When Homeland administrators need a hand with daily tasks, they turn to Rosie Padgett. When Homeland colleagues need help sorting through a problem, they turn to Rosie Padgett. When Homeland residents need a laugh and a caring smile ... you get the picture.
In her 20 years with Homeland, Rosie Padgett has quietly become valuable to administration, staff, residents, and family. Her title is administrative clerk, but perhaps it should be Homeland ambassador. She is often the friendly face behind the front desk, but she is equally adept with the paperwork and behind-the-scenes procedures that keep Homeland operating smoothly.
Rosie is a Harrisburg native and self-described people person. Originally hired as a receptionist, her role has morphed over the years. She still handles the front desk when the scheduled receptionist goes for lunch or takes a break, but she also helps distribute paychecks every two weeks, manages paperwork for the human resources office, and organizes materials for department directors.
“I’ll pitch in any place where anybody wants me,” she says. “There’s always something happening somewhere. You have to be in the right spot at the right time.”
Before joining Homeland, Rosie worked for five years as a bartender at a Harrisburg establishment. It didn’t matter to her whether she worked daytime or closing shift. Both were fine, as long as she got to be around people.
“I get along with everyone,” she says.
Homeland Housekeeping Manager Sandra Ware testifies firsthand about Rosie’s generosity with her time and knowledge. When Sandra had financial issues to iron out, she went to Rosie for advice.
“She’s the best,” Sandra says. “Go to Miss Rosie for anything. It’s the truth. Whatever you need, she will help you. She’s awesome, and I’m not just saying that. I tell her all the time.”
As an all-around team member, Rosie knows everyone, and everyone knows her. On an afternoon as she sat in the John and Barbara Arnold Lobby at the Muench Street entrance, every colleague who passed by had a hello or teasing word for her.
Rosie swears that she never has a bad day.
“It’s always fun,” she says. “Most of the time, wherever I am in the building, there’s laughter. It’s like one big family here.”
Rosie is modest about her impact on Homeland, although one story of her meaningful relationship with a resident says volumes. She and the resident developed a bond so strong that he waited for her every morning. If she arrived for work at 9:01, he would look at his watch and say, “You’re one minute late.” Every morning, she would spend time with him and take him to exercise class in the chapel.
“Sometimes I’d take him to exercise, and he would sneak out after I left,” she says.
One day, the resident fell, and he moved from personal care to skilled care. While in skilled care, Rosie would continue to visit him, encouraging him in his daily activities. In order to maintain Rosie’s presence with him during the weekends, a poster-sized photo of her was put in his room. This photo helped encourage his participation even when she was not there.
Before she goes home, Rosie looks forward to joining a group of residents in the dining room.
“We sit and laugh and talk,’’ she says. “It’s the perfect way to end my day.”
Rosie sees herself staying at Homeland always.
“Homeland is a place that stands alone,” she says. “There’s no place like Homeland.”