Our Nursing Team Cares

Our philosophy on caregiving is quite simple in that

we believe in treating the whole person, not just the ailment.

We can provide this exceptional level of care in large part because of our dedicated team of licensed nurses and nursing assistants. Day in and day out, these are the individuals who will encourage and inspire you as well as lift you up when you’re feeling down. Through constant assessment and direct communication, our licensed nurses’ outcomes are second to none.

While our nurses are fully capable of meeting all standards of nursing care for our residents (ie. medications, oxygen management, diabetes management, etc.), the nursing staff at Shuksan Healthcare Center is also equipped to handle more complex needs such as wound care including  wound vac therapy, tracheostomy, IV medications and much more. We also have consulting nurses for complex wounds and mental health services as needed.

Our incomparable nursing assistants are the heartbeat of our community.

They are here to assist with toileting, dressing, feeding, and the other miscellaneous tasks that you may need assistance with. Our nursing team is looking forward to meeting you and helping you on your road to recovery.


Care Team

laughter, love, and friendship are all part of your care plan


Veronica Potts, LPN

Resident Care Manager

Veronica’s aptitude for providing exceptional resident care and her innate leadership abilities make her the optimal Resident Care Manager.  Veronica has nearly three decades of professional nursing experience in long-term care. She received her Associates Degree in Nursing from Bellingham Technical College. When she’s not at work, Veronica enjoys repurposing furniture and designing mosaics, spending time with her husband of 37 years, and with her daughter, Allison.

Denise Baker

Social Services Director

Denise joined Shuksan in 2015 as Social Services Director after 35 years working for DSHS as a Social Worker in long-term care and child welfare. Her favorite part of her position is time with residents listening to them share their life stories. Denise received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work from Western Washington University with continued her education as it relates to her work. In her free time, Denise enjoys time with her family and friends and with her adorable Shelties.

Lyesa Hamar, LPN

MDS Coordinator

Lyesa joined Shuksan in 2014 as its MDS Coordinator, bringing with her more than 25 years of experience in long-term care. She is currently working toward her RN at Bellingham Technical College. She aspires to encourage and inspire the Shuksan residents so that they can heal quickly and return to their homes. In her free time, Lyesa enjoys swimming, painting and arts/crafts and spending time with her fellow and their three kitties and two dogs, Winston and Hewey.

Emily Benekritis

Activity Director

Emily joined Shuksan as a CNA in 2012 and became Activity Director in 2016.  Emily understands how different activities can individually enhance the lives of residents. Emily's mother was a CNA, and she has loved interacting with the residents from an early age.  Emily has found her niche as Shuksan’s Activity Director. She loves organizing and also, participating in activities with the residents she serves. Emily most enjoys reading and most of all, spending time with her son.

Jamie Sellstrom

Dietary Manager

Jamie first joined Shuksan in 2008 and became  Dietary Manager in 2017.  Her evolved culinary technique and abilities, provide high quality and nutritious meals for specific nutritional needs.
 She is exceptional in managing the dietary constraints of each resident, including those living with diabetes and food allergies. When she isn’t at work, Jamie enjoys nature, movies and spending time with her family and friends.

Administration & Facility


Pamela Sherron, Business Office Manager

Pamela began at Shuksan in 1997– nearing two decades! As Business Office Manager, she is responsible for overseeing payroll and insurance billing for the rehabilitation center. She also enjoys meeting the new residents and families. She is amazing at explaining insurance benefits while also assisting with answers to other questions. Pamela enjoys her free time walking and reading and with her husband, Daniel, of 27 years.  Coincidentally, Daniel maintains the large fish tank at Shuksan. Together, they have two children; a son who is 20 and a daughter who is 16.

Rowan Chiavario, Executive Assistant

Rowan Began at Shuksan in 2013 as a CNA and was promoted to Executive Assistant in 2016. She oversees scheduling for all CNAs and doctor’s appointments for residents. With a personality that you won’t soon forget, she can regularly be found lending an enthusiastic ear to our residents while they share their life stories and history; this being one of her favorite job perks!
Rowan adores her family, including her four younger brothers and two younger sisters, and her father, who is her hero. She is seldom seen without her sidekick, Styles, a 3.5-year-old Chiweenie who eagerly follows her every move at work and home.

Mark Shockey, Maintenance Director

Since 2005, Mark has overseen facility maintenance and operations for Shuksan. With wide-ranging responsibilities, he is charged with providing prompt and detailed repairs throughout the facility from wheelchairs to generator care. He is responsible for all fire safety and conducts the facility’s monthly fire alarm drills. His job is a demanding one, but he truly enjoys working with the residents and helping them in any way possible; he’s happy when they (or his colleagues) are happy. You are bound to see him in his “Hawaii” trucker hats and AC/DC shirts.
Mark enjoys riding his motorcycle, camping, fishing, and cooking. Mark is the proud father of two grown daughters and one beautiful granddaughter.


©2018 by Shuksan Healthcare Center