Director receives training
Management and leadership are different things, but a little of both is needed for effective leadership.
That is what registered nurse Peni Ens learned while attending a leadership institute sponsored by Kansas Hospital Association this summer.
She was one of 30 who graduated Sept. 6 at the annual KHA convention in Overland Park.
“I learned ways to communicate and lead more effectively,” she said. “I also found out I was doing some things right, which made me feel good.”
Ens, of rural Hillsboro, has been Marion County Home Care director since June 2016. She manages a staff of four nurses, three full-time certified nurse’s aides, and two office workers.
Ens started her medical career as a CNA. She graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1983 and worked for a while as a CNA in Harvey County.
She received her RN nursing degree in 2009 at Bethel College in Newton.
She was employed at St. Luke Hospital in Marion for three years and St. Luke Living Center for another three years before moving to Marion County Home Care.
“Everything I did before led me here,” she said. “I use everything I learned here.”
She said her recent training helped her learn how to build her management and communication skills.
The KHA guiding principle is, “Communication is a basic element of leadership. If people don’t know where you are headed, they won’t follow. They won’t know where you are headed if you don’t tell them.”
Although referrals have almost doubled in the past three months, Ens wants to make sure all county residents are aware of homecare services.
“A lot of people don’t know that many long-term care insurance policies cover home health,” she said. “Home health services are covered under Medicare Part A for people who find it taxing to leave their homes.”
A physician can refer a patient to home care for skilled nursing care and physical and speech therapy, as well as occupational therapy and home health aides.
People who return home after a hospital stay, have an exacerbated health problem, or experience a fall can qualify for home care, Ens said.
Private pay also is available. Individuals can pay by the hour to get help for daily living needs.
“It helps you stay home longer,” Ens said.
She is married to Stan Ens and operates Odds ‘N Ends in Hillsboro. They have four grown children — Josh, Daniel, Clara, and Samantha — and four grandchildren.
Last modified Sept. 20, 2018