Steadfast transition – Emily Dazey leaves Benedictine Nursing Center

August 2021 Posted in Business, Community, People, Your Health

By Brenna Wiegand

Emily Dazey

Emily Dazey, Executive Director of Providence Benedictine Nursing Center in Mount Angel, will be moving into a broader role as Providence Director of the Skilled Nursing Facility Collaborative for Oregon.

Dazey, who has served at the Mount Angel campus for 26 years, will now serve in a regional capacity on behalf of the Providence hospitals with the primary goal of easing patients’ transitions from hospital to other settings.

Dazey will continue to support the skilled nursing center in Mount Angel in planning efforts and provide guidance for her replacement, once chosen.

“I’m excited for a couple of reasons,” Dazey said. “I believe in the mission of Providence and love working in the Home and Community Care division, so I am glad to continue to be part of that.

“I am looking forward to applying the things I’ve learned in the years I’ve been here as I work with other facilities,” she said. “I’ll be able to speak from their perspective.

“I like problem-solving and developing relationships with people and that will be the focus of the new role,” she said. “At the same time it is really hard to move away from my current role because I love the team here, the community and the people we serve.

“However,  I am grateful for this opportunity to serve in a different way,” Dazey said. “I’ll be building a program and looking at situations in broader terms, identifying needs and solutions, all with the goal of serving people better.”

Highlights of Dazey’s career at Benedictine include the opening of an Enhanced Care unit in the nursing center in partnership with Marion County to serve people with mental health issues. She has been witness to the dramatic growth in the home health agency and the services it provides, the opening of Orchard House Assisted Living Center, which expanded the breadth of services provided on campus, and the enhancement of intergenerational programming through the Child Development Center on campus.

With her team, she has navigated sweeping changes in Medicare reimbursement and strove to keep a commitment to quality services with limited reimbursement as well as a total change in what the average resident looks like.

“The people we serve now are more complicated than they were even 10 years ago,” Dazey said. “There is a higher, more complex level of needs, and I have appreciated the way our team has grown and adjusted as the needs have changed.

“The bottom line is that we are here to support people in a way that helps them feel loved and cared for,” she said. “That may look different now than it did years ago, but hopefully the feeling that people get stays the same.”

Nothing has proven the commitment and adaptability of her team like their navigation of the past 18-plus months.

“It’s been really hard,” Dazey said. “Dealing with all the ramifications of COVID is the obvious thing; I can hardly remember what life was like before it. But it’s not only that; we had to evacuate our campus last year during the wildfires. And then came the ice storm, during which we were without power and Internet service for 48 hours.

“All of these situations have presented challenges like the team has never seen before, but through all of it, they continually pulled together and triumphed.

“I am amazed by this team and the way we’ve tackled every challenge that comes our way,” Dazey said. “I am most proud of our continual commitment to our mission and to caring for people.

“I always encourage new employees to find a piece of our mission statement that resonates with them because that is what’s going to help them through the challenging times,” she said. “For me, the part of our mission that has helped me over the last two years is the word ‘steadfast.’  It has served as a good reminder of the importance of staying focused on why we are here and never veering from that commitment.

“Another important thing I’ve learned along the way is the value of storytelling and understanding how our stories are part of who we are,” she said. “For this campus, that is particularly our history with the Benedictine sisters – it’s thanks to them that we are who we are.

“I’ve always felt privileged and grateful to work in a job where we really get to make a difference in people’s lives.”

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