Salinas thankful to be part of SunPorch of Dodge City team

Salinas thankful to be part of SunPorch of Dodge City team

February 2018 • Contact: Ryan Salinas, 620-227-3209 •

Ryan Salinas acknowledged he had “no intention of staying in Dodge City” because he thought he would be moving out of town for a new job.

Then, along came SunPorch of Dodge City.

Salinas had been administrator of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society since April of 2016. SunPorch became the new owner of the long-term-care facility, 501 W. Beeson Rd., in October of 2017; he retained the title of administrator.

“As I thought about leaving, I just didn’t feel peace,” Salinas recalled. “While talking to our great staff members about the positive changes ahead, I easily sold myself on SunPorch. My personal mission is to help older people have a better rest of their lives. This new group of people share that mission.

“SunPorch offers the latest and greatest, very cutting-edge ideas. I wanted to be a part of it; my prayers have been answered.”

If SunPorch hadn’t become the new owner, it appeared the facility would have closed late last year, Salinas noted. Now, its residents are reaping the benefits of positive changes.

“The new owners are passionate about caring for the elderly, starting from the top and down through the ranks,” Salinas commented. “I am very fortunate to be able to be part of this experienced team.

“I am definitely the new kid on the block,” he laughed. “But I look forward to what the future holds with the awesome team that cares for our residents every day. They are good at adapting to change.”

SunPorch is the non-profit arm of Kansas Senior Living Inc., which is based in Topeka. It will bring the Green House Project to Dodge City.

Green House refers to a complex of smaller facilities, each of which will be home to about 10 people. This will result in more one-on-one care to meet all residents’ physical and emotional needs.

The Green House staff will combine efforts for services such as medical care with registered nurses and aides; personal hygiene; activities; laundry; and housekeeping. (More details will be announced in the near future.)

“Typically,” Salinas said, “rural communities do not get the cutting edge of anything. But Dodge City will have something that draws people here for the latest innovations in elder care in a home-like environment.

“Corporations are leaving rural areas but SunPorch is bringing experience and passion to our community,” he added. “SunPorch wanted the transition to have little or no effect on residents and staff members, and they kept their word. We were able to retain 100 percent of the staff during the transition, and it has been fairly smooth sailing.”

On a personal note, Salinas said one reason he became interested in long-term care was his job in a restaurant that catered to older, retired people.

“The more I got to know them, the more I realized they were just like me,” he said. “I don’t think of myself now as a 42-year-old man; I still feel like I’m in my 20s. My customers were the same way.

“Yes, they had aged and their bodies might have been a little less cooperative than mine, but they didn’t think of themselves as old. By gaining this new perspective, I enjoyed their stories and heeded their wisdom. I am doing the same now with SunPorch residents.”

His Christian faith also played a big role in his career decision.

Salinas’ background includes: enlisting in the United States Army after Sept. 11, 2001; serving in Iraq during Operation Enduring Freedom; and earning an associate’s degree at Baker University’s satellite facility in Overland Park in 2010 and a bachelor’s from MidAmerica Nazarene University at Olathe in 2013.

John Grace