When Diane Olsen, R.N., was seeing hospice patients in Great Bend, she visited Cherry Village Benevolence and helped care for its residents nearing the end of life.
Now, she is the new director of nursing at the non-profit, short- and long-term-care facility at 1401 Cherry Lane.
“I was here at Cherry Village often during the three years I cared for hospice patients,” Olsen said. “I always liked the facility, and I respect Pam Lewis and her mission.”
Lewis is Cherry Village administrator; Olsen previously worked for Hospice Care of Kansas, now known as Kindred Hospice.
In her new position, Olsen is using her decades of experience “to ensure all our residents are safe and happy, and that we meet all their physical and emotional needs.
“We want Cherry Village to be as home-like as possible,” she added. “Residents deserve professional and compassionate care, with the best quality of life possible. I emphasize that we consider the whole resident in all that we do.”
Olsen’s background includes positions at the Mayo Clinic’s Rochester Methodist Hospital for 12 years and the former Central Kansas Medical Center (CKMC) in Great Bend for four years. She also was a nurse at facilities in California.
“I moved to Great Bend with my 8-week-old baby to be near family in 1993,” Olsen recalled, noting she is originally from Iowa. “I have run the gamut in nursing, starting as an aide before spending many years in acute and chronic renal dialysis and a number of other specialties.”
Olsen also has been an emergency room nurse and managed a gastro-intestinal lab. She was at CKMC from 1993-97, when she served patients in the skilled-nursing unit and in scheduling.
Her list of responsibilities at Cherry Village includes: managing all residents’ care; overseeing medications and doctors’ orders; managing the nursing staff; and complying with all state and federal regulations.
While those duties are priorities, Olsen wants to take her job to the next level.
“I hope to have meetings here that are open to the public,” she explained. “Topics could include hospice care; durable powers of attorney for health-care and financial needs; and properly executed living wills.
“These legal documents are so important,” she added. “You must find someone you trust to speak for you when you cannot speak for yourself.”
In addition, Olsen is available for individual and group tours, and for speaking engagements. “I would love to have church, civic and school groups come into Cherry Village and share time with our residents. I also would enjoy speaking at their meetings.”
For more information, contact Olsen by calling 620-792-2165.
Administrator Lewis noted Cherry Village residents and families are fortunate to have Olsen in this position.
“Diane is committed to quality resident care,” Lewis explained. “She is interested in the whole person, and realizes quality care includes love and respect. Diane is an amazing asset for our families.”
A local family has managed Cherry Village, a non-profit entity, since it opened in 1978.