Gratitude In Action
Chris DiMaso | May 11, 2020
“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13
When you love someone you would do anything for that person. Our frontline healthcare staff loves our residents. They are with them every day. Our staff listens to their stories, shares their hopes, and tends to their needs. The residents at Villa St. Francis are family and our staff loves them. It is that dedication that makes our staff the best.
Protecting our residents from pathogen transmission is always a concern, but now more than ever. Our staff takes care to keep themselves safe both in and out of our facility. They limit their exposure to others and take extreme precautions in their life. They aren’t worried about getting COVID-19 themselves, they are concerned that they could pass it on to the residents. They have made sacrifices because of their love for those they serve.
Their devotion is inspiring and we are honoring that by helping them with food. “These food packages are meant to help our staff, both financially and preventing exposure at the store,” said CEO Rodney Whittington. “We want our employees to know how much we care for them and appreciate their efforts.”
The bags, which appropriately say “thank you”, are filled with staples for a family of four. Each employee will receive bread, cheese, and meat for sandwiches and a side of chips. Cereal, oatmeal, and waffles for breakfast. Each package will also include milk and a selection of condiments to make the meals.
Villa St. Francis will be putting together over 200 packages for staff every two weeks. “Saying thank you just wasn’t enough, we had to put our gratitude in action,” said Rodney Whittington.
Thank You From Villa St Francis.
Chris DiMaso | May 1, 2020
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Gratitude is not a feeling, it is a way of life. God calls us to be a thankful people. During this difficult time, it is important to take inventory of His blessings in our lives. For many of us, those include our family, friends, and home. Here at Villa St. Francis we have much for which we give thanks.
We are thankful for our frontline healthcare staff. They are strong and resilient. They are dedicated to protecting our residents’ health and safety. We could not provide the five-star care we are known for without them.
We are thankful for our residents. They are the reason we come in every day. Their bright, sunshiny faces light up the room. They have been understanding during this time, and we love them.
We are thankful for those organizations that have given their time, talents, and treasure to support us. We are grateful to be a part of a caring community. Organizations and people who share our mission are vital to our work. Here are some of those who have shown their love:
Catholic Community Hospice
Church of the Resurrection
Kansas City Hospice
Prince of Peace
And many more!
We give thanks for you. You support us, you pray for us, and you donate to us. Your financial gifts allow us to provide the excellent care we are known for at Villa St Francis. A donation of $25 will help provide personal protective equipment for our frontline healthcare workers. May 5, 2020 is #GivingTuesdayNow, an international initiative to provide for the needs of healthcare workers.
The form on the right is an easy way for you to make that gift right now. Please make your generous gift today.
How to make the greatest difference now.
Chris DiMaso | April 29, 2020
The greatest difference you can make right now is one you can’t see. Since mid-March, the Kansas City metro has been under a stay at home order. We have been sheltering in place with our families. Avoiding stores and minimalizing our public exposure. Many of us have even begun working from home. For the frontline healthcare staff of Villa St. Francis this looks and feels different.
Every day our loving staff comes to work to take care of our residents. They are the definition of essential workers. They are providing hands-on healthcare and working to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. They are taking extra precautions in their personal lives to make sure they stay healthy and safe.
You can make a difference in the life of our staff and ultimately our residents. You can donate right now.
Your gift of $25 will help provide masks, gowns, and cleaning supplies. The disposable nature of these items makes them ideal to prevent disease, but it also means they need to be replaced. We need your help in replenishing these critical supplies. You can also make an in-kind donation of medical-grade surgical masks, gowns, or cleaning wipes. They can be brought to our facility and left outside the front door during business hours.
Grand gestures from people all over the world celebrating healthcare workers are taking place. Parades and cheering from balconies are highlighted nightly on the news. Yet, the greatest way you can support our staff is by making your gift to help provide them the critical equipment they need. So while you won’t be able to see the effects your donation has, you can be assured of the good you’ve done. On behalf of our frontline healthcare staff; thank you for your donation. Thank you for staying home and flattening the curve. Thank you for your prayers.
Villa St. Francis now offers free CNA certification classes to the community.
Kate McEnerney | February 7, 2020
“We need nurses.”
From neighboring communities to national associations, it was the concern Villa St. Francis Director of Nursing James Njoroge, RN, was hearing again and again. Over the past few years, a nationwide nursing shortage has left communities short-staffed, nurses overworked, and quality care difficult to maintain. And the shortage isn’t going anywhere.
According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and The Forum of State Nursing Workforce Centers, more than half of the RN workforce is over 50, with over 1 million registered nurses reaching retirement age in the next 10 years (American Association of Colleges of Nursing). Meanwhile, baby boomers are hitting retirement age, and the future demand for qualified nursing care is expected to skyrocket, with the senior population expected to almost double over the next 30 years (US Census Bureau).
These statistics have been felt in the Villa St. Francis community. “We have many tenured, talented nursing team members who have been with us for years, but recently, we’ve seen the influx of similar applicants start to slow,” explains Villa St. Francis Director of Human Resources Kendra Unruh.
Discussions about the situation between Njoroge, Unruh, and the rest of the leadership team, kept coming back to the Villa St. Francis mission: providing care to those in need with compassion, excellence, and dignity, regardless of their financial means. “We started to realize that many of our most valuable clinical team members joined our team years ago as CMAs who eventually worked their way through CNA training, and even through nursing school,” explained Njoroge. “That dedication and commitment to growth, paired with an environment that supported it, created incredible nurses who have been serving Villa residents for decades.” Njoroge noted that on the other hand, there were many Villa St. Francis employees who had the dedication to grow, but were prevented from doing so by outside factors.
“From finances, to family commitments, to transportation, there are many reasons that signing up for a CNA class at the local community college can seem impossible.”
That’s when it clicked. “We believe that finances should never prevent someone from receiving compassionate, 5-star care,” said Unruh, “so why should they prevent someone from providing it?”
Njoroge reached out to Michael Hays, Education Administrator for the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, to discuss the possibility of certifying Villa St. Francis to offer free, on-campus CNA classes and certification. Villa St. Francis House Supervisor Jeremiah Kuria, RN, had been teaching a CNA training course through Johnson County Community College for over seven years, and was thrilled at the opportunity to bring that training to the Villa community. Within a few short weeks, the concept was approved and planning for the first Villa St. Francis CNA Training Class began.
“Right away, we knew it was important for this to be bigger than us,” explained Villa St. Francis Director of Clinical Operations, Duke Ondieki, RN. The team decided the program would be open not just to Villa St. Francis team members, but also to the general public. Graduates are welcome to apply for a position at Villa St. Francis, or to take their new certifications to another communities, with no contracts, incentives, or loopholes.
“If we train people in our Villa mission and values, they grow developing that culture, and the mission will be ingrained in them,” explained Njoroge. “We want this program to improve care and ease the staffing problem throughout our greater community, and to empower people with a heart for caregiving to build a career doing what they love.”
The six-week pilot program began in October of 2019, and in late November, five of the first eight students passed their state CNA certification tests. All five have since applied and been hired onto the Villa St. Francis team. The second round of the program began last week, with another scheduled for later this spring. While the program is currently on a wait list, applications are still being accepted.
For more information on how you or a loved one can apply for this program, or to learn more about Villa St. Francis’ dedication to changing the game in senior care, send us a message today at email@example.com.
New Hospice Wing Coming to Villa St. Francis
Kate McEnerney | January 10, 2020
If you’ve been around the Villa St. Francis campus over the past few months, you’ve likely noticed a hard hat or two among the scrubs and smiling faces. From the new roof to the bathroom renovations, the support of our community has enabled us to make a wide variety of updates to our Olathe campus, helping to make Villa residents’ home more beautiful, more comfortable, and more supportive of social gatherings and family visits. But the work going on at the end of our rehabilitation neighborhood is far more than a facelift.
Last September, we began construction on the new hospice wing at Villa St. Francis. The wing includes four private resident suites, a conference room for meetings between staff and families, a kitchen, a chapel, and a private entrance and lobby for families to come and go as they please without passing through the hustle and bustle of the Villa St. Francis long term care, short term rehab, and skilled memory care community. As part of the pro-life mission of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, Villa St. Francis is dedicated to providing a reverent, loving environment for end-of-life care. The hospice wing, located at the end of our existing 800 Neighborhood, will allow us to live out our mission even more fully, serving Villa St. Francis residents with the same level of compassion, excellence, and dignity by enhancing that loving environment.
Construction of the new hospice wing is expected to be complete early this spring. A big thank you to Barb and Greg Trum, and to all others whose generosity and initiative have made this project possible!