RICEVILLE | Eric Stahr of Decorah has been named the new administrator of Riceville Family Care and Therapy Center.

Stahr, a 1987 graduate of West Union High School and Upper Iowa University (UIU), began his new position in mid-September.

For few years, Stahr owned and operated three small businesses, but then turned away from the business world.

“Twelve years ago, I was a single custodial parent raising two little girls, so I backed off the businesses so I could spend more time with the kids,” Stahr said. After closing his business, he became maintenance director for Wellington Place, a care facility in Decorah.

“The maintenance department was one of the only departments that interfaced with every other department on a regular bases,” he said. “During the 12 years I was at Wellington Place, I realized I could be more effective in administration, so I went back to college and focused on long-term, health care administration. A degree he completed from UIU in August.

Though this is Stahr’s first administrative job, he has already set goals for the 37-bed facility.

“Like every nursing home facility, one of the problems is filling staff positions. We are working to fill all our staff positions with local people, instead of filling positions with agency people,” he said. “And we are hoping in the near future to purchase a transit bus for our residents, so they can get out into the community.”

Looking toward long-term goals, Stahr said, “In 2009 this facility won a Governor’s Award for excellence in health care. Only two other facilities in the state won that same award in 2009. In the February 2010 issue of US News and World Report, this facility was named as one of the top nursing homes in the country. I would like to return the home to that kind of status.”

Away from work, Stahr is also busy with two daughters, who will graduate from high school this year. One daughter is 18 and a younger daughter who is 16, who will graduate high school two years early.

He also enjoys the outdoors and spends time in his family’s cabin located on the Mississippi River. Seventeen years ago, Stahr formed the band Flashback, where he plays drums and sings for gigs. The current trio performs 50s, 60s and 70s music.

Stahr said he wants community involvement in the care facility.

“I am familiar with small town ways. This is a very involved and caring community who own this facility,” he said. “This is their baby, and I intend to take good care of their baby. I just want everybody in the area to keep their eyes open for changes and to see the things that are happening.”

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