Community Nursing Program
Comfort Keepers® was the first in-home care agency to get licensed for skilled home care in the State of Oregon. Now Comfort Keepers is taking part in a government funded program that allows clients to stay in their home or foster home longer when continuous care is required.
Through this program, Comfort Keepers nurses can teach a family member or facility employee how to provide a high level of care so that our nurses can delegate some of their responsibilities. This frees our nurses to do more actual nursing, for example, preparing and giving injections. It also reduces the expense to our clients because it reduces the number of nursing hours needed.
These talented and dedicated Comfort Keepers Registered Nurses have had specific training for this State Program. They work in the field offering training, delegation, and supervision of medical conditions.
Program Director: Karen Risch, RN
Prior to joining Comfort Keepers as the nursing manager for the Long-Term Care Community Nursing Program, Karen spent two years as a field nurse, first in home health, then with a company that does home visits for Medicare patients. Karen has additional years of experience working with Medicaid, inpatient and outpatient psychiatric patients, care coordination, and with drug and alcohol treatment.
Brenda Buckhaus, RN
Brenda joined Comfort Keepers after working at the Veteran’s Administration, and as a field nurse in home health. Brenda also has experience with psychiatric patients and providing nursing services to the inmate population in a correctional facility. Brenda covers a territory on the southeast side of Portland.
Claire Schrader, RN
Claire brings her experience in home health, and caring for the elderly in assisted living settings to her Comfort Keepers clients. Claire has abundant experience providing nursing care for medically fragile individuals with tracheostomies, tube feeding, and ventilators. Claire is now delegating these skills as a Comfort Keepers field nurse on the east side of Portland.
Inga Demir, RN
Inga arrived at Comfort Keepers after we sent out an appeal for a Russian-speaking RN. Inga is fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, and English. Inga’s nursing experience centered around labor and delivery in hospital settings. Prior to becoming a nurse though, Inga worked as a dental assistant, so oral care is a focus! Inga serves Comfort Keepers’ Russian speaking patient population.
Elsa Niemi, RN
Elsa is experienced caring for the geriatric population in skilled rehabilitation facilities. Elsa also worked for several years on the medical-surgical floor of a Providence hospital. Elsa covers the SW Portland to Wilsonville area.
Jani Whitsett, RN
Jani came to Comfort Keepers with a broad experience in various settings, including trauma, critical care, and cardiac care within hospitals. Jani also has outpatient experience with family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and supervision of a home care company. Jani is applying the knowledge gained from all this experience to field nursing in a territory that includes Woodburn to Salem.
Louis Schippers, RN
Louis has 39 years of nursing experience, most of it as a field nurse. An excellent delegation RN, Louis works out of Comfort Keepers’ Salem office. He has home health nursing, marketing, quality assurance, and consulting in his background, and serves as a valuable resource for Comfort Keepers.
Madeleine Bucci, RN
Madeleine brings nursing experience working inpatient units in oncology, orthopedic surgery, and telemetry at Kaiser Permanente to Comfort Keepers clientele. Madeleine is also experienced with care coordination, elder care, and hospice. Prior to working as an RN, Madeleine worked in pharmacies, so she brings this knowledge base to her care of Comfort Keepers patients.
Marion Barrett, RN
Marion came to Comfort Keepers after completing her RN, and has proved to be an enthusiastic and thorough field nurse. Prior to this, Marion worked as a practical nurse in skilled nursing facilities, and as a float nurse for a medical staffing company. Marion began her medical career as transcriptionist inside the radiology department at a Legacy hospital, so she knows the medical terminology.
Mary Vrontakis, RN
Mary is a very patient community care nurse who is passionate about teaching clients how to care for themselves and their loved ones in Washington County. She specializes in diabetic teaching.
Nancy Taft, RN
Nancy’s nursing background includes substantial hospital experience at Providence and OHSU in adult and pediatric cardiology, emergency medicine and inpatient psychiatric nursing. Nancy expresses her enjoyment of field nursing, saying “This is so much fun!” Nancy’s territory includes the central eastside of Portland.
Nicole Brecken, RN
Nicole’s nursing background includes experience with medical surgical nursing, psychiatric nursing, and hospice. Nicole has six years of experience as charge nurse on a hospital medical-surgical floor. Nicole left the hospital environment for community nursing and hospice, where she gained experience with dementia patients. Nicole covers the far east side of Portland and south to Salem.
Tracy Humphrey, RN
Tracy brings her hospice and palliative care experience to Comfort Keepers clients. Tracy also has experience working as a floor nurse for Providence’s Acute Care Unit. Tracy says being a field nurse visiting patients in their homes is her dream job. Tracy covers a territory on Portland’s west side.