Caring. Kind. Helpful. Thoughtful. These are the words used when others describe Cathy Marshall, the Social Director at Heather Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Cathy has been with Heather Manor for 33 years, and her long tenure of devotion and compassion has earned her a place in the hearts of residents, their families, co-workers, and many more.
As Social Director, Cathy is responsible for the well-being of all 92 residents at the facility. Her primary duties are to protect the rights of the residents, assist residents and families adjust during admissions, and promote problem-solving with residents and families should any concerns arise. For each admission, Cathy takes a detailed inventory of the resident’s history, family, hobbies, and personal beliefs so she can be well-acquainted with the resident to assist him or her become acclimated to the new environment. Really, though, she does more than that. Cathy talks to her residents; she spends time with them. Whatever the need may be, Cathy ensures each resident has it. If someone is down, Cathy lends an ear, or connects him or her with another resident who can help. Because of the time and attention she spends with residents, she is able to help them form relationships with others who have the same interests or beliefs. “Everyone needs someone to talk to,” says Cathy. “Whether they’re down or happy, residents need to know they are being heard, that someone is listening to what they have to say. This is a community within the larger community. It’s kind of like when someone moves to a new town. It’s hard to adjust and that person needs someone to help him know where everything is and meet new friends. That’s what I do.” However, Cathy’s helping hand doesn’t end when residents go home after rehabilitation. She will give courtesy calls to residents once they are back home to make sure they have what they need to become accustomed to life at home again.
Cathy’s compassion and sincerity aren’t just limited to the residents though. She also assists the residents’ family members to become more comfortable with the adjustment of long-term care or rehabilitation. Being apart from a loved one can be daunting and frightening so Cathy provides support and guidance to family members who need assistance. She helps the families to feel at ease and works closely with them to provide their loved ones with a good quality of life. Over the last year, with new COVID19 health guidelines and restrictions, this process was hindered because of new safety protocols. Instead of letting these roadblocks defeat her, Cathy began calling family members every week to give updates or answer any questions they may have. Heather Manor acquired multiple cell phones and Cathy took them to the residents so they and their family members could stay in touch. The families of the residents at Heather Manor know that their loved ones are good hands with Cathy on the team.
Cathy and other Heather Manor staff work closely together to ensure residents receive the best quality of care possible. She lends a hand to nurses and CNA’s when needed and assists the Activity Director with planning events that are suited to the residents hobbies and interests. Cathy’s big smile and warm reception have made her more than co-worker; she has earned the title of friend to many. Business Manager Christy Burns shared her experience working with Cathy when she began at Heather Manor. “I was fortunate enough to share an office with Cathy when I began working at Heather Manor. She quickly became more than a co-worker; she is a very good friend She welcomed me with open arms and I will always be grateful for her.” Administrator Stacey Clay also shared kind words when describing Cathy’s role. “Cathy is such an important part of our team at Heather Manor and has been for many years,” said Clay. “The residents all love her and know they can trust her with any of their needs. It is an honor to work with such an amazing person.” These staff members and Cathy share a mutual goal: caring for their residents. Cathy describes them as one big family, and it is obvious that the staff at Heather Manor gives it their best to take care of this family.
Outside of work, Cathy’s bright personality and giving nature are evident when she describes her family. She says her morning routine would not be complete without a visit with her mom and children. Again, when new safety guidelines over the last year prevented her from seeing her family, Cathy didn’t let that get her down. Now, every morning they have a conference call to start their day and stay in touch. Cathy’s hobbies include shopping and watching make-up tutorial videos. She enjoys learning new techniques for applying make-up and then trying out those new styles and sharing them with friends and family. Her favorite activity is going camping with her husband John. She says they love to go to the lake and relax. Cathy doesn’t rest for long though. She is also very active in her church, Camp Springs Baptist Church, in Columbus where she sings in the choir and sometimes leads devotionals. Cathy’s faith helps her immensely with her role at Heather Manor, especially when she is worried about a resident. “My belief in Christ helps me a great deal,” says Cathy. “I can take what I know of Christ and use those beliefs to assist residents.” Cathy’s dedication and devotion are evident in all aspects of her life. Her mom Katie says she is an inspiration to the rest of her family. “Cathy is so loving and giving with a heart of gold. Her faith inspires us each day and we are so proud of all her accomplishments.”
When asked if she felt her job was rewarding, Cathy emphatically says, “Yes!” She elaborates with, “I spend a lot of time thinking about my residents and their families. I can go to sleep each night knowing I helped them to the best of my ability.” This is the kind of loyalty a community hopes for with all its citizens, even more so in the setting of Heather Manor where the phenomenal staff cares for those most dear to us. Cathy’s everlasting love and sincerity are a soothing balm for residents, families, and co-workers, as well as an inspiration to all who meet her. Behind the scenes, she has spent years improving the lives of those around her on a daily basis. Citizen Cathy Marshall is a genuine treasure and a true asset for the health and happiness of so many in Hope and Hempstead County which is why she is this week’s Citizen Spotlight.
Thanks to Cathy and the staff of Heather Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for inviting SWARK.Today to observe and learn about what you do every day and allowing us to share it with the community.
SWARK.Today’s Citizen Spotlight is for recognizing those whose dedication and knowledge are an essential part of our community and industry. Often, those roles behind the scenes are equally as valuable, yet not common knowledge. To achieve success, every job is necessary and every person’s role is critical. If you know of someone who should be nominated for a Citizen Spotlight, send an email to [email protected] with the person’s name and a brief description of what he or she does, we would love to talk with them!