November 03, 2010 Edition

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Smith to lead LHNC

Shantelle Prater
Staff Writer

Lawrence Hall Nursing Center residents and staff members were all smiles on Tuesday, Oct. 26, as Linda Smith became as the new administrator.

"We were all tickled when we found out that Linda was given the position," said LPN Joyce Hanan, charge nurse. "Even the residents are proud."

Smith began working at LHNC in 1993 as the assistant director of nursing, and was appointed as assistant administrator in 2004.

"She has the experience and knows the long-term care rules and regulations," Sharon Clements, director of nursing, said.

Prior to her employment at LHNC, Smith taught secondary science at Frankfurt High School in Germany. She also worked in med surge at Randolph County Medical Center in Pocahontas.

"She is very dedicated to the facility and is a friend to us all," said medical records director Shirley Gates. "Morale is up 100 percent, and we are all so proud of her."

Smith officially moved into the position on Oct. 26, after the decision was made by the board of directors on Oct. 25.

"We were very interested in her because of her past performance and stability," said Terry Lambert, Lawrence Health Services administrator. "She has been with LHNC for 17 years and stability is very important for the employees, and most importantly for the residents, in a long-term care facility."

As administrator, Smith is responsible for overseeing the facility, which includes making sure residents are provided for and ensuring staffing needs are met.

"I have the benefit of already knowing the staff," said Smith. "The employees feel comfortable coming to me with problems and suggestions. Hopefully this will help to nip problems in the bud."

Numerous staff members, residents and family members of residents encouraged Smith to apply for the position, including Bonita Staudt, board member whose husband is a LHNC resident.

"We just felt like Linda has done a very good job as assistant director of nurses and assistant administrator and felt she deserved the opportunity to move up in the organization," Lambert said.

Members of the resident council, which is composed of LHNC residents, also praised Smith to board members.

"I think it's wonderful that they have chosen someone to be the administrator from within the facility," said Lesha Prater, LPN, clinical instructor.

"She knows our procedures and how we do things, and she knows what works and doesn't work. Everyone loves her, she is a sweet, fair and compassionate person, and I think she'll make a wonderful administrator."

Smith, a graduate of the former Dell High School, now Gosnell High School, received a bachelor's degree in education from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro in 1972.

She also earned an associate's degree in nursing from ASU in 1991.

"I feel honored that the board members have enough confidence in me to lead the facility," Smith said.

Smith has four children, Casey Pruitt and husband, Wes, of Conway; Ryan Smith of St. Louis; Erin Greene and husband, Shane, of East End; and Robin Wantland and husband, Fred, of Conway.

She also has five grandchildren: Jaden, Kyle, Hayes, Vance and Arden.

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