State awards senior service program staff
Many newly arrived residents in the Juneau Pioneer Home are anxious about losing health, control and freedom. Some are aggressive due to dementia, or frail, with limited memory or mobility. Regardless, they soon learn they've gained new friends who treat them with love and respect: Certified Nursing Assistants Vhie Hermano, Nelda Reynolds, Maria De Guzman, Freddie Abad, Arsenia Sales, and Mary Ellen Yadao.
The Alaska Pioneer Homes' mission is to create high quality of life for older Alaskans by offering a safe home and meaningful activities that promote positive relationships, and physical, emotional, and spiritual growth. The CNA team has made that mission a reality at the Juneau Pioneer Home for the past 20-plus years. Their work earned them the state's 2014 Denali Peak Award for Customer Service Excellence in the team category. They were presented the award at a ceremony on May 8.
Their nominator, who wrote of new residents' anxiety, thanked the team for 'giving their hearts and souls to all who live at the Juneau Pioneer Home', and added, "If I had to call JPH my home, I know I would be in good hands!"
Also winning awards: the Alaska Medicare Information Office, who won an honorable mention for excellence in customer service "for their hard work, exceptional attention to the needs of the public, and gracious help with the detailed Medicare questions and concerns they receive daily."
The Alaska Veterans and Pioneers Home food service team was tapped for an honorable mention in the team category.
Besides providing healthy meals for 70 residents, Norma Cook, Erika Hunt, Elizabeth Jasper and recently retired Valentina Monica treat them like family. They hang out with residents to talk, dance and sing on their breaks and off time. They hold food demonstrations, cater Sunday brunches and hold special events like high tea. They prepare food for celebrations of life and meals for holidays, sharing in residents' losses and celebrations.