Even at her busiest, Bethany Traxler intuitively knows when it’s time to slow down and give a Homeland resident a listening ear.
“It’s natural to readjust yourself at that moment,” says the Homeland Center Assistant Director of Activities. “You can be so caught up in the hustle and bustle, but there is something that naturally stops you and makes you reset and refocus on their needs. Our goal is to be resident-focused – their health, their well-being, their safety. Ultimately, that comes first.”
Bethany joined Homeland Center in February 2021, but it was not her first encounter with the Homeland family. For the previous four and a half years, she worked for Homeland at Home, which oversees the continuum of services offered through Homeland HomeHealth, Homeland HomeCare, and Homeland Hospice.
With Homeland Center’s Activities department, she is responsible for various oversight duties, including scheduling entertainers, producing a weekly calendar, helping with the gift shop, and filing regulatory compliance documentation.
“I jump in and help as needed,” she says. “I’m here to be part of the team.”
Activities, Bethany believes, “truly enhance the residents’ quality of life. We have something every day that keeps them engaged.”
Bethany’s mother, a career nurse, now working as a clinical liaison with Homeland at Home, introduced Bethany to the health care field. For many years, Bethany was a certified nurse assistant, enjoying the hands-on care and serving as an outlet for people who need companionship and compassion.
In her Homeland journey, Bethany started in August 2016 with Homeland HomeCare, which provides individualized care plans to help patients stay safely at home. Very shortly, she was elevated to community liaison for Homeland at Home. She was responsible for outreach to doctors, nursing facilities, and the public to raise awareness of Homeland at Home’s high-quality continuum of care.
“I always felt you need to have a relationship with trust built into it,” she says. “You have to provide consistency to your prospects.”
Once those relationships generated referrals, Bethany had the confidence of knowing that Homeland at Home delivered on its promises of compassionate, personalized care.
“You hear a lot of compliments,” she says. “People say, ‘Thank you to the nurse who came in,’ or ‘Thank you for providing the aide who came an extra day.’ Small accommodations make a big difference.”
She also volunteered monthly at Homeland Center, becoming familiar with the operation and the people. Volunteering made the transition from Homeland at Home to Homeland Center feel organic.
“Any time I would think about the transition, I felt at peace about it,” she says. “It felt natural because I’m still part of Homeland no matter which entity I’m in.”
With her career goal of remaining in health care in some form, the change made sense. Bethany is studying for an associate degree in marketing from Central Penn College and then plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in health care administration.
Bethany commutes to and from her home in Lewistown and serves with her husband, a volunteer firefighter, on the fire company’s board of directors. They also share two cats named after favorite “Friends” characters: a gray, white, and orange tabby named Phoebe and Chandler, a long-haired gray.
They enjoy spending days off with family – his and hers. She is very close to her grandparents. Bethany’s father is their next-door neighbor and landlord. Her husband’s father is their church pastor.
Bethany says Homeland Center’s seamless teamwork and can-do attitude assures residents a wonderful experience.
“I hope that residents find peace in knowing that we are there to serve them and that we are doing our best to make them feel as comfortable as possible,” Bethany says. “It’s their home. It’s not our home. We’re the guests.”