Mountain Valley grabs state awards

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Courtesy photo Bob Olsen and Ira Kulin show off their new awards during the Idaho Health Care Association’s award ceremony in Boise.

KELLOGG — A pair of very important people from Mountain Valley of Cascadia were recently recognized by the Idaho Health Care Association at its awards ceremony in Boise.

Ira Kulin, Cascadia’s maintenance director, was named IHCA’s Skilled Nursing Employee of the Year and Robert “Bob” Olsen received the Distinguished Resident Award.

Recipients are nominated by their facility’s administrations and Kulin’s winning of the award is no surprise when you read some of what was written in his nomination letter.

“Ira increases the quality of life of our residents in more ways than we are able to put into words. You do not see a more engaged Senior Leader attend clinical meetings, have input in resident care plans, make suggestions to enhance our customers time in our center, and track the number of stars in our quality rating! He takes pride in managing the interior and exterior environment and goes above and beyond his duties.”

Kulin himself was ever humble in his award and thanked the IHCA for its hard work throughout the year.

“The Idaho Healthcare Association does so much for our industry within the state, and even reaching beyond those borders,” Kulin said. “Mountain Valley of Cascadia is honored to be a member of the IHCA and works hard to create positive changes and be a force for good in the communities we serve. We had a fun time traveling to Boise and both Bob and I felt so honored to be selected as recipients of our awards.”

Olsen’s road to the Distinguished Resident Award was one of love and commitment as he initially moved his wife into the facility in 2012 when he couldn’t be her primary caregiver any longer, he was at the facility daily until the other bed in her room became available and he decided to move in too.

Since then he has been one of the facility’s favorite residents, which was echoed through his winning their resident of the year award in 2018.

His dedication was further mentioned in his nomination letter.

“We are better because Bob is with us. His daily contributions truly bless us at Mountain Valley. For his contributions in making a difference in the lives of our residents, we were able to award him as our 2018 Resident of the Year but recognizing his personal, lifetime achievements on a state level will encourage his enthusiasm to support other residents in our facility.”

Olsen couldn’t believe he had won the award when he was told of it, and his excitement and enthusiasm really made a difference to those who have been caring for him over the years.

“Bob was in shock when we announced he had won,” said Emilee Kulin, Cascadia activities director. “He was asking, ‘in the whole state?’ over and over. His daughter, Sally, greeted him at the airport during travel, and the smile on that distinguished resident of the year’s face said it all. This is why we do what we do, quality of life and being a force for good for the communities we serve.”

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