At Concordia Lutheran Ministries, our employees are the heart and hands of our mission – they care for our residents and patients with their hard work, kindness and empathy and keep our organization running with their leadership, vision and dedication.
Watching our amazing staff handle the unprecedented challenges of 2020 that continue into this year has been truly inspiring, so we chose to highlight just a few in our 2021 Concordia Calendar as a proclamation of gratitude for their many contributions. Though we wish there could be 3,000 pages in the calendar to feature all of our employees, this small sampling is representative of our extraordinary staff as a whole. Each month, we’ll introduce you to the talented, compassionate team members featured in our calendar.
July’s employees are Erica Frey, Michelle Swan and Anita Baker from our Concordia of Monroeville and Harmony Physical Rehabilitation teams. While Anita could not participate in the interview this week, we hope to introduce you to her sometime soon!
Q: What is your current position at Concordia and when did you begin your career with the organization?
Erica: My current position is Director of Social Services and I began my career with Concordia in October of 2016.
Michelle: I am currently the Lead Receptionist for both Concordia of Monroeville and Harmony Physical Rehabilitation. I started as the full-time receptionist in October 2018 and moved into my lead role around October 2019.
Q: Why do you choose to work for Concordia?
Erica: I choose to work for Concordia for many reasons. They strive to make every employee happy and really go above and beyond to show how much they appreciate the staff. Concordia always puts patient care first. They provide a continuum of care to make sure every resident is cared for with respect, dignity and can age peacefully. Concordia has a good reputation in the community. They offer competitive wages and great benefits and appreciation bonuses.
Michelle: One reason was the fact it was a different environment. I came from working in doctors’ offices. I heard good things about the company as a whole, not just from the reviews on Google but even from a previous resident. I also feel comfortable here. When I interviewed for the position, the Human Resources personnel made me feel like I was already part of the team. It was one of the best interviews ever!
Q: What aspects do you love most about your career?
Erica: Being a support for our residents when they may not have one. Advocating on their behalf when they may not be able to do so on their own, and just listening to their stories. It’s amazing what our residents have overcome in their lives.
Michelle: The fact that I am able to mingle with the residents. At the front desk I am able to partake in activities, conversations, and even playful banter with the residents and I love every part of it.
Q: How do you best serve your residents?
Erica: By being supportive and letting their voices be heard. Too many times our older population feels they can’t express their needs or wants as they are “written off” because of their age. I can help by advocating for them and making sure that their rights are being upheld.
Michelle: I best serve my residents by just showing up and smiling. I have been told by several residents that they miss me when I am not here. I much appreciate that. Makes me feel special.
Q: How do you decompress after a long day at work?
Erica: I love camping and anything outdoors. Nothing can clear your mind better than a hike in the woods.
Michelle: I normally just take a nice hot bubble bath and sip a glass of wine. Once that hour is up, I go straight into mommy duties
Q: Can you tell us about a time you and/or your co-workers went above and beyond during the pandemic?
Erica: At the beginning of the pandemic, I remember families, residents and staff all feeling uneasy about the unknown and what the upcoming months were going to bring. It was amazing to see how staff stuck together. Our administrators, DONs, Social Workers and other non-direct care staff were showing up in scrubs just asking how they can help. They worked as housekeepers, aides, dietary or whatever position they could to help make sure that this pandemic did not affect the care that was being provided to our residents. It was a wonderful thing to see our leadership really step up in a time of need.
Michelle: During the end of the 2020, Concordia of Monroeville, like most senior care facilities, saw a rise in cases. Myself, as well as activities, housekeeping and other staff went all hands-on deck. There was no “that’s not my job” being said – everyone worked every position so that residents were taken care of.
To learn more about the career opportunities at Concordia of Monroeville and Harmony Physical Rehabilitation visit www.concordiacareers.org. To request a free copy of the 2021 Concordia Calendar, call the Public Relations Department at 724-352-1571, ext 8268.
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