Daniel Vogel is out to improve the image of millennials, at least to those of more “seasoned” generations.
Vogel, 26, is the new administrator of Alton Memorial Rehabilitation & Therapy (the new name for Eunice Smith Home). His age puts him a few decades behind most of the patients and residents at AMRT, but Vogel is quick to alleviate any anxiety about that.
“I’ve always had an older soul,” he says with a smile. “Some millennials have gained that reputation for maybe not having so much respect for our older population. But that’s not me. I love being around our residents. In addition to seeing the progress they’re making, just hearing their life stories is wonderful.”
Vogel is a St. Louis native, having graduated from Rockwood Summit High School, and earning his Master of Health Administration in 2018 at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has experience as an EMT as well as managing Kirkwood Water Park for several summers during college. In addition, he worked in the acute care setting with pharmacy and interning for a CEO of a hospital.
“I have always had an interest in long-term care because both of my grandmothers went through it all, some good and some not so good,” Vogel said. “I think I really have a heart for it. I rotated through all of Bethesda Health Group’s skilled health communities, and now I wear a lot of hats here. I’m certainly still learning the position, but it helps to involved with every part of it. It’s good to see so many of our residents out and about, and we have such a friendly staff.”
Vogel says that 80 percent of AMRT residents are in for rehab, a shift from the old days of nursing homes being a place to go only for long-term residency.
“But that means they have a goal to progress and get better so they can get back to being independent,” he said. “And it’s so rewarding to see them accomplish that.”