Kissito Healthcare mothers, daughters carry family tradition of caring for others

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), or more commonly known as nursing homes, naturally lend themselves as more family oriented than other health care settings. Residents receiving rehabilitation often stay for five to six weeks, while other residents may receive care for months or years. Families and friends come to visit, share meals with one another, spend holidays together, and the employees get to know each resident on a more personal level.

“We are much closer and spend more time together than other areas of health care,” said Kissito Healthcare Vice President of Operations Mary Ferrell. “We laugh together, experience the ups and downs of life, rehabilitation successes…we are truly like family in that we celebrate all the seasons of life.”

However, across Kissito Healthcare there are examples of how the mission of providing quality care has brought families into the SNF profession. As we celebrate Mother’s Day, here are stories of mothers and daughters coming together to care for others.

Jo Brookman, Certified Nursing Assistant for 38 years and at the Brian Center of Alleghany for more than eight years, works with her two daughters in providing care for the residents. Brookman feels proud that two of her daughters followed her career path, while another works as a registered nurse in a hospital.

“This family has a long line of caregivers and healthcare professionals,” Brookman said. “All of my daughters have shown her that they have a passion for caring for others and are proud of the work that they do.”

Her daughters, Amanada Menefee and Whitney Brookman are both CNAs also. Together, they have almost 15 years of service at the Brian Center of Alleghany. They shared that growing up seeing their mother be a caregiver in the SNF profession gave them the shared passion of caring for others and pursuing a career in health care as CNAs.

Brookman loves working not only in the same profession as her daughters, but in the same center as well. “Over the years I’ve been able to mentor my daughters in the SNF field and watch them grow into being great, reliable caregivers,” she said.

Her daughters appreciate they can all be together at work and knowing they always have each other to rely on not only in their personal lives, but in their profession as well.

The Brian Center of Alleghany isn’t the only Kissito Healthcare location that caring for others is a family tradition. At Bland Nursing & Rehab, a trio of mothers and daughters help care for the ventilator and trach dependent residents receiving care there.

Patricia “Trish” Somerset, a registered nurse and working at Bland Nursing & Rehab for eight years, works with her daughter Madison “Maddie” Green, CNA.

“They love working with each other,” said Bland Nursing & Rehab Chief Administrative Officer LeeAnn Fink. “At one point, Trish worked here with all three of her daughters and Maddie loves working with her mom, and her mom has taught her a lot since working together at Bland.”

Maddie states Trish is the person she admires and looks up to the most. She wants to be like her mom and is going back to school to be an RN “just like mom.” Trish feels “so happy” her daughter Maddie is following her in her footsteps.

Another aspect of families working together is the additional time parents can spend with their grown-up children. Donna Smith, a Respiratory Therapist, and her daughter Makenna Honaker, Certified Nursing Assistant, get to spend more time together because they both work at Bland Nursing & Rehab.

Makenna wanted to go into nursing and her mother advised her to become a CNA first. Makenna took advantage of one of Kissito Healthcare’s free certified nursing assistant courses to earn her license.

“I feel that I have done something right,” Smith said about her daughter working in health care. “Health care is what I have known and what my daughter has seen. I love what I do and love seeing her grow in her career and in life.”

Sometimes, the mother and daughter journey start on the same day. Kerri and Emma Caudill, both CNAs, were hired together, and love working together because they get to spend more time together. After a family business closed, they were both contacted about joining a CNA class and have been at Bland Nursing & Rehab since then.

These are just a few stories of how SNFs are more than providers of care for those in need but are also close-knit communities. However, it isn’t just the Kissito Healthcare centers that have many mothers and daughters working together.

Ferrell, who is an impactful leader in the SNF profession, has watched her daughter Kourtney Pennington follow in her footsteps as well.

“It is amazing to see Kourtney’s growth as a health care professional. She started her career working as Personal Care Assistant, Activities Assistant, AIT, administrator and is now the Director of Operational Reimbursement,” Ferrell said.

“I feel blessed Kourtney has chosen the path of skilled nursing. I have always realized she has the compassion and heart to serve!”