To model Christ’s love for humanity by creating life-enhancing relationships, services and environments.
To be a community where individuals live with purpose and dignity.
Based in West Bend, Wis., Cedar Community is ranked among the nation’s 100 largest not-for-profit, continuum of care provider whose mission is “to model Christ’s love for humanity by creating life-enhancing relationships, services and environments.” From homes and apartments for active and independent retirees, to assisted living, subacute (short-term) care, rehabilitation, skilled nursing and memory loss services, Cedar Community breadth of services ensures that, should a resident’s needs change, he or she has ready access to all levels of a long tradition of quality care.
MILESTONES & HISTORY
In 1953, aging bachelor farmer William Koehl donated his property overlooking West Bend’s Big Cedar Lake to the United Church of Christ to serve the elderly. In 1956, Cedar Community opened its first nursing home there. Under the guidance of Executive Director Rev. Louis Riesch, Cedar Lake Home grew over the next 35 years to provide as many as 415 skilled care nursing home beds.
Rev. Riesch, acknowledged nationally as a pioneer in aging services, created one of the nation’s first nursing facilities dedicated solely to the unique needs of those suffering memory loss in 1976. Ten years later, Cedar Valley Retreat Center, on 100 acres in nearby Kohlsville, was opened, as well as Cedar Ridge, a 312-unit apartment complex for active and independent seniors. Riesch also oversaw the development of four independent Village Homes for active retirees over the course of his career, as well as one of the nation’s first not-for-profit rehabilitation agencies. He retired in 1991 and passed away in 2007, but his legacy lives on.
Riesch was succeeded by Steve Jaberg as Cedar Community’s CEO. During Steve’s 32-year tenure, Cedar Community expanded assisted living and rehab services to the community, becoming the region’s preferred provider for short-term rehab. In 2003, the organization’s home-based divisions were launched. In 2007, Steve oversaw expansion into Sheboygan County with Cedar Landing in Elkhart Lake, featuring both independent homes and assisted living apartments. In 2014, a brand new state-of-the-care assisted living for those with memory loss, the Cottages at Cedar Run, captured national attention for the innovative environment and programs Steve had envisioned and made manifest.
Steve retired in January, 2016 and was succeeded by Lynn Olson, former President / CEO of Hannibal Regional Hospital, Hannibal, Mo. Lynn has more than 28 years’ combined leadership experience in acute care and elder care settings. He holds a BA in business administration from Winona State University and an MS degree in health care administration from the University of St. Francis, Joliet, Ill. He joined Hannibal Hospital, a 99-bed acute care provider in rural Missouri with a 100-member medical staff and 850 employees, in 2011. There he oversaw initiatives to revitalize their home-based services, implement computerized medical records, and develop strategic alliances with rehab services and physician’s groups to improve financial performance and quality of care.
Today, Cedar Community is five campuses and 16 divisions strong, with 1100+ residents, 700+ employees, 500+ volunteers. Hundreds more people living in five SE Wisconsin counties also benefit from Cedar Community’s outreach, medical equipment and home health and hospice services.