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Nursing home administrator begins new duties

Newly hired St. Croix Health Center Administrator Frank Robinson stands in his office at the New Richmond nursing home facility. Jackie Grumish photo

After witnessing the mediocre care his grandmother was getting at her nursing home, Frank Robinson knew he could do it better. That's why he decided to enter the health care field.

Robinson is the new administrator at St. Croix Health Center, the county-owned nursing home on North Fourth Street in New Richmond.

A Minnesota native, Robinson has been a licensed administrator for 25 years and is excited to add to those 25 years in New Richmond.

"We've traveled into New Richmond a couple times," Robinson said. "We love the small town Main Street and the feel of New Richmond. Western Wisconsin is just a beautiful part of the state."

A resident of Mahtomedi, Minn., Robinson said he's happy to be working so close to home. Previously, he was interim administrator at a nursing home in Kansas City, Mo.

Every Monday I got in my car and drove to Kansas City, he said. I worked four days then I came back.

That's about a 500-mile drive, compared to his 25-mile commute now.

Before Kansas City, Robinson worked at the University of Minnesota managing the transplant clinic, which gave him experience in ambulatory care.

Robinson replaces Dennis Reiman who was contracted through the county as an interim administrator.

"I'm very impressed with the staff here," Robinson said. "They do a great job of taking care of the residents."

No big changes are planned for the nursing home, Robinson said.

"There is nothing glaring as far as an issue," he said.

Robinson said he's most looking forward to interacting with the staff and developing systems and processes to improve the quality of care for the residents.

"I enjoy helping them (the staff) to see they play a big part in the quality of care," he said.

When he's not at the nursing home, Robinson can be found hanging out with his wife, Lynn, and four kids Chad, 20; Matthew, 18; Daniel, 14; and Kathryn, 7; or watching his beloved Vikings.

As a self diagnosed die-hard Vikings fan, Robinson said he hopes to be accepted in Packer country.

"We're pretty close to the border, so I think I'm OK," he said with a smile. "There still are more Packer fans here though."

Robinson and his sons make annual trips to watch the Vikings during their training camp. He also collects autographs, which are then displayed in frames on his office walls.

"I've already heard some comments," Robinson said with a laugh. "I'm looking forward to a good ribbing."

Whether residents are fans of the Packers or Vikings, Robinson said one this is for certain: "They'll get excellent care either way."