Heroes Work Here
The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a multitude of challenges the world over. These challenges have been felt especially by the frontline workers in the long-term care, home health, hospice, and home care industries who provide care for our vulnerable elderly population. In addition to developing a plan to support and keep our employee-owners, residents, and patients safe, we wanted to give back and let our employee-owners on the frontlines know that they are valued members in our family of healthcare companies.
In May 2020 we launched our Healthcare Heroes campaign to recognize employee-owners who have gone above and beyond to care for residents, support team members, and demonstrate our Core Values of Integrity, Dedication, and Empathy.
Healthcare Heroes are nominated each week by their fellow employee-owners. Each month, Healthcare Heroes from each division in EmpRes Healthcare and Eden Health will be shared here and on our Facebook pages, @EmpResHC and @EdenHealthServices. At the end of the year, an Annual Healthcare Hero will be selected from all of the nominations throughout the year and receive an end-of-year Healthcare Hero Award.
May 2020 Healthcare Heroes
May 2020 – NV
Julie is the Director of Nursing Services (DNS) at Mountain View Health and Rehabilitation Center in Carson City, NV. Always juggling multiple jobs with a smile, Julie was nominated as a Healthcare hero for consistently going above and beyond for the residents and staff at Mountain View. Julie’s career in healthcare began as a CNA at a long-term care facility while she was in high school. Julie has worked for EmpRes for 4 years and enjoys the familial and supportive culture within the company.
May 2020 – Eden Hospice
Barry is a Hospice Spiritual Counselor for Eden Hospice in Safford, AZ. Barry is a natural leader who loves helping people to the best of his ability. Barry’s career in healthcare began with Eden 2 years ago when the Safford office was opened. Before that, Barry’s desire to help others has lead him around the globe being a horse whisperer in Italy, serving as a missionary in the military, and volunteering as a pastor and school bus driver in Morenci, AZ. Barry enjoys being a part of the EmpRes family because we provide quality care for patients and their families in a time of great need.
May 2020 – Eden Home Health
Gira is the Executive Director at the Eden Home Health office serving King County, WA. Gira graduated with an MBA in Healthcare Management and started at Eden just shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Without hesitation, Gira jumped in and never once shied away from taking on tough challenges and solving problems in a timely manner. Gira’s career in healthcare began in India where she graduated from PT school. Upon moving to the United States, she worked her way up from being a PTA to a PT, and eventually joined the Eden team. Gira appreciates the warm welcome and support she has received from both her team and Eden’s leadership.
May 2020 – CA/OR/SWWA
Erica is the Executive Director at La Grande Post Acute Rehab in La Grande, OR. Erica is looked up to by many because of her tenacity and ability to lead during challenging times. After retiring from the military, Erica was inspired to begin a career in healthcare because of her mother who worked in long-term care for over 30 years. Erica enjoys having the opportunity to impact the lives of everyone that she works with and cares for each day. Erica also enjoys how EmpRes employee-owners are truly committed to working together as a family. From day 1 Erica has felt supported by her team, stating that “Everyone in this company is really here to ensure that everyone succeeds.”
June 2020 Healthcare Heroes
June 2020 – Eden Home Health
Melissa Cartagena is the Clinical Manager at Eden Home Health in Reno, NV. A life-long advocate for helping others and making a positive impact, Melissa decided to change her career path from construction to healthcare several years ago. After working at a few hospitals, Melissa joined Eden Home Health in 2018 and has since helped the Reno Agency thrive in face of daily challenges thanks to her constant positive support and managerial advice. In the words of Melissa’s team, “Melissa is here for us professionally and personally, and that’s unsurpassed. Yep, we all love her! The best of the best!”
June 2020 – Eden Hospice
Al Vacek is a Chaplain providing spiritual care and support to patients and caregivers at Eden Hospice in Carson City, NV. Always looking for ways to promote the best patient outcomes, Al is ever-ready to help those in need – even jumping in to help sister Eden agencies when dealing with complicated grief issues. Al has been with Eden since 2015 and enjoys working with his team who believe that his consistently positive and uplifting attitude represents the best of Eden Health.
June 2020 – Eden Home Health
Lara Penrose is the Clinical Manager at Eden Home Health in Sandpoint, ID. Lara’s leadership, consistency, and ability to represent the Eden Sandpoint agency and clinicians has been an enormous boon to the agency – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having worked as an RN for 15 years and in Home Health for 4 years, Lara loves helping people and contributing to the health of her community. Lara feels privileged to be a nurse, caregiver to her community’s elderly population, and to be a part of Eden Home Health and EmpRes Healthcare Family of Companies.
June 2020 – Eden Home Health
Kalyn is the Clinical Manager at Eden Home Health in Sierra Vista, AZ. Praised by her team for her leadership skills, friendliness, and compassion, Kalyn has been instrumental in the agency’s transition from Legacy to Eden, as well as preventing staff burnout during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kalyn chose a career in healthcare because it enabled her to combine her love of helping people with her passion for health science and education. Kalyn loves being a part of the EmpRes Healthcare Family of Companies because of the camaraderie, resources, and overall feeling of community support that it provides.
July 2020 Healthcare Heroes
July 2020 – NV
Amy is a Social Worker extraordinaire and family, psych, and hospice liaison via telehealth at Mountain View Health and Rehabilitation Center in Carson City, NV. Since childhood, Amy had a passion to go into healthcare and her dedication to helping others is certainly reflected in the praise she receives from the families and guardians she helps on a weekly basis. Amy has been with EmpRes for a year and a half and loves how family-oriented EmpRes is. Outside of work, Amy loves to cook, bake, and spend time with her family.
July 2020 – CA/OR/SWWA
Mike is our Maintenance Manager at Heartwood Avenue Healthcare in Vallejo, CA, as well as our Regional Maintenance Director for our California division. A long-time EmpRes employee-owner of 11 years, Mike is described by his coworkers as dedicated, dependable, and very caring and supportive of all residents and staff. Mike went into healthcare because he wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Mike loves the work he does and believes EmpRes’ Commitment to Caring is second to none in the industry. When not at work, Mike enjoys taking long drives up the northern California coast and relaxing on the beach.
July 2020 – Eden Home Health
Teresa is the Clinical Manager at Eden Home Health in Spokane, WA. Despite being new to our Family of Healthcare Companies, Teresa quickly garnered admiration from her team for her incredible compassion, perseverance, and adaptability. Teresa knew early on that she wanted to be a nurse. Starting in housekeeping, she worked her way up through kitchen staff, to being a CNA, LPN, and finally an RN. Teresa loves working with her team at Eden Home Health and leads an active lifestyle with her friends and family outside of work.
July – 2020 Eden Hospice
Laura De La Torre
Laura is in charge of Community Relations at Eden Hospice in Safford, AZ. Laura maintains relationships with referral sources and provides emotional support during the transition process from hospital to hospice. Laura’s career began 12 years ago in retail and event marketing. She eventually transitioned over to healthcare marketing, as it aligned better with her personal values. Having grown up close to her grandparents, Laura has always enjoyed helping others and had a passion for senior care. Laura loves the corporate structure with supportive resources and quality standards that Eden has to offer, while still maintaining the feel and atmosphere of a family business. Outside of work, Laura spends much of her time with her family and enjoys coloring and cutting hair for the elderly community.
August 2020 Healthcare Heroes
August 2020 – Eden Home Care
Machela is a new CNA providing Home Care services for Eden Home Care in Safford, AZ. Machela chose a career in healthcare because it enables her to make a positive impact in the lives of her patients. For Machela, it means the world knowing that she can help her patients with everyday things that we sometimes take for granted. It may be just the little things, but eventually, the little things add up.
Machela hopes to one day become an RN and continue her journey helping people. She loves the support that she continues to receive at Eden Health, saying “everyone on the team is just always willing to help no matter what it is and with the kindest manner”. When she’s not working, Machela can be found hiking with her family and two Queensland Heelers up in the mountains, spending time with her younger siblings, and watching movies.
August 2020 – MT/SD/WY
Rhonda is the Business Office Manager (BOM) at Rawlins Rehabilitation and Wellness in Rawlins, WY. Warmly known as “Mama Rhonda” by her team, Rhonda is looked up to for her ability to cheerfully navigate the challenges of her dynamic role in daily operations, all the while checking in with staff, residents, and families. Rhonda’s career as a BOM began 18 years ago with the encouragement of her daughter, who was a CNA at the time.
Taking care of people and working with families are a big part of why Rhonda loves her job. Rhonda’s coworkers, whom she considers her extended family, are another reason she has been with Rawlins since 2002. Family-oriented both in and out of work, Rhonda enjoys spending her spare time with her husband, 3 grown children, and 5 grandchildren, and having long phone conversations with her mother every Saturday. Family and friends are what keep Rhonda happy and living life to the fullest!
August 2020 – Eden Home Health
Cheryl is the Executive Director of Eden Home Health and Eden Hospice in Sierra Vista, AZ as well as Eden Home Health and Eden Hospice in Safford, AZ. Lauded for tackling numerous daily challenges head-on, Cheryl’s guidance, wisdom, and tenacity are an amazing asset to Eden Health, and by extension, the EmpRes Family of Healthcare Companies as a whole.
Cheryl was inspired to begin a career in healthcare while caring for her daughter who underwent several lengthy hospital stays in early childhood. Starting her career as a field nurse, Cheryl gradually moved up to become a Clinical Manager, Director of Nursing (DON), and finally Executive Director – a position she has held for 6 years now.
Eden’s familial work culture and tight-knit team support across the EmpRes Family have been invaluable to Cheryl since joining Eden. Family is incredibly important to Cheryl, devoting the majority of her spare time to her parents and children first and foremost.