St. James man is interim administrator at St. John’s Circle of Care

Thomas Goeritz of St. James has been hired interim administrator at St. John’s Circle of Care.

Goeritz, who has extensive experience in the nursing home industry, assumes the responsibilities of leadership following the recent resignation of Josh Jensen, who served as CEO during the past 10 years. 

“I’ll be working as an interim for three or four months,” Goeritz said during an interview Friday. “My initial understanding with the board of directors, is to work with the department heads to facilitate communication, short-term planning, and, of course, working with the board to keep them in the loop.”

During his first day on the job at St. John’s Circle of Care on Thursday, he walked around the facilities including the housing (The Maples, Vista Ridge and Cottonwood Ridge) on the campus and he met most of the staff.   “The ability for people to age in place is a real positive, and St. John’s has that plus the child care, so it truly is a circle of caring,” he said of his first impressions. 

“The challenges I’m looking at are the changeover of the number of department heads.  There are many new people in positions in leadership. That’s an issue.  One of my goals is to facilitate good communication and team building, and another goal is to fill the vacancies,” he said.  National and statewide issues with nursing homes is census and staffing.  St. John Home has potential for 85 beds and currently only 71 are filled. “We are going to work on that,” he noted.

Goeritz is also serving as interim administrator at Parkview Home in Belview, and currently is committed to two days a week there.  He plans to work two full days and two half days a week on site at St. John’s Circle of Care. 

 “I’m a small town boy from Morristown, Minne-sota,” Goeritz said.   With more than 30 years of successful management experience in both urban and rural communities, he feels comfortable in both small and large communities. He has 20 years of experience working with Lutheran long-term care organizations; spent 17 years with the Board of Social Ministry, now called Ecumen; and then worked for Augustana Senior Development for a few years.  He semi-retired about three years ago and moved to St. James, and since then has been doing interim work.  He has served interims in Lamberton, Westbrook, St. James, Morgan, Belview.  

When not working, he likes to hunt, fish, and golf, and he is a private pilot.  “I have a duck shack on Swan Lake by Nicollet. That is my retreat,” he added.

“My goal is to bring a stabilizing force, to St John’s Circle of Care, he said.  “I have almost 40 years of experience, so nothing shakes me up.  I have a lot of experience to share; and want to help make current leadership better.” 

“An extremely important piece for me is customer service. I’m talking about all the stakeholders — residents, their family, staff, volunteers and anyone who provides services,” Goeritz concluded.  “We have a good gang — we’ll just keep building the team.”

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