COZAD — The lobby of Meadowlark Pointe was packed with people for the retirement reception for Cindy Schneider, who has worked at the care facility since its doors opened over a decade ago. She has also been involved with local healthcare throughout her career.
Schneider will be retiring as the Resident Care Coordinator for Meadowlark, but when the facility opened in 2006, she had started as the administrator. Schneider was an advocate for elderly care in Cozad.
She had become an advocate during her time with Cozad Community Health Systems, where she started working in 1991. During this period she had volunteered in home health and hospice care, which was not covered by Medicare at the time.
North Platte and Kearney were some of the first places in the area to become certified and Schneider said people from North Platte helped her with the certification.
Schneider said, earlier this year, before this certification, elderly citizens of Cozad would have to move out of town for assisted living care in a larger community. She said she had gone to her boss and expressed her dissatisfaction with this reality.
She said the people at the hospital had worked so hard with these people throughout their lives and it was unfortunate they had to move out of the community which they may have spent their entire lives.
At first the idea of an assisted living facility was viewed with some negativity and people told Schneider people from a small town would never move into a place like Meadowlark.
Despite this attitude, the demand for the assisted living center never let up; in fact Meadowlark has expanded due to the number of people on their waiting list.
They also expanded their memory care wing, which has become a high demand service, she said. So far there have been 244 people served by Meadowlark.
Schneider has been a nurse since 1974 and over the years has seen healthcare change for the better and her time in the field has made her a better person, she said.
“You offer a lot of love and compassion,” Schneider said, “We do it the Meadowlark way and treat them like family, with care, love and compassion.”
As for her own retirement plans, Schneider said she will move at her own pace and plans to volunteer her time at different organizations.
Earlier this year Schneider was the recipient of the Cozad Chamber of Commerce’s Distinguished Service award for her work at Meadowlark Pointe as well as the Cozad Rotary Club, Grand Generation Center and Cozad United Methodist Church.