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Our Nurses Make the Difference

Happy Nurses Week! National Nurses Week is celebrated May 6-12. This year's theme by the American Nurses Association is Nurses Make the Difference.

We asked our teams to share how their nurses make a difference and what words best describe them. Here’s what they shared!


Amelia Corwin, RN, Suzanne Elise


Amelia is an excellent help in the field for home visits, verifying medical info and needs in detail to create a strong quality of care from day one. She values integrity in the role and supports building a strong, safe community for our seniors. She honors the core values.


Words that describe Amelia: helpful, teammate, fun, integrity, Community, supportive, listener


Andy Haws, RN, Ovation Sienna Hills

Andy is the type of nurse that truly went into this field to help provide care to those who are in pain, be it physical or mental. She is a sweet and caring soul that always places the needs of our residents and employees before her own. Not only is she kind but she is also a great leader who understands how to manage and lead her team in achieving successful outcomes. Her team, residents, and family members respect her and love to engage in meaningful conversations. We are truly blessed to have Andy lead our clinical team.


Words that describe Andy: professional, intelligent, caring, hardworking, engaged, team player, integrity, passion


Brandy Nicolas, Avamere at Wenatchee

Brandy provides a lot of support to staff, families, and residents. She's very nice, thorough, and a great person to be around/work with. Everyone's go-to for help, advice, and encouragement.


Words that describe Brandy: nice, professional, thorough, generous, supportive, energetic






CJ Chin, Regional Nurse Consultant, Areté Living

First nomination:

CJ goes above and beyond when providing direct care. He takes the time to see the residents and make proper assessments and connects with them on personal levels, not just a room number. We have been so thankful to have had CJ at a resource at our facility during transition of nurses.


Second nomination:

I am so grateful to know him as a person and had the opportunity to work alongside of him and learn from him. He goes from facility to facility and knows so much about the residents. He has always jumped in when needed. I still reach out to him with questions, and he always responds. I appreciate him greatly and most definitely miss him in the facility. He gets along with everyone, is very personable, and just a genuine person overall.


Words that describe CJ: genuine, kind, compassionate, delightful, exceptional, worthy, unique, funny, energetic, caring


Dan Decker, RN, Avamere at Seaside

Dan took over as the Director of Health Services right after the building had survey in from a reinspection. He learned everything about our past results and systems and has improved each. He is a huge part of the team and has raised our clinical outcomes in the Arbor, has helped retain care staff in the building, and works to educate our staff for improved performance in all clinical areas. I am happy to have Dan in the building and him being a strong partner in our success.


Words that describe Dan: thoughtful, focused, personable, calming, smart, collaborative, timely


Deb Miller, Regional Nurse Consultant, Areté Living

Deb goes above and beyond and has the best attitude I have ever seen in a role like this. She is always available, she is always smiling and she does whatever she can to help with all departments. You can count on her to be calm, cool and collected. We are beyond lucky to have her working here.


Words that describe Deb: stupendous, positive, intelligent, marvelous, fabulous, kind, sweet, happy, wonderful, wonder woman


Elizabeth Wright, LPN, The Arbor at Avamere Court

She makes the med room better. Elizabeth is always available to help and always comes in with a positive attitude.


Words that describe Elizabeth: amazing, professional, caring, passionate, determined, understanding







Emily Routt, Avamere at South Hill

Emily has just recently taken over the director of nursing spot for us and has been such a breath of fresh air. Her compassion knows no bounds. She genuinely cares about our residents and it really shows! She leads by example and is willing and does work the floor when her staff needs breaks or cannot work. She always has a smile and time for all families.


Words that describe Emily: leader, honest, loyal, caring, dependable, positive, intelligent


Kathy Westcott, Avamere at Port Townsend

First nomination:

Kathy has been a great asset to Avamere at Port Townsend. She cares deeply about the care of our residents. She makes sure all of our residents get the care they deserve.


Second nomination:

Kathy has been our nurse since November 2022. She brings not only a wealth of experience as a home hospice nurse, ICU as well as experience in memory care and assisted living, she is very professional yet approachable to staff, residents, and families. Her sense of humor is an ice breaker in all of our joint assessments with future residents, endearing her quickly and building their trust before their residency begins. I appreciate Kathy's inclusive approach and open communication to collaborate with future assisted living residents.


Words that describe Kathy: funny, compassionate, knowledgeable, caring, dutiful, effective, approachable, professional, quick wit, refreshing, personable, empathetic, mentoring


Linda Swanson, Avamere at Sherwood


Linda's nursing expertise is evident in everything she does. She has a remarkable ability to assess and address the diverse needs of our residents, always ensuring they receive the highest level of care. Her thorough knowledge of medical practices, combined with her gentle approach, makes her an invaluable asset to our team and a source of comfort to our residents and their families.


One of Linda's most notable qualities is her genuine compassion. She takes the time to get to know each resident personally, learning about their history, interests, and unique needs. This personal connection allows her to provide individualized care that goes beyond treating symptoms; she nurtures the whole person. Whether it's offering a listening ear, a warm hug, or a kind word, Linda's presence has a calming and reassuring effect on everyone around her.


Linda's devotion to her work extends beyond her scheduled hours. She frequently volunteers her time to organize activities and events that bring joy to our residents. She also collaborates with local healthcare providers to ensure seamless care coordination for those with complex medical needs. Her commitment to building strong relationships with families and other caregivers further demonstrates her deep sense of responsibility and dedication to our community.


Moreover, Linda's colleagues often describe her as sweet and attentive. She is always willing to lend a helping hand, whether it's covering a shift for a coworker, mentoring new staff, or contributing to team projects. Her positive attitude and unwavering support make her a role model for our entire team.


In summary, Linda Swanson embodies the qualities of an exemplary nurse and community leader. Her compassion, empathy, and devotion make a significant difference in the lives of our residents, and her positive impact resonates throughout our community as she truly deserves this recognition.

Words that describe Linda: sweet, attentive, caring, compassionate, dedicated, empathetic, devoted to her job


Linda Ward, Ovation Heartwood Preserve

Linda goes above and beyond for the residence, families, and staff. She puts in longs hours in the office and from home. The staff and families know if Linda is on the job, it will get done. I see her always pushing forward regardless of what she already had on her plate. She is never afraid to ask for help when she needs. Linda works diligently to make sure all options are looked at to make sure quality care is provided.


Words that describe Linda: integrity, passionate, innovative, respectful, champion, leader, appreciative


Luz Martell, Avamere at Hermiston

Luz cares a lot about our residents, and she has made such a difference in our community and how thorough she is.


Words that describe Luz: dedicated, reliable, passionate, thorough


Rachel Erickson, The Stafford

Rachel Erickson joined The Stafford two years ago but began her health career at The Pearl at Kruse Way 15 years ago. We can typically agree that nurses, especially those in long-term care, are natural givers who want to see people comfortable, happy, and loved no matter what their circumstances may be.


Rachel joined The Stafford when things were in transition. She quickly brought a sense of calm and structure to the department. She identified deficiencies and corrected them quickly making sure to show the team why sticking to process is so important. This created a boosted sense of morale among the team. They were learning new things and feeling more confident in their positions. Additionally, the department was receiving the best feedback from families that it had not seen in some time.


Rachel continued to step in and make herself available to help all community departments when our staffing was critically low. She changed lightbulbs, pressure washed fencing, washed dishes for events, and stepped in when our building had a massive water loss.


Rachel is a mentor in our region as well. She has implemented classes for training various assisted living positions and continues to guide and coach her mentees.

I admire Rachel for her dedication to our residents. She makes us all want to be better.


Words that describe Rachel: organized, calm, nurturer, silly, non-judgmental, ultimate camper, mom


Stefani Saccoccia, RN, Avamere at Rio Rancho


First nomination:

They have an open ear to all residents and employees. Put our residents’ time before hers. Does evaluations for our buildings with any if, ands, or buts.


Second nomination:

Stefani is hands down the BEST nurse I have ever worked with in the senior living sector. I have never had a nurse that will find time at any point in the day to go do an evaluation and come up with a care plan with custom focuses to meet their needs. Stef has never let us down and consistently supports every department effortlessly and with a commitment like I have rarely seen. She does all of this while going to school to advance her degree and become a CNP and raising a family. Stefani naturally embraces all of Avamere's core values, and the love she has for her job, residents, and her team is evident in everything that she does.


Third nomination:

They do evaluations to drive census when possible. Stefani is a strong leader and is trustworthy. Great work ethic.


Words that describe Stefani: genuine, caring, loving person, responsible, reliable, adaptable, considerate, welcoming, intelligent, strong, honest, determined, intuitive, loyal, driven, empathetic, supportive, positive, humble, energetic


Stephanie Herrera, LPN, Avamere at Yakima

Stephanie is an amazing nurse she goes above and beyond for all of her residents and employees. She treats everyone like family.. She works morning and night all day every day.


Words that describe Stephanie: caring, amazing, intelligent, loving, passionate, positive, funny


Twila Olson, Avamere at St. Helens

Twila consistently goes above and beyond for our residents, resident families, and staff. She often stays late into the evening to ensure everything is going smoothly. She is knowledgeable and always willing to share that knowledge and educate others. She doesn't lose patience with staff, residents, or families. She is always transparent and leads through integrity, kindness, trust, and pure love of her career as a nurse.


Words that describe Twila: motivated, honest, trustworthy, compassionate, kind, team-oriented, focused


Follow Areté Living on social media to get to know more of our incredible teammates!


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