Shasta View Nursing Center Assistant Administrator Melanie Harrington believes that the significant challenges faced by Center in Weed have been part of the larger challenges faced by the rural facilities owned by corporations with many sites around the state or nation.

Recent administrative changes at the Shasta View Nursing Center in Weed have brought onboard two local professionals passionate about quality of life for long-term care residents.

Assistant administrator Melanie Harrington believes that the significant challenges faced by Shasta View have been part of the larger challenges faced by the rural facilities owned by corporations with many sites around the state or nation.

She said operations work best when people oversee facilities that are in their own locale. “I think it’s because we care – locally. And we can generate community involvement and support.”

Melanie Harrington

Shasta View has had about 15 different administrators since 2007, according to Harrington, who said she is committed to changing that pattern. She has applied to the state licensing board for certification as “administrator in training” at the Center, with the blessing of the facility’s owner James Preimesberger.

“I’ve lived in Scott Valley for 15 years. My commitment here is solid. I’m not going to move away, and I think that makes a difference,” she said.

Harrington, who has a doctorate in psychology, left her work at the University of Nevada, Reno medical school to become a litigation analyst almost 15 years ago. In that role she worked on lawsuits against nursing homes on behalf of victims of elder abuse.

As a litigation analyst, she said, “I felt strongly that we were working to reform the system. But after 12 to 13 years I felt we had not had the kind of direct effect I felt was necessary.”

So Harrington left that work to volunteer as the long-term care ombudsman for Siskiyou County.

During the past year in that position she said she has had a lot of hands-on experience advocating for Shasta View residents and other elders in the county.

Don Maddox

Don Maddox is the new Director of Nursing at Shasta View, and he too comes to the facility as a local resident who cares about the quality of long-term care.

Maddox retired as a fire captain in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he also taught fire science at Scottsdale Community College.

Upon retirement, he moved to Hammond Ranch and homesteaded his new property.

“I built my home by myself – no contractor – as part of my bucket list,” he said with a smile.

He said his life changed when his brother developed brain cancer and, ultimately, had in-home hospice care.

“That’s what led me to this – a promise to my brother to pull the plug on the rat race and take care of people at the end of their lives.”

Maddox, already an EMT, completed an RN bridge program after his Hammond Ranch home was built. He has since served as a charge nurse at other facilities but said, “I saw the need at Shasta View and felt I could be of use here.”

Harrington and Maddox said the “atmosphere was wonderful” during the Thanksgiving holiday at Shasta View, with 29 residents and 27 family members laughing and having a good time.

“That’s why we took these jobs,” Harrington said, “so elders who live here can enjoy their lives, we can have community members in and out, and Shasta View can be an integral part of the community.”