Austin native to serve dual role at Whispering Oaks

Published 9:57 pm Wednesday, September 20, 2017

ELLENDALE — You always come back home.

While the sentiment may not ring true for everyone, it does for DeeAnn Sutter. A native of Austin, Sutter recently moved back to southern Minnesota from Arizona to be closer to family.

Along with the move, she has also made a slight shift in her career choice.

Email newsletter signup

After years of working as a floor nurse, she has accepted a new position at Whispering Oaks Assisted Living in Ellendale. In July, Sutter was hired to fill the newly established role of both the facility’s community director and registered nurse.

“It’s been quite a process,” Sutter said of her transition.

While Sutter admits she’s still getting her feet wet in some areas, her nursing experience is apparent in others.

“My first priority as a nurse is to advocate for the resident,” she said. “I want to listen to their concerns and make sure their concerns are addressed.”

As community director, Sutter said she wants to ensure the best quality of life for residents and plans to host events at the facility to encourage community involvement with those who call the facility home.

Whispering Oaks consists of 28 apartments and one studio apartment, four of which are open. The individuals who stay in the apartments are as varied as the reasons behind their decision to move into an assisted living facility.

According to Sutter, there are residents who have moved to the facility who are quite independent, while others need support services Whispering Oaks provides, such as meal preparation, housekeeping services and medication management. She said the facility does not have nursing home status; however, home health services do come in to provide additional support to residents when needed.

Patricia Adriance, formerly of Owatonna, chose to live in an assisted living facility when she realized she needed more help getting through her day. Whispering Oaks is the third facility Adriance has lived in, and she said it will be the last.

“I plan to stay,” she said, noting she liked everything about the facility.

To learn more about Whispering Oaks Assisted Living, call Sutter at 507-684-3026.