New administrator appointed
Wayne Weinschenk began work as the administrator of Blaine’s Stafholt Good Samaritan Center July 20, and so far says he’s been pleasantly surprised by the friendliness of the town and the skilled efficiency of the staff.
“Plus the fact that I’ve always wanted to be living by the ocean,” said Weinschenk, 58, a native of Newcastle, Pennsylvania. He developed a taste for a marine oriented lifestyle as a graduate student at the University of Hawaii. “I still go barefoot a lot,” he said, “at least when I’m home.”
Home for Weinschenk is now Birch Bay. He moved earlier in the summer from Redwood Falls, a rural southwestern Minnesota town slightly bigger than Blaine, where he ran another facility in the Good Samaritan network, the Sunwood Good Samaritan Center.
Weinschenk was hired in June to replace Kari Johnson-Dick, who left Stafholt after nearly three years to become director of the Souris Valley Care Center in Velva, North Dakota, a job that moved her closer to her North Dakota roots.
Being closer to family was also a motivation for Weinschenk’s move. His son-in-law Troy Storfjell and daughter Kiana have moved to Tacoma where he will teach Norwegian literature at Pacific Lutheran University, and a sister, Carol Reininghaus, lives in La Conner.
Another daughter, Katie, lives in Rostock, Germany, and is married to a German physician. “She went over in high school and fell in love, and in love with the place,” Weinschenk said, “and basically never came back.”
The avid kayaker and skier is happy to be living close to both the mountains and the salt water in a career that began at a residential psychiatric hospital in Fresno, California, work he says he found “very interesting from a clinical point of view.” He has also run facilities in Wisconsin and South Dakota.
The first big project on Weinschenk’s plate is a planned renovation of Stafholt’s west wing, set to begin this fall.