Shelli Ross’s love of senior care started with a high school sociology project. For the assignment, she documented her experience volunteering at a local assisted living facility. The residents’ rich and varied life stories reeled her in, and she started carving out her career path toward nursing.
When Shelli earned her nursing license, she returned to work at the facility where she fell in love with senior care way back when. She continued to rise through the ranks of the nursing field, going on to join Arbor Trace as Director of Nursing in 2008. Shelli went on to wear many different hats there over the years, from Senior Clinical Specialist to Health Facility Administrator. She currently serves as Executive Director of the community.
In addition to those stories that first sparked her interest in senior care, Shelli loves the bonds she gets to build at Arbor Trace.
“The most rewarding aspect of my role is the ability to form relationships with residents, families and the staff that provide care,” she said. “I believe in a team approach and coaching the staff to do their utmost to ensure our residents are taken care of to the best of our ability.”
Of course, keeping COVID under control is a top priority right now for Shelli and her team at Arbor Trace. All staff members are screened for temperature and symptoms when they come to work. The community recently completed testing 100% of the staff members, none of whom tested positive.
“We have been following guidance from the CDC, CMS, the Indiana State Department of Health and our CarDon leadership team to keep our residents and staff healthy,” Shelli said. “We all practice infection control and educate staff frequently. All staff wear masks when in the building. We have residents in separate zones. Our green zones are for residents with negative test results or complete lack of symptoms. Our yellow zone is for new admissions. They are in the yellow zone with transmission-based precautions until they are tested and have a negative result. They then move to a green zone at that time. A red zone is for positive or presumptive positive residents. Fortunately, we do not have anyone in a red zone room right now. The entire team here has been excellent in staying on top of this serious situation.”
Shelli cherishes her team outside of work as well. That includes her husband, Ron, their three grown children, their newborn granddaughter and their senior rescue dogs, Abby and Marley.
Shelli and Ron also have another team outside of their family. For the past 10 years, they’ve been proud members of the Whitewater Valley Motorcycle Club (WWVMC), a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that hosts benefit rides for those in need. This year marks Ron’s ninth as President of the group.
“For each benefit ride, everything we take in is given to the cause we are riding for,” Shelli said. “We usually host monthly rides from April to September. We typically ride for children who have an illness or a special need. Some examples of benefit rides we’ve hosted have been to raise money for support dogs, therapy equipment, a down payment for a lift van, hospital bills and gas cards for travel expenses to medical appointments. We have also done rides for our local homeless shelters, St. Jude, and Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center. Our group has raised over $300,000 for people in need in Wayne County and adjacent counties.”
Due to COVID, this year’s monthly rides will start on August 1st or later, pending further guidance, with social distancing and mask-wearing procedures in place.
From caring for her family to serving her county and looking after the residents of Arbor Trace, Shelli’s compassion shines through everything she does. She embodies CarDon’s warm, family-like treatment of its residents and team members.