Our people make us special.
The heart of CountryHouse really shines through in our people. Our team members understand the difference between caring and giving care, and they’re committed to infusing our philosophy of treating people like family into everything they do.
Our team is handpicked for their natural empathy, then given best-practices dementia care training. At CountryHouse, our team learns each resident’s story –
their likes, their dislikes, their values, and their past – and use that knowledge to customize care and make meaningful connections with each resident we serve. Since our care is so personalized, we offer a higher staff to resident ratio.
Executive Director – Christine Cross
Christine Cross is passionate about caring for seniors. She brings more than 17 years of experience at assisted living and retirement communities to CountryHouse Cedar Rapids. Prior to joining the Agemark family, she managed an assisted living residence for 10 years. She has also served marketing roles for independent and assisted living communities in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
“I am honored to be a part of CountryHouse Cedar Rapids. Our mission is to treat everyone like family – our residents and their families, our employees and those who we meet in the community,” says Cross.
Christine and her husband have three children ages 19, 17 and 9 as well as a beloved dachshund, Charlie.
Senior Living Consultant – Chris Ruzicka
Chris Ruzicka has spent his entire career providing helpful guidance and care for others. He’s worked in Senior Living since 2017, starting as a community director. He turns his focus to working one-on-one with prospective residents and their families as Senior Living Consultant at CountryHouse.
“Two of my favorite things about my role at CountryHouse are first: working with family members and helping them through a tough decision-making process, ultimately offering solutions that are best for their loved one. The second, which is actually my favorite, are having conversations with residents. I love reminiscing with them and building connections – they have such fascinating stories to tell.”
Prior to a career in senior living, Chris worked in hospitality management for Royal Caribbean Cruises and The Ritz-Carlton, as a travel counselor for American Express and in community outreach, career services and advising at two career colleges.
A native of Cedar Rapids, Chris received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Northern Iowa.
Wellness Coordinator – Crystal Meineke, RN
Dining Service Manager –Brett Heikkila
Life Enrichment Coach – Kylie Tritle
Kylie Trittle helps ensure the social, intellectual, physical and spiritual wellness of all residents of CountryHouse in her role as Life Enrichment Coach. She implements both LifeCycles (CountryHouse’s wellness philosophy) and Seasons, our in-house life enrichment curriculum.
Prior to CountryHouse, Kylie worked in early childhood education. She’s thrilled to now work closely with those who make CountryHouse their home.
“I love being around all of the residents at CountryHouse! I truly enjoy learning about them and listening to their wonderful stories. I love being in a position to brighten someone’s day. Whether it’s outings and daily bus rides, or simply chatting or doing a puzzle together, our days here are filled with joy!”
A native of of Marion and Cedar Rapids, and graduate of Xavier High School, Kylie attended Kirkwood Community College, where she earned a degree in Business Administration with specialization in marketing and management. She and her fiance, AJ, are planning a June 2022 wedding. Together, the couple has a Austrailian Shepard Puppy named Blue.