What is a Covid plan without nurses? We posted our plan, now it is time to meet the nurses. Take a moment to read about our amazing team and learn about the crew that works tirelessly to keep the people we serve and our staff as safe as possible.
Annelies Stevens, Director of Health Services and Wellness
Annelies started at Living Well as a Direct Support Professional in 2008, took a role as nurse in 2011 after finishing nursing school, and was promoted to the director role in 2013. Annelies is currently working on her Master of Nursing and picks up six shifts a month working at Regions Hospital as a Forensic Nurse where she provides care to victims of sexual assault. She is dedicated to helping marginalized populations, and her work at Living Well and Regions allows her to be of service to people who need a kindhearted approach. When asked why she chose nursing, Annelise said she enjoys it because there is so much variety within it, and there is a lot of autonomy and critical thinking required. Last November Annelies won the Emerging Leader of the Year Award at the Dakota Chamber of Commerce 2021 Business Excellence Awards & Gala.
When speaking of the Covid team, Annelies says they have a natural connection. The team is very supportive and works in seamless in a way, making them capable of anticipating each other needs. Annelies thinks Nicole is always working hard to understand why we do something, that she likes to conduct research and question things. She says Megan knows how to prioritize and works tirelessly to make sure staff who need to get tested are able to, even if it’s outside of usual hours or places. And reports that Alexa makes everyone feel better because she’s kind, supportive, smart and cares deeply.
Having the right people in the right roles made the team successful, as is true with their entire team of 13 staff nurses who work tirelessly to support the people we serve.
Annelies lives in Eagan with her husband Sam and their three children, Annika 7, Ezra 11, and Lee 14. And because 2021 wasn’t busy enough, they welcomed an exchange student from Belgium, Teri (18), who is part of the family for the school year.
Nicole Touroutoutoudis, Nurse Manager
Nicole started as a DSP at Living Well in 2009, and in 2010 she took a position as a nurse. As her first job after college this was her first introduction to working with people with disabilities, and she immediately enjoyed the ability to connect with the people she treats. In a hospital setting you see a patient for a day or two and they are out the door. Here she gets to see people day after day, which provides an opportunity to get to know them on a deeper level, which she thinks makes the job special. Nicole likes being able to learn about their care plan, not just acute issues.
When Covid started the nurses organically started finding the best ways to address testing and procedures, and over time created the team and came up with a plan that is effective and efficient. What took hours two years ago can now be done much quicker, and the data and tracking is more streamlined. That said, the regulations are ever changing, which is why she is delighted to be part of such a balanced and dedicated team. Nicole says it is so great that they get along and truly like each other, as the days are long and they spend a lot of time collaborating. When things come up, they all step in and do what needs to be done. They equally contribute in various ways and help each other always.
Nicole says Alexa is very kind, caring and always helps us be empathetic. That Annelies sees the patterns, corrects systems to keep things running, and that her sense of humor keeps things fun. And that Megan is always the one who gets things going in the morning, questions situations, and engages them in conversations so it’s not always work. In her opinion, without these ladies the success of the Covid team would not be possible.
Nicole lives in Prior Lake with her husband, Tony, their daughter, Jenna, 11, cats Missy and Bullett, and four chickens (Hey Hey, Rocky, Mother and Cluckers)
Alexa Intveld, Staff Nurse
lexa’s mother was the Director of Nursing who hired Annelies to fill her role when she left. In a way, Alexa grew up with Living Well and attended picnics and visited the houses with her mom. Her mother’s work provided a window to the understanding of disability awareness advocacy and the importance of quality care for people with disabilities. When Alexa was in nursing school, she realized not everyone comes with as much understanding and empathy. She immediately saw the lack of education available about working with people with disabilities, and that there is much to nursing that people do not think about. It was then that she realized how much she learned by being with her mom at the houses and having the opportunity to meet and engage with the people Living Well serves.
Alexa describes her Covid Nurse coworkers as a real team. She feels like she has learned so much in the past two years, and the dedication and the amount of work that goes into things is incredible. She says Annelies is an incredible leader, very open to questions and confident in her role and decisions. Alexa thinks Nicole is great at looking at things objectively and is a whole picture thinker who finds answers. And that Megan is so caring with everyone, and not afraid to jump in and do great work. In her opinion, the team thinks about the people first and foremost, and for that she is grateful.
Alexa lives with her husband, Max, and their dogs Sully and Lando, in St. Louis Park.
Megan Burgeson, Staff Nurse
Megan spent the first part of her career in media working in news and film commercials. For 10 years she was a producer, who worked in audio graphics, camera, and video editing. Nine years ago, she ended up at Living Well where she started as a DSP, then two years ago she began nursing school. This makes her one of the few to know what she was getting in to when choosing a nursing career during a pandemic, where chaos was part of the routine.
To Megan, the best part of being a nurse is the opportunity to care for people. She loves direct care and this community of people we serve. She also adores the people she works with. Megan considers Nicole her inspiration and says she is more like a sister than a coworker. Megan thinks Annelies is a great leader, who is very compassionate and understanding, and someone who cares about how you feel in the job you are doing. Megan says Annelies is all about keeping employees happy, and that she truly cares for her staff. And Megan says Alexa is the epitome of kindness, the rare person who goes out of her way to help. Everything she does she does out of kindness.
Megan lives in Burnsville with her husband, Chad, their kids Ruby 7, and Rhya 10, and their 70 pound dog, Hank.
As you probably know, the work they do is important. We are lucky to have this team on staff, and are excited to introduce you to the faces behind the hard work.