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Challenging Responsibility part two

Interview with Amy Koehnen of Ebenezer Senior Living, Part Two

By DWIGHT HOBBES

Ebenezer holds fast against COVID-19, operating its business of caring for people with exactly that – care. The alley concludes its conversation with Amy Koehnen, Minneapolis Campus Administrator.

You have your hands at the wheel.

I personally believe in being professionally hands-on. Early on, I went to each site, seven days a week. I keep my fingers in it.

No sooner did things become reasonably manageable than the Omicron variant arrived. How do you cope with the curve balls this virus throws us?

We made sure staff were vaccinated or given an approved accommodation. Otherwise they couldn’t be employed at Ebenezer sites. Every weekday at 9, 9:30 we do calls to pass along information, ask questions.

February 24, the Minneapolis rescinded mask requirements. Except for city owned or managed buildings. Where did that leave Ebenezer?

March 13, Governor Tim Walz declared a state of emergency. The Department of Motor Vehicles was open, the day before, when my son got his driver’s license, it was terrible. Human beings were coughing all over each other. Ebenezer had our assisted living and nursing homes shut and lock their doors. Signs said, “No visitors.” It made you want to cry. I can’t count the twists and turns, the different directives we were given. Between the Minnesota Department of Health, Center for Disease Control, Center for Medicaid and Medicare, World Health Organization we have many bosses who tell us what to do. The Ebenezer leadership team gathered all that information, giving it to us and my job was to give it to the staff.

Speaking of leadership, it seems corporation CEO isn’t just a high placed suit, but rather cares about people.

Absolutely. The mission we have is not just written on paper. John Lundberg and the leadership team genuinely emulate that. Which flows down to the people I work with. Dignity, compassion, innovation. Deaf services on the Minneapolis campus are one of a kind in the nation. Throughout 2021 one of our goals was to prepare to offer deaf services at Loren on Park’s assisted living.

Care to add anything?

Ebenezer is a business. COVID hasn’t been good for any businesses. Still, Ebenezer continues to support the staff. Who, in turn, are here for residents and tenants.

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