Krystal Gruenenfelder, Administrator
It has been a blessing for me to be with the facility since June of 2006. I came to the facility after working for Community Link in Breese, IL, where I developed and supervised a community integration program for adults with intellectual disabilities. Community Link is where I discovered that this was the field for me to build a career in. I began as the Activity Director at SLC, in which I have many great memories of all of the fun times we had and amazing experiences I got to have with the residents and staff. There are so many stories I can tell of the amazing adventures we have had.
After being the Activity Director for four years I was promoted to not only the Activity Director but also the Social Service Designee. During this time I was able to develop relationships with our families and it gave me the opportunity to further advocate for our residents. After I finally got that hang of being the Social Service Designee, the Administrator position came available and I had the crazy idea to apply. In November of 2013, the Board of Directors hired me as the new Administrator and a year later I became a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator for the facility.
I take great pride in being the Administrator for a facility that I believe in so much. Our residents have become family over the years and so has many of our staff. It is that feeling of family that shines throughout this facility and sets us apart from many other employers and residential facilities. Our residents are the heart and soul of why I am so passionate about making sure they are taken care of. They truly are the reason so many of us are proud to work here.
Frank Dickinson, Social Service Designee
I grew up locally in Fairview Heights, went to college in the Chicago area and finished a Masters degree in Louisville, Kentucky. At that point, it was off to the east coast for 20 years working with underprivileged children, vocational ministry and a chaplaincy in two maximum security prisons. My one claim to fame is that while finishing my Masters degree, Dolly Parton was my boss as I served as Chaplain at her Dollywood theme park. I came to the Specialized Living Center in March of 2015 as an Administrator on Duty, working with staff and residents on a daily basis. In August of 2016, I took the position of Social Service Designee. I have absolutely loved my time at SLC working with our dedicated staff, guardians and the local community to ensure the health and happiness of our amazing residents!
Linda Schuhart, Quality Assurance Director
I grew up in New Baden Illinois and still reside there. I, along with a few others helped build this place. I’ve been here 36 years. I am still here because I love this place and I love our residents, they are very important to me. One favorite I’ve had throughout the years was a resident named Tony. He reminded me of my dad. I went to SWIC back when it was Belleville Area College.
Carol Morrison Training Coordinator , QIDP House 4 and 5
After completing my degree I did a variety of jobs before coming to SLC 16 years ago. One of my first jobs was at a Day Training Program, as Education and Training Coordinator, I probably would still have been there, if I hadn’t met and married my husband who also worked there and being together 24 hours a day is not what makes a happy marriage. I loved the job because of the consumers who just make coming to work so enjoyable. I ran Anti-Poverty Programs in both Illinois and Colorado for many years, juggling multiple sites, budgets, and providing services to those in need. But I never really got much interaction with the people we served.
I started at SLC as a QIDP (intending to be here a year and then go back to administrative things), and then became the Training Coordinator, and was not a Q for about 6 months, until my Administrator took me for a walk in Mel Price park to tell me that I needed to become the Q of a house and do training just for a short time. Well 16 years later, I still do both jobs. Why do I stay in residential I ask myself often, and the thing that keeps me here is the joy, problem solving, caring staff and loving residents. Where else can you work and get hugs, smiles and be told I love you on a regular basis I appreciate the families who have allowed my staff and I to care for their loved ones. Sometimes it is very hard, sitting by the bedside of someone who is at the end of their life, but it is also a privilege to ensure their comfort. Working residential is a lot like the vows I took 36 years ago at my wedding “from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health to love and to cherish, till death do us part”. I joke that when I retire, I will be the morning juice lady, who gets to only do the fun part.