Good to the Core Winners 2022
Yolanda Brooks has been a cook for over 20 years, most recently the past 4 years at Altenheim. You will always see her in a bright apron. Yolanda notes, ” I have over 35 aprons. They add color and I love color.” She enjoys visiting and laughing with the residents and makes it a point to spend time with residents who don’t have visitors. In her spare time enjoys music of all genres and movies, having a significant number of both CDs and DVDs in her entertainment collection. She also likes to cook and try new restaurants. Diane McCluskey says, “Yolanda is a hard working, valued employee. She is valued by all of her co-workers because she helps wherever needed and is a strong, amazing woman.”
Tracy Dacek has been with Altenheim for 32 years, beginning when she was in high school. Tracy has held several positions, including STNA, resident care coordinator, scheduler/HR assistant, and business office assistant. Currently she is the business office manager. Controller Sandy Lopriore notes, “Tracy is a dedicated and valued member of the business office team.” Tracy keeps busy and active with her husband and two sons when not at work. Tracy states, “I have enjoyed all the different hats I’ve worn at Altenheim and especially enjoy interacting with the residents.” Barb Capadona says, “It is a pleasure to work with Tracy. She is very knowledgeable about long term care. She completes work quickly and accurately.”
Scott Soinger has been at Altenheim for nearly 40 years, starting out as a nurse’s aide, then housekeeping and today is Environmental Services Director. He is responsible for housekeeping, daily operations, safety, laundry and maintenance. “I enjoy all the aspects of my job, from interacting with residents, to hiring and managing great staff, to participating in major renovations and construction projects.” says Scott. “Many of my staff have been here 10-15 years. I believe that is because we all share a strong work ethic. I wouldn’t ask my staff to do anything I wouldn’t do myself.” We are reminded of this quote by John Mark Green, “Everyone has a story. What you do with it is up to you. Some repeat it, some learn from it. The really special ones use it to help others.” Everyone at Altenheim agrees that Scott is one of the really special ones!!
Charnell Gooden is a Resident Companion at Shurmer Place. She has been there about a year and says, “Its been an amazing experience working with the residents and staff.” Her plate is very full. In addition to being a resident companion, she attends Tri-C and wants to be a physical therapist. She enjoys spending free time with family and friends. Stephanie Moeller, wellness coordinator states, “Charnell is pleasant and very friendly. She is reliable, always willing to help and completes her work responsibilities efficiently. She is a great asset to the team.”
Ann Samkas has been at Altenheim for nearly 25 years and is an STNA in the memory care unit. Ann says, “Working with dementia patients is my calling. I love the campus at Altenheim and enjoy the continuity and familiarity my presence provides for the residents.” When not at work, Ann enjoys spending time with her husband and three granddaughters. In addition to her STNA duties, Ann has also taken on the new challenge of learning to track and distribute medical supplies to the units. Dottie Welch states, “Ann treats every resident like family. She is very dependable, a very hard worker and is always willing to help co-workers. She is diligent, kind and compassionate while caring for residents. We are fortunate to have Ann on the Altenheim team.”
Gloria Deka has been at Altenheim for over 20 years. Prior to being the full time receptionist, she served as a part-time receptionist at skilled nursing and as an accounting assistant. While COVID has been challenging, making sure all guests and employees follow protocols, Gloria says, I still enjoy seeing visitors and helping families and staff.” Gloria has been married for 40 years and has three grown children. When not at work, she enjoys dining out and going to craft fairs.
Lucy Allison will be celebrating 22 years of service to Altenheim in April. As an activity assistant, Lucy spends lots of time with the residents. Some of her favorite thins to do with the residents include exercising, sit down dancing and range of motion activities to music. Lucy says, “I love the residents They make me laugh.” When Lucy is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband of 28 years and her granddaughters. She also enjoys devotional and spiritual reading. Cathie Stahurski, Campus Activities Director says of Lucy, “ She is always cheerful and willing to help. Her number one concern is for the residents.”
Good to the Core Winners 2021
Edmond Qirjazi is a dietary aide and has been at Altenheim for 14 years. He immigrated to the United States from Albania with his wife, who is a morning cook at Altenheim, and two daughters in 2000. He had other jobs prior to coming to Altenheim but states, “I love my co-workers and managers. Everyone here has made my life and that of my family, a great one.” In his free time, Edmond loves to garden, fish and use his handyman skills around the house. He enjoys spending time with pets Coco, a dog and Leah, a cat. Edmond is also a beekeeper and collects honey for friends and family to enjoy. Diane McCluskey, Director of Culinary Services, says, “Edmond is a true example of hard work and dedication and has made a comfortable life for his family. We are glad to have him as a member of our dietary family.”
Vule Kude is originally from Nigeria and came to the U.S. in 2013 and settled in Strongsville where some of her family lives. She has a 2 year old daughter. When Vule is not working or taking care of her active daughter, she loves to shop and exercise. Vule has been at Altenheim for seven years as an STNA. As she states, “ I love Altenheim. I love my co-workers and I especially love the residents.”
Anita Stamper has been at Shurmer Place for six and a half years. She had her start in dietary and is now a companion. Anita states, “I really enjoy working with the staff at Shurmer Place and love taking care of the residents.” A Cleveland native, she looks forward to spending time with her three children, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren, when not working. Anita sends a big thank you for being nominated “Good to the Core” for March.
Stephanie has worked as a LPN for Altenheim for the past 10 years, it was her first nursing job after graduation from CSPN. She has been the Wellness Coordinator at Shurmer Place for 5 ½ years. In 2015 she won the OALA Honoring Excellence Award. She has been married for 7 ½ years and has 2 children ages 3 & 2. She plans on furthering her education in the future to obtain her RN. Stephanie looks forward to working with Altenheim Senior Living for many more years.
Fernando “Fred” Rodriquez sees himself as part of an awesome Activities team. After retiring from a first career at the Illuminating Company, he wanted to do something to “pay it forward”. Fred decided becoming an STNA would be a good way to do that. Being at Altenheim has given him an opportunity to help the residents, not only with activities of daily living, but with activities that bring a sense of well-being. As Cathie Stahurski states, “Fred truly has a gift for helping residents. He is a team player and will help wherever needed.” Fred is a humble fellow stating, “I would not be half as good, without the support and encouragement of the Activities Team. They make me better!”
Good to the Core Winners 2020
My real name is Cheryl Morrissey, but my family and friends call me “Sherry.” I have seven sisters and one spoiled brother. I love them all. I come from Cleveland, Ohio in an all Italian neighborhood except for one German family who became our best friends. I love to read, sew, play games, and do puzzles. Me and my sisters are very competitive when playing games. All guilty of name calling but it is all in fun. I love my job and I have met some of the nicest people here.
It has been a wonderful experience working with everyone over the last five years. Watching Altenheim grow and flourish, with my team, has been a very rewarding.
Prior to working at Altenheim as the Director of Marketing, I had the opportunity to work for both the Cleveland Clinic, as President of Physician Business Systems, and at UH as the Corporate Director of Marketing. I received my M.B.A. from the Executive MBA program at Cleveland State University and my Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) from Bowling Green State University.
I have been in health care administration for over twenty years.
I have enjoyed being the Controller at Altenheim for the past 5 years. Prior to Altenheim, I had been working for other skilled nursing home providers for close to 20 years. After high school, I worked full time while attending night school and received my Bachelor’s Degree from Cleveland State University in 1997. (For those of you doing the same right now – hang in there you will get through it and graduate!) My husband Mark and I just celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary in June and have 2 children together Ryan and Ashley. Currently, the majority of our spare time is spent caring for my father for whom many of you got to know while caring for him after his stroke. We also love spending time with our kids, family, friends and our 7 year old Golden Retriever Riley.
Robert E. Johnson II. – Skip
I am an R.N. Care Manager for Altenheim Home Health Care. I have been nursing for 47 years, combined L.P.N. and R.N. I received my L.P.N. training in the U.S. Army. I received my Nursing Degree from Kent State University. My nursing experience is varied. I have worked in ER, CCU, Medical, LTAC and Supplemental Staffing. I have done home care for 20 years.
I am married to my wonderful wife, Betty, for 45 years. She has been a clerk at Speedway for 25 years. We have two sons. Rob, who is 29, teaches Comprehensive Science in High School. He is married. Sarah, his wife, is an Occupational Therapist. David, who is 28, is a District Manager for a fast food franchise. Both my sons are Eagle Scouts and Christians. I am very proud of my sons.
I am a member of Faith United Methodist Church. For fun, we watch Jeopardy. David always wins. My wife and I like to fish. Our cat, fish, tortoise, gecko and rabbit keep us entertained.
As I stated, I have been nursing a long time. I have seen many changes through the years. The one thing that never changes: I am always asked “Are you a male nurse?”. My response is always the same. No! I nurse females too.
Rowena Schwartz is a Restorative STNA at Altenheim, she has been employed here for 11 years. Rowena is a married mother of two. She loves decorating, cooking, gardening and hanging out with her friends. Rowena says, ” she appreciates what is given to her, is thankful for the opportunity to come to work every day to see staff and residents that make her feel like she is a part of a family.” Rowena wants to enjoy life while she can.
If you have seen Rowena in action you know she takes her job to heart, works hard, is always willing to help when she can and keeps a smile on her face. Her hard work and dedication is shows in the work she does every day.
Abhi Patel is a wonderful and hardworking employee. He is always willing to help out. He has been with Altenheim since June 2015. He is currently attending Cleveland State University to achieve his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science. He enjoys working on computers in his free time, and spending time with his family is very important.
Greg has worked at Altenheim for 15 years. He is a member of the activities department and really enjoys spending time with the residents. When Greg is not at work he likes to go on walks and hangout with his family.
Good to the Core Winners 2019
She is a recent employee at MAL working as a resident companion aid. Nicole has been working as an STNA/RC for over 14 years. She has experience working in different service lines in the healthcare industry and enjoys working with the elderly. She likes to travel and hang out with her family on her days off. She has three kids, two girls and a boy. She thanks everyone for their support and is honored to be December’s Good to the Core winner.
Michael Rider has served the Residents and Staff at Altenheim Senior Living in many capacities over the last 15 (fifteen) years. Initially working as a dietary aide, then going on to become an STNA and for the last four (4) years as part of the maintenance team. Michael is always kind, helpful and respectful to the Residents, Staff, and family members throughout the campus. He is conscientious and personable with a good sense of humor. When he is not working, he loves to spend time with his family and five year old son.
Chrissy Norris, RC/STNA
Chrissy Norris joined Shurmer Place Memory Assisted Living when it first opened, almost two years ago. She is a STNA with over thirteen (13) years’ experience working in long term care. Chrissy is a true resident advocate, always ensuring the residents she cares for are well taken care of. She has a bubbly personality and a smile for everyone! The residents and family members of Memory A/L have grown to love her like family. Chrissy has a son and two wonderful grandchildren. She just welcomed her baby grandson on Oct. 30th!! Chrissy enjoys going to the movies, camping, and spending time with her loved ones. She is a definite asset to Altenheim Senior Living.
Chrissy Norris, RC/STNA
Christine Ciobataru RN
Christine Graduated in 2015 from nursing school. She started at the Altenheim almost 2 years ago. Christine has 2 cats Baz and Nina, whom she loves to cuddle. Christine spends her time working here at the Altenheim on our short term rehab unit. When not picking up shifts she spends time with her family or cleaning. Some things you may not have known about Christine is she loves to read every day, dabbles in the stock market, quantum estrotic physics and can read your tarot cards.
Christine Ciobataru RN
As you may already know our Good to the Core winner for August is Shurmer Place’s Althea Coombs! Althea is truly pleased, she enjoys working with the residents along with coworkers that have become like family. Born and raised in Jamaica, she migrated to the US over 19 years ago. Having lived in many places from California, Las Vegas, Florida and now settling in Ohio. For the last 9 years she and her family have resided in Strongsville, which reminds her of home with open windows and doors. She has two wonderful children, Toni-Anne and Clay who also work at Altenheim. Her daughter recently graduated college and son is a junior in college, both being her biggest blessings. On her free time she enjoys working in her garden, backing, cleaning, and spending time with family!
Beverly Reiter will be celebrating her 3rd year with the Altenheim’s Housekeeping Team this November. About a year ago she reluctantly volunteered to take a housekeeping position at the new Short Term Rehab building; today her talents are a perfect fit. She has developed a real concern and pride for the satisfaction of the residents and the appearance of the building. Bev has two children, a daughter and son that she has raised on her own for most of their life. When she is not hard at work, she loves to travel, already planning her next vacation to Florida. Bev is also a big Cleveland sports fan, go Browns!
Michelle started her career at the Altenheim in 1998. She worked as a laundry aide for 10 years until accepting a housekeeping position at Shurmer Place. Using her positive attitude and hard work Michelle continues to help make Shurmer Place one of the most desirable residential care facilities. When Michelle is not working at her first job you can find her at her second job as the family matriarch. Her 10 grand-children and 2 great grand-children keep her on the move.
Thank you Michelle for all you do.
Barb has been a dedicated and well respected leader at Altenheim Senior Living for 25 years. She began her service at Altenheim as receptionist. Her commitment to the residents’ and staff, desire for personal growth and knowledge and hard work helped her develop the skills she needed to become the Human Resources Director. A role she has successfully served in for 20+ years.
Barb enjoys traveling and spending time with friends. She is also the very proud grandmother of three beautiful granddaughters.
At about the age of 14, Tina found herself sneaking out her house, getting on her bicycle, and pedaling down to the nearest nursing home to play piano and visit with folks. That’s where her love for working with people started. Over the years since then, she has worked in nursing homes, mental health facilities, group homes, RBF’s, daycares, and private situations including Alzheimer’s respite care, end-of-life care, ministry, and as a nanny. Tina likes the ability to work with others, to see the humanity and dignity and worth that each one has, regardless of their mental or physical capabilities.
In her spare time, she crochets, plays music, plays Minecraft, shoots archery, cooks, and does various other crafts.
Tina’s started with Altenheim at Home on 6/8/18 she then attended Altenheim’s STNA class and now works under Altenheim At Home and Altenheim Home Health.
Our First Altenheim “Good to the Core” Winner
Brenda Thorpe has been part of the Altenheim family for 27 years! She is one of 12 children and grew up in Columbia Station. Brenda has three boys and one grandson. She loves to read, do crossword puzzles and spend time with her family. Brenda is an asset to Shurmer Place!