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Staff Spotlight: Melissa Dees

This fall, Rising Mountains Assisted Living welcomed Melissa Dees as the new Activities Coordinator. Melissa, originally from Olympia, Washington, moved to Montana six years ago with her four kids. She landed in BigFork and plans on staying put. She and her kids love nothing more than being outside all year, enjoying the snow in the winter and Flathead Lake in the summer.

Melissa has over 20 years of experience in the senior care industry, starting when she was 12 years old. Her mother ran an Alzheimer and Dementia care facility out of her home. Melissa’s first job was helping to care for those residents; cleaning, cooking and caring for those residents.

After high school Melissa sought her degree in Early Education and after graduation, became a preschool teacher. After five years of teaching, Melissa left to focus on raising her kids.

After moving to Montana, Melissa continued her career in senior care, working for other facilities in the area. However, from the moment they broke ground on Rising
Mountains, Melissa felt a connection to the place.

“I would drive by and just feel this strong connection to the place. The location is beautiful and I could just feel that it was going to be a special place and I was going to be part of it. When I saw they were hiring back in May of this year, I jumped at the chance and immediately applied.”

However, fate didn’t step in just yet. It wasn’t until October that Melissa was offered the job and happily accepted.

Now, Melissa is loving life at Rising Mountains.

“I’m so excited to be here. It’s obviously beautiful and everyone here is so well taken care of. I love my job. I get to pursue my passion and use my creativity to create meaningful experiences for our residents and staff. Everyone here is so wonderful and the community blends so well. I really can’t imagine working anywhere else.”


"My Mom, Elaine Toole Adkins, moved to Rising Mountains Assisted Living as an independent resident last spring. She loves it there!! The staff and care is over the top! Kind, caring and accommodating. She loves her apartment and the safety of having help when she needs it! As she moved into assisted care, the transition has been seamless for her! Her apartment is well appointed, as is the entire facility! Best decision for her and us, she is closer and it's a lovely place to visit her, or take in a meal or two in the dining room!!" Cherie Toole Hansen