Feature business: Myers promoted to executive director at Christian Health Care Center in Lynden

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Categorized in: Marketing Tips
Published on: July 14, 2023

Tonja Myers has been named the executive director of Christian Health Care Center, assuming many of the duties previously carried out by former CEO Patrick O’Neill. The role of executive director is a newly created role designed to consolidate administrative and leadership duties.

Myers has been a licensed administrator in the long-term care industry for 35 years and has a great deal of experience managing staff and operations. CHCC residents and staff have been blessed by her abilities since 2015, when she joined CHCC as an administrator.

“I believe that CHCC has provided truly exceptional care to its residents during my time here, even during extreme challenges,” Myers said. “That is due to the excellence of the team. My business philosophy to is to ensure the success of all who work here, and I have surrounded myself with smart, capable and dedicated people to help us do that.”

Myers earned a degree from Eastern Washington University in therapeutic and outdoor recreation in 1984, and her early career focused on helping people with various abilities and challenges, including developmental disabilities. She became an administrator in training and then tested for her nursing home administrator license in 1988. Her first care center was in Aberdeen, where she served for more than eight years. She then served as an administrator in Bellingham from 1996 to 2015, and she has been in Lynden ever since.

Myers volunteers her time serving the community through many local organizations, including Aging Well Whatcom, Bellingham Bay Rotary, the Northwest Workforce Council and Washington Health Care Association. She also enjoys acting and has participated in shows at The Claire Theatre in Lynden and the Bellingham Theatre Guild. She supports Whatcom Hospice, Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth, Bellingham Music Club and Animals as Natural Therapy.

“On a personal level, I consider it an honor to serve and share life with the people entrusted to our care,” Myers said.

Myers takes over at CHCC during a time of tremendous opportunity. CHCC, like the entire long-term care industry was hit hard during the pandemic. Some care centers have closed their doors, and others have been swallowed up by profit-focused investment firms.

CHCC is still standing after enduring three years of the COVID-19 crisis, and the organization continues to operate uniquely as an independent nonprofit — serving its community with compassion and love in Christ’s name.

CHCC is able to continue providing a critical service in north Whatcom County because of a commitment to care that runs like a common thread through all levels of the organization, including nursing and hospitality, dietary, social services, rehab/therapy, human resources, recreation, environmental services, medical records, transportation and administration.

The care center has the capacity to care for 142 people, but pandemic operations (lack of staff, cautious admissions) and the current business climate dropped that number to an average of 87 in 2023.

Myers and the CHCC board of trustees continue to explore ways to maintain CHCC’s ability to operate as a local and independently owned nonprofit — something that is becoming increasingly rare and special — during this process. In making this leadership change, the board is confident, hopeful and focused on the future. Goals for 2023 and beyond include hiring more nursing staff and increasing the number of people receiving care at CHCC to pre-pandemic levels.

About CHCC:

Christian Health Care Center is a locally owned and operated skilled nursing facility that is open to everyone regardless religion, race, color, creed, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation or disability.

CHCC operates as a nonprofit under the guidance of a distinguished board of trustees composed of Whatcom County citizens and business leaders, many of whom have had a loved one receive care at CHCC. Decisions about patient care are made right here in the community by people who understand and value quality care. The board of trustees supports the CHCC leadership team and helps them manage daily operations and a staff of approximately 200 individuals, as of 2023, in ways that align with the CHCC mission.

CHCC’s patient-centered skilled nursing services include long-term care (24-hour nursing) and therapeutic rehabilitation — physical, speech and occupational therapies that are offered on an inpatient or outpatient basis.

CHCC continues to uphold its reputation for delivering a high level of care. This is made possible by diligent, well-trained staff and efforts to continuously learn and grow in the industry. Collectively, CHCC has set the standard for skilled nursing, patient care and therapeutic recreation since 1956.

This media release was provided by Bellingham PR & Communications in Bellingham, Washington. Placement for this media release included the following outlets:

Cascadia Daily

Business Pulse

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