BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
After almost two decades as administrator of the Ottawa County Riverview Healthcare Campus in Oak Harbor, Kendra German will be leaving behind a very large pair of shoes to fill this month for new administrator Michael Freeman of Elmore.
German had weathered the rigors of shepherding to fruition a $10 million renovation and expansion the past five years of the 5-star nursing home and health care facility on the Portage River, adjacent to the Ottawa County Fairgrounds. If that wasn’t taxing enough, requiring daily decisions and constant supervision, German and her amazing staff faced the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic that took aim at nursing facilities in Ohio and around the country.
In 2021, the Riverview Healthcare Campus was lauded as one of only 64 nursing homes in the entire country not to suffer an outbreak of the dreaded virus.
“I’m so proud of our staff, as well as the support we’ve received from the Ottawa County Commissioners and other government officials, the Ottawa County Department of Health, and the community,” said German, who had spent 18 years at the helm of the 150-year-old county nursing home.
“All of the extremely long hours and the many challenges, though, have taken their toll. I felt that now is the right time to step aside and focus on family.”
Freeman, who has a degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and a Masters Degree from Wright State University, has familiarity with the Riverview Healthcare Campus. His sister, Lisa Barrett, has been the activities director at the Riverview facility for 38 years and a long-time volunteer with the popular Apple Festival in Oak Harbor.
Freeman’s wife, Susan, is also in the health care industry as a registered nurse performing home health care.
Freeman has been a nursing home administrator at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky and President of Cornerstone Professional Services in Elmore. He will become the administrator at Riverview Healthcare Campus on Monday, March 27.
“I know I have some very large shoes to fill,” said Freeman, who grew up in Findlay, Ohio. “Kendra German has done an exceptional job of keeping Riverview Healthcare and its staff on track despite all of the obstacles the last few years.”
“I’ve worked in Dayton and Toledo, and prefer small town life,” said Freeman. “Susan and I enjoy that we know our neighbors and the people at work, at the local gas station and the grocery store. We built a house in Elmore in 2015, and love it there.”