06:45 PM

Brendan House nurses receive statewide honors

Congratulations Shilo Fritz and Rachelle Haven!


On March 26, two Brendan House nurses were honored with Commitment to Caring Awards at the annual Montana Health Care Association banquet in Helena. Shilo Fritz and Rachelle Haven both won the Commitment to Caring Award in their respective fields. “We are blessed to have the two of them,” says Kelly Bilau, the Brendan House Administrator. “Two statewide award winning nurses in one facility is a big deal!” The Commitment to Caring Awards honors those who exemplify excellence in healthcare across the entire state of Montana.

Shilo Fritz, RN, BSN, DNS-CT, RAC-CT
Commitment to Caring Award: Director of Nursing

Shilo has been with KRH since 1997. She was inspired to go into healthcare by her grandmother, who was trained in the nursing field. In high school, her career in healthcare began as a volunteer at Kalispell Regional Medical Center where she saw firsthand the level of care that nurses provide regularly. After finishing up nursing school, she was able to return to KRH to care for the community where she was raised. During her time at the Brendan House, Shilo has served as an RN, MDS Coordinator, Resident Care Manager and now as the Director of Nursing.

One of Shilo’s greatest strengths is her drive to provide quality nursing rooted with compassion. She has developed nurses who are not only excellent caregivers, but who also strive to maintain the most advanced clinical skills. Brendan House has remained a five star rated facility by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ever since the rating system was established. Her ability to execute innovative care planning has allowed for staff to provide the highest quality of care. The five star rating is a direct reflection of the success of her efforts. “It’s an honor to be selected for sure,” says Shilo. “The fact that I was even nominated was very humbling.” One of her favorite parts of the job is being able to bring in baby goats from her farm to provide comfort to the residents of Brendan House. Just last week, 13 new kids were born at the farm. She looks forward to bringing them over in the coming weeks. “The residents get to cuddle them and hold them,” continues Shilo. “When the goats are here, their legs hardly ever touch the ground because the residents love to hold them so much.” Shilo’s commitment to her community goes beyond her work at the Brendan House. She is an active leader in the local 4-H program and provides support to the education community. “Shilo is consistent in her efforts to ensure that her discipline of nursing and her industry of long term care remain in high regard,” says Bilau. “She is conscientious in her pursuit of quality care and extremely deliberate in her tasks.”

Rachelle Haven, RN
Commitment to Caring Award: Staff Nurse

Rachelle began her career at KRH in October 2009 as a CNA with the Brendan House. She credits the diverse work experience as well as the comforting feel that Brendan House has provided her to her success. During her time here, she’s worked her way up as a CNA to an LPN to an RN. “I’ve always said that Brendan House kind of raised me,” says Rachelle. “They’ve been with me every step of the way.” Versatility has been one of Rachelle’s favorite parts of working at Brendan House. In her nursing role, she’s done charge nursing, team nursing, transitional care, long term care, worked closely with the restorative program, done admissions and discharges and even floated with the Neuroscience and Spine institute. Her well-rounded experience has allowed her to become trained in many different aspects of nursing. “I like the challenges of doing everything,” continues Rachelle. “I just really love that they’ve put that faith in me to do all of this.”

Rachelle has a consistent and primary goal of improving life for the residents and patients at the Brendan House. She is great at determining what is important to them and developing care plans with the entire team to allow them to achieve their goals. Her customer services skills with patients, families, staff and providers make all of the difference. She brings unmatched teamwork to the table and collaborates to provide the best to those that she serves. She is known to ensure patient satisfaction. One recommendation letter from a patient family member notes that Rachelle continued to check in on her patient even after they were discharged. Her kindness and enthusiasm have greatly helped patients through difficult times. “Her spirit is calm and genuine.” says Bilau. “She has an extraordinary ability to relate to people and make them feel at ease.”