Franciscan Spirit Award

The Franciscan Spirit Award is a part of The Village at Marymount’s Mission In Action program. The winner receives a $100 Giant Eagle gift card, a luncheon in their honor with The Village at Marymount’s sponsoring order the Sister of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis, a premiere campus parking space, and recognition on a new Franciscan Spirit Award plaque in the Villa St. Joseph lobby.


Peter Valencic receives his award as 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award Winner of the Year photo

Peter Valencic Unwraps Golden Ticket; Becomes 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award Winner of the Year

Dietitian Peter Valencic will be the first to admit it: he was just as surprised as anyone when he unwrapped the coveted golden ticket, symbolic of becoming The Village at Marymount's 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award Winner of the Year, during the Dec. 5 Employee Holiday Party.

Valencic, the September 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award Winner, went home with the $1,000 top prize. "I couldn't believe it," he said after opening the winning gift box. "There it was and I knew I had won."

More than 20 years as a restaurateur taught Valencic a lot about customer service and instilled a work ethic centered on always giving a 100% effort. Valencic's attempts to provide the best care possible to all residents earned him the Franciscan Spirit Award for September.

Valencic, who has worked at The Village at Marymount since February 2011, spent more than 20 years as a deli and fast food restaurant owner in South Carolina. His career change led him to The Village at Marymount where he works directly with residents to accommodate their dietary needs.

"Peter is very thorough and he's always worried about making sure that the residents get everything they need," said Villa St. Joseph Administrator Dan Storey, one of Valencic's nominators. "He is very attentive to their needs and concerns."

Andrea Ward, The Village at Marymount's Director of Nutrition Services, and another of Valencic's nominators, said he is a perfectionist who consistently strives to make improvements in all aspects of a resident's stay.

"Peter spends each day visiting residents, bridging the gap with nursing and other staff on the floor," Ward said.

"He is always showing compassion in care plans, following up details and owning the problem."


Liz Burdyshaw receives her award photo

Liz Burdyshaw, center, receives her Franciscan Spirit Award from Unit Manager Jamie Vandergriff, left, and Marymount Place Administrator Peggy Mathews.

Marymount Place’s Liz Burdyshaw Takes Home December Spirit Award

For 15 years Liz Burdyshaw has been assisting Marymount Place residents as a care attendant.

Liz, who doubles as a receptionist, saw her hard work pay off as she was named the December 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award winner.

"I learn something new from our residents every day," Liz said. "I believe in treating them, their families, and my coworkers like family."

The Garfield Heights resident was cited as someone who "always goes above and beyond and consistently demonstrates compassion for our residents" by her nominator, Beverly Holmes, LPN.

"Liz is very deserving of this award," Marymount Place Administrator Peggy Mathews said. "She lives our mission every day."

In addition to Liz, care attendants/STNAs Rebecca Love, Akila Luke, and Sandra Hughley received nominations for the award.

As a Franciscan Spirit Award winner, Liz received a $100 Giant Eagle gift card; a parking spot close to her workplace; and her picture in the Franciscan Spirit Award winners' plaque located in the Villa St. Joseph lobby.

"I did not expect to win this," Liz said. "I was quite surprised when everyone was waiting for me with the large check."


Irena Zielinski receives her award photo

Clare Hall housekeeper Irena Zielinski, left, receives the Franciscan Spirit Award from Bill Lemanowicz, Director of Plant Operations at The Village at Marymount. Photo by Dan Storey.

Irena Zielinski, Housekeeper, Wins November Franciscan Spirit Award

Irena Zielinski knows Clare Hall's every nook and cranny. After all, she has cleaned each and every one of them multiple times during her 31-year career as a Clare Hall and The Village at Marymount housekeeper.

Irena's attention to detail and commitment to Clare Hall's Sisters and resident earned her the November Franciscan Spirit Award. Chris Weber, Scott Booth, Beata Chwirut, Linda McClelland, Gerri March, Alicja Lezuch, and Maria Pedrak of the Environmental Services team also received nominations for the award.

"I can't believe I won," Irena repeated several times during the presentation of the award. "I love the Sisters and the residents - and my job."

Social Services Coordinator Andrea Fries, who nominated Irena for the award, cited Irena's pleasant and respectful nature as two of many reasons why Irena was a worthy candidate to win the award.

"Irena is always willing to help others," Andrea said. "She helps our Polish-speaking residents both on Clare Hall and in care plan meetings with interpreting Polish-English languages."

Bill Lemanowicz, The Village at Marymount's Director of Plant Operations, said Irena is most deserving of the award and has been a loyal employee for more than three decades. "Irena always pays attention to details and she takes her job seriously."

Irena began working with Clare Hall's Sisters and residents alongside her mother, Karolina, in 1982. Today, she enjoys working alongside her daughter, Clare Hall daytime charge nurse Kathy Zielinski, herself a Franciscan Spirit Award winner in February 2011, and her sister-in-law, Halina Kramarczyk, a 24-year Clare Hall/The Village at Marymount housekeeper.

Irena and Kathy become the first mother-daughter winners of the Franciscan Spirit Award.


Lisa Stuver receives her award photo

Lisa Stuver, center, receives the Franciscan Spirit Award from Director of Nursing Jamie Killian-Centa, left, and CCU-Clare Hall Unit Manager Delona Rencher. Photo by Bill Lemanowicz.

Lisa Stuver, LPN, Wins October Franciscan Spirit Award

As a state-tested nursing assistant (STNA), Lisa Stuver gained the knowledge and compassion necessary to make her successful in that role while working with residents on The Village at Marymount's Continuing Care Unit (CCU).

When Lisa decided to further her education and become a licensed practical nurse, she knew she wanted to return to The Village at Marymount and continue serving its residents. She got her wish we she came back to Villa St. Joseph after completing her education.

Lisa's cheerful disposition with residents and her co-workers helped to earn her The Village at Marymount's October Franciscan Spirit Award. Kathy Zielinski, LPN; Jessica DeJesus, RN; Cindy Tapaszi, RN; Laura Peres, RN; Lori Moskalski, RN; Nyeesha Brown, LPN; Kathy Hart, RN; Delonia Rencher, RN; Theresa Kucharczyk, LPN; Amanda Schmidt, LPN; Michaelle Dial-Knox, LPN; and Kelly Bolois, LPN also received consideration for the award.

"There were several times when Clare Hall was short staffed and Lisa stepped up and helped out," said Dan Storey, Villa St. Joseph administrator. "She works closely with others and it seems like nothing goes wrong when Lisa is here."

Director of Nursing Jamie Killian-Centa concurred: "Lisa is cheerful with residents and her Franciscan spirit shows in the way she cares for residents. She was a wonderful STNA and she's a wonderful LPN."


Peter Valencic receives his award photo

Dietitian Peter Valencic, center, receives the September 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award from Villa St. Joseph Administrator Dan Storey, left, and Executive Director Sue Nall. Photo by Bill Lemanowicz.

Peter Valencic Wins September Franciscan Spirit Award

Dietitian Has Appetite For Customer Service

More than 20 years as a restaurateur taught dietitian Peter Valencic a lot about customer service and instilled a work ethic centered on always giving a 100% effort. Valencic's attempts to provide the best care possible to all residents earned him The Village at Marymount's coveted Franciscan Spirit Award for September.

Valencic, who has worked at The Village at Marymount since February 2011, spent more than 20 years as a deli and fast food restaurant owner in South Carolina. His career change led him to The Village at Marymount where he works directly with residents to accommodate their dietary needs.

"Peter is very thorough and he's always worried about making sure that the residents get everything they need," said Villa St. Joseph Administrator Dan Storey, one of Valencic's nominators. "He is very attentive to their needs and concerns."

Andrea Ward, The Village at Marymount's Director of Nutrition Services, and another of Valencic's nominators, said he is a perfectionist who consistently strives to make improvements in all aspects of a resident's stay.

"Peter spends each day visiting residents, bridging the gap with nursing and other staff on the floor," Ward said. "He is always showing compassion in care plans, following up details and owning the problem."

In addition to Valencic, Becky Manelski (Admissions Coordinator); Andrea Fries (Social Services Coordinator); Stephanie Valek (Medical Records Coordinator) and Nancy Lachina (Financial Assistant) received nominations for the award.

"I was shocked to receive this award," said Valencic, a Middleburg Heights resident. "I always believe in putting everything and all of my energy into my position. (Dietitian) Mary Davies and I really work well as a team. I'm in during the morning and she's here in the afternoon. We really have things covered."


Madeleine Morris receives her award photo

Madeleine Morris, center, receives the Franciscan Spirit Award from SCU Manager Janet Lincoln, left, and Director of Nursing Services Jamie Killian-Centa. Photo By Kathy Schlekie.

Responsiveness Pays Off

Madeleine Morris Wins August Franciscan Spirit Award

When it comes to responding to the needs of Memory Care Unit residents, Madeleine Morris defines the manner in which an STNA should approach her job.

Madeleine's responsiveness and caring demeanor helped her to win The Village at Marymount's August Franciscan Spirit Award.

"I enjoy older people and growing up I was the youngest of five children," Madeleine said. "I always hung around with parents and their friends."

Madeleine has been an STNA at The Village at Marymount for nearly two years. Prior to joining The Village at Marymount, Madeleine was a factory worker at Aero Industries in Streetsboro.

"I decided to get my nursing degree once I left Arrow and my daughter really pushed me through (my course work)," Madeleine added.

It is not uncommon to see Madeleine offer to stay beyond her shift to care for residents if a co-worker is running late, said Nneka Oblageli Agbakoba, MCU second shift charge nurse, and one of Madeleine's nominators.

"The residents love Madeleine's punctuality and the way she responds to help others when called upon," Nneka said.

Nominator Vito Simonetti, Nutrition Services' administrative assistant, said: "Madeleine is always pleasant (to residents) and willing to help others."

Madeleine faced stiff competition for the award. STNA/care attendants Katie Walsh (a 2012 Franciscan Spirit Award winner); Akila Luke; Starsha Williams; Angel Griffin; Semika Flowers; Kimwana Hancock; Sandra Hughes; Tonia Turner; Yolanda McCarthy; and Laquita Beasley each received consideration for the honor.


Donnell Parker receiving his award photo

Donnell Parker, center, receives the Franciscan Spirit Award from Administrator Dan Storey, left, and Director of Nutrition Services Andrea Ward. Photo By Kathy Schlekie.

Team Player

Cook Donnell Parker Wins July Franciscan Spirit Award

Donnell Parker knows - and more importantly understands - the value of being able to multi-task at The Village at Marymount. Donnell, a cook in the Nutrition Services Department, can also be seen washing dishes or doing a task outside the scope of his job description. He does so to help out co-workers when shifts are light, requiring him to tackle more than one job.

Donnell's ability to juggle several positions in his department earned him The Village at Marymount's July 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award. The Garfield Heights resident was presented with the award July 12 by The Village at Marymount's administrative team.

Ronnie Brown, Christa Taylor, Janice Taylor, dietitian Peter Valencic, Leah Johnson, and Parkisha Fayne also received nominations for the award.

Donnell, who has worked at The Village at Marymount for nearly two years, credits Director of Nutrition Services Andrea Ward for encouraging his culinary talents.

"I learn a lot from Andrea every day," Donnell said. "I try to focus on what I'm doing every day, whether I'm cooking or washing dishes. I enjoy my co-workers and I always try to learn something interesting."

Andrea said Donnell is a worthy recipient of the award. "Donnell lives our mission every day," she added.

The Franciscan Spirit Award is a part of The Village at Marymount's Mission In Action program, said Administrator Dan Storey. Donnell received a $100 Giant Eagle gift card; a luncheon in his honor with The Village at Marymount's sponsoring order, the Sister of St. Joseph of the Third Order of St. Francis; a premiere campus parking space; and recognition on the Franciscan Spirit Award plaque in the Villa St. Joseph lobby.

"During the luncheon, the winner's supervisor explains to the Sisters how the winner lives our mission and demonstrates Compassion, Competence and the Celebration of Life," Storey said. "The sisters also present the winner with a gift."


Tamouya Griffiths receiving her award photo

Tamouya Griffiths, center, receives the Franciscan Spirit Award from Director of Nursing Jamie Killian-Centa, left, and Administrator Dan Storey

Focus On Mission Earns Tamouya Griffiths June Spirit Award

To say that Tamouya Griffiths, RN, lives the three C's - Compassion, Competence, and the Celebration of Life - in The Village at Marymount's Mission is a vast understatement.

The ability of Griffiths, who has worked at The Village at Marymount for eight years, to exemplify the core of the Mission earned her the June Franciscan Spirit Award. Griffiths was presented with the award on June 7.

Kathy Zielinski, LPN; Jessica DeJesus, RN;Cindy Tapaszi, RN; Laura Peres, RN; Lori Moskalski, RN; Nyeesha Brown, LPN; Kathy Hart, RN; and Delonia Rencher, RN, also received nominations.

"As a nurse Tamouya demonstrates competence," said Sue Nall, RN, LNHA, executive director. "She displays compassion in the way that she deals with residents and family members, and she celebrates life as a good staff member and supervisor."

Administrator Dan Storey said that Griffiths handles weekend issues with a calm, reassuring demeanor. "She comes across well with families," Dan said of Griffiths. "She is genuine and compassionate. It's a comfort to me knowing she's here on the weekends, too."

Griffiths has faced her share of adversity during the past six months losing a brother and her father during that time.

"The Village at Marymount is my second home away from home," Griffiths said. "This award means so much to me. After going through the deaths of two family members, The Village at Marymount's staff and residents are like a second family to me."

Griffiths, a Macedonia resident, earned a $100 Giant Eagle gift card for her efforts.


Maria Pedrak receiving her award photo

Housekeeper Maria Pedrak, center, receives the Franciscan Spirit Award from Director of Environmental Services Bill Lemanowicz and Administrator Dan Storey. Photo by Kathy Schlekie.

A Clean Sweep

Housekeeper Wins May 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award

To say Memory Care Unit housekeeper Maria Pedrak digs her job is an understatement. Just ask her - she'll tell you how much she enjoys her work. One aspect of her role in MCU that she particularly loves is that of resident gardener. Digging in the MCU courtyard soil is anything but toil for Maria, who says she also has a beautiful garden at home.

"It is my relaxation," she says of gardening. "It's a hobby that I really enjoy very much."

Maria's dedication to the residents' living environment, and to the beautification of The Village at Marymount, was the impetus to her winning the May 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award winner.

In addition to Maria, Environmental Services team members Calvin Lee, Tanya Johnson, and Irena Zielinski received consideration for this award.

"Maria is very deserving of this award," said Bill Lemanowicz, her supervisor and Director of Environmental Services.

Maria often can be seen helping MCU residents plant flowers and vegetables in the courtyard. In past years she has brought peonies and other flowers from home for residents to plant outside of MCU. In addition to her gardening, Maria helps residents with sewing, and she takes unused toys and sends them to an organization in Poland for underprivileged children.

It may seem quite contrary, but ask Maria how her garden grows and her response most likely will be a rosy one.


Tina Harrison receiving her award photo

Marymount Place care attendant Tina Harrison, center, receives the Franciscan Spirit Award from Marymount Place Administrator Peggy Mathews, left, and Unit Manager Jamie Vandergriff. Photo by Kathy Schlekie.

Marymount Place Care Attendant Wins April Spirit Award

Care attendant Tina Harrison has the innate ability to make Marymount Place residents feel special —and treated individually.

Tina’s adherence to living The Village at Marymount’s mission during her time spent with residents helped to earn her the April 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award. Tina received nominations for the award from care attendant Marie Stout and Gloria Lowe, LPN.

Tina has worked at Marymount Place for seven years, and is the daughter of Marymount Place care attendant Patricia Laureano.

“I was very surprised to win this award,” Tina said. “I never expected it. To be nominated by my co-workers is also an honor.”

“Tina always goes the extra mile and shows gentleness and kindness (toward residents), Marie said.

In addition to Tina, Marymount Place care attendants Pamela Sweide and Michelle Perry, and Skilled Care Unit STNA Angelique Jackson also received nominations for the award.


Elaine McCann receiving her award photo

Elaine McCann, PTA, center, receives the March Franciscan Spirit Award from Administrator Dan Storey, left, and Director of Rehabilitation Services Megan Percaciante. Photo by Kathy Schlekie.

Oh Yes She (Mc) Cann!

PT Assistant’s Efforts Earn Her March Franciscan Spirit Award

Like many of her fellow staff members and residents, Elaine McCann believes in the power of prayer. It’s not uncommon to see her praying with one of her patients before, during, or after a physical therapy session

Her devotion to God and her patients helped to earn Elaine, a physical therapy assistant, The Village at Marymount’s March Franciscan Spirit Award. Elaine has worked at The Village at Marymount for seven years, two of which were on a PRN basis. She was nominated by occupational therapist Stephanie Buckwell.

“I was so shocked when (the administrative team) presented me with the award,” Elaine said. “I thought for sure that someone else in our department was going to win it.”

In addition to Elaine, Mary Stupczy, PT; Yvonne Lawson, OT; Tricia Smith, PTA; Al Zdesar, PTA; Gary Frounfelker, PTA; Carole Halberg, OTA (our March 2012 award winner); Valerie Robinson, rehab technician; and Kathy Kiefer, rehab technician, received nominations for the award.

“Elaine has such a great rapport with our residents and our therapy team,” said Villa St. Joseph Administrator Dan Storey. “She received plenty of very nice comments about her work with the residents and her willingness to help others.”

Megan Percaciante, Director of Rehabilitation Services, also praised Elaine’s efforts: “She is well liked by everyone, her co-workers and the residents included. She’s very deserving of this award.”


Kelly Bolois receiving her award photo

Kelly Bolois, center, receives the February Franciscan Spirit Award from Administrator Dan Storey, left, and Director of Nursing Jamie Killian-Centa. Photo by Bill Lemanowicz.

Kelly’s Services Earn Her Franciscan Spirit Award

Kelly Bolois has held a variety of positions during her 12 years at The Village at Marymount. She started as a state-tested nursing assistant on Clare Hall in 2000 and six years later moved to the Life Enrichment Department. After three years conducting activities for residents, the Parma resident got the itch to expand her nursing career.

She promptly enrolled in classes at Brown Mackie College in Akron and pointed both her career and personal life paths in a new direction. It was while attending classes at Brown Mackie College that she met her husband, Mark, whom she married last August.

Kelly’s nursing skills, rapport with staff, residents, and family – coupled with her longevity at The Village at Marymount – earned her the February 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award.

In addition to Kelly, RNs Delonia Rencher, Lori Moskalski, and Kim Toke also received nominations, as did LPNs Joanna Penn, Natalie Thornton, Jamie Arrington, Lynn Szwejkowski, and Theresa Kucharczyk.

“This was a very difficult decision because we had so many excellent candidates among our RNs and LPNs,” said Villa St. Joseph Administrator Dan Storey. “Everyone knows Kelly and she’s done a terrific job here as an LPN.”

After graduating from Brown Mackie College in 2011 with her LPN degree, Kelly was hired as an LPN on the continuing care unit.

“There is something new to experience every day,” Kelly said. “I learn every day and I Iove the people here – the residents and my co-workers.”

Kelly received three nominations from the Rehabilitation Services Department.

“Kelly comes to work every day with a smile on her face,” said nominator Elaine McCann. “She is always willing to help fellow staff members.”


Terrell Meredith receiving his award photo

Terrell Meredith, center, receives the January 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award from Andrea Ward, left, Director of Food Service, and Vito Simonetta.

Helping Hand

Dietary Aide Wins January Franciscan Spirit Award

You could say that dietary aide Terrell Meredith is on a mission to live the mission of The Village at Marymount. Meredith, who has worked in the Nutrition Services Department for nearly three years, takes great pride in assisting residents with their daily dietary needs.

“If they ask me for something and I get it for them, it makes me feel good,” Meredith said. “It’s a great feeling to be able to help them.”

This attitude, and an exemplary caring nature, enabled Meredith to win The Village at Marymount’s January 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award. The Cleveland resident was nominated by Vito Simonetta, Nutrition Services administrative assistant, and winner of both the January 2012 Franciscan Spirit Award and the 2012 Franciscan Spirit Award Winner of the Year.

“Terrell cares a great deal about getting food to our residents promptly and correctly,” Simonetta said. “He has an outstanding work ethic.”

So how will Meredith celebrate his winning?

“I’m leaving for Columbus tomorrow (Jan. 17) to compete in the Ohayocon 2013 Anime video game convention,” he said. “Last year I did pretty well.”

Jacqui Williams and Ed Upesleja also received nominations for the award. Meredith is now eligible to become The Village at Marymount’s 2013 Franciscan Spirit Award Winner of the Year in December.


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