The mission of Presbyterian Homes & Services (PHS), “to honor God by enriching the lives and touching the hearts of older adults,” is fulfilled when the actions of our employees demonstrate our stated values. In doing so, they “make their mark” upon those we serve. In our continuing series, “Make your Mark,” we introduce you to PHS employees who are living out these values.
EagleCrest Campus Administrator Dani Salisbury, has witnessed Brendan White, a resident assistant in Roseville, MN, make his mark. She said, “Brendan serves with grace and compassion and is a true team player.” That he’s described as a team player should come as no surprise to anyone who’s cheered him on over the years. Not long ago, Brendan, who towers at 6’ 4” tall, had dreams of college football. But after sustaining injuries while playing for his high school team, he returned to a deeper calling: healthcare. He says, “I’ve always wanted to be in healthcare.” That passion lies within his lineage. Brendan explained with a grin, “My grandma’s a nurse, my aunt’s a nurse, in fact, all those on my mom’s side have been nursing aides at one point or another.”
Now also a full-time nursing student, Brendan exemplifies our value of ready and engaged people. Serving residents who live in The Hearth enhanced assisted living, Brendan relishes the many opportunities to meet individual needs. He says, “I take more time, because they need more care. I thrive on that personalized service.” Brendan has found during this time of COVID-19 that building relationships with residents takes on added importance. He says, “A lot of residents miss seeing their family members face-to-face.” He likes spending his day with residents because, he says, “it feels like they’re family.”
A family member of an EagleCrest resident wrote in a letter of thanks to all staff, “your compassion and your ability not to give up and abandon those who need you most. You are courageous and resolute to do what you are doing. We need you. We are thinking of you and your family members while you take care of ours.”
Dani notes how ready Brendan is to serve, doing whatever it takes for those who depend on him, just as a family member would. She recalls, “I first met Brendan during a power outage one night. He was so dedicated to his residents that he carried the lift machine down the stairs. When I asked, ‘Why in the world did you do that?’ he replied, ‘The elevator is out, and the resident needs me.’”
Yet, with a capacity for heroic strength, Brendan doesn’t overlook small acts of service that require a little elbow grease. After delivering lunch to a resident in her apartment, the resident pops the question, what’s for dessert? Eyeing the chocolate chip-raisin cookie that Brendan unwraps for her, she suddenly remembers this lingering, stubborn sticky spot on the edge of her bedside table. “Will you get that, please?” she asks, pointing. A gentle giant, Brendan leans far over to scrub the surface with a washcloth until the table is sparkling clean and ready for dining.
In two years, Brendan will complete his nursing degree at South Dakota State University and become an RN. Until then, he’s grateful to God to be a nursing assistant at EagleCrest where he says he “feels exactly where he needs to be.”
The understanding is mutual. PHS is honored to support Brendan in his career path and benefit from the mark he has made. We give thanks to Brendan for his engaged mind, caring heart and ready strength and likewise to all employees who strive to serve, learn and grow each day. Kim Scobbie, an RN and Education Specialist, says of PHS resident assistants, “They are the most important part of PHS. Every day they save lives and change the trajectory of families for generations. Many will have other roles as nurses and managers, influencing future resident assistants. To God be the glory.”
Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to make a mark at www.preshomes.org/careers.