Left to Right: Doug Tallman, Tammy Freeman, Marla Hadachek, and Gabe Roth.
On Sunday, February 19 the Board of Directors of the Cheyenne Manor in Cheyenne Wells hosted a Meet and Greet soup dinner for the community at the Knights of Columbus Hall in honor of their newly hired administrator, Tammy Freeman.
According to Marla Hadachek, Cheyenne Manor Board President, “Our previous administrator resigned at the end of June. After an unproductive search, Cheyenne Manor Board of Directors hired Pathway Design Group on August 15, 2022, to recruit a new administrator. PDG interviewed the Board, Staff, and community members to find what characteristics were desirable as our ideal candidate. They then developed a description of responsibilities and requirements for the job description to be used for the recruitment. After an extended search, three qualified candidates were interviewed in January of 2023. On January 6, a final candidate was chosen. Per Colorado SDA statutes, the final candidate, Tammy Freeman, was posted for 14 days. On January 24 Tammy was appointed as the new Cheyenne Manor Administrator.”
Tammy, who is a Kansas native, began her career in the medical industry as a candy stripper at the local hospital and nursing home in Goodland, Kansas. Later, as Tammy determined her life-long career goals of being in the medical field full-time, she started as an overnight housekeeper at the assisted living facility there.
“During my time there, I rose in ranks to the kitchen where I collaborated closely with the Dietary Manager in how to order food for the week, what the proper measurements and temperatures were for the food, how to serve properly to the residents, etc. While that was rewarding, I was given the opportunity to get my CNA license in Kansas. When our activities director retired, I was then given the chance to further my healthcare certificates, so I took classes from Colby Community College where I became a certified activities director/social service designee. Finally, I was asked to continue further and get my Certified Medication Aide, which gave me the chance to learn about the medications the residents took daily, how to give those medications, along with ordering/checking in medications. In 2010, the director at the assisted living had found a grant through Kansas Works that allowed me to return to school and begin my life-long goal of becoming an administrator.”
Tammy holds associates degree from Northwest Technical College in Goodland as a Medical Assistant. In 2012 Tammy moved from Goodland to Hays, KS to attend Fort Hays State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in geriatrics and has certificates from FHSU in both leadership and grant writing. In 2016 Tammy was accepted into the Master’s program at Wichita State University where she graduated in 2019 with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration.
Tammy noted, “Most of my schooling was done on-line, allowing me to work full-time in medical fields from ophthalmologists where I received my Certified Ophthalmic Assistant to working at health care clinics in Hays where I was the Community Health Coach.”
Tammy is the mother of two boys, who she admits are both grown men now. “My oldest TJ lives and works in Littleton, CO and my youngest Mikail works in Goodland where he lives with his wife and my two most precious gifts, my grandchildren.”
Working in rural healthcare comes with vast rewards and challenges alike, Tammy states, “There are many challenges in rural healthcare, especially now that we are coming out of the pandemic. But one of the best things about working in rural healthcare is that everyone in the community works to keep their current healthcare in their communities.”
Currently Cheyenne Manor has 13 residents in the facility and according to Freeman they are working on increasing this number to 28.
The pandemic has created a less than ideal atmosphere for hospitals and nursing homes alike. With lockdowns requiring residents to go days, weeks, and even months without visits from their loved ones.
Freeman informed us, “We have started opening our doors back up to volunteers, families, and guests. We would like to start getting back to where we were before the pandemic or as close as we can get.”
Cheyenne Manor currently employes 23 individuals, “Our staff is amazing, they’ve been through so much before and during the pandemic. They are truly an amazing team! We do have some openings for staff at this time, so if anyone is interested in a career in healthcare or is looking for a change, reach out to us. We have openings in all areas, we’re always looking for more team members. And just to recognize the current staff we’ll be having our Employee Appreciation Day on March 3, 2023 at noon. The staff will all be recognized for all of their dedication and hard work they’ve put in to Cheyenne Manor. This team deserves many accolades!”
Tammy went on to tell us, “We are looking so forward to having the doors completely reopen and are excited to start having individuals return to the facility to see our residents. We’re also looking forward to having our residents back out in the community for the many different activities that are happening in Cheyenne Wells.”
A statement from the Cheyenne Manor Board of Director states, “The Cheyenne Manor Board is overly excited to welcome Tammy Freeman onboard. Her enthusiasm, experience in grant writing, and leadership skills are all qualities that made her stand out as our chosen candidate. Tammy has exciting plans for growth at Cheyenne Manor and we can’t wait to see how those plans develop!”