Please join PMC in welcoming our new Life Enrichment Manager, Mark Clifford, to our team and community!
Mark comes to Conrad from Louisville, KY where he was most recently an Activities Manager for over 300 residents for over 15 years; and spent 22 years as a youth minister prior. Conrad has many similarities to small town Mark grew up in, where he was raised on a dairy farm, so the small-town life appealed to Mark when he found the Life Enrichment position online one day.
“I took my first trip to Glacier Park at 21. I’ve been coming out here off and on for 30 years and it’s my favorite place in the world. I took a chance!” said Mark when asked “Why Conrad?” Since moving to Conrad officially, Mark has already explored Marias Pass, Babb, Glacier and more adventures await. “Years ago, I took 3 or 4 trips out here with youth groups when a friend of mine was doing Missionary work in Heart Butte. I recognized Conrad and knew Depuyer, Pendroy and Choteau. I love the area!”
Joining Mark in his move to Montana are his girlfriend Jamie and Siberian Huskey, “Tana,” which is short for Montana, named for the love of the state even before moving here was on his radar. Back home, Mark has two sons and one can’t help but notice he sits a little taller and speaks with great pride when discussing them. Joshua is 26 and works for a software company, which he found a knack for during his time in the Marine Corp. Josh will also be attending Engineering School. Duncan, 20, attends Junior College and was accepted into a Metropolitan College program with UPS designed to give back to communities. Duncan attends classes during the day and delivers for UPS 5 nights per week, maintaining his grades to meet the requirements of the program.
During a pandemic, at a time when visitor restrictions and sheltering in place have completely changed the scope of resident activities, Mark says his first priority is getting to know the residents. “The most important thing is learning who the residents are, learn their story and background. Then we can put together a life-affirming, life-giving and life-reviving program that fits them.” Mark spoke on the challenge of “reinventing the wheel” when it comes to activities. When his former facility was the first to shut down for the safety of the residents, he got to work crafting meaningful activities that would work including small group exercise classes 5x per day and “hallway history lessons.” In order to maintain social distancing, residents sat in their own doorways for different themed lessons, like baseball and the state fair, ending with a box of cracker jacks or cotton candy. Other activities included sunshine visits with family, using the windows at the facility and also lectures and movement.
Mark says that due to his experience as a youth minister, his approach to his job is a Pastoral approach. He will spend the first few weeks getting to know his residents and new staff, Abby Jacobs and Donna Jackson, as well as other LTC workers and colleagues. He’s looking forward to his new role at PMC. Along with exploring the outdoors and getting to know the area with Jamie and Tana, Mark says he is a huge sports fan, especially football and basketball, and can’t wait to attend some high school and college games in Montana. Jamie and Mark are looking forward to Whoop-Up weekend and some other events Conrad offers.
We are grateful to have Mark on board and look forward to working with him! Please welcome Mark, Jamie and Tana to Pondera County!