CNA earns national award for 30-plus years of caregiving

Share on:

An hour southwest of Des Moines, Iowa, sits the tiny town of Fontanelle. A little more than 600 people call it home.

“We cannot keep a grocery store open no matter what,” Denise Huddleson, who’s lived here all her life, says.

While it can be tough to fill a pantry without leaving city limits, the area does boast two beauty shops and a long-term care center, Good Samaritan Society – Fontanelle.

“I feel Good Sam is very important to the community just because you have so many residents that have grown up here,” says Kelsey Pieken, Good SamaritanSociety director of social services and health information manager. “Everyone knows everyone, so they want to stay close. Keep their family close.”

Very few know more about this community than Denise, a Society CNA of nearly 33 years. In 1989, she and her best friend left jobs at the local gas station to begin careers at the nursing home. Denise has been here ever since.

“I truly love my residents and really enjoy my job,” says Denise, who resides two blocks from the center. “They’re just like my family. My second family.”

Loyalty to residents ‘unwavering’

New to the location, Society administrator B.J. Baskerville appreciates that Denise’s connections run deep.