Pondera Medical Center (PMC) welcomes Mark Clifford as its new Life Enrichment Manager. Clifford will serve all areas of PMC, especially the residents in the long-term care facility.
Clifford relocated to Conrad from Louisville, Ky., where he served as an activities manager for over 300 residents for over 15 years. Prior to that he was a youth minister for 22 years.
“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,” said Clifford. “Years ago, I took three or four trips out here with youth groups when a friend of mine was doing Missionary work in Heart Butte. I recognized Conrad and knew Dupuyer, Pendroy and Choteau. I love the area!”
Clifford stressed he is looking forward to his new role at PMC. He said 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.”
When Clifford’s 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 five times 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.
Joining Clifford 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. Clifford has two grown sons, Joshua, 26, and Duncan, 20, who still live in Kentucky.