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Montereau’s 2017 Value Award Winners

Every year, employees who best represent each of Montereau’s seven values are selected to receive Value Awards in recognition of their exemplary service. All Montereau staff are encouraged to nominate their peers for these awards, and the Montereau Leadership Team ultimately determines the winners.

The selection process is always difficult because Montereau is fortunate to employ many, many outstanding staff. This year, the selection process was so difficult that, instead of just seven Value Award recipients, we are honoring eight!

Cindy Aber

Stewardship Value Award recipient for being fiscally responsible and socially accountable by effectively using her time, talents and resources.

Cindy is a Pastry Chef in the main kitchen, and she was nominated by her Director, Rami Hasbini, for this honor. In his nomination he states, “Cindy is a team player who goes above and beyond every day to meet our standard of excellence. She leads by example, is always willing to jump in and help other co-workers regardless of what outlet of the department they work for. Cindy has great work ethic and has never missed a day of work. She takes pride in the quality of work she produces on a daily basis. The Food & Beverage department is proud and lucky to have Cindy!”

Debbie Rider

Compassion Value Award recipient for being caring, loving and gracious and showing empathy in all that she does.

Debbie is a You’re First Assistant, and Hannah Orth, You’re First Program Manager, nominated Debbie. She explains why Debbie is so deserving of this honor in her nomination letter.

“I am so proud to nominate Debbie for the Compassion Value Award. Debbie has worked at Montereau for three years. She is a true example of being caring, loving and gracious, and she shows empathy in everything that she does. Debbie provides quality care to residents and goes out of her way to make sure they are happy. She puts others’ needs before her own and treats her residents with dignity and respect always.

One of the residents Debbie cares for gets very anxious when Debbie’s shift ends. Debbie does an amazing job reminding the resident that she will be back in the morning, and she doesn’t leave until the resident calms down. She comes in early or stays late for her shifts whenever needed. She thinks of ways to make her residents’ days better. For example, she will dress in the same colors as her resident so they “match” or she gives the resident a makeover to make her feel special. When a resident feels sad about losing loved ones, Debbie takes time to listen to how the resident feels, and she tries to find ways to help them grieve in a positive way.

Debbie demonstrates how excellent customer service and showing compassion to her residents daily can have a lasting effect on our residents and their families.”

Raquel Fernando

Integrity Value Award recipient for being honest, trustworthy, and accountable for her actions.

Raquel is a Certified Medication Aide in the Villa who works the evening shift, and her co-worker, Cecil Lee, nominated her for this honor, writing, “Raquel strives to be autonomous in her work, and she completes tasks on her own without asking supervisors for assistance. She focuses on the positive aspects of her job. She comes to work each day with a sense of passion and excitement. She is willing to help others, and she exemplifies teamwork.

Raquel adapts quickly to changes, she focuses on completing the task at hand in an efficient manner, and she communicates with co-workers and supervisors effectively. Raquel honors and respects the individuality of each person. Most importantly, she treats our residents as she would treat her parents.”

Melanie Lee

Collaboration Value Award recipient for seeking input from residents, employees and others to make informed decisions.

Melanie is a long-time employee of Montereau, and she serves as the Life Enrichment Coordinator in the Wellness department. She was nominated by two co-workers for this award, and their nomination forms together paint a picture of why Melanie is so well-suited for the Collaboration Value Award.

Jennifer White, Wellness Coordinator, writes, “Because I share an office with Melanie, I get to witness firsthand all that it takes to coordinate events here at Montereau! Melanie collaborates with multiple departments, employees, guests, and residents to provide the highest quality events and activities. And she does this while juggling emails, phone calls, and drop-in visits from residents all day, every day!

With the number and caliber of events we have at Montereau, one would think that an entire department is responsible for planning them. That one-woman department is Melanie, and she juggles all of these things while always lending an ear or offering a kind word to those around her.”

Wellness Instructor Katie Eddins provides similar insight in her nomination letter. She writes, “Melanie and I have been co-workers for more than six years, and we share an office, so I see up close all of the behind-the-scenes responsibilities that go into her work. In addition to planning activities for the residents, Melanie is a great help to the fitness team, often teaching classes if one of us is gone or sick. She is a true team player and very loyal.”

Lyshawon Davis

Dignity Value Award recipient for honoring and respecting the individuality of each person.

Lyshawon has been at Montereau for one-and-a-half years, and she has been working as an Abbey Care Partner since February of this year. Her supervisor, Jessica Vagin, nominated her for this award, and in her recommendation letter, Jessica writes, “Lyshawon has been a great addition to our nursing team at Montereau because of her understanding and compassion toward our residents. Day in and day out, I see Lyshawon change her approach to the care she provides residents in order to meet their individual needs and uphold their dignity.

Lyshawon works to understand where our residents are physically and cognitively, and she finds ways to involve them in decision-making, which allows them to do what they can for themselves for as long as possible. With this approach, Lyshawon shows our residents respect and dignity because she focuses on their strengths and not the lack of certain abilities they once had.

Lyshawon also focuses on learning about residents to mold the care she provides for them. Examples of this are spending extra time curling a resident’s hair just the way they’ve always done it, coming in early to help bathe a resident because that resident has more strength and awareness earlier rather than later in the day, and singing songs that residents enjoy to connect with them and bring smiles to their faces. Lyshawon’s efforts to provide a person-centered approach to the care she provides our residents shows her commitment to preserving dignity.”

Anthony Armstrong & Alfredo Ramirez

Responsiveness Value Award recipients for responding in a timely manner to the needs of residents and employees.

Anthony and Alfredo are both Porter/FloorTechs on the Housekeeping team at Montereau. You often see them all over the building helping to maintain Montereau’s beautiful grounds and interior or setting up for events. We feel both of these gentlemen exemplify Montereau’s value, Responsiveness, and so they are both being honored with a 2017 Value Award.

In his nomination letter, Bobby Blose, Director of Plant Operations, writes the following:

“Anthony has been a valued employee for more than three years and always comes to Montereau ready to work. Even though his day is filled with pressing items to be completed, he always has time to assist residents, as well as staff, with their important needs and projects. The residents often comment on how quickly Anthony gets to their requests and the genuine professionalism and kindness he shows to them daily. He is always willing to step up for a challenge, and he offers to lend a hand in other team member and resident tasks, too. I am happy to have Anthony on our team, and I appreciate the hard work he contributes daily.”

Kristen Schooley, Director of Wellness, wrote one of three nominations for Alfredo:

“Alfredo is the epitome of responsiveness with a smile! He takes on tasks – even the worst tasks – without question, he works hard, and he always has an upbeat, positive attitude. In fact, I can’t remember a time when I’ve seen Alfredo in anything other than a good mood!

Alfredo is willing to go out of his way to do anything for anyone. He ensures that your request is received & fulfilled as quickly as possible. He truly exemplifies Responsiveness at Montereau, and we are so thankful to have him on our team!”

Shaina Benson

Excellence Value Award recipient for promoting the highest standards of performance in her work.

Our final Value Award winner is Shaina Benson, a Licensed Practical Nurse in the Chateau. Her nomination was submitted by a fellow nurse, Bill Chavez, who works the night shift, also in the Chateau. He explains why he feels Shaina should be recognized with this award:

“I don’t work directly with Shaina, but I follow up behind her. Her attention to detail and willingness to do things simply because they need to be done benefit our residents and families. As we all know, calling doctors – especially at night – is an adventure. Having things already covered makes life much more pleasant. You could say she takes one for the team.

Shaina’s bedside manner is a comfort for all residents. They and their families are relieved knowing she is there and will be handling their concerns and cares. I am not big on words, much less writing nomination forms, but I get to see the fruits of her labor constantly. I like being on her team. Great job, Shaina.”


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