Bill Johnson: Council President and Director of Senior Services at Trinity Oaks
By Susan Shinn Turner
If you ever visit the Trinity Oaks campus, Bill Johnson seems to be everywhere. And if the residents take a trip, he’s usually the first one on the bus as well. Bill is also serving as Congregation Council president for St. John’s this year.
When asked how he balances work and life, his answer is simple. “I have people, that’s how.”
Bill has been a part of Trinity Oaks since August 2006, and now serves as director of senior services of the Trinity Oaks campus, which also includes Trinity Health and Rehab and Trinity at Home. There are a total of 374 residents on campus, with a staff of nearly 400.
That’s a lot of folks.
“It’s not a 9-to-5 job,” Bill admits. “Honestly, if you’re in any management position in health care it’s not a 9-to-5 job.”
And, Bill says. “It’s fun. If it wasn’t fun, heck no, I wouldn’t do it. I get more from the residents than I give them, I’m sure. I go home every day feeling I’ve accomplished something. I feel really good about that. The residents feel like family. I do have key people who do wonderful things for the campus. LSC has really allowed us to do all these fun things.”
Both Lutheran Services Carolinas and its executive director, Ted Goins, have embraced the concept of making residents’ lives abundant, Bill says. “With his support and LSC, you can’t go wrong.”
“Bill Johnson is a force of nature,” Ted says. “He is one of the finest, hardest-working health and human services leaders I have ever worked with. His commitment to resident-centered quality and innovation is unmatched.”
About 10 years ago, Bill asked to take residents in health and rehab to the beach. Ted’s answer? “Do it.”
“We work from the time we get there to the time we leave,” Bill says, “but we get so much out of it.”
That was in September. In October, he accompanied a group of independent living residents to an art show in Rocky Mount. Other groups travel with Donna Groce, who leads Trinity Oaks University.
Away from work, Bill spends time with family, and feels fortunate that all of his family lives nearby. He and his wife, Lydia, have three children, daughters Bailey and Kendall, who live in Salisbury, and son Will, who lives in Winston-Salem. They have three granddaughters.
“My family is used to the hours I work,” he says. “We’ve tried to integrate my family into my job. My kids grew up running around the nursing home.”
“He balances work and life very well,” Lydia says. The two will celebrate 39 years of marriage on Dec. 28.
Bill and his family attend 9:27 worship. “My kids like that one and we like it.”
The family always tries to have Sunday dinner together, Lydia says. They’ve also taken family trips together, and she and Bill have a small mountain getaway they visit when they can. “It keeps our sanity!”
Bill says that Bill Safrit asked him to consider running for council. “I really felt I couldn’t commit the time,” he says, “but Pastor Rhodes encouraged me, and I stuck with it. I’ve learned a ton. The church office runs like a well oiled machine. They’re a huge help. If you need anything, the church office will do anything they can to help you. LSC allows us the time to be involved in the community, so it all works together.”