Our DSP Shoutout for this week is Diane. She works at our Mears home, one of the three newest homes which opened after our larger Victoria Road home closed in 2022. She has been with Living Well over 12 years and is a huge asset to the team. Diane is a kind and caring employee and dedicated care provider.
Diane loves the people she supports and considers them family. She gets out of bed in the morning and heads in with enthusiasm as she knows she will have fun at work. Carrie Jensen, Program Manager, says, “Diane brings positivity and a smile every day! She goes above and beyond to care for the individuals we support and is a TEAM player. Diane is always willing to help out. She is a SUPERSTAR!” And Kathy Anderson, Volunteer Program Manager, says, “Diane is extremely helpful and always willing to go the extra mile to make volunteers comfortable.” Adding, “She has incredible energy and is always upbeat and up for anything!” Both Carrie and Kathy adore Diane’s charisma and think she is wonderful to work with.
Take a few moments to read about Diane. She is special for many reasons, and at the top of that list is that she considers the people she supports family and provides the best possible care for them. Thank you, Diane, we appreciate YOU!
We LOVE telling these stories, and are grateful to staff like Diane who make our homes special. Now we just need a 100 more Dianes!
Number of years/months with Living Well: 12 years
Hobbies/Interests: I like to go biking and rollerblading, and enjoy going by Lake Harriet, my favorite lake. I also like fishing, but do not get out as much as I would like.
Education: I have a 2-year college degree, an associates in applied science. I am a Certified Pharmacy Tech, and Compounding Tech, as well as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant). I went to National American University, and graduated in 2015, but started at Mankato State University for nursing.
Job Experience/History: I worked at Region’s Hospital after High School as a PCA (patient care assistant) and was there from 1997-2006. Then was at CVS Pharmacy in retail pharmacy, Fairview Hospital and Genoa Healthcare Pharmacy. I am now an Assistant Program Manager at Living Well.
Favorite part of the job: When I come in here, I am here to help the individuals, and I love it. I get to help them live a better and healthy lifestyle and be involved in daily activities. Getting to know them and their families is nice. Together we get to go to movies, bowling and various activities like hockey games. Last year we went to a Twins game, and that was fun. Spending time and providing the best care possible is what I love. When I come in, I believe in spending quality time and giving them opportunities to make choices and be involved at home at out in community.
Favorite work story: Last year we all came over to Northland for the Halloween Party. One of our guys dressed up in a fun costume, and we all had a blast. One of my favorite things was meeting people from other houses. Celebrating with the guys and meeting new friends from the other houses was a lot of fun.
What is your motivation for coming to work: The people that live here. Number one, it is why I get up every morning at 5 AM. I am an energy driven individual, highly motivated. They motivate me to get up and go in because they will brighten my day. They are my little family.
What made you apply: I applied here back in 2006, right out of a school program. I do not remember what made me apply, but I was drawn to the job description. It hit me that this was something that I would love to do. I wanted to get out of the hospital setting and into a home setting, so I went for it.
What made you stay: You really have to have a passion for this type of job—and I have passion for this work. I care about the people I take care of. It is a really great place to work, that is why I am still here.
What would you tell people interested in joining the team: I tell people, ‘Hey this is a great place to work, and honestly when I am at work I do not feel like I am at work, I feel like I am at home. I see them as family.’ I add that the great benefits and health plan are wonderful, with good vacation time and PTO that you can accumulate. You get to be with individuals and do fun things with them.
When not at work what do you like to do for fun: I like working out, jogging around the lake occasionally, dancing, movies, roller skating, hanging with friends, and shopping for clothes. I used to go to Paisley Park quite a bit. Hiking is also great, I visited Arizona a few years ago and enjoyed the beautiful nature there. And now I am realizing I need to get out again, so I am looking forward to getting back out there now that covid is not as prevalent.
Do you volunteer in your community or school: I used to volunteer for the American Red Cross, with the EMTs doing paperwork.
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