Start a Career — Now!

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THE BACKBONE OF CARE: CNAs provide hands-on help, assisting residents with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, oral care, and more.

Columbia Basin Care, in partnership with Columbia Gorge Community College, is offering free training to become a Nursing Assistant. This five-week class gives you the skills and knowledge to take the state certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Columbia Basin Care will train qualified candidates, and offer competitive wages and benefits to graduates. No previous health care experience is required — just a desire to learn, a heart to help, and a dedication to work that makes a difference.

CNAs work under the direction of nurses and are the backbone of health care, providing hands-on help and assisting patients with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting, oral care and more.

“It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do, but it’s the most rewarding,” says Julie Kimbell, who has worked as a CNA for nearly 30 years.

At Columbia Basin Care, nursing assistants work with highly qualified staff and have opportunities for on-the-job learning. The facility has the area’s only on-site geriatric nurse practitioner, Valerie Hiveley-Blatz, who specializes in elder care and serves as the primary care physician for many residents. In addition, a team of licensed physical, occupational and speech therapists provide comprehensive rehabilitation and restorative services.

With just a short investment of time and effort, a new career can take shape. But what does it take to be successful?

“You have to love people,” says Kimbell. “You’re important to their lives. You make a difference.”

For more information, or to apply, contact Julie Turner, Assistant to the Director of Nursing Services,, or visit in person, Columbia Basin Care, 1015 Webber St, in The Dalles.

Paint Day!

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WITH FUN and FOCUS: Paint Day at Columbia Basin Care emphasized creative fun. An enthusiastic group of nearly 20 residents, nurses, and staff took part in the inaugural event.

No artistic experience? No problem!

At Columbia Basin Care there are just two requirements to unleash your inner artist: Play with paint, and have fun.

Paint Day at Columbia Basin emphasizes creative experimentation over artistic experience, and is patterned after the popular Paint Nite events held in bars and cafes across the country. The activity blends art instruction with a party atmosphere. Last week, an enthusiastic group of over 20 residents, nurses, and staff took part in Columbia Basin Care’s newest event.

The result? Dozens of accomplished paintings, along with lots of laughter and fun.

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CREATIVE FUN: John Munoz, center, shares laughter and ideas with Columbia Basin Care staff, Janet Sullivan (left) and Julie Turner (right).

“It was a blast!” said Kelsie West, the nurse who led the group with painting instruction and tips. “People who didn’t think they could paint discovered they really could!”

Alesia O’Brien, Columbia Basin’s activity director, organized the event with help from staff who had enjoyed local Paint Nite gatherings.

“We had a great turnout,” she said, “and the residents got to be creative and try something new. It was a lot of fun. They loved it.”

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NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Paint Day emphasized creative fun over artistic experience. Sharon Gowdy was pleased with her result, a painting of the aurora borealis.

Because it was such a success, Paint Day will occur monthly at Columbia Basin Care, the area’s only community-owned, not-for-profit nursing home.

Donations of paint, brushes, and canvas are welcomed. Volunteers are also encouraged to help with the event.

To make a donation or volunteer, please call or visit Columbia Basin Care, 1015 Webber St., The Dalles, Oregon, 541-296-2156,

You Are Loved

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Jack shows off his valentine card.

Thanks to the sweet and creative students at Dry Hollow Elementary School, we feel loved.

Youngsters at The Dalles school made dozens of Valentine’s Day cards for the residents of Columbia Basin Care.

It’s kind and thoughtful gestures like this that keep us boosted in love. Thank you!