The experiences, backgrounds, thoughts, abilities, and expectations that an individual has and can carry with them to work allows for a diverse workforce. At Crothall, every associate has a voice and the power to make a difference, no matter what may be holding them back.
Trisha, a housekeeper at Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor, found herself a career with Crothall after being turned away from other employers for her disabilities. In June of 2018, Trisha came to Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor for an interview for Housekeeping. During her interview, Trisha shared that she had a few disabilities, was receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income), and how she would get called for interviews, but no one would give her a chance. “All I wanted to do was work, help people, and be a part of a team,” stated Trisha. Director of Housekeeping at Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor, Angela Lasher, provided Trisha with the opportunity she had been looking for.
Angela had previously worked as a Program Specialist for mental health and mental retardation (MH/MR) individuals during college. She interned for a company who helped individuals, like Trisha, find jobs, and after she graduated College, that same company offered her a full-time position as a Job Coach to go out into the field to teach, make accommodations, and help the individuals who had a disability be successful in the workplace. Angela knew that Trisha really would be a wonderful asset to her EVS team. Trisha just needed someone to give her a chance, support, and work with her one on one for a while, and Angela knew she could do just that. She was offered a part-time position in the Housekeeping Department and started her journey June 25, 2018.
While Trisha trained one on one with the staff on a wing and or unit, Angela quickly realized that the Skilled Care Unit was not the best fit for Trisha. It was very fast paced, never the same routine, things would come up and associates needed to change gears fast. Angela saw this as an opportunity to move Trisha over to the Nursing Home’s Personal Care side, Penn Highlands Jefferson Court, where Trisha would feel more comfortable, have the same, daily housecleaning routine, and work at her own pace.
As Trisha trained on the Personal Care side with Angela, they sat down to evaluate how Trisha’s experience was going and what could be done to better support her. Trisha stated, “I just can’t remember everything.” Angela thought of a creative solution that could help her better remember the routine: a binder turned into a page-by-page picture book and step-by-step instructions. Trisha was able to use the binder for reference of what chemicals went in what buckets, what the chemicals were to be used to clean what items, and what steps needed to be taken to clean a resident’s room. Within one week of using the binder, Trisha was excelling at her job and understanding her job more clearly. The different parts of the job all came together for her.
During the beginning of Trisha’s journey, she was always positive, happy, and smiling. It brought about a sense of value and belonging to the team. Trisha is the type of employee who goes above and beyond daily, engages with her team and residents, comes to work every day she is scheduled and picks up open shifts to help her team. She works very hard, and the residents look forward to her cleaning their rooms. When Trisha is off for more than two days (vacation), the residents will ask about her until she returns.
“One of the most rewarding jobs is when you see another person you have helped be successful and achieve his or her dream,” says Angela. As of today, Trisha has been very successful cleaning resident rooms at the Personal Care side. She has claimed success in putting the linen from laundry away in the Linen Room and helping to fold laundry when needed. She is never afraid to ask questions, jump in to help the team out, and try new things. Trisha tells the team all the time, “Don’t be afraid to ask for help, let the people you are working with know that it might take me a little while to do something until I get it, and always work you’re hardest.” Trisha has made friendships within the department along with other staff in other departments. She is currently a full-time employee in the Housekeeping Department.
Trisha is an inspiration to the team at Penn Highlands Jefferson Manor and others within the Nursing Home. As Trisha’s Director, Angela is extremely proud of Trisha and her accomplishments and being a part of her journey to support her dream. “Sometimes it’s the little things, taking the extra time, caring, having a heart, and giving someone the chance that can change someone’s life forever.”