In this week’s episode of the LTC Heroes podcast, we sit down with Fee Stubblefield, Founder and CEO at The Springs Living based in McMinnville, Oregon.

Fee grew up in Pendleton, Oregon, working for his family business and local ranches. The Springs Living has 18 Senior Living Communities: 13 in Oregon, five in Montana, and two more under construction.

The episode begins with Fee answering what he’d change in long-term care if he could and what the most significant change is he’s seen in the industry.

A lot of Fee’s personal story ties into his professional career. He talks a lot about his grandmothers in the episode as they’re the reason he works in long-term care. 

Fee shares about his relationships with his family and explains that he built his first facility because he wanted to create somewhere his grandmother would feel at home.

We also learn what Fee used to do before he decided to move into long-term care. He also shares how he markets The Springs Living and explains that the company usually gains residents via word of mouth.

Toward the end of the episode, Fee shares how his role and responsibilities have changed over the years.

Learn all about leadership styles in long-term care and more, by tuning into the latest episode of the LTC Heroes podcast with Fee Stubblefield, Founder and CEO at The Springs Living.

Rapidfire Q/A

What book might I find on your nightstand today?

I’m a migratory reader. You’re going to find, right now, like 15 different books—everything from local history in Oregon to a Western. Then probably over half of them are just various business books.

If you could change one thing in long-term care with a snap of fingers, what would you go for first?

That Covid goes away.

How do you express care in ways of marketing?

Word of mouth is our biggest form of marketing. But we do everything, we try everything. We experiment.

You built your first facility because you wanted something that your grandmother would feel at home in, right?

I made my grandmother a promise not to put her in an old folk’s home. So we tried to take care of my grandmother in our own home. And while we were effective at doing that, there was a bigger piece to her decision. 

She wasn’t happy because she felt she was a burden, even though it was a privilege and an honor for us to take care of her. 

So when we built a community, not only were we able to create something that gave her the support, but she felt that she had a sense of independence even though it was supportive care. 

It gave her a sense that she wasn’t a burden to her family and she was taking care of herself. That’s how I fulfilled the promise. 

I built one community and that was the start. Both of my grandmothers lived and passed in our communities. Then we just kept going from there.

How are you going about staffing or retention?

There’s no magic formula, but I can tell you what we look for in people. 

We focus on trying to grow our quality. And then the organization’s size, the number of communities, the number of markets we’re in, that just follows along behind as a byproduct. 

You have to have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to do the job right. That’s the given. But then we also find it’s absolutely critical to do everything we can to distill for values.

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