A Letter from our Consulting Psychologist

Letter from our Consulting Psychologist 3/31/2011

Over the past two years since I began working at the Reformed Church Home I have been pondering exactly what it is that makes this such a special place. It clearly goes well beyond the beautiful, comfortable and sparkling clean physical space. What is it that encourages a wide spread friendliness and spirit of cooperation throughout the home?

Everywhere I turn, I see examples of people behaving with professionalism, true compassion and kindness. Everywhere I turn I see an unusual level of open mindedness, interest in including all perspectives and a profound commitment to putting the needs of the residents first. Nowhere here have I experienced hierarchical rigidity, personal aggrandizement or taking the easy way out.

From my first day at the RCH I have personally experienced a beautiful level of kindness, caring and respect. I am deeply grateful to be able to work in an environment where people are so supportive of each other. This pervasiveness of decency and goodness not only makes working at the RCH a joy, but it also is intimately connected to providing the best care possible for our residents. It is immensely gratifying to work at a facility where the standard of care is so high. It is a profound pleasure to feel pride in one’s association with such excellence.

The RCH has created an atmosphere of pride in one’s work that extends to each and every member of the staff because the work of each person is valued, and each worker is valued.

The efforts of those who keep the building so attractive impacts on the spirits of every person who lives, works or visits here. The aids who so lovingly and patiently provide the hands on care of our residents are truly immersed in work that is noble.  The nurses are wonderfully capable and giving. The RCH is blessed with a religious leader of all encompassing humanity in Sam Youssef, with a social worker of infinite compassion in Michelle Agymang and with a recreation staff that is full of creativity and kindness. This is just the beginning of the list of those who make a profound contribution – the full list is simply too long for this article.

But every day, wherever I turn, I see staff going to lengths large and small to provide for the comfort and well being of residents. I see acts of inspiring kindness constantly.This pervasive sense of teamwork, respect and caring did not happen accidentally. It is the person at the top, Kate Shepard who is responsible for creating this wonderful and unusual environment.  She leads by example in the respectful and caring way she interacts with each and every person, and this trickles down to affect everyone. In every decision she makes she radiates compassion, goodness and sound judgement. Even when tough choices must be made, she stays calm, focused and determined to do the right thing. She is the heart and soul of the RCH.

I am so happy to be working at the RCH. I want to thank you all for making me feel welcome and valued.

I am proud to be a part of your team.

Cathy Mermelstein PhD
Consulting Psychologist

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