Long-time Employees Recognized by Visiting Nurse Home Care & Hospice of Carroll County for Years of Service
March 31, 2021
Visiting Nurse Home Care & Hospice of Carroll County recently recognized long-term employees for milestone years of service, with tenure ranging from 5 to 35 years. While their roles and responsibilities may vary, they share a common dedication to the community and a mission to provide compassionate care to those in need. These home care heroes recently shared their perspectives on what makes this agency their employer of choice.
35 Years of Service
In times where workers are more likely to cycle through jobs than stay in one place for decades, Gail’s dedication to VNHCH is a rarity today. Gail shared, “I think we come from a generation of people who are loyal to the places where we work. But the people you work with every day make a big difference. It makes you want to do your best and come back and be as helpful to everyone, in the field, and in the office.”
When she started with the agency, she was the only person in the office. Today she is part of a staff of 54 serving 763 patients a year. Over that time, she has seen much change: the type of care they provide and the level of care provided in the home is much more intense than it was in the past.
As a working mother, Gail found the agency’s flexibility with their employer to be a great draw. “They’re a great employer. The flexibility is great. I never felt that if I had to stay home or call out that I was in danger of losing my job. That has been true through the years. They are understanding of people having a home life as well as a job.”
She knows retirement is on the horizon but has mixed feelings. After 35 years, says her coworkers have become like family – a common theme among long-time employees of this agency.
26 Years of Service
Margaret Robinson, RN, CWCA, OMS
Clinical Resource Leader
Margaret says it’s the diversity that keeps the job “fresh” for her after all these years. In times of COVID, she has seen the demands on agency staff – and the acuity of the patients they see – increase. “This past year has been a challenge. People are coming home much sicker. These people couldn’t go to rehab or the hospital, so it’s been challenging taking care of acutely ill patients in the home setting. Our whole team rose to this challenge and we’ve done a great job taking really good care of really sick people.”
But it’s these challenges that keep the job interesting for her. “You can have 10 people with the same diagnosis but they live 10 different ways. You have to approach the education and teaching to meet the patient where they are. You can’t take a canned approach. That keeps it fresh and challenging. You’d think after 26 years I’d be bored. But every day I go into a new setting. You have to be able to work independently and think on your feet.”
Her teammates at the agency also keep a smile on her face. “We are supportive of each other. We are a smaller agency, therefore everyone’s accomplishments and triumphs are all of ours. Our management is top-notch. It doesn’t get any better!”
25 Years of Service of Service
Software/OASIS Administrator/ICD Coder
After working in a variety of healthcare settings over the years – hospital, rural health care, and home care – Anita can say with certainty that home care is the place for her.
“In all the areas I’ve worked I’ve found this one to be the most rewarding and challenging. I like home care. I think it’s an underrated service. It provides such good care to people. You can see the results of your care.”
Over 25 years, Anita has seen much change. Billing and reimbursement methods have changed. The agency moved from handwritten charts to electronic documentation. She has seen this change as a professional opportunity for her. The agency supported her being certified in OASIS, a specialized document that affects quality measures and reimbursement, a move that helps VNHCH meet new quality guidelines. The growth and training provided by her employer have kept her on board for so many years. “There’s been a lot of growth, a lot of being able to learn. I like that I’m always learning something new. Fortunately working for this agency, you are encouraged to go out there and take on a new challenge. I’ve had a lot of opportunities to do different things.”
Like Margaret, Anita cites her coworkers as a big part of what makes working at VNHCH special. “The staff is wonderful. Everyone brings something to the agency that benefits everyone else. Having worked in other environments and different dynamics, working here I feel like I’m allowed to do my job the best way I feel it needs to be done. I get to own it. There’s trust – they trust me to do that. Not a lot of places let you do that.”
20 Years of Service
While Rosalie has been with VNHCH for 20 years, she has been in her current role as HR Manager for 4 years. She worked her way up over the years, starting as a receptionist, then accounts payable, to scheduling, then intake. Her path illustrates the point made by her colleagues: VNHCH is an employer that likes to give people challenges and promote from within. Like her colleagues, she states that her coworkers are a big reason why she has been with the organization for so long. She shared, “I love the people that I work with. The clinical staff is fantastic and passionate about what they do.”
She also cites the support of the agency’s executive director Sandy Ruka, and their board of trustees. “Our board supports the agency and has done a wonderful job, especially through the pandemic. They have been very helpful.”
Rosalie also cited the agency’s flexibility as a benefit of working for VNHCH. “They are helpful with their staff and they respect the people who work for us. The clinical staff has the autonomy to rearrange their schedules, to fit their day to meet their needs and the clients’ needs. They go over and above. At our agency, you can feel the warmth.”
5 Years of Service
Lisa Whitney – Nurse Case Manager
Angela Nelson – Physical Therapy Assistant
Penny Thomas – Licensed/Certified Nursing Assistant
These three professionals have all reached the five-year mark in 2021. While they each play different roles, they all agree that the mission of the agency is what fuels their dedication.
Penny loves the satisfaction that comes from helping those in need. “(The patients) are so thankful and appreciative. They tell me, ‘you always make me feel better after you come here’ or ‘I don’t know what I’d do without you.’ If not for us, many would have to go to a facility. They wouldn’t have the independence of living in their homes.”
Angela enjoys working with patients to make them more mobile and independent in their homes. Her coworkers are also a resource to her, saying “I get to work with and learn from a variety of people, whether it’s physical therapy, nursing or occupational therapy. So many different experiences to draw from make it one of the really neat factors about working here.”
Lisa Whitney provides both skilled nursing and hospice care but says hospice is her favorite work. “What I love doing is bringing people comfort and dignity and respect, and the ability to help caregivers give their loved ones their last dying wish. It’s very fulfilling. We are all community-driven. It’s a good company to work for. They’re all wonderful caring people, in it for the same mission I am, keeping our community safe and at home.
Visiting Nurse Home Care and Hospice is currently recruiting for per diem and permanent LNAs, homemakers and RNs. To apply, go online at www.vnhch.org.