Meet Birch Haven's Administrator
Dale Kelm

When asked what he enjoys about working with the residents at Birch Haven Senior Living, an Assisted Living Facility in Ashland, Wisconsin, Dale replied, "I can see myself in them. I am no different than they are in fact am probably just about 30 years away from becoming a resident myself. I enjoy talking with the residents and their families and knowing that we are providing a service for our seniors and community here in Ashland, Wisconsin and the surrounding areas. We have a really diverse campus here. We have 4 separate buildings: Bear's Hollow, Timber's Edge, Falcon's Crest, and Eagle's Ridge. Focusing on the elderly population, we also offer services for the elderly who have special needs such as: physical disabilities, mental illness, dementia, and depression and/or anxiety."

Even though Dale is not originally from the Ashland area, his mother is and he has been visiting the Ashland are most of his life. Dale grew up in Bloomer, Wisconsin and attended high school in Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin where he graduated from Martin Luther Prep School. Dale attended Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota for his Associate of Arts Degree, University of Wisconsin - Super, Mankato State University and then Moraine Park Technical College in Beaver Dam where he graduated with a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) License in May of 2000. He then continued his educational endeavors through Excelsior College in Albany, New York where he earned his Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree in the fall of 2003. He has completed his Master's Degree in Training and Development in Menomonie, Wisconsin through the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

Dale's past career endeavors include working for Lutheran Social Services in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1991 - 2005 where he worked as a Care Provider, Lead Care Provider and then as a Manager where he directed three Group Homes for residents with developmental disabilities, and/or mental illness. Other duties included: working at a drop-in center for people with mental illness, liaison for the Northern Center Behavioral team and serving as the Regional Training Coordinator.

After working for Lutheran Social Services, Dale worked at Mount Washington Assisted Living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for 3 years from as the Health and Personal Care Supervisor. Mount Washington Assisted Living was licensed for 72 residents but generally had about 50 residents living there at any given time. Dale and his family then moved up to Ashland, Wisconsin where Dale worked for 1 year as a Medical Assistance Hub Supervisor from 2011 - 2012. 

Since July of 2012, Dale has worked at Birch Haven Senior Living as the Administrator and is enjoying his new position. When asked how he got into the health care field, Dale explained, "My mom is a nurse; however, it actually started for me after I worked in a group home and I worked with people that had behavioral issues and I got to see what an impact I had on them and how rewarding it truly can be."

Dale also served 24 years in the United States Military with the U.S. Army Reserves. Dale served in the infantry, as a combat medic, and then as a nurse during his enlistment in the military. When asked why he joined the military, Dale replied, "It was just something that I always knew that I was going to do." Dale served in Al Asad, Iraq from 2008 - 2009 where he worked at a hospital as a Ward Master for an Intermediate Care Ward and then an Intensive Care Ward. In November of 2010, Dale retired from his military career.

When asked what is unique about Birch Haven Senior Living, Dale replied, "We home cook all of our meals in each of the homes for our residents; therefore, they are hot and delicious. We also provide local medical transportation for our residents to and from their doctor appointments. Our staff is dedicated to the residents and their care. We have a GREAT team. I. We have 3 RNs here including a Director of Nursing here and on call 24-hours-per-day. We also work with the local health care providers in the area to include the Memorial Medical Center in town.

When Dale is not busy caring for the senior population at Birch Haven Senior Living, he enjoys spending time with his two children Gabriel and Claire. He loves to spend time at their cabin in Gordon, Wisconsin (south of Superior) and take the kids where they love to check out the bugs and frogs. He also enjoys hunting and is starting to do a little more fishing.

If you are interested in finding out more about Birch Haven Senior Living and how they can help you or your loved one, going on a tour, meeting the Administrator, Dale Kelm, or just chatting with him about the military, hunting or fishing, please call him at: 715-682-2414 or e-mail Dale at: or simply stop in at: 218 - 22nd Avenue W.,  Ashland, Wisconsin  54806.