LeadingAge Illinois, one of the largest and most respected associations of providers serving older adults in Illinois, featured Snyder Village in the June 2021 “Member Spotlight”. Below is an interview by LeadingAge with Heather O’Brien, Health Center Administrator.
Life Plan Communities/CCRCs:
Member Spotlight: Snyder Village
Snyder Village began with an estate gift from Metamora resident, Bertha Snyder. Mrs. Snyder’s gift provided the seed money that laid the foundation for the opening of Snyder Village in 1988. Snyder Village is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, tax-exempt organization which is governed by a local, volunteer board of directors.
Snyder Village, a life plan community, is committed to providing for the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of others in a loving, dignified and Christian atmosphere. Their 40-plus acre campus includes retirement cottages and apartments, assisted living, and a skilled health center with 24/7 nursing care. Memory care, inpatient and outpatient therapy, and home care services are also offered.
Snyder Village has always been a leader in the LeadingAge Illinois advocacy efforts, annually hosting Partners in Quality visits with their state and federal legislators and most recently having virtual visits with their legislators. Keith Swartzentruber, executive director, has been a leader in the association and is a former LeadingAge Illinois Member Legislative Leader Award recipient.
Heather O’Brien, a graduate of the LeadingAge Illinois Leadership Academy, serves as the Health Center Administrator at Snyder Village. We caught up with her this week and Heather and Snyder Village are the focus in this edition’s Member Spotlight.
How long have you been in the industry and what made you select it?
“I have been around the elderly in the long-term care setting for as long as I can remember. My mother was a social services director during my youth. I worked in the housekeeping department at a long-term care facility as a student in high school. I began my career in long-term care 15 years ago as a staff nurse. Eventually, my desire to mentor and lead others brought me to the role of Administrator at Snyder Village Health Center. I believe our seniors deserve the highest quality care and I am privileged to work with our residents, their families, and our staff.”
What are you most proud of in your career?
“I have managed to effectively grow in my skills and leadership capabilities. I have been provided the opportunity to make a difference for seniors and staff members in the Snyder Village life plan community. The growth I have experienced has changed many areas of my life, including my personal life and family life. I graduated from the LeadingAge Illinois Leadership Academy in 2020. I am grateful for the LeadingAge Illinois Leadership Academy and the skills I have acquired and continue to nurture. The pandemic has forced change, growth, and the ability to persevere on all of us working in this field. The pandemic has also taught me that together, we can accomplish things we never thought possible.”
What is your vision for the future of your community and the field?
“One of the features that drew me to Snyder Village was that it is a faith-based community providing a Christian ministry to people of all faiths. Having this foundation helps our community tackle issues and serve others with love and care, and I look forward to these Christian values becoming even more evident throughout our community in the future. Also, Snyder Village is committed to taking leadership in identifying and meeting needs of older persons in Central Illinois. The organization will continue to be creative, innovative, and dynamic in developing new approaches to care for the elderly.”
Learn more about the services provided at Snyder Village by calling (309) 367-4300 or visit www.snydervillage.com.