Kvols takes advantage of opportunity to take on a new role in Laurel

— Diana Badley

Laurel Advocate

LAUREL — It’s been said if you see a need, you can meet a need. This is true for Laurel native, Katie Kvols, who recently became the Director of Nursing at Hillcrest Care Center. 

Kvols, who has been in nursing for nearly two decades said the opportunity came up out of the blue.

“During the tiny window where family was able to visit residents, I was approached for the position by several staff at Hillcrest. I knew Hillcrest was the only place I would take on a position like this because of the fact that it is a community-owned organization,” she said. 

Kvols also spoke of her father, Gary Newton, who passed away earlier this year. “My dad served this community for over fifty years. He has inspired me to serve this community and this seems like a very practical way to do so.” 

Kvols is not a stranger to Hillcrest Care Center and recalls many memories made at the facility throughout the years. “We used to come here all of the time for school events. I remember trick or treating with the residents on a yearly basis. I participated in pet parades and even won a dog show here once!”

“I love this place for many reasons. The most obvious one being that my grammy is here.” Kvols smiled.

As Director of Nursing, Kvols has set some personal and professional goals for herself, the team, and the environment she hopes to help build. “I am excited to lead a great group of nursing staff who care deeply about the well-being of the residents and this facility. I’m eager to fill up the rooms and serve more folks from the area.” 

The position includes overseeing nursing staff and making sure they are performing their duties correctly, abiding by state policies and ensuring state requirements are being met. She also oversees resident care and orders. “Today at lunch, I performed the heimlich maneuver.” 

Kvols has stated that the obvious challenge in today’s nursing facilities is COVID-19. “It’s so hard to decide the precautions we must take. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have a standard that isn’t the same as the state in dealing with the virus. Navigating this pandemic is hard, especially when dealing with frustrated residents who want to see their family.” Kvols continued, “It breaks my heart to see these residents decline. I hope to help create an environment where they can thrive.”

In Kvols’ nursing career, she has said that her favorite positions were when she worked hospice and most recently Outpatient Services at Providence Medical Center. She is confident that her experiences will fuel her into success at her new position. 

Katie is the wife of Ryan and the mother of Delaney, Sutton, and Alex.

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