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Our Community

CountryHouse in Cedar Rapids

CountryHouse in Cedar Rapids opened in March 2020. Since then, families in Cedar Rapids and the surrounding areas have trusted our community to care for their loved ones with memory care needs. At CountryHouse, up to 40 residents make our community their home away from home. 

Community Features

Our Leaders

The heart of CountryHouse really shines through in our people. Our team members understand the difference between caring and giving care, and they’re committed to infusing our philosophy of treating people like family into everything they do.

“Senior living is the most rewarding career. Every day, I’m allowed the opportunity to make a positive difference in someone’s life. It brings me so much joy.”

Abby Bruce joined CountryHouse in Cedar Rapids in January 2022. Prior to that, she spent 17 years at another local senior living community, where she served in a variety of administrative roles, including Director of Administrative Services, Resident Services Director and Associate Executive Director.

Abby earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Dubuque. She also took courses in gerontology. She has completed the Assisted Living Management Certification Program and holds a Nursing Home Administrators license.

Originally from Eastern Colorado, Abby has been a resident of Cedar Rapids for 17 years. She has triplet adult daughters: Baylea, Amery, and Kyra. Abby and her significant other, John, live on a farm just outside Cedar Rapids. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, antiquing and spending time outside.

 

“I truly enjoy working with family members and helping them through a tough decision-making process, and  offering solutions that will help their loved one. 

Chris Ruzicka has spent his entire career providing helpful guidance and care for others. He’s worked in Senior Living since 2017, starting as a community director. He turns his focus to working one-on-one with prospective residents and their families as Senior Living Consultant at CountryHouse.

Prior to a career in senior living, Chris worked in hospitality management for Royal Caribbean Cruises and The Ritz-Carlton, as a travel counselor for American Express and in community outreach, career services and advising at two career colleges.

A native of Cedar Rapids, Chris received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

In addition to helping prospective families and residents, Chris also enjoys spending time with all residents of our community. He loves having conversations, reminiscing, and building connections with those in our care. He particularly values hearing the fascinating stories they have to tell.

 

“Working at CountryHouse and Agemark is like being part of a family. I don’t just come to work, I come to spend time with family and loved ones every day!”

Crystal Meineke is CountryHouse’s Director of Nursing. She joined the team in December 2019, prior to the community’s opening. She ensures resident’s physical well-being, in her very important role at the community. She works closely with the families of residents, keep them informed of any changes or concerns in their loved one’s physical health.

Crystal is a Registered Nurse. Prior to joining team CountryHouse, she worked at St. Luke’s Hospital in adult behavioral health for seven years, and St. Luke’s Living Center West for six years. 

Crystal is a native of Pella, IA, and now makes her home in Cedar Rapids with her two daughters, Keely and Kyla. 

“I feel very strongly about our company’s core values: professionalism, integrity, commitment and compassion. Along with that, I wanted to work at a place where I was valued and appreciated. I have that here at CountryHouse.”

Taylor Steffan joined CountryHouse in January 2020 and serves as Service Coordinator of the community. In her role, she wears a variety of hats, but most importantly, helps ensure that the community runs smoothly and that residents needs are being met.

Before joining team CountryHouse, Taylor earned a degree in Marketing Management from Kirkwood Community College and worked in healthcare for more than five years, gaining experience in mental health and client services. An advocate for serving and helping others, Taylor enjoys helping create joy for each resident every day.

In 2021, Taylor was named one of just six Agemark Senior Living “Heroes”, one of Agemark Senior Living’s highest honors for employees. 

She and her husband make their home in Hiawatha. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends and family and traveling. 

 

I’m thrilled to work with a wonderful team and residents who I truly see as family.”

Rachel Zieger serves as CountryHouse’s Life Enrichment Coach, and helps ensure resident wellness through the community’s robust life enrichment program.

She started at CountryHouse in June of 2021, first in an assistant role, prior to earning her current position in February of 2022. Before joining CountryHouse, Rachel worked in family and child services, at a domestic violence shelter and in home care. Throughout her career, Rachel has valued serving others. She particularly enjoys making connections with residents and their families.

Rachel feels strongly that Life Enrichment at CountryHouse brings so much to residents in our care – joy, laughter, a sense of accomplishment and most crucial, a wonderful daily routine to help manage the progression of dementia.

Rachel earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Western Illinois University. She and her boyfriend, Thomas Hiley, III, share a son, Thomas IV. 

 

 

“I chose CountryHouse and Agemark because I could clearly see their compassion for their residents. In my role here at the community, I believe that my passion for cooking will only add to the amazing experience for residents in their new home.”

Brett Heikkila joined the CountryHouse team as Director of Dining in October 2021. He serves delicious meals to the delight of residents of CountryHouse, who sometimes are even treated to cooking demonstrations or even pitch in in preparation.

His experience includes 12 years in the hotel industry, where he traveled extensively, serving as an operations manager. He was previously the Director of Food and Beverage for the Cedar Rapids Kernels for nearly 10 years. Brett holds a ServSafe Certification.

 

“CountryHouse is more like a family than a company. I feel like I matter, I’m not just a number, and best of all, we get to help and serve others.”

As maintenance coordinator for CountryHouse, Brett Taylor ensures the community is always in working order. A handyman with a heart for seniors, Brett was inspired make a career switch and begin serving seniors following the loss of his grandparents and parents. 

In addition to his work in senior living, he was previously employed at Anamosa State Penitentiary for more than 20 years. He is a graduate of Olin High School and Upper Iowa University. 

Brett and his wife enjoy life in small town Iowa. They have three children and two grandchildren. In his spare time, Brett enjoys riding motorcycles and is a proud member of the RedKnights motorcycle club. He is also passionate about helping children who have suffered burn injuries, and assists with benefits for that cause.

 

Activities Calendar

Excitement abounds at CountryHouse Cedar Rapids. View our activity calendar to see more. Click on the day for more detail.