From left: Amy Hoffman, my neighbor across the hall; Brad Radatz, the new executive director of the Palace; Leo Lake, a new resident, but previously, a long-time volunteer at the Palace.
Radatz’ first job was a certified nursing assistant at the hospital in his hometown of Lindsborg. It’s not a big town, and it’s not a big hospital, which meant Radatz was often idle or sent home.
But Radatz, who was about to start college, wanted more shifts and more experience. He was surprised when that put him on the path to working in long-term care. “I liked the learning curve with hospitals,” Radatz said. “I didn’t think I would get that same learning curve medically in long-term care, but I learned quickly that was not the case.”
He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in life sciences from Kansas State University in 2010, with a secondary major in gerontology and an emphasis in long-term care administration. In July, he was named executive director of Salina Presbyterian Manor. Previously, Radatz had been lead administrator with Frontline Management, responsible for the day-to-day operations of Garden Valley Retirement Village in Garden City.
The appeal of long-term care, Radatz found, was in building relationships with residents. He also wants to make it easier for residents to develop stronger relationships with each other and with employees. “We really want to develop our environment to be more of an actual neighborhood,” he said. “We want people on a particular hall to feel like they’re part of a smaller, close group.”
That means giving residents and employees more opportunities to interact, Radatz said, and listening to their ideas. He hopes they’ll be able to develop more family-like relationships instead of the traditional caregiver-patient dynamic.
“Ten years ago, health care was more physically focused,” Radatz said. “Now we want to make sure we’re also caring for their emotional, psychological and social needs.”
Radatz and his wife, Amy, are excited to be in Salina – partly because they have season tickets to K-State football and basketball, and now they’re closer to Manhattan. The couple met in college and married in 2012.
from PMMA Community Matters…