“Well, she’s an amazing person,” are Marcia Conner’s first words when she is told that nursing associate Lori Crum mentioned her as someone who has been especially inspiring in her journey to obtain a registered nursing degree. “She is such a hard worker and so dedicated,” are the next ones.
With superlatives like this, it’s no surprise that Marcia – a Bethany Village resident since 2004 – has taken a special interest in smoothing the way for Lori to continue her education. And she isn’t the only one. Lori is a recipient of the Bethany Village Nursing Grant, a program founded by residents Karen Lamb, Ann Thurner and Edith Flurkey to encourage caregivers to advance in their training and healthcare career.
But it was Marcia who came to Lori with an additional grant from an organization she belongs to – the Philanthropic Educational Organization – and encouraged her to apply for an additional assistance. “These grants have made it so much easier to do this,” Lori says. “We have eight kids and have put them all through school. Now it’s ‘me’ time. This makes such a difference in paying for the classes and books. Between working and taking classes, I have to be really focused. This takes the financial pressure off.”
Marcia is happy to be able to help. “I knew of her reputation as a good person who was trying very hard to continue her education,” Marcia says. “She makes me tired just thinking about all she does!”
This kind of mutual admiration is a part of what makes Bethany Village such a special place to work, Lori says. “I think it’s the type of community it is,” explains Lori, who began her career as a certified nursing assistant and is now a licensed practical nurse working as the assessment coordinator for The Oaks. “It’s a two-way street here. The staff appreciates the residents and they feel that appreciation so they appreciate the staff back.”
Explaining the grants’ emotional significance, Lori is equally grateful, saying she feels the support of the residents who oversee the program every day: “They encourage me to become better in what I’m doing. They tell me that the things I’m doing are very appreciated and that giving good care to residents is a priority at all levels. I know they’re checking up on me!”