A long-term care industry veteran is starting his tenure as the new leader of the Good Samaritan Society.
Most recently the Society’s vice president of operations, Nate Schema is now the Society’s president and CEO as of Jan. 1, 2022. Schema is taking over for Randy Bury who served in the role for roughly three years.
Sanford Health News is sitting down with Schema to learn about his passion for the faith-based organization and hopes for the future. The 39-year-old has been with the Society for 15 years.
On leading the Good Samaritan Society as president and CEO
“First of all, I’m just beyond humble and grateful for the opportunity. As I reflect back on my career at the Society and in the industry, I don’t know that I would have ever dreamed 15-20 years ago I’d be sitting in this chair now,” Schema says.
“I truly see this as a calling and why I’m here. I continue to see that play out in different ways. I’m not probably serving as tangibly as I once did as an administrator, serving the meals, something I loved to do where I engaged our residents and staff. Now, I have the opportunity to engage at a different level, on a national stage, and hopefully help advocate for the seniors and what health care looks like for tomorrow.”
On cheering on the Society’s young leaders
“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, get creative, invest in people probably above all. Invest in your communities. Invest in your residents. It is through those experiences where you learn and grow as a leader. That’s where you have the opportunity to stretch yourself,” Schema says.
“I’m often quoted as saying you have to bloom where you’re planted. I think the people that are always looking for the next step are the ones that maybe sometimes get themselves in trouble a little bit. If you go into a situation and you completely invest all of yourself into that situation, I promise you great things are going to happen.”
On the Society’s integration with Sanford Health
“We’re one big family,” Schema says. “For employees, it means a heck of a lot of opportunities. People have the ability to try a bunch of different things, take on new experiences. Maybe they discover their true passion is quality. Maybe they discover that HR is where they want to be. I think it gives our staff a lot of different opportunities for growth.”
“For residents, it provides a seamless experience across the care continuum. We can quickly provide care in an innovative way across our footprint. We can scale some new models of care. We can test and try things and we’re actively in that process right now. I think that’s what I’m pretty darn excited about as we move forward.”
On the future of the Society and long-term care industry
“We’re coming up on 100 years here at the Good Samaritan Society and its incredible mission in serving so many states,” Schema says. “While the last couple years have been pretty extraordinary (during the pandemic), I’m really excited about what the future looks like. I’m excited about how we’re engaging our communities. I’m excited about how we bring more people to the Good Samaritan Society.
“I want our communities to know that the Good Samaritan Society is a place where you go to live. We have vibrant communities all over the country. They might look a little different. Some might offer the whole continuum (of care) and others might have a more specific skilled-nursing facility or assisted living designed to meet your needs. Come join us.”
On his family life at home
“Been married almost 14 years,” Schema says. “Met my wife (Alex) down in New Mexico. She’s an occupational therapist by background and works with kids with disabilities. The love of my life and she’s the backbone of our family.”
Schema adds he has “two boys, Deacon and Jackson. Jackson is my 12-year-old and into everything sports. Quietest kid you’ll ever meet. Deacon is my spark plug. You never know what the kid is going to say next. He definitely keeps us all on our toes.”
On providing faith-based care
“I’m just so grateful to be a part of this mission-driven organization that truly believes in providing faith-based care. I’m so humble to be able to serve the thousands of residents that call the Good Samaritan Society home. I just can’t be more proud of the work that our employees do day in and day out to provide that care,” Schema says.
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