New Leadership Brings New Name, Approach for Scandia Village

The transfer of Scandia Village senior living center in Sister Bay to Continuum Healthcare was completed Jan. 26, and with that transfer comes a new name. Scandia Village is now known as Serenity Spring Senior Living at Scandia Village. 

“Continuum sought to keep the local name as they recognized the importance of continuity, and the small town bonds the facility has had in the Door County community,” said regional administrator Katie Casey. 

Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey-based Continuum Healthcare, founded and led by president Daniel Bruckstein, is a privately owned healthcare service provider that operates eight senior care facilities across New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Services include temporary post-acute care, long-term living, assisted living and independent living. 

The center’s new leadership includes Jasmine Hilander, who takes over as administrator after eight years of experience at Scandia Village. “She’s wonderful,” Casey said. “Her parents worked here, and she wants to be here. She’s worked in human resources, as activities director, in the dietary department, and most recently in the assisted living center. She has experience across the board.”

Casey was initially a consultant for Scandia Village beginning in December 2022, then filled the role of interim administrator when the center was put up for sale by its previous owner, Sanford Health. She continued in that role through its transition to Continuum, and will now serve as Continuum’s regional director of operations in the Midwest to oversee daily operations in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana.

She said facility residents and the public should notice a more open, welcoming approach from Continuum. 

“Continuum welcomes public communication,” Casey said. “We want to reintegrate into the community. This is a positive change and the culture has changed here. Things are lighter. Everyone seems happier.”

The facility is currently home to more than 100 residents across its campus, but has capacity for about 150 when fully staffed. Casey said Scandia Village is actively recruiting more staff so it can return to capacity. 

“Staffing is challenging, especially with LPNs [Licensed Practical Nurse] and RNs [Registered Nurse] and this can affect the number of residents we can care for,” Casey said. “We want to ensure quality care, and can only take so many residents, due to our nursing staffing levels. We are hopeful we can garner more local staff but are grateful for the staff we do have in agency.”

Scandia Village has to use some of its housing for the traveling, temporary staff. That helps with staffing, but it also means some housing isn’t available for the seniors they want to serve.

Casey said the facility’s biggest recruiting challenge – similar to other Door County businesses – is housing and child care. 

“It’s hard when you have younger people who have to look to Sturgeon Bay to find a place to live then commute 45 minutes each way,” she said. “People don’t want to do that. The child care across the street is awesome, but they’re at capacity.”

When housing is available, she said it’s not affordable. Rental apartments in the $1,000-per-month range would help, she said, but on March 19, listed just three apartments, all two-bedrooms, available in the Sister Bay area. Those ranged from a low rent of $1,250 per month to $1,685 per month. 

For all of its history Scandia Village has operated as a non-profit with significant support from public fundraising and the Bargains Unlimited Resale Store that contributes to its operations. Now as a private, for-profit enterprise, it’s still unclear what the relationship with Bargains Unlimited will be. 

“Continuum wants the same relationship that Bargains had with Good Samaritan,” Casey said. “But we certainly respect their articles of incorporation and the rules they have to follow given the different status. We’re still working on that part of it.”