Carmella “BJ” Williams promised she wouldn’t cry, but her co-workers spotted signs of tears as she accepted recognition for her 25 years of service to Homeland Center.

“Congratulations to all my staff in dietary and for all the teamwork at Homeland,” said the assistant director of nutritional services. “We pull together for the residents.’’

Barry Ramper II, Homeland’s President and CEO, thanked the gathered employees for their dedication to providing quality care for residents, patients and clients.

“It all began when you made a choice to be a part of what Homeland represents and what Homeland does,’’ Ramper said. “You are Homeland -- all of the effort, commitment, and heartfelt actions you put forth.”

This year’s annual employee recognition luncheon was held on a beautiful day in late May under a giant tent big enough to fit the growing family of staff working for Homeland Center, as well as Homeland Hospice, Homeland HomeCare, and Homeland HomeHealth.

Homeland HomeCare assists seniors with daily tasks such as meal preparation and transportation, while Homeland HomeHealth provides doctor-ordered medical assistance, ranging from providing intravenous therapy and other medications to physical therapy.

“We have the best group of people I’ve ever worked with,” said Sue Minarik, executive director of Homeland Hospice, Homeland HomeHealth, and Homeland HomeCare, as she accepted her card for five years of service.

Homeland Hospice RN Alyshia Hardy brought her daughter Jonnie and three-pound miniature Yorkie, Boomer, to the ceremony.

“I love what I do,’’ Hardy said, as she talked about helping patients and their families.

The event also showcased the low turnover of Homeland Center’s staff, as employees were called forward to receive gift cards recognizing longevity ranging from five to 25 years. The commitment by those working at Homeland has made it one of the few skilled nursing care facilities in the Central Pennsylvania region to earn the CMS Five-Star rating repeatedly.

Assistant Director of Maintenance James Sparkman got a laugh when he pretended to drop the card that Ramper handed to him. He became serious, however, when asked about the most critical part of his job.

“The care of the residents,” he said. “Find out about their life. Listen to what they say.”

“And what they don’t say,” added Patricia Spears, first-floor skilled care charge nurse. Sitting beside Sparkman, Spears looked sharp in her bright pink scrubs.

“The residents are our top priority,” Spears said. “Making sure they’re okay. Making sure they feel safe. Making sure they feel at home.”

The following employees were honored for their years of service:

5 Years

Henry Barrick
Lynn Bower
Norma Brown
Esther Burnside
Kristine Crockett
Julia Gilchrist
Laquandra Govan
Mary Kendrick
Jeanette Lopez
Jacqueline McLoyd
Sue Minarik
Linda O’Connor
Christine Rivera
James Sparkman, Jr.
Cathy Whiteside
Rachael Young
Angela Zinn

10 Years

Roseann Comarnitsky
Joyce Hallager
Andrea Irvin
Jose Martinez
Charity McCrae
Jacquelyn Roy

15 Years

Michael Quinones

20 Years

Constance Lewis
Ronnella Wallace

25 Years

Cynthia Smith
Carmella Williams
Daneen Williams

 

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