Sunrise through the grass

Touchmark Strong Champions

Touchmark Champions are team members who exemplify making smart decisions in all aspects of their lives to protect residents and their fellow team members.

Touchmark in the West Hills

840 SW Touchmark Way Portland, OR 97225


Aaron Cooper

Aaron works at Touchmark in the West Hills as a certified fitness professional in the Health & Fitness Club. He and his wife recently welcomed their second baby into their family, and Aaron’s reassuring fatherly demeanor has been a constant calming presence for his colleagues. He also proposed and led an initiative to do one exercise at the top of every hour to help his teammates maintain their fitness level and ward off stress. His co-workers describe him as strong and silent with a heart of gold. When asked what actions he takes to keep himself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, he says:

  • I practice proper hand hygiene throughout the day and designated an entrance to change clothes in before entering the main portion of our house, which happens to be the laundry room. I keep a pair of clean clothes on a shelf, so that I may change out of my work clothes and discard them directly into the washer. Then I take a shower once I have made my way through the house to the bathroom.
  • My motivation for taking these actions is our two sons, Langston (4) and Elijah (5 months).
  • Most residents that know me know that I have two sons. They are regularly asking me how they are doing, and I am happy to share of their growth and progress through this time. Most want to see them but know that it is not physically possible at this time. Through it all, they are looking to see them both when COVID-19 no longer is a worry.
  • The Value that most resonates with me is Integrity. Knowing that the residents and staff also have family members that care for them, I would not want any harm to fall upon them just as I wouldn’t for my own family.

“Remain light-hearted. The mask is just an added piece to what we were taught to do as kids. Wash your hands after playing.”

Touchmark Strong Champion: Aaron Cooper
Touchmark Strong Champion: Brittany Spielbusch

Brittany Spielbusch

Brittany was one of the first med techs hired at Touchmark in the West Hills. From the first day, she expressed that she wanted to grow with the community and hoped to become a Resident Care Coordinator. With dedication and determination, she quickly reached her goal. Brittany has helped many new residents and team members transition into life at Touchmark. During COVID-19, Brittany has helped audit PPE supply levels, participated in the DHS infection control audit, and has been a tremendous help with creative staffing. When asked what actions she takes to keep herself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, she says:/p>

  • I only go to three destinations during the workweek as I have a child. On my days off, I stay at home so I am not exposing anyone to anything. When I get home from any activity, I use a hand-santizer before I touch my door, change my clothes, and wash my hands before I do anything else for the night. That way, I am not exposing my family and my daughter.
  • The well-being of my daughter and the residents who have become my family over the past two years motivate me to take these actions.
  • Keeping everyone healthy by doing my part and being socially distanced shows them that although this time is hard, we will get through it by doing the right things.
  • The Values that most resonate with me during this time are, “I am an Ally,” and “I am a Friend.”

“If you have a dream, you can achieve your goal if you put your heart and mind to it.”

Karen Duran

Sales Assistant & Move-In Coordinator Karen “Henry” Duran started with Touchmark in 2017 as a receptionist at Touchmark Central Office, then moved to the front desk at Touchmark in the West Hills when it opened in 2018. Due to her innate ability to organize workflow and work successfully with virtually any personality, Karen assumed her current role in 2019. Known affectionately as “Henry” to her co-workers, she is the critical link between retirement counselors, new residents, the business office, Building Services, Housekeeping, and moving companies for all new move ins and transfers. “Henry” has been a beacon of can-do energy in the face of changing requirements related to COVID-19 restrictions. Karen continues to earn the respect and willing cooperation from her peers and provides the move-in experience every Touchmark resident deserves. When asked what actions she takes to keep herself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, she says:

  • I wear a mask everywhere I go, even if it’s just to take my trash out in my apartment building. I am very diligent about handwashing and carry hand-sanitizer with me at all times. I am always conscious of social distancing. I’ve also decided to forgo certain things that I enjoy doing, like eating out at restaurants and have taken up cooking new recipes instead as well as finding creative ways to have fun, such as picnicking on my living room floor. I’ve come up with new ways to spend my free time, taking COVID safety protocols into account. I’m happy to make small sacrifices such as this to ensure the safety of those around me.
  • I am motivated by my care and concern for others—most especially our dear residents and team members. I understand the gravity of what it means to work in the homes of our residents. This means that decisions I make outside of work can affect the lives of the residents who are simply living in their home. For that reason, I try my best to make good decisions. I’ve also heard and witnessed how my fellow team members conduct themselves, following appropriate safety measures, and I am motivated by their good example.
  • Residents who notice our efforts feel more secure and comfortable in knowing how much we care about them. I’ve had many residents approach me and express thanks for everything their Touchmark team has done to keep them safe. I also believe that people are inclined to follow good examples. I hope that when my fellow team members see each other (including myself) make good decisions, they’re inspired to do the same.
  • The Value that most resonates with me is, “I earn the opportunity to return and serve each day.” I consider it a privilege to serve the residents. I want to make good decisions today that will earn me the right and opportunity to come back tomorrow to a job that I love.

“Speak positively towards each other and of others even when they’re not around. A simple ‘thank you,’ and acknowledgment of one’s good work really goes a long way.”

Touchmark Strong Champion: Karen Duran
Touchmark Strong Champion: Vilma Foley

Vilma Foley

Vilma is a caregiver who consistently goes above and beyond to WOW the residents at Touchmark in the West Hills. Even during the pandemic, she always has a smile on her face and offers encouraging words to all. One night, the Elm residents were a little sad about dining alone and missing group activities, so she put on a colorful apron and created a fun “dinner and movie night” for them. Though they were physically distanced and sitting at their own tables, they enjoyed this fun activity immensely. Vilma has a true gift of connecting with others, and she loves the residents like family. When asked what actions she takes to keep herself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, she says:

  • I wear my mask, carry hand-sanitizer with me, minimize the number of things I have to touch, and keep a safe distance from others.
  • I love the residents! Their health is my primary and utmost concern, and as a caregiver, it is my duty and responsibility to ensure their safety is protected at all times. My happiness derives from the joy I see in their faces on a daily basis.
  • The pandemic has affected everyone significantly and especially the dear residents. For a long time, family visitations were restricted. As a caregiver, I consider myself the closest person to a family member residents may have and ensure I serve them in such a manner while their loved ones are temporarily unavailable in person. I strive to create a welcoming social environment to ensure they thrive in the midst of these hard times.
  • The Touchmark Values have always resonated with me and my work ethic. I try to integrate Teamwork, Integrity, and Compassion in all that I do. I also strive to encourage my fellow teammates to stay strong and hold ourselves accountable to maintaining selfcare so that we can provide the best care we can to the residents.

“Remain optimistic and maintain a positive perspective through the challenges life presents to us from time to time. It is important to take care of each other and encourage each other to stay strong.”