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Linda’s triumph as team player: ‘People have my back here’

Mill Pond nursing assistants Linda Morgan and Jill Pilcher
From left: Nursing assistants Linda Morgan and Jill Pilcher spread cheer at Mill Pond.
Many years ago, as a new nursing assistant, Linda Morgan encountered bullying from peers. She recalls feeling isolated and overworked.

One day, a nurse saw what was happening and calmly took Linda aside. With encouraging words, she helped build up Linda’s confidence and courage. It was a turning point for Linda, who reflects, “I decided to get a backbone.”

‘We’re a family’

As Linda spoke up, soon others became aware and helped restore a positive team environment that Presbyterian Homes & Services is known for. “Now we’re a family,” Linda says warmly of Mill Pond in Ankeny, Iowa. “I’m not afraid anymore. People have my back here.”

And, she hopes no one ever has to repeat her experience.

So, when CNA Jill Pilcher joined the team, Linda made sure she felt supported. “We won’t let anyone drown in their work,” Linda says of her team. “If there’s a tray to be picked up, a bed to be made or a resident on the sit-to-stand lift, one of us will step in to help.”

Going the extra mile

Mill Pond nursing assistants are better together!
Mill Pond nursing assistants are better together!
That commitment to teamwork can cost lots of extra footsteps. On one day alone, Linda claims she has walked as many as 17 miles. “I’m 64 and one of the ‘old mamas’. But I can sometimes walk the fastest,” she adds with a smile.

Jill appreciates Linda, saying, “Linda runs circles around us, and she has the biggest heart ever.”

Jill, too, has been known to walk clear to the other side of Mill Pond to help Linda in a pinch. “We’re all team players,” Jill says, “and being a team player is #1 in healthcare.”

‘Nobody accomplishes the mission alone’

At the end of the day and after all those miles, Linda, Jill and the team come together for prayer and encouragement. Linda says, “We’ll say either ‘We rock! We had a great day!’ or ‘Well, it was rocky, but we made it through, and we love each other and our residents.’”

Sommer Ross, clinical administrator, feels proud of the entire team. “Here at Mill Pond,” she says, “we focus on what each person brings to the team rather than what each person lacks. The beauty of our team is each person uses their strengths to support each other. Nobody accomplishes the mission alone.

“I strongly believe,” Sommer concludes, “that the way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help others get it first. In the words of former U.S. President Harry S. Truman, ‘It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.’” 

Do you know someone looking for more purpose in their work? Share the good news and the many opportunities to join our team at

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