Suzie Herrera of Northlake has been shown that she’s highly valued, and she knows that the sky’s the limit. Over the course of five years, the employee of Lexington Square senior living community in Lombard has been promoted twice. Most recently, a new position’s been created for her. “Our employees are, without question, our greatest resource, and being able to demonstrate how important they are to our residents and to our organization benefits everyone involved,” said Dan Harrington, Vice President of Senior Living for Lexington Health Network.
Suzie started at Lexington Square Lombard as a Resident Partner while attending nursing school at Morton College. As a Certified Nursing Assistant in that role, she gained hands-on experience working with and getting to know the residents. The work also allowed her to observe and respect the nurses on duty. “I looked up to them and admired how they presented themselves. I liked watching them, knowing that when I became a nurse, I’d be doing what they were doing.” Suzie added that she’d always known she wanted to become a nurse. “I always knew. I love caring for people and helping others,” she said.
Immediately after graduation, Suzie passed her state boards and transitioned to the position of Registered Nurse in memory care at Lexington. “I love the residents. They are so welcoming and sweet, and I love to be here to help them,” she said, adding that the increased responsibilities compared to her former position were exciting and challenging.
Suzie enjoyed and excelled at her job, and management noted her extraordinary relationship with the residents. They subsequently developed an enhanced role for her. Beginning on February 15th, Suzie will fill the newly created position of Health and Wellness Manager.
The fact that management offered her the role gives Suzie confidence. “I have so much respect for the managers, and they have so much faith in me that I’m inspired to do a great job and make them proud,” she said. As Health and Wellness Manager, Suzie will be in charge of overseeing the well-being of all of the residents and helping to determine if they need additional support.
Suzie said that during the pandemic, all of the staff members’ roles have grown. “The year has been hard on the residents as they’ve not been able to see their families as much as usual. But the staff has stepped in and encouraged them and worked hard to help them keep their spirits up. We’ve been like their second families,” she said. “I’m proud to be part of a team that is so friendly and ready to step in and do what needs to be done to keep our residents engaged and feeling loved. The team helps the residents and each other.”
Suzie added that she appreciates the high esteem in which the management holds the staff. “I see people growing within the organization. Other managers have come through the ranks. It’s important to me that the company promotes from within. There’s a lot of room for growth. It shows that they have faith in us, and it motivates us to keep doing our best.”