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New Sterling Village director of nursing returns to her roots
sterling village Lauren Saenz
Lauren Saenz, the new director of nursing at Sterling Village, enjoys time with Ron Wilson and Delma Small who are playing dominoes at the long-term-care residence.

            When Lauren Saenz, a Lyons native and resident, recently became director of nursing at Sterling Village, it was like coming home.

            Saenz served as a certified nurse’s aide at what was then Sterling Presbyterian Manor and has returned in a nursing/management position.

            “Even though I have been here just a short time in this position, I can tell you Sterling Village stands above many other residences because of its focus on person-centered care,” Saenz said. “Everyone is so welcoming and caring, and works as a team. This is the first work-related family I have ever had; I am so happy to be back.

            “I truly enjoy connecting with our elders and their families,” she added. “And I want to set an example for my colleagues of what a compassionate, professional director of nursing can be.”

            For example, she noted, her staff can always depend on her, just as she always depends on them. “This is what makes an amazing team/family.”

            Saenz also noted she is “an open book.” Elders and families may have her cell-phone number for the asking.

            Saenz encourages a strong line of communication with adult children and other family members because they know their loved ones better than anyone else.

            “They might notice that something isn’t quite right before we do,” she explained. “Our team wants to know as much as we can about each elder in our care.

            “Being focused on each individual’s wants and needs is our number-one priority,” she continued. “We want elders to know they are loved and cared for.”

            Saenz graduated from Barton Community College in 2016, earning her registered nurse credentials. She worked at Sterling Village from 2014-17 before joining the Good Samaritan travel team. Saenz later became director of nursing at Ellsworth Good Sam.

            Her husband, Luis Saenz, is a licensed practical nurse at Rice County District Hospital. Her mother, Brenda Verrette, and grandparents, Gerald and Rosie Davis, are long-time Lyons residents. “They seem to know everyone,” Saenz laughed.

            Karen Smith, Sterling Village administrator, said “we are thrilled to have Lauren back at Sterling Village. I first worked with her while she was on staff and working on her nursing degree.

            “I knew then she would be an excellent nurse who had her eye on leadership. It is such a blessing to add another local face to our strong team.”