Oak Hill has built a reputation for staying up-to-date on the latest developments in senior living and rehabilitation, and its new administrator hopes to continue this legacy.
Shari Kruep of Barnhart, Mo., took over for interim administrator Kim Keckritz at the county-run facility in early February.
Keckritz, who was employed only part-time after retiring from the administrator role, rejoined in the interim upon the resignation of administrator Brian Koontz this past September.
While Kruep lives across the bridge, her connections to Oak Hill run deep.
“In 2000, I was the nursing home administrator at Monroe County Nursing Home for a few months,” Kruep said, adding that a friend later recruited her to another facility shortly after. “Also along the way, my grandfather was at the Monroe County Nursing Home and then my grandmother was most recently here in 2013 or 2014 and received excellent care. I know that Oak Hill has been a stellar community throughout the years and I was interested in coming back and being the administrator.”
As Kruep mentioned, the senior living and rehabilitation center had changed locations and even names since she first worked there as its administrator in 2000.
Throughout her career, Kruep has served as an administrator for both Illinois and Missouri facilities.
Yet, she said Oak Hill has always stood out.
“I think that Oak Hill is very special because we have always tried to be a cutting-edge community,” Kruep said. “We always do the best we can, and when we learn new and better ways to provide care and services for our residents, we seek out those new ways.”
For example, Oak Hill uses an “It’s Never Too Late” gaming system that connects to the TV to engage residents. With this, residents can do anything from play Wheel of Fortune to virtually traveling to other countries. Residents can even enjoy exercise programs through iN2L.
“It’s an amazing activity tool to help us have more vibrant activities for our residents,” Kruep said.
COVID-19 presented a threat to senior living and rehabilitation centers nationwide, and as Kruep said, it is still impacting visitation policies. Even with this, Oak Hill continued to provide the best care possible, she said.
“I am extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication that the employees had throughout the pandemic and continue to have through the pandemic,” Kruep said.
Kruep said she is continuing to be on the lookout for new practices, technology and more to better serve Oak Hill’s residents.
“My goal is to continue making sure that we provide quality care to our residents, make sure that we do our best today with the knowledge and resources that we have and keep our eyes set on new and innovative ways to continue bettering our services to our residents,” Kruep said.
Oak Hill is located at 623 Hamacher Street in Waterloo. For more information, call 618-939-3488 or visit oakhillmonroecounty.com.