The new Chief Executive Officer for Adoray Home Health and Hospice could be its biggest fan.
“It’s quite an honor,” Amanda Gustafson said. “Adoray is an unknown gem thanks to all the services we provide as a not-for-profit agency.”
The New Richmond native was named CEO in March after Kelsey Derrick resigned.
“It was my dream out of high school to be CEO for a health care organization,” she said.
How she got to it was an unconventional route.
After graduating from New Richmond High School, Gustafson first tried beauty school. Those plans were scrapped as she had a baby. Gustafson then moved to WITC where she earned a Marketing degree.
The Marketing degree led to the Baldwin Area Medical Center where she spent 10 years as its Marketing/Communication/Fundraising Director.
During those years, Baldwin Area Medical Center became Western Wisconsin Health along with the construction of its current building.
“I got burned out in that world,” she said. “I wanted to get into operations,”
She found Adoray five years ago.
“I came over and fell in love with Home, Health and Hospice,” she continued. She was previously the COO of the organization. Gustafson has already been a certified Hospice Administrator, but is now in the final stages in earning her Masters to become a Health Care Administrator.
“When I got into (Adoray) and learned about it, it’s really amazing,” she said. “It’s really amazing to go into homes and facilities and provide the care we do.”
The hospice service in an underrated facet of the Adoray service, she believes.
“There’s a lot of work to do in the community about what hospice is and the philosophy it brings,” she stated. “A lot of people think hospice is the end of life, but a lot of times, and essentially it is, but when you sick and come on to hospice, you get your life back.
“Your pain is controlled, your spiritual needs are addressed, social work and message therapists come in. They can actually enhance their life being on hospice.”
Those in this area are quite familiar with Treasures from the Heart, started 20 years ago, created as a fundraiser for Adoray to provide services.
“They’ve done very well for us,” she said with locations in Baldwin, Osceola and River Falls.
The River Falls location has done very well in fact thanks to being a college town, Gustafson’s wish list includes putting a Treasures in Menomonie.
“The Dunn County Community Foundation has put on a golf tournament for Adoray the last few years,” she explained. “We need to support more Dunn County residents.”
She went on to say if Adoray can get into Menomonie, Eau Claire and Chippewa counties are next as well thanks to its proximity to Menomonie.
Going east isn’t the only planned direction of expansion. The CEOs of Western Wisconsin Health and the St. Croix Regional Medical Center (SCRMC) in St. Croix Falls sit on Adoray’s Board of Directors. Since the SCRMC has clinics in Webster and Siren, Adoray is exploring expanding into Burnett County as well.
“The Home Health and Hospice agency is a competitive market in Wisconsin, especially between the not-for-profit and for-profit agencies,” she said.
Therefore, Gustafson said Adoray joined a coalition of not-for-profit agencies throughout the state.
“Our vision for Adoray is to be the best in the region and we have to do a lot of work to make sure we stay competitive,” she continued. The coalition will allow agencies to share resources and best practices for example.
“We have to do it to be around for another 25 years,” she concluded.