October 17th, 2005

Michelle “Skeeter” Arnold, Nutrition Services supervisor at Great River Klein Center in Burlington, has received the Excellence in Long-term Care Award for Dietary Services from the Iowa Health Care Association. Arnold was honored Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the associations’ state convention in Des Moines.

Arnold has worked at the Klein Center for 23 years. She was nominated for the award by Klein Center Administrator Dick Miller and staff members Lisa Hines and Amy Vandiver.

“Michelle is exceptional not only in work and attitude, but also in the love that she has for the residents,” Hines said. “In her 20-plus years at the Klein Center, she has opened her heart to so many people.”

“She has a special calling to serve our residents,” Vandiver added. “It’s not unusual to see a resident come up to her and say ‘I haven’t had my hug today.’”

Arnold is a supportive member of the Klein Center team in more ways than one.

“A cancer survivor, Michelle has used her personal story to educate staff and encourage residents going through their cancer treatments,” said Miller. “Her Skeeter’s Cancer Beaters team raised $3,000 for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.”

Miller added, “To say she is a competent supervisor falls short of adequately describing her abilities. She is a ‘git ‘er done’ kind of leader. Her employees have a high degree of respect for her. She will roll up her sleeves and work right alongside them to get a job done, yet they know they have a boss who has high expectations of them.”

Making life special for others is a big part of Arnold’s commitment to the people she serves.

“Michelle strives to prepare special things whenever she can,” Miller said. “She works to implement resident choices in all areas of nutrition, making every effort to enhance our residents’ quality of life.”

Great River Klein Center is a 125-bed facility that offers long-term nursing care in a parklike setting and features a special unit for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of severe dementia.