It’s a season of celebration at Columbia Basin Care, where we’re honoring three employees who have dedicated their careers to Columbia Basin Care:
“I do a little bit of everything,” says Forest Cline, whose can-do disposition has led to a 30-year career at Columbia Basin Care.
He joined Columbia Basin in 1987 when he was just 19 years old. His mother worked as a bookkeeper at the facility, and he was hired to work in the kitchen. Realizing his skill with tools and machinery, Cline moved into janitorial and maintenance work — where he now plays a critical role in keeping systems running and people happy.
From waxing floors to wheelchair repair, Cline is a jack-of-all-trades. You’ll find him painting, bringing plants to life in 100-degree heat, and then cheerfully chatting with residents.
Over 30 years, Forest has seen a lot of changes and he’s proud to be a part of the improvements, from renovations to equipment upgrades to increased professionalism. But always, he says, it’s the people that matter most. “The important thing is the residents, and keeping them happy.”
Certified Nursing Assistant/Medication Aide (CNA/CMA)
From an early age, Julie Kimbell felt the pull to help others. She channeled that passion into nursing and joined Columbia Basin in 1988 — 29 years ago.
She provides hands-on nursing care, assisting residents with bathing, dressing, eating, toileting and more. “It’s the hardest work you’ll ever do,” she says, “but it’s the most rewarding,”
She is both a certified nursing assistant and a certified medication aide and though she’s considered moving into a leadership position, she prefers the individual care and attention her current role allows. “As a CNA, I get more resident interaction. I can make their lives better while I’m here, while they’re here.”
“You have to love people,” she says, as she shares a laugh with a resident. “You’re important to their lives. You make a difference.”
Medical Records Manager
Janet Sullivan has worked at Columbia Basin Care for 28 years. She joined the company in 1989, and has hands-on knowledge of nearly every department. She’s worked as a certified nursing assistant, human resources director, activities director, and accounts payable. She is now the Medical Records Manager.
Organized and tidy, record management seems a perfect fit. “I like order,” says Janet. “I love to purge charts. It’s like cleaning a dirty floor and you see how nice and clean everything is when you’re done. “
But her work is more than just data. Her fondness for the residents of Columbia Basin Care is the driving force of her dedication. “I go home and I worry about them because I care about them,” she says. “You’re not just taking care of them. You’re taking care of them, their family, their emotions . . .”
Working in long-term care is not for everyone. “You must be a team player, have a heart, and be a hard worker,” says Janet. “You must be completely willing to get your hands dirty.”