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Certified Nursing Aides Advance Careers at Waveny Care Center

Posted on November 19, 2009

Six Certified Nursing Aides at Waveny Care Center recently completed an eight-week training and enrichment course to become “Career Path CNAs.” From left to right: Elyse Dent, Administrator; Debra McLean, CNA; Marie Michelle Bernadel, CNA; Mariela Rodriguez, CNA; Heather Neff, Chief Executive Officer; Jeannine Florestant, CNA; Michael Bird, Chief Financial Officer; Marie Yolette Milord, CNA and Rehab Aide; and Isabella Gaffney, CNA. 

New Canaan – Six specially selected Certified Nursing Aides (CNAs) at Waveny Care Center recently completed an eight-week training program designed to provide job enrichment, hone leadership skills and facilitate active participation in the growth and development of Waveny. Having completed the 16-hour course, each participant achieved the designation of “Career Path CNA,” which, in addition to day-to-day activities, requires additional responsibilities including mentorship for staff as a role model, participation on various organization committees, orientation for new prospects and hires, and involvement within the care planning process. 

The program featured a diverse curriculum of classes taught by experts in the fields explored. Topics included specialized Alzheimer’s care, Reiki and massage, effecting culture change, leadership and mentorship, State survey preparation, non-profit operations, and creating a positive work environment.  Featured guest instructors included Kelly Papa, RN, Director of Education, Research & Dementia Care Consulting of the Alzheimer’s Resource Center of Plantsville, Conn. and Hilda Delucia, President and Founder of Inspired Learning of Bethel, Conn.

“It was an honor to be chosen to participate in this special program and to be an example for others,” said Marie Yolette Milord, who has served Waveny as a CNA and Rehab Aide for more than 10 years. “To me, the opportunity meant recognition for all the hard work we do. Not only does it mean we do a good job in our roles, but it means that we are an important part of what makes Waveny what it is today, and what it will be in the future.”  Selection for inclusion in the program was based on an application and interview process, and was open to all CNAs working at least 30 hours per week at Waveny for a year or more.

“This was a tremendously exciting opportunity for our CNAs to learn more about Waveny, themselves and how to be a role model for their colleagues,” said Administrator, Elyse Dent of the program which was funded by a generous grant from the New Canaan Community Foundation. “The participants’ commitment, dedication and excitement have been contagious, and many more of our staff members have indicated their desire to be considered, should we receive further grant monies to repeat the program.”

With appreciation for the monies received to launch this program, education on grants and fundraising for this and similar programs was a featured part of the curriculum. “Not only did I learn more about direct care,” said Milord, “but I learned a lot about how Waveny operates as a not-for-profit. It’s a part of Waveny that makes us really special, and is something I feel I can now help teach other staff members about.”

Waveny Care Network provides a comprehensive continuum of healthcare to serve the growing needs of older adults from all areas. Waveny is a not-for-profit organization that offers independent living at New Canaan Inn, assisted living for people with Alzheimer’s and memory loss at The Village, and skilled nursing at Waveny Care Center. It also includes the Brown Geriatric Evaluation Clinic, a Geriatric Care Management team that provides 24-hour coverage, an Adult Day Program available six days a week with transportation to and from New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Darien and Wilton, inpatient and outpatient Rehabilitation Services, and respite and hospice care programs at The Village and Care Center. For more information call (203) 594-5200 or visit www.waveny.org.