Dave Mills, a resident of Snyder Village for the past 4.5 years, is using his past work experience to make a difference in the Health Center. Before retiring, Mills owned a personnel development company that assisted organizations in improving their customer service. As a regular speaker on the international circuit, Mills would share tips and strategies for creating a superior customer service experience. He even shared the stage with former President George H. Bush and Lee Iacocca, developer of the Ford Mustang and former CEO of the Chrysler Corporation.
Mills is the current president of the Resident Council in the Health Center and takes the role seriously. “I’m committed to make it a better place to live,” says Mills. “How can I do that? I can’t cook the food, I can’t use a mop, but I can help improve the service. I have the time to do that and 40 years’ experience.”
Mills recently held a seminar for CNAs, nursers, and managers in the Health Center on the topic of delivering outstanding resident service. In his presentation, Mills emphasized several key points, including the benefit of Snyder Village being a non-profit organization and the fact that nearly 7 out of 10 residents in the Health Center return back to their original home after their stay. Also noted was the importance of naming the skilled nursing center at Snyder Village a “health center” instead of a “nursing home”, emphasizing the focus of health and wellness that it provides. He also thanked the whole team for their hard work, especially during the pandemic. “I thanked them all for providing such good care during such a difficult time,” said Mills.
The presentation also emphasized how easily a bad attitude can rub off on others and the importance of having a good attitude. One example given was of Missy, a CNA whose uplifting attitude, joy, and singing made such a positive difference throughout the Health Center. He also stressed the importance of staff getting to know the residents and their own personal stories. He told of his own Aunt Bea, who once lived in an out-of-state nursing home where very few staff members knew of her past. During her career, she had the important job of maintaining the inventory for the atomic bomb. “No one there even knew what she had done for a living!” says Mills.
Mills lives at the Health Center with his wife, Sandy. “She has been my girlfriend for 67 years now,” he says. They are thankful for Snyder Village and the care that is provided. “I think the people really care,” says Mills. “It’s kept clean, it doesn’t have that hospital-like odor that is normally associated with a nursing home, and the food is good.”
Mills plans on offering more presentations and sharing his wisdom with staff again in the future. At the beginning of the pandemic, Mills had a hand in developing a slogan that is said around campus often: “We’re working together to make things better.” He has taken this saying to heart, which is shown through his desire to pitch in, offer his wisdom, and work alongside the Snyder Village team. Thank you, Dave, for sharing your knowledge and for helping make Snyder Village a great place to call home!