2021 February

Five Strategies for Recruitment

by Karen Lehman, MHS President/CEO

At the MHS Members’ meeting in December, MHS asked members to rank their most pressing issues. It is not surprising that your highest priorities are recruitment and retention. MHS will continue to provide tools and resources that address these issues.

Here are five recruitment ideas worth considering:

  1. Hire Displaced Workers. Use the tools and information already developed in the LeadingAge (senior living) playbook. It provides information on hiring displaced workers, including pre-written templates and other ideas.
  2. Shorten and automate the job application process. National statistics show that 60% of applicants do not complete electronic job applications. Shorten the application process to capture only the essential information. These include name, phone number, email, job/field of interest, and best time to contact. Applicants can complete the longer version later. Invest in HR technology that allows for instant texting and communication with applicants.
  3. Provide non-wage assistance to employees such as housing, food/meals, and transportation. Discounted housing may include: local rentals; apartments for sale; and unused campus properties
  4. Develop internship programs with local high schools and technical colleges.
  5. Provide a living wage. Moving toward a living wage can take time and involves research and planning. Learn about and understand minimum-wage salaries in your area. Research hiring wages in your competitive market. For entry level positions, look at local restaurants, hotels, retail outlets and factories. Set an aspirational goal for providing competitive salaries based upon your research. Then develop a plan for implementation including a timeline.

Your organizations shows your employees your care by how you treat each individual. You show this from the moment you respond to a recruitment outreach. Throughout the hiring and onboarding process you can show you value each individual. It is this connection that is so important and what matters most at the end of the day. Author Brené Brown sums it up:

energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Do you have a recruitment tool or process that is working for you that you’d like to share with other MHS members?  Please share in the comments.

2021 February

Gearing Up for Mennonite Health Assembly

by Clare Krabill, MHS COO

You and your ministries have been on our minds a lot lately! One big way has been in planning an interactive, educational and inspirational online event for you. We have given quite a bit of thought to making it super accessible to your organizations as well. There are many ways attendees can learn, receive inspiration and engage.

Photo by Chris Benson

Be Empowered to Advance Your Mission

  • Learn from experienced professionals through 19 workshops. Workshops will cover topics on leadership, governance, marketing, development, and human resources.
  • Enjoy unlimited access to workshops for 4 weeks following Mennonite Health Assembly.
Photo by Nick Gardner

Recharge and Be Inspired

  • Three inspirational keynote speakers will challenge and encourage you. 
  • Recharge during three 10-minute self-care sessions.
  • Focus on your faith for a few minutes each day through hymns, art and poetry.
  • Tune in for the awarding of the inaugural MHS Innovation Grants during the closing session.  

Engage With Your Peers

Photo by Evangeline Shaw
  • Network with your peers in three daily 30-minute networking sessions. These include: peer network groups; diversity, equity and inclusion; and conference favorites.
  • Invite a colleague to meet in the virtual networking lounge. It’s easy to assemble an informal group of 2-10 with a few clicks of your mouse.
  • Interact in daily 15-minute Q&A sessions with workshop presenters.
  • Make your voice heard by participating in live polls.
  • Log in early to our highly intuitive and easy-to-use virtual platform.  Spend a few minutes creating your profile. This supports a more interactive experience for all attendees. MHS will email an invitation to log in with instructions ahead of the event.
  • Use the chat feature to exchange ideas with the group or a peer.

We have made registration fees accessible as well. Members can register for $199 and friends of MHS for $249. Take advantage of special group pricing for your senior team, up-and-coming leaders and board members. Groups from your organization of 5 or more can register for $899 (MHS members) or $949 (Friends of MHS). Finally, there are still scholarships available for MHS members who qualify.  Mennonite Health Assembly is only 3 weeks away. Registration closes Tuesday, March 2nd. We are looking forward to seeing you!

2021 February

You Spoke. We Listened

by Clare Krabill, MHS COO

Many of you participated in the recent MHS member priorities survey and the annual MHS Members’ Meeting.  You named the top 3 priorities you would like MHS to work on to support your ministries: staff recruitment and retention; board governance; and strategic planning.

MHS staff have spent focused time considering these priorities along with your comments from the Members’ Meeting. To address your expressed priorities, this is what MHS is planning for 2021:

  • Mennonite Health Assembly Workshops
    • Developing Effective Teams
    • Why Employee Engagement?
    • Transforming Conflict into Healing in Times Like These
    • Recruitment, Retention, and Rewards
    • Intentional Overtime and the Living Wage
    • Building Healthy Staff and Board Relationships
    • Learnings from Executive Transitions
    • Understanding Indicators that May Signal Financial or Operational Distress
    • Mission Benefits for Working Toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
    • Roadmap to the Middle Market
    • Balancing Operations and Strategy
    • Disruption as Opportunity: Engaging Stakeholders in Challenging Times
    • Simple Strategies for Improving Organizational Performance
    • Plan for Success: Ask Consumers What They Want
  • Webinars
    • *Strategic Planning in the Midst of a Pandemic. Aired January 14th.
    • *A Time to Rest and Nourish the Soul. Aired January 28th.
    • Recruiting During a Labor Shortage. February 25th.
    • Employee Retention. April 22nd.
    • Board Governance Part 2. June 24th.
  • Resources to educate, develop and encourage your employees
    • *CEO toolkit
    • Monthly on Leading video blog exploring leading with authenticity
    • Monthly The Brief newsletter– your source for professional development opportunities
    • Executive Circle – one-year program focused on encouraging and mentoring CEO’s. Registration is full
    • Equipping for Succession – A CEO’s guide to preparing for retirement. Coming Fall 2021  
  • Network groups: 12 different groups to connect you to your peers and share best practices.
  • CEO Assessments, Board Assessments, and Employee Engagement Surveys continue to be available. Contact Twila Albrecht at for more information or to schedule your assessment.
  • MHS Jobs postings. Contact Chris Rahe at for more information.
  • A-lead I: Anabaptist leadership and development for new, newer, and upcoming managers. Beta group online 11-month leadership institute beginning April 2021.  
  • Medical Expense Plan. Wholistic health insurance serves as an excellent recruitment and retention tool. 
  • *Governance Resources – – available on MHS website
    • Board Chair toolkit
    • CEO Succession Planning toolkit
    • Board Member Recruitment best practices
    • And more….
  • Multi-session online Board Chair & CEO Governance Seminar in development

We at MHS, hope you will take advantage of these offerings. We will continue to make more opportunities available to you throughout the year. It is our vision to inspire and strengthen your ministries to fulfill your missions. We value your feedback. Have an idea, question or more feedback? Call or email us or go to the MHS contact page at

*Soon to be exclusively available through an MHS members only portal. More information to come at Mennonite Health Assembly.

2021 February

Welcome Tim Stoll, New CEO at Thurston Woods

Tim Stoll started as the new CEO at Thurston Woods Village January 4th. Stoll comes from St. Joseph County Commission on Aging, and prior to that was COO and interim CEO at Heritage Community of Kalamazoo.

Stoll says, “I’ve lived in this community my whole life and have had many personal connections to Thurston Woods. It’s exciting to have the blend of personal life and professional career.”

Stoll adds, “Thurston Woods is a great place. I’m looking forward to being a part of the success here and creating new ways for us to support our community.”

We welcome him to the MHS family and wish him the best.

2021 February

Welcome Kevin Paluszak, New Executive Director at Pleasant View, Inc.

Kevin Paluszak began his role as Executive Director for Pleasant View, Inc. at the beginning of this year. He comes to Pleasant View, Inc. from a consulting practice where he served providers of mental/behavioral health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services.

Before that, Paluszak had over 20 years experience in residential programs, as a teacher, as a counselor and as a regulator.

Paluszak shares, “I bring a unique perspective as I have sat on both sides of the table, as a regulator of programs and a provider of programs.”

He has a Master’s degree in Executive Leadership and is slowly working on a doctorate.

We welcome him to the MHS family and wish him the best.

2021 February

NEW Infection Control Solution

Dianne Piet

The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the landscape for infection prevention. Lessons learned continue to generate new guidelines and protocols to limit the spread of emerging viruses. New testing and technologies have arrived to mitigate surface bacteria, monitor contamination levels, and track infections. In order for communities to drive CMS compliance, the adoption of an effective infection control method is a top priority to tackle exposure, prevent outbreaks, protect staff and residents, and increase overall resident trust.

Bonafide, a new CPS vendor, introduces Bac-Track Infection Control ATP Testing and Cloud Based Solution. It delivers a systematic approach to mitigate COVID-19 and other virus contamination on surfaces using ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) monitoring devices, advanced electromagnetic sprayers, cloud based Bac-Track software, as well as two weeks of on-site staff training and extended support. In addition, Bonafide Bac-Track supplies an Interactive Software Dashboard tool to help operators and communities manage COVID-19 and other infections across multiple facilities. This system offers a view of contamination levels by facility, department, then down to the resident room. Bonafide Bac-Track furnishes contamination analytics from low to high risk and connects all facility data to produce reporting and corrective action.

  • Tracks and reports all infections according to the current guidelines
  • CMS & CDC compliant
  • Monitors and updates information from the CDC every Thursday
  • Analytic dashboard; Identifies highest and lowest contamination zones
  • Builds patient room floorplan, can filter by infection, then communicate to staff to resolve
  • Uploads data to cloud
  • Allows communication to all staff levels
  • Maps geographically
  • CMS reporting capability

To learn more or schedule a live Bonafide Bac-Track demonstration, please call, Dianne Piet, your dedicated CPS Client Account Manager. 603-935-7923, email:

2021 February Your Words

Your Words Responses for February

What is one thing you’re looking forward to doing once you’re vaccinated?

As more people on our campus are vaccinated, I’m looking forward to our residents getting some normalcy returned to their lives, and to seeing residents and family members physically reunite!

Allen Geckle, CEO of Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg

Travel! (I’m sure this is a popular one)

Krista Ogburn, Director of Human Resources at Jubilee

Travel and visit family

Charles E. Cable, retired

Going on sabbatical with Jonathan
Place TBD

Carol Shenk Bornman, Bornman Boat Builders 🙂

Enjoying the feeling of being at peace knowing I have done this small thing to help stop the spread of the virus in our world.

Allen Rutter, Executive Director at Shalom Counseling and Mediation Center

When all of our adults with intellectual disabilities have been vaccinated, and so have all of our employees, we can open up our facility! Our participants can come back to learn and grow and our employees can come back to work. Praise God for that day!!

Kirt Barden, CEO at Lighthouse Vocational Services

Being able to visit family and friends without fear of getting COVID.

Warren Tyson, Board Chair at Frederick Living

I am vaccinated but nothing has changed. I do feel less anxious about being around others, going to restaurants, traveling, etc. I’m most looking forward to an in person visit with my mom who lives in a Personal Care Home and is also vaccinated.

Susan Noriega, Vice President of Health Services at Fairmount Homes

I’m excited to be able to see my family.

Pamela Miller, Development Director at Pleasant View, Inc

I’m looking forward to hugging my 96 year-old mother (who’s also vaccinated)…and my children, of course!

Deanna Beins, Administrator at Menno Haven Rehabilitation Center


Ken Neher, Executive Director at Garden Terrace Senior Living