Alisha Craft first worked at the nursing facility now known as Deseret Health and Rehab at Pratt as a high school student, completing the clinical portion of the certified nurse aide program through Pratt Community College. She was hired in the fall as the administrator, and after taking some time off to have a baby, she is on the job full time.

"It's exciting to come back and run it," Craft said. "The team here is amazing; I don't think I'll ever leave them."

Craft has more than six years of health care administration experience. In her first position at Larned, her grandmother was a resident of the nursing home. She was handpicked to be the administrator at the Kansas Soldiers Home at Fort Dodge. Under her leadership, the home received no deficiencies on the Veterans Administration survey and only five for state and federal surveys.

"Five deficiencies is very, very good," she commented, setting the state average at 12 to 14.

Her goal for the Pratt facility is zero.

"I think we can do it," she asserted.

The nursing home has begun using the same program used annually by state surveyors, interviewing residents and families each quarter about needs and improvements.

Craft commended a strong auxiliary at the nursing home, made up mostly of community members whose loved ones are or have been residents. The next meeting of the auxiliary is at 9 a.m. March 26 and they're always looking for new members, Craft said.

Craft lives in Kinsley with her husband and three children. She and her husband both grew up in the area; after high school, she joined the Air Force and he joined the Army. They didn't see each other for eight years, but after the service they fell in love and got married. They are the parents of Kaileigh, age 3, Tyler, 12, and MJ, three months.

She began working for Deseret Health Group in 2012, and served as interim administrator at facilities in Wichita and in Hutchinson. She earned a bachelor's degree while in the Air Force, and a master's degree in healthcare administration from Bellvue University in Nebraska. She is working on a doctorate from Colorado Technical University.

Craft replaces Janel Burr, also from Kinsley, who is now an administrator at a Deseret home in Dodge City.

Deseret Health and Rehab is located at 1221 Larimer Street.