Elie is truly a home grown administrator. He joined the Centers Health Care family in 2012, working in the corporate headquarters during the day and taking classes at night so he could become a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator. His first opportunity in the field was to help open an Assisted Living facility in New York City, before becoming an assistant to one of the best administrators in the entire Centers Health Care family. In 2016, he took over a nursing and rehab facility managed by Centers Health Care. And when the opportunity to join Schenectady Center was presented, he couldn’t wait to say yes. “I was mentally packing my bags as soon as I heard there was a chance that Schenectady Center would be needing a new administrator. I got into health care because I wanted to run a skilled nursing facility, a position I was sure would allow me to improve the lives of more people than any other I could imagine. And now I’m doing that in a beautiful home with a great team and unbelievable residents. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
Margie is a very special giver, but she sees things a little differently. “We’re here for them, but whenever I’m having a bad day or I need lift, I just talk to one of our residents. They always say or do something that makes me smile, then laugh, then forget all about all whatever was bothering me. So who’s the real care giver here?” and that says a lot about Margie, who is probably the most well-rounded Director of Nursing in the entire Centers Health Care family. Her love of nursing motivated her to pursue three different careers in health care, first becoming a diet technician, then a certified occupational assistant and finally a registered nurse. But it’s her love of our residents that motivates her to give so much of herself to their care. A nurse, a teacher, a coach, a cheerleader, a mentor – pick one, they all fit Margie. And Margie fits Schenectady Center just right.
There’s a rumor that Centers Heath Care acquired Schenectady Center just so that we could get Beth Phelps on our therapy team. That’s only partially true. Beth oversees one of the finest therapy facilities in central New York. With the very latest in equipment and procedures, Beth leads a team that balances physical, occupational and speech therapy. These three areas of therapy are often combined in an untiring effort to achieve the very highest levels of success with every resident. As soon as you enter “her” rehab gym, you’ll feel Beth’s positive presence. The attitude of residents and staff alike is always positive, the mood is upbeat, and the whole place seems to tingle with the vibration of success. “I love therapy. I love to deliver it, I love to teach it, I love to advance it.” That’s what we look for a therapist, and in Beth, we got all we hoped for.
When she isn’t helping our residents, she’s keeping herself in shape playing competitive volleyball, raising a family, and helping spread the success of Schenectady Center’s rehab program to other Centers Health Care facilities in the region. Hey, we don’t mind sharing her, but we’re not letting her go!
Leyden is one of many “gems” here at Schenectady Center. Not only is she an outstanding social worker, but she is engaged in her personal passion - caring for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia - by doubling as the social worker for Willow, our memory care unit. “Each day I do what I love. I help settle people into the routine here, I get to meet their families and provide them with assistance as well – transitioning a loved one here and helping out with special arrangements when a rehab resident is ready to be discharged – and I know that my input is essential to every residents’ person-centered plan of care. It’s the most fulfilling job anyone could hope for." And Leyden is the kind of social worker every skilled nursing facility could hope for, too.
Just because Kristen’s job is all about having fun, doesn’t mean she isn’t one of the hardest working people here at Schenectady Center. After all, making sure that 240 people all enjoy themselves, every day, and that everyone’s needs are met, takes someone who is part teacher, part sociologist, part therapist, part friend and full-time juggler. And that description fits Kristen to a “T”. With 12 years a recreation director, national certification as an activities director and a degree in psychology, she has all the education needed to do the job. With 14 years’ experience in the field of therapeutic recreation, she has all the background, too. Kristen has built a leisure environment here that embodies fun, learning, exploration and most of all, inclusion. No matter the residents’ needs, Kristen has them met, every day, all day. And how does she keep her cool through it all? Meditation, yoga, and quiet time on the beach with her family. Now that’s someone who knows how to have a good time.