Working at Illuminate HC Inspires Leader to Think Differently

September 29th 2019, Our News

The first time Chelsea Rink proposed a few some out-of-the-box solutions for her facility to the new SKLD Muskegon owners, she received a resounding YES! As the facility administrator, she assumed it would be up to the Illuminate HC leadership to approve her plans. Instead she heard that she would be empowered as the “CEO” of her facility. 

That’s when she realized that working for Illuminate HC was decidedly different.

“When you get to learn and grow from that kind of leadership, it empowers you to want to do more and put your own ideas into play.”

Chelsea bought into the culture of #Illumination from the start.

Over one year later, and now promoted to regional director of operations, Chelsea still exudes excitement.

“From the start they were talking about their mission and vision of human capital: putting employees first, trusting employee decisions and attracting and retaining top talent. They went out on a limb by raising the CNA wage, showing there is another way to do business in this industry.”

Chelsea has worked in long term care for nearly a decade, beginning in college when she experienced her family’s struggles with her grandmother’s Huntington disease. Even as a college freshman, she knew she wanted to be a skilled nursing facility administrator and started working on the weekends as a caregiver and resident assistant while still in college. 

She began her career dedicated to long term care working in regional development at the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, the very disease her grandmother suffered from. Her next step was with Heartland in Holland, Mich. as admissions and marketing director, focusing on relationship building and sales and then went on to train in Grand Rapids as an administrator with the company. Thanks to her drive, talent and training, it wasn’t long before Chelsea was promoted within the businesses where she worked. “Everyone who is really passionate about this work has a personal connection,” says Chelsea.

Consider a Career in Skilled Nursing

For those considering career options or even what to study in college, Chelsea says skilled nursing care is an excellent option. Immerse yourself in the field. If you are just starting out, any job in the healthcare arena is a step in the right direction. From direct caregiving, dining services, housekeeping, marketing, etc.– any entry level position in the healthcare field is a step in the right direction toward gaining industry experience. 

‘Be brave, be confident and exceed expectations’

Chelsea in her office decorated by co-workers on her birthday.

Then once you are there, don’t be shy, make a name for yourself! Let your leaders know what your goals and ambitions are from day one, and don’t be afraid to volunteer for projects and try new things. Be brave, be confident and exceed expectations. Become a light for your team and a champion for your organization, and you will be amazed at the opportunities that will present themselves to you along the way.” 

At Illuminate, Chelsea says the support from her new bosses and the IHC culture makes all the staff inspired to do even better work, improving patient outcomes. She strives to do the same for the administrators she supports in Western Michigan, now that she is regional director of operations.

In addition to all the day-to-day problem solving that her new position involves, what Chelsea values most is helping administrators set and reach their goals. “As an administrator, it’s easy to get distracted by the day-to-day work. My mission is to help them stay focused on the big picture and goal of improving patient outcomes and moving their business forward.”

Mostly, though, Chelsea still thrives off of working in her region’s seven facilities, helping patients and families and supporting staff. She seeks out opportunities like facility picnics and celebrations, or meetings with a concerned families. “I couldn’t do this job if i wasn’t still in the facilities, spending time with residents and coworkers.”

To anyone considering a career in long term care, Chelsea can’t encourage them enough. “There’s not been a day that I haven’t enjoyed working in this industry. And there have been some crazy days.”

Ready to join #IllumiNation? Check out our job openings across Michigan and Ohio.