Laurette began her Concordia career in June of 2012 as a Care Manager for Concordia of Fox Chapel. She transitioned into the Concierge role in 2017.
“I am one of two Concierges at Fox Chapel. Working at the front desk not only allows me to interact and work with the residents but I also enjoying interacting with their family and friends. I also have the opportunity to be creative in my position. I create our monthly newsletter, take photos of our residents and display them on our board. I love the design aspect of my job! My favorite day to work is Sunday because I bring in my therapy dog (and my best buddy!) Shiloh – he brings so much joy to our residents.”
When we asked why she chooses to work for Concordia, Laurette said the following:
“I started working at Concordia to develop an understanding of those living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia so that I could get a professional perspective of the disease. My mom was dealing with this diagnosis and I wanted to learn how to successfully deal with it on a personal level. What began as a coping mechanism turned into a calling as I saw that our residents had a need for those with love, patience, and understanding in a world (to the residents) that seems different and at times both frightening and confusing.”
Laurette continued, “Working here has given me a sense of purpose and at the end of the day, if I made one person smile or gave one person validation then I feel my day was successful. As a result, through caring and understanding, I have developed some really close relationships with our residents and family members. Concordia embodies caring with the high level of care we provide for each and every resident, so it is no surprise that we genuinely care for our residents as well as their family and friends who come to visit – they become our extended family.”
Laurette’s favorite Concordia memory is the opportunity our organization has provided for volunteer work and watching her daughter Serena participate in volunteering:
“Serena started volunteering at Fox Chapel when she was 11 and she is now 17 and still enjoys her time here! When she first started volunteering, she befriended a gentleman who was in the early stages of dementia. They would sit together each week and developed a strong bond as he would explain to her his troubles and what it felt like to know he was losing his thoughts and how this would affect himself and his family. Serena learned so much from him and applied her knowledge when she visited her Grandma and other residents. She, like myself, developed and continues to develop close relationships with the residents.”
Laurette said that another favorite memory is a continuous activity that our residents at Fox Chapel participate in – sing-a-longs!
“I admit that at first I was intimidated by the sing-a-longs because I cannot sing; however, I look at it as a dance-a-thon instead and that makes the activity very enjoyable. I will encourage those who can stand to come up and dance with me, and for those who are wheelchair bound, I will hold their hands and dance with them in their chairs. Many of our residents seem to enjoy this. There is a particular wheelchair bound resident who lights up, laughs, and enjoys this moment greatly. This is one of the few moments of joy he seems to express and this has truly made a huge impact on me.”
When Laurette isn’t busy sparking joy and happiness in the lives of our residents, she enjoys digital scrapbooking, going to the gym and volunteering with Shiloh.
“I have volunteered with my therapy dog Shiloh for the past nine years. He has worked at various healthcare facilities around our region, including Concordia of Fox Chapel, and currently volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. This may be my favorite hobby!”
We asked Laurette what motivates her to succeed and were touched by her endearing response:
“I have a passion to help people, particularly those who are in need. As a mom, my greatest joy is to nurture my children and watch them succeed. At work, I pride myself working collectively with my co-workers to help our residents to have the best quality of life possible. As a volunteer, I enjoy sharing my dog with children at the hospital and watch them smile when they are facing tough health issues and otherwise may not have much to smile about. If I manage to bring a smile to someone, I feel a sense of achievement. I also have a personal satisfaction when I have completed a job well done.”
We’d love to hear your future story! Find your next career by visiting www.concordiacareers.org.