Starting next week, Linda Peters will miss the daily contact she had with staff and residents of Bethesda Home in Goessel, but she looks forward to some time off to rejuvenate and prepare for her next job. Peters resigned as CEO/Administrator in November 2011, but didn’t serve her last day until Friday, and was honored with a reception in her honor Saturday. Eric Schrag, an administrator with Bethesda since 2010, stepped in as CEO on Monday.
“Getting to know people and their stories made this a very special place to work,” Peters said. “As I look back on my 19 years here, I do so with deep gratitude. I have been blessed.”
Peters will start a new job May 1 in Goessel, opening an office in the Ratzlaff Building on south Main Street, as Executive Director for Progressive Healthcare Alliance.
“I will be coordinating group purchasing, joint learning sessions, and discussion meetings for the leaders of 12 nursing homes in south central Kansas,” she said. “I just felt it was time for me to move on to something new, and this is a good fit.”
As CEO/Administrator at Bethesda, Peters led the organization through several renovation projects.
“I feel I accomplished what I set out to do, and that was to lead Bethesda through several culture changes and resident-directive care,” she said. “We did a lot of remodeling and refinishing.”
Bethesda Home, established in 1899 as the Mennonite Bethesda Society, Inc., was the first Mennonite health care facility west of the Mississippi River. Over the past 113 years, the facility progressed and adapted to meet the needs of the residents and the community it served. Currently, Bethesda provides care for retired and disabled persons with 57 licensed nursing care beds, including 12 special care unit beds for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, 10 assisted living units, and 29 independent living units.
During Peters’ tenure, she led renovation projects that gave residents more control over their environment by establishing living communities instead of rooms in hallways. She also successfully managed ever-changing government regulations.
“We deeply appreciate the skills and leadership she brought to Bethesda,” Board of Trustees Chairman John Goerzen said. “We also feel fortunate to have someone with Eric’s skill already present within our institution, and are confident he is the best choice to maintain Bethesda’s tradition of excellence in the years to come.”
Schrag, who grew up in Newton and graduated from Bethel College in 1998, began work at Bethesda Home in 2006 as Director of Marketing, Development, and Independent Living. He completed the administrator-in-training program with Peters as his preceptor last year, and transitioned into the role of CEO/Administrator with confidence and appreciation for the facility.
“This is a wonderful place to work,” Schrag said. “We do a good job of caring for residents and it is an honor to get to work with so many wonderful people.”