When Sheila Wiggins decided Boca Raton, Fla. was too hectic and crowded, she knew she wanted to either return to her home state of Tennessee or come West.
The West -- and Payson --won out.
Wiggins is the new executive director of Payson Care Center. She visited the area in May and started her new job July 11.
She said she was impressed by the friendliness of the staff when she made her initial visit. "I thought it was a nice facility and the residents looked good and seemed happy," Wiggins said. "And the parent company, Life Care Centers of America, has a good reputation and a Christian-based philosophy.
"I have been working in long-term care for more than 16 years," she said. "I started as a hospice volunteer, then went right into administration when I finished college."
She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa.
Wiggins' arrival coincides with Payson Care Center's preparations for its 20th anniversary. The facility opened in 1985, and is planning a variety of events in September to mark its two decades of service.
In addition to the anniversary, Wiggins will be working on several priorities in the coming months.
"We're doing some remodeling," she said. "We also want to do more projects with the community and special programs with the Native American community."
Another goal is to make the public aware of the services Payson Care Center offers through its outpatient therapy department, she said. The department can provide both physical and occupational therapy to residents on an outpatient basis.
"We have the capacity to increase our patient load and it's a good service available for the community," Wiggins said.
Once she's a little more settled and has some free time, Wiggins said she would like to explore the state.
"I became interested in the West years ago and even lived in New Mexico briefly," she said. "I like the weather, the mountains and the desert."
She also enjoys reading and biking. Wiggins said she would like to become involved in civic organizations too. In the past she has volunteered as a court advocate for abused and neglected children, participated in an Alzheimer's support group and been a member of Professional Women in Health Care.