When the former administrator at California Care Center, Sherry Horner, was transferred to the Tipton facility, George Freiner, RN, came in as an emergency licensed administrator.
Freiner has over 26 years experience in nursing and management. For him, coming to California Care Center as an administrator is like a homecoming.
"I started my nurse's career here 27 years ago as a nurse's aide," Freiner said. "I grew up in California and went to elementary and high school here. Out of high school I went to college as a business major and realized I did not want to do that. I dropped out and worked here and later went to school in Boonville and received my LPN. I worked about five years as an LPN until going to Park College, Rolla Satellite, and received my RN. I have worked as an RN for the last 20 some years. I have worked in St. Mary's Health Center, Jefferson City, on their psychiatric ward for five years and have worked for the hospital on and off for the last 20 years in various capacities including management. I worked five years in correctional nursing, which is unique, and an experience others might not have done. I have worked eight years in hospice/geriatric nursing and have earned my geriatric nursing certification. Through working in geriatric nursing I realized it was the field I really, really like."
Freiner said following Horner was an easy transition because of the great job she did before him. He added he is, "leading a team of very competent people in a very good community where I am comfortable, it is nice to be home again."
He said nursing homes in some ways are now what hospitals used to be in how they care long term for patients and also help others to rehabilitate injuries or illness and get them back home. He likes how they get to spend a lot of time with their patients and get to know them.
"It is a fun place to be," Freiner said. "A lot of the people here have worked here for a long time. The bookkeeper has been here 16 years. The social service person has been here 20 years. We have a lot of longevity here."
Freiner added his goal is to continue being deficiency free like the center was when he arrived. He added they are planning to do a total renovation the first of the year. A personal goal of Freiner's is to get through the administrator's exam. When not at work Freiner is dedicated to his family including working with a nephew to help him and his wife adopt twins. He is also interested in theatre, music and most importantly long term care.
California Care Center is a great place to be and he cannot think of a better place to put a loved one," Freiner said. "We are interest in giving people the best we possibly can. I look to foster relationships and we spend a lot of time getting to know our residents. Our focus is that everyone is treated like family. Everyone is someone's aunt, uncle, father, mother, grandfather and grandmother. I have not heard a bad thing or a negative but if there is a concern, we are going to do the best to rectify it in the fastest, best way we can."
California Care Center is located at 1106 South Oak Street. For more information, call 573-796-3127.