Executive Director Mike Wideman to receive Health Hero award

Professional photo of Award recipient Mike Wideman.William “Mike” Wideman, Executive Director/Health Administrator at Treyton Oak Towers, has received the 2024 Louisville Business Journal Health Hero Award for his exceptional leadership of the senior living community health center. The award will be presented on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at an evening event to be held at The Olmstead in Louisville, Ky.

As the health administrator of Treyton Oak Towers, Mike serves as the executive director of the various levels of health care services for the continuing care retirement community. His responsibilities are considerable and vary from each level of care, managerial structure, and focus. As the director of health services, Mike is ultimately responsible for all patient care and business decisions, including:

  • Managing the day-to-day operations of the health center, which includes 113 residents in assisted living; short- and long-term rehabilitation; memory care; and skilled nursing (or long-term) care.
  • Coordinating and providing leadership to each clinical, managerial, and custodial team, and ensuring that they work together effectively and efficiently.
  • Training, and maintaining health care staff and employees at every level.
  • Ensuring the facility operates in compliance with all local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Ensuring residents’ care plans are followed with a person-centered approach by coordinating with clinical staff at Treyton Oak Towers.
  • Providing regular safety and compliance training, and preparing for any state-related audits and re-certifications.

More than mere duty, Mike believes that aging well isn’t just about the body; it is also about the mind and spirit. Staying active and engaged with others in a community environment, and staying emotionally centered are ways to make aging a positive experience at every level.

With a focus on wellness, well-being, and genuine compassion, Mike ensures the Health Center is a place where Treyton Oak Towers residents do not languish toward their final days but continue to thrive. Each resident receives a personal care plan that is unique to the resident’s needs and motivations. Residents are encouraged to participate in community activities. They do not line the walls of the Health Center, alone and forgotten. This is made possible because Mike invests in his staff, ensuring that they, too, are thriving professionally and personally.

Photo of Treyton Oak Towers Health Services staff with award recipient.

Mike Wideman, far right, shares his passion for helping older adults thrive with an expert healthcare team.

Crystal Robison, who serves as a liaison between Treyton Oak Towers and the Louisville hospitals, said, “Mike is one of the kindest men I know. This is the second time he has served as my health administrator.  I worked with him during the height of COVID. He worked right beside all his staff.  He never would ask anyone to do anything that he wouldn’t do himself.   Mike along with many other staff members were true heroes during COVID.  They held the hands of dying patients, videoed with families, and so much more, and never expected any recognition or special thanks.”

Today, as healthcare facilities and hospitals across the nation wrestle with a diminishing workforce and exert every possible incentive to retain staff, Mike goes above and beyond his duties to ensure his staff members feel appreciated and cared for. He is always there for his staff and his residents, with a gentle spirit and a genuine heart for those he serves every day. “We are blessed to have him,” said John Smith, a retired business owner who serves on the Treyton Oak Towers Board of Directors and was Board President during the COVID.

“Mike Wideman personified what it is to be a healthcare hero during that dark period. He worked tirelessly and without complaint, serving the residents of Treyton Oak Towers and their families with utmost professionalism and care.  We couldn’t have done it without him,” said Smith.

During the height of the pandemic, when CDC guidelines changed almost daily, Treyton Oak Towers became the visual example of what nursing facilities across the nation were facing, many with more dire outcomes than were reported. While caring for beloved residents, responding to media, navigating regulations, and establishing protocols to protect the community’s residents and staff, Mike remained a calm force. His efforts, along with the leadership of Treyton Oak Towers, were commended by state officials:

During a news conference Thursday afternoon (Fox 41, April 14, 2020), Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said, “That leadership team at Treyton Oak Tower had done everything, everything that I tried to anticipate and ask: Have you done this? Have you done this? Have you done this? They’d done it all and they had done more.

“They’re heroes. They clearly care for their residents as if they were their own family.”

Betsy Johnson is an attorney with Stites & Harbison Lexington. As the former President of the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities, Ms. Johnson worked with Mike on a professional level, particularly during the pandemic. “The pandemic revealed a lot about leadership in healthcare,” she said. “Mike didn’t need to be the star or get his name in papers. His selfless, humble, and understated dedication was focused on doing what was needed for the residents at Treyton Oak and inspiring his staff to stay the course.”

Ms. Johnson also experienced firsthand the care that residents receive at Treyton Oak Towers. Both parents lived at Treyton Oak Towers, and Mike was “such a comfort” during the last days of her father’s life. “In his leadership role, Mike helps people face death and dying all the time. But his gentle, kind, open-door care sets him apart. He’s just top-notch.”

In considering nominees for Health Heroes, most people look to large entities like hospitals or large medical practices. Seldom is consideration given to the specialized health care of older adults. In a continuing care community like Treyton Oak Towers, the practice and skill of caring for older adults, helping them remain independent as long as possible, and encouraging them to live fully, with purpose, at every stage is often overlooked. Mike’s leadership carries out the mission of Treyton Oak Towers to help every resident – and staff member – to live (and work) with joyful purpose.

As a Health Hero, Mike doesn’t approach his work as a job. He responds to the needs of the residents, their families, and his staff with personal interaction and a sense of empathetic calling.

After more than six years leading and serving the Health Center at Treyton Oak Towers, Mike retired in 2020 from a career in senior living social work and administration. In 2023, the opportunity to return to Treyton Oak Towers was offered. Mike came out of retirement to the applause and welcome of his Treyton Oak colleagues and team. Without a doubt, the residents and staff are flourishing under his person-centered leadership and service.