Alumnus at the Helm of Largest Nonprofit Senior Care Provider

Nathan Schema ’05 (photo courtesy of Sanford Health)

The new year brings a new job title for Concordia grad Nate Schema ’05.

Schema is now the president and CEO of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of senior care and services.

“The opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives has made my job a calling,” Schema said in a news release.

Schema had been vice president of operations for the Good Samaritan Society, where he oversaw 300 locations across 22 states. He started with the organization in an administrator-in-training program after college.

Schema was drawn to study healthcare administration at Concordia after talking with his uncle, an alumnus, about the college’s program. After visiting with program leaders, he transferred from Luther College to finish his final two years at Concordia.

“What I always will be incredibly grateful for and humbled by with my experience of Concordia was that spirit of innovation and that spirit of inclusiveness,” Schema said. “There was always a sense of belonging and a sense of ‘we’re here to make sure that you have the springboard to whatever it is that you want to do and in the future.’”

Schema added that he appreciated he could bring all parts of himself to campus.

“It was having the mission, being faith-based, and because of that connection to the Lutheran roots that I was able to meet like-minded people that would stretch me and challenge me all the way around,” Schema said. “I always felt like that was integral in my ability to continue to grow my own faith journey, as well as certainly equipping me for the future workforce.”

Cobber Connections

With Schema’s promotion, now three of the five major market presidents of the partnered Good Samaritan Society and Sanford Health are Concordia graduates.

Bryan Nermoe ’95 is president and CEO of Sanford Health Fargo. Paul Hanson ’86 is president and CEO of Sanford Health Sioux Falls. In addition, David Horazdovsky ’78, a current member of Concordia’s Board of Regents, had been the president and CEO of the Good Samaritan Society for more than 15 years.

“Everybody says that it’s a small world, but I don’t know that I truly believed that until I started running into Cobbers all over the place, especially in healthcare,” Schema said. 

Advice for Students 

For those looking to follow in Schema’s footsteps, his advice for students is to focus on the here and now. 

“I would tell them to make the most of every opportunity that you are afforded. But I would also say just immerse yourself in whatever that looks like,” Schema said. “Ask, ‘how do I be the very best leader?’ Let your results speak for themselves. If you give your all, give your whole heart, give your everything to the community that you’re serving, the residents you’re entrusted to, great things are going to happen. Show up, raise your hand, work hard, and let God do the rest.”