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Jonni Belden to retire after more than 35 years in healthcare

Jonni Belden to retire after more than 35 years in healthcare

Jonni Belden’s healthcare career began in 1984, when she graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing.

She worked at DePaul hospital in Cheyenne as an ICU nurse and unit supervisor before moving to Gillette with her husband Scott in 1990. She worked as ICU Manager, and later as a Quality Nurse reviewer at Campbell County Memorial Hospital, working on improving the quality measures for long term care. The CEO at the time, Andy Fitzgerald, approached Jonni about becoming the Administrator of Pioneer Manor, and she agreed to step into this role in 2012.

Jonni said at the time that she missed being in management and being a leader of change in an organization, and that she was looking forward to ushering in the transition from a nursing home (Pioneer Manor) to a living center (The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center).

Little did she know that becoming the Administrator of Pioneer Manor would introduce her to an entirely new job title: Design and Construction Liaison for The Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center. Jonni was intimately involved in the project from the very beginning; from the town hall meetings with community to gather their thoughts, to the thousands of decisions, big and small, that were made during the three-year construction period. When The Legacy opened its doors in November 2016, Jonni was on the ground helping move residents from Pioneer Manor to their new home, along with hundreds of staff and community volunteers.

Jonni took on the role of Vice President of Continuing Health Services in 2017, overseeing Rehabilitation Services and Home Health and Hospice as well as long-term care. Over her career she obtained her CCRN, mentored and educated many nurses through the years in critical care, geriatric care and leadership.

She has received the CCH Legend award, CCHCF Outstanding Healthcare Provider, 10 who made a difference, ELI Pick Leadership award over the years. In October of this year Jonni received the Daniel J. Lex award for Lifetime Service in Long Term Care from LeadingAge Wyoming, an organization that provides advocacy and representation for non-profit nursing homes in the state.

Jonni will retire in December after more than 35 years in healthcare. She’s not walking away entirely though, but will help with the COVID-19 testing process that continues at the Legacy. She feels that she can enable the staff to continue their important work in other areas of The Legacy by contributing just a few hours of her time.

When asked what she will miss the most about Campbell County Health and The Legacy, Jonni said:

"I will miss the beautiful threads that have woven the tapestry of my career. As we weave the science of healthcare with the beautiful colors of the heart, a marvelous tapestry is born. A patient, resident, coworker, volunteer or a family member influences each pattern and thread.

Watching a patient leave the intensive care unit or The Legacy slowly, but still leaving, is the bright yellow threads of a positive outcome. The soft veined hand of the brave woman who raised their family, part of their community, saying her final goodbye is the black thread outlining the beautiful life she has lived. The voices, challenges, support and memories are all the other colors of the tapestry. Mentoring others is the foundational fabric of this beautiful tapestry. The threads that bind us are dedication, skill and compassion, and the desire to be present when the baby cries, the mother dies, the father walks and the grandparent speaks. My tapestry is woven with precious memories of working at CCH with the many individuals who have walked this journey with me. It has been an honor and blessing."

Jonni plans to spend more time with her family, including a family trip to welcome a new grandchild this spring. She and her husband Scott have plans to backpack in the Big Horns and hike the Appalachian Trail in the near future, while they are still healthy and active.

Jonni retires Friday, December 4. She has left her imprint on CCH and The Legacy, and her contributions have made our community a better place to live for all of us. She will be missed.