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Train-the-Trainer Spotlight: Iowa Veterans Home

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I am constantly energized by these stories and the lives our staffers have helped to save.

For the Iowa Veterans Home, safety training is a priority. At any given time this long term care facility employs 900 staff members who diligently care for nearly 600 veterans and their spouses. With this many on the premises safety is key and no one knows this better than Wayne Pierson. For the last 10 years Pierson, has been serving as the Education Specialist, providing staff with American Red Cross Workplace Safety training as part of the Red Cross Train-the-Trainer program. “I value the customer focused program offered by the Red Cross,” says Pierson. “The support and detailed demonstrations on new products and materials is top-notch.” 

With a premium on safety, the Veteran’s Home invests in over 20,000 hours of employee training each year. In fact, every new employee receives Red Cross Adult, Infant and Child CPR/AED regardless of their position. This robust teaches participants to respond to breathing and cardiac emergencies in both adults and children. This represents a major investment that equips staffers with skills that could save a life either at work, home or out in the community. Deepening the investment, the Veteran’s Home also recertifies select staff including Safety Officers, Drivers, Recreation staff and Maintenance staff every two years. This training schedule ensures there is always someone at the facility trained to respond to an emergency. 

In fact, Pierson can recount at least four instances where staff members used their training to assist someone in need. “We had an employee respond to a car accident outside of work who performed CPR on the victims; one of our Housekeepers used an Epi pen to help a co-worker during an allergic reaction; an Occupational Therapist performed CPR on someone who had collapsed in the hallway; and lastly a newly hired and trained Maintenance Supervisor used what he had learned in class to help someone who was choking in our lunchroom. These are just a few stories. I know there are others. It’s been an amazing journey and I am constantly energized by these stories and the lives our staffers have helped to save. The investment Iowa Veteran’s Home makes in its staff is paying dividends,” says Pierson. 

Maggie Schwark, Education Program Manager is also pleased with the investment but made sure to acknowledge Wayne’s role in the importance of safety at the Veteran’s Home. “Wayne is the primary point person for our Red Cross training and does an exceptional job,” says Schwarck, Education Program Manager. “To us, he is the Red Cross and we are thrilled that he is part of our organization.” The Red Cross is pleased to have partners like Pierson and the Iowa Veteran’s Home. More than 30,000 people a day receive Red Cross training and countless are saved each year as a result. The Red Cross relies on its training partners to make this happen. 

Red Cross Workplace Training is delivered in a variety of ways including our Train-the-Trainer program spotlighted here. To learn more about our workplace training options visit to learn more.