsibilities. She will be missed.