Maria Regina

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Our Staff

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Maria Regina Staff

Hope, healing and hospitality are the hallmarks of life at Maria Regina. Nowhere is this more evident than in the quality of our staff.  Each day our dedicated staff provides compassionate and skilled care to all in need of our services.  As primary caregivers, whether they are nurses, aides, dietitians, social workers, therapists or maintenance personnel, Maria Regina staff works in a professional and caring environment where mutual respect for each other nurtures the love and care of our residents. All staff members continually receive the training and educational opportunities to enhance their professional skills. Most importantly all are committed to the mission of Maria Regina: To bring Christ’s healing comfort and power to all.

Medical and Nursing Support Staff

As a skilled nursing home, Maria Regina is a complex healthcare organization. So much goes on “behind the scenes” to create the excellent quality of care provided to our residents. The medical and nursing support staff play a critical, but often unrecognized role, in assuring that care. During COVID 19, their contributions were even more important.

Our infection preventionist worked to identify the types of infections our residents were experiencing,monitor and track COVID, and design the protocols and practices that decreased the spread of the infection.

Our nurse educator, interacting with all departments, designed and provided infection control education and training. Coming in on all shifts, she educated staff and the entire MR community on handwashing, the use of personal protective equipment etc. to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Our medical support nurses continued to maintain and monitor all the necessary medical evaluations for residents, assuring the continuity of medical care so critical to the wellbeing of our elders.

Resident assessments and care planning continued so that any changes in individual residents were identified and the appropriate changes in care were addressed. This nursing team continued to submit all the complex paperwork required to assure that MR would be appropriately reimbursed for the care being provided.

The nursing schedulers played an important role in assuring that proper staffing was available to care for our residents. Fielding and making a myriad of phone calls each day, they assured that nursing schedules were maintained and shifts covered when staff called out sick.

Throughout this COVID crisis, this nursing support team often provided care on a resident unit, when staffing was challenged. They did whatever was necessary, whatever they were called upon to do. They are our unsung heroes and we are ever grateful that they are an integral part of the Maria Regina community.

Our Social Workers

“Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is ever going to get better. It’s not”. -The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

 Maria Regina Residence is blessed with three amazing social workers who “care an awful lot”, always working to make thing better for all members of the Maria Regina community. They are the listeners, the hand holders, the advocates and the interpreters for our residents whose voices are sometimes quiet and difficult to discern.In this pandemic, they were challenged to find new ways of being with and “touching” residents, bringing hope and healing in a time of fear and uncertainty.They have been a lifeline for family members, reassuring them that loved ones were safe and being well cared for. They arranged for phone and Zoom calls so residents could maintain connections with family and friends. And when physical healing was no longer possible, partnering with other staff members,they sat with the dying, offering a supportive presence and words of consolation.To other staff members they provided a listening ear, an extra hand and a willingness to handle difficult situations. They did whatever was needed to be done, always available to contribute to the needs of the larger community.These three remarkable women faced their own fears of COVID with grace and courage as they not only cared for the Maria Regina community, but went home each night to care for their own families. We are so grateful for all they do and most of all, for who they are.

Our Rehab Staff

“I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say "'Because of you, I didn’t give up’” - Christina Fung

“Don’t give up” is the ever-present mantra of Maria Regina’s rehab team. With humor, compassionate understanding and a gentle touch, these talented women and men inspire our residents to push themselves further than they thought possible. The rehab suite has alwaysbeen filled with positive energy, fun and a sense of purpose that addresses the fear, pain and sense of loss that often comes with a challenge to one’s physical abilities.Whether someone comes to MRR for rehab after an injury or surgery with plansto return to home, or joins our long term care community, each individual is inspired to be their best selves. COVID 19 created unique challenges for our physical, occupational and speech therapist since all therapy requires physical contact. No longer able to see residents in the rehab gym, they developed creative and safe ways to treat residents in their rooms. This helped to reduce a sense of isolation and continued to inspire residents to keep moving as much as possible.As part of the Maria Regina community, the rehab therapists joined other staff members in feeding residents and providing additional hands on care to make sure that each resident received the attention they needed.While many members of this team have young families, responsible for caring for young children, home schooling and everyday life in a new COVID 19 world, they came to work each day with enthusiasm and energy, caring for our elders and fulfilling the mission of Maria Regina. We thank them for their skill, their commitment, their dedication.  They are among the BEST of us!

Our Adult Day Health Care Program

One of the programs most affected by COVID 19 has been Maria Regina’s Medical Model Adult Day Health Care. Having to close down this congregate program, has left our registrants without the usual social activities and the medical/nursing care they need. But it has not left them alone. Our dedicated ADHC staff remains in touch by phone with all our registrants, checking on them, making sure that they had both food and medication and offering emotional support. At Maria Regina, when a crisis hits, it’s “all hands on deck”.  As we closed the ADHC program, staff switched roles and used their talents to do whatever was necessary to care for our residents. Nursing assistants worked with residents on the unit to supplement nursing care, while other staff made reassuring calls to families, updating them on resident well-being. These women exemplify both courage and commitment and the hope, healing and hospitality offered by Maria Regina. We are grateful that they are part of this wonderful team.

 

Pastoral Care: The Heart of Maria Regina Residence

While there are many things that make Maria Regina a special place, at its heart is our pastoral care team. Their presence, kindnesses and attentiveness create for our residents a sense of “being known” and cared for as unique individuals. As they tend to the spiritual needs of our residents, they are also ever ready to do those extra things that mean so much. In times of sadness and pain, they stand with us and in times of joy, they are there to celebrate. During this pandemic, although the pastoral care sisters cannot physically be at Maria Regina, they continue their ministry by praying with and for us, making calls to residents and families and assuring that the thread that binds us together remains strong.

The lay members of our pastoral care team have thought of creative ways to use our closed circuit TV to bring comfort to our residents and staff. Brief prayer services, inspiring reflections on gospel readings and the rosary provide the “spiritual uplift” so important in these challenging times. Michele and Theresa continue to be physically present throughout the building, offering kind words and a listening ear to all who struggle with the pain and sadness we are all experiencing.

We are so grateful for their presence in our lives, for their deep faith and for helping us to remember that we are a strong community of faith and hope, who, together, will survive and thrive during these difficult times. Thank you.

Our Therapeutic Recreation Staff

There has always been a special place in the hearts of our residents for the Therapeutic Recreation staff. These dedicated women fill their days with the activities, new learnings and laughter, keeping our residents engaged and upbeat. COVID has made this more challenging by eliminating group programs, decreasing resident interaction with one another and keeping residents their rooms. Never people to shy from a challenge, the department has revamped their programs and created new ways to keep our residents involved and happy.

Focusing on a model “person centered care”, staff developed individualized therapeutic activities to meet the needs of residents. For our more independent residents, they created personalized care packets of puzzles, word searches, books, trivia, sketch pads and playing cards. For those residents with a more reflective bent, they encouraged journaling/ poetry writing to help process their feelings and experiences in these difficult days.

Recreation staff utilized the in-house TV system to keep residents connected offering the “Elder Grow” gardening program, bingo, creative poetry classes, sing-a-longs, resident council, chair Zumba and a myriad of other programs virtually. Facilitating zoom or phone calls, they helped keep residents connected with families and friends.

Visiting residents as often as possible, they made special deliveries of coffee, chocolate, soda, chips, cookies or any other personal requests that could bring some joy to the day. They even delivered “Mr. Softee” as the residents listened to the familiar jingle from the ice cream truck.

Once it was safe, residents were brought out into the garden to feed the birds & water the flowers.Some residents enjoy sun bathing while listening to their favorite music on their personalized IPOD. The outdoor balcony was used so that our frailer residents could feel the air on their skin and smell the earth as raindrop fell.

Their creativity and energy never waned, even as they went home to care for their families. We are so grateful to these courageous and committed staff members who continue to assure that our residents feel connected and loved. They are a living example of the hope, healing and hospitality critical to the mission of Maria Regina. We thank you.

Our Housekeeping Heroes

COVID 19 highlighted the incredible contributions of our housekeeping department. These women and men faced the challenging job of stopping the spread of the virus by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting every surface throughout our home. Maintaining the cleanliness of any large building is no easy feat under normal circumstances. As always, the housekeeping staff went above and beyond to protect the health and safety of the Maria Regina community. But what also makes these colleagues so special is the relationships they have with our residents. As they clean resident rooms, they do so much more. For our residents, they are the daily visitors who provide those important “little things” that matter so much – the smiles, small conversations, turning on the TV and finding a favorite sweater.

And, as the workday ends, these women and men go home to clean their own homes and care for their own families, trying to also keep them safe from COVID. We honor these brave and dedicated members of the Maria Regina community. Thank you for your great work.

Our Maintenance Department

At Maria Regina, when the temperature rises, who do you call to turn on the air conditioning? When the snow is 2 feet high, who do you call to dig out your car? When a resident needs a picture hung, who do you call to hang it? And when you need a “I’ll take care of it” attitude, who do you call – our own dynamic trio – Andy, Tom and Dave!
Keeping a large, complex building well maintained, upgraded and functioning is never an easy task, especially a building that is in use 24/7.These dedicated men are always “on call”, ready at a moment’s notice to handle any crisis and keep all the building systems running safely and efficiently.
Most importantly, they do their work with a smile and a readiness to help whenever called upon. The residents enjoy seeing them, as they brighten their day with short conversations, jokes and gentle teasing. It’s that special attention that means so much in the day of day life of our elders.
Our maintenance men go about their daily work, cognizant of the mission and values of Maria Regina. They are good men, doing a good job. We thank them for their presence, their skill and humor, bringing hope and healing to us all.

 

Remember – food is more than nutrition
- S. Elizabeth Looney, CSJ

As COVID-19 brought with it the closure of our favorite restaurants, and eateries, cooking dinner every night has become our new normal. Even for those who love to cook, it has not always been fun. Imagine cooking nutritious, flavorful and balanced meals three times a day for over 100 people. Add to that a multitude of snacks and supplements, and you have some idea of the daily work of the Maria Regina nutritional services staff. And don’t forget the pots, pans and dishes that need washing and sanitizing!

For our residents, so much of life at the nursing home revolves around food. As COVID shut down our congregate dining rooms, requiring that residents eat in their rooms, nutritional services staff focused on creating a tray service that was especially appealing. Extra care was taken to make sure trays looked pretty, and included some of those special treats and deserts residents enjoy so much. Individual food requests were honored as much as possible, and trips to the local food market for special items occurred regularly.

Our dietitians, the rehab team, and other trained staff members checked on all residents eating in their rooms, feeding those who need assistance and encouraging those able to eat on their own.

And at the end of the day, these same staff members went to cook dinner for their own families, to wash their own dishes and to care for their own families. The next morning, they were back in the Maria Regina kitchen feeding our most vulnerable.

Thanks to all of you for embodying the Maria Regina spirit of hospitality, and for all you do every day to care for our residents.

 

Gratitude For Our Nursing Assistants

“I was born to be a nursing assistant – to hold, to help, to teach, to inspire. It’s who I am, my calling, my passion, my life, my world.”

Giving and receiving care is a deep and personal experience. It requires trust, understanding and compassion, especially in uncertain times. Bathing, dressing and feeding are all intimate activities which require skill and the knowledge of each elder’s personality and preferences. All care giving happens in the context of the relationship between the caregiver and the receiver of care, and for our nursing assistants, this relationship is at the heart of all they do.

Throughout this pandemic, the work of nursing assistants has become more complex and challenging. Coming to work every day, in spite of the hazards, nursing assistants often working 16 hours a day to cover for those who have fallen ill. And, as with so many of our healthcare workers, they go home each night to care for their children, spouses and parents, hoping that their work does not endanger their own families.

They have remained a constant presence in the lives of our elders, as they laugh and cry with them, hold their hands and wipe their tears. Our nursing assistants personify Maria Regina’s commitment to hope, healing and hospitality.

They are brave, strong and dedicated and we cannot be prouder of these wonderful women. Thank you, thank you - for all you do and especially, for who you are.

 

Blessed Are Nurses For They Are The Angels That Walk The Earth

Wives and mothers; daughters and sisters; aunts and friends.

Our nurses are many things to many people – to our Maria Regina elders they are healers, comforters and companions. During these past several months, their dedication and commitment to our residents has been outstanding. They have come to work every day, often working double shifts when colleagues took ill.

The Maria Regina community is built upon a thread of intimate relationships between staff and residents. A listening ear, a gentle touch and a smile have all been made more challenging, but not impossible by COVID 19. Our nurses continue to hold the hand of the fearful and sit quietly with the dying.

 We have never been more proud of their bravery, their professionalism and their compassion. We thank them for all they do, every day, to make the world a kinder and gentler place.