The St. James Veterans Home named Cathy Haynes its new administrator Aug. 1. She will be replacing Mark Fontana, who recently took a job with the St. Louis Veterans Home after serving in St. James for two years.

The St. James Veterans Home named Cathy Haynes its new administrator Aug. 1. She will be replacing Mark Fontana, who recently took a job with the St. Louis Veterans Home after serving in St. James for two years.

Haynes has worked at the St. James home for eight years, previously serving as the manager of the home's special care unit for Alzheimer's and dementia residents.

Nancy Maddox, staff development coordinator, said the home is ready to take on new challenges with Haynes at the helm.

"I think what's happened over the years is," Maddox said, "we are becoming more and more passionate about making sure each of our veterans feels appreciated and like it’s home, giving care that meets their routine and not ours.

"I've been a nurse since 1970, and I can tell you I've never worked on more passionate, fun and talented team, about making sure veterans feel honored and served," Maddox said.

Haynes said she is excited to continue working at one of the premier Veterans Homes in the country, where Veterans can apply to reside as long as they've lived in the state for six months at anytime during their life.

"Not all states have as nice of homes as Missouri does," Haynes said.

"We've been told by people who have surveyed veterans homes across the country, that we are like the cadillac of long-term care," Maddox said.

Q:Family?

A:Husband Tony Haynes, 5 children, 12 grandchildren, originally from Nevada, Mo.

Q:Past experience?

A:I've worked with the state of Missouri in mental health. I've worked as an administrator in several different nursing homes, as a director of nurses. I've been back and forth, I have 35 years in the long-term care setting. I'm an RN. I also managed the special care unit, which is the dementia/Alzheimer's unit, for the last three years.

Q:What makes the Veterans Home care setting different than other?

A:It's such an honorable position to have. All elderly have stories and caring for these guys, they have incredible stories to tell you, about their hardships. There is something about knowing their history and what they've done, in wartime. It definitely is an emotional thing for me if I think about it.

Q:What are some of your goals as the new administrator?

A:My goal is to ensure that our dementia residents have the best care they can have. That goes for all the veterans, but it sometimes seems like dementia residents get forgotten, because they can't always do what everybody else can do. But with modification really, a dementia resident can do just about anything a general elderly person can do.