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LPN degree led to leadership role
Sheri Johnson treasures time with her family
Sheri Johnson is shown at the Great Bend Tribune’s Health and Wellness Expo on April 11, where she represented Brookdale Senior Living. - photo by Susan Thacker
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Sheri Johnson, executive director at Brookdale Senior Living, has spent most of her life in Great Bend.

She moved here with her parents from Osborne when she was a child, and attended Riley Elementary, Great Bend Middle School and Great Bend High School before going on the earn a nursing degree at Barton Community College.

As a Licensed Practical Nurse, she worked at various places until coming to Brookdale in 2005.

She started as an LPN on the floor and after a couple of years became the Health and Wellness director before advancing to her current position.

We spoke to Johnson at the Great Bend Tribune's Health and Wellness Expo on Tuesday, where she explained there are some misconceptions about assisted living, which differs from a nursing home. Residents bring their own furniture and things from home to their private apartments.

She added that not all assisted living homes are the same.

“A lot of people don’t realize that we can provide more care for activities of daily living, such as dressing and grooming, and showers. Other assisted livings might just provide the minimal care but we’d like to keep residents for as long as we can, even to end of life. We bring in hospice at the end if we need to,” she said.

“A lot of times, people think you come into assisted living until it’s time to go to a nursing home, whereas a lot of times we can keep them so they don’t have to transition to the nursing home.”

Family life

Johnson has two daughters, Marlee and Teagan, and they often help her with special events at Brookdale. For example, they helped serve an Easter brunch to 120 people – residents and their families. “Teagan would come every day if I would let her,” she said.

They are also active members of St. Patrick Church; Teagan attends Holy Family School and Marlee also went to school there until moving on to middle school. Johnson is also involved with Volunteers In Action, where she delivers Meals on Wheels.

The girls also enjoy swimming at Club 1 and the family enjoys going on walks and playing with their five dogs: a 10-year-old Maltese Shih Tzu, a 19-year-old rat terrier mix, and three 6-year-old “American Bully” littermates. They have plenty of room at their Bissel’s Point home.

“Spending time with family” is important to Johnson, and her first response if you ask what her hobbies are. Her father, Wayne Brummer, still lives here as well. He is a farmer for Clarke Farms.

“My dad is here so I want to stay close to him,” she said. “I love Great Bend and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Community Connections is a regular feature of the Great Bend Tribune. We welcome readers to submit names of individuals who are active in the community that they would like to see featured in a future story. Send suggestions to news@gbtribune.comand explain their “community connections.”