Today, CALA awarded the 2019 Excellence in Service Awards for Northern California. Four exceptional senior living employees were cheered at the 2019 Spring Conference & Trade Show by a room full of their friends, family members, and co-workers.
Flor Amaya has worked at Carlton Senior Living – Downtown Pleasant Hill for 15 years. According to Executive Director Tracey Ingleman, “Her positivity and influence with our staff creates an environment of love and honor to provide for our residents and families.” Flor was recently promoted to Evening Supervisor after taking it upon herself to enroll in classes as a way of enhancing her professional skills. In her position, she has served as a mentor for new caregivers and motivates them to deliver the same quality of personalized care she is known for providing. One example of Flor’s ability to “create light and happy moments” is her experience with a resident named Clinton. Before his passing, he had lost weight, causing his wedding ring to fall off and be misplaced. When Flor arrived at his apartment in the morning, Clinton was distressed because he wanted his ring on “when he met his wife in heaven again.” She took the time to search his apartment, locate the ring, and return it to him.
According to Assistant Executive Director Kimberly Hagen, “Caridad listens and engages with pride, professionalism, creativity and fun. Her passion for being a prep cook, engaging with residents every chance she gets, and supporting fellow staff members for 20 years is second to none.” During the Camp Fire in 2018, Caridad worked extra shifts to help care for residents evacuated from Atria Paradise. This was in addition to the personalized service she provides to Atria El Camino Gardens residents each day. Each day, Caridad walks through the dining room during meals to interact with residents and learn their likes and dislikes. She then uses this knowledge to prepare meals to each individual’s tastes. For instance, when a resident was not feeling well, she prepared ramen noodles—the resident’s favorite—which helped him feel better. In fact, a resident named Kevin shares that he can tell when Caridad is working because of the special way his omelet is prepared.
Chef Joseph Ferrer, known as “JoJo” by the staff and residents, has worked at Lakeside Park for 16 years. According to Executive Director Cheryl Martin, “JoJo is not a director who sits at his desk. He is out among his team and the community. He speaks from the heart with the food he prepares and serves.” As Dining Services Director, he is committed to enhancing residents’ quality of life. One way he has achieved this is by implementing the “Grind Dining” method of preparing food into Watermark’s “Thrive Dining” philosophy, bringing dignity for residents with dementia and other eating challenges. Another way he enhances quality of life is through the dining environment. He makes sure to be present in the dining room during every major holiday as well as special events, such as a resident’s milestone birthday. For the annual Valentine’s Day Couples Dinner, he leads his team in transforming the dining room into an intimate restaurant, complete with flowers, mood lighting, music, and a four-course dinner.
Because of Kelly Frederickson’s leadership and focus on emergency preparedness, her team was able to safely evacuate residents during the 2018 Camp Fire. During and after the evacuation, her strong leadership brought the team together to get residents out of harm’s way and provide them the same quality of care even in the hotel they evacuated to. Kelly’s servant leadership created a community culture that enhanced life for residents even before the successful evacuation. She puts the resident first, treating them with the highest regard and doing what needs to be done to care for them every day. For Kelly, this means lending a helping hand where needed, whether serving in the dining room for taking residents to doctor’s appointments. According to Senior Vice President of Atria Michael Mejia, “She lives Atria’s mission of enhancing lives and exceeding expectations.”
Congratulations to all four Excellence in Service winners! Your dedication, empathy, creativity, and hard work are truly outstanding. CALA members, do you have an exceptional employee at your community? Nominate someone today!
Southern California nomination deadline: July 19, 2019