Shannondale of Maryville nursing and social services directors aid residents together.
Suzie Cooper, Director of Nursing, and Kris Newvine, Director of Social Services and Admissions, are a dynamic duo serving the Shannondale of Maryville campus. It doesn’t take long to see that these two employees share their love for what they do. They describe Shannondale of Maryville as a big family where staff is close with residents and their families.
Suzie has been working at Shannondale for more than 28 years. She is a Knoxville native, with three adult children and four “beautiful” grandbabies. In her job, Suzie assigns the nurses to different areas and supports those supervisors. Many of the 15 nurses on their team have been on staff since the campus opened in 2003. Suzie describes her role as a professional and personal encourager. Kris describes Suzie as, “big-hearted!”
Kris has been working at Shannondale for 11 years. She describes her role as a communication facilitator between staff and patients, staff and families, families and patients, hospitals and Shannondale, and educating the community at large. Additionally, Kris is a Maryville native and loves her hometown where she has known many of her residents throughout her entire life. She takes great pride in serving this community and says, “They have given to me over the years, and I love being able to give back to them.”
No Day is the Same
Suzie and Kris begin their workday in the morning meeting with other department heads. During this meeting, they are caught up on anything new that has happened, incoming residents, and those that are leaving. Those gathered also share what is going on in their personal lives and support one another as needed.
When asked about a “routine” day of work, Suzie and Kris were quick to say there is no normalcy to it because each new day presents unique needs. The campus has 44 nursing beds and 39 assisted living apartments. Suzie and Kris invest their time in overcoming challenges, solving problems, and lifting people.
Some of their days include:
Learning the Residents Unique Individualities
They strive to learn the following about every resident:
- Their likes and dislikes
- What is important to them and
- Their joys and fears
Coordinating Therapies on Site
The Shannondale of Maryville facilities include access to a variety of services to meet resident needs. Suzie and Kris work with residents, families, and experts to insure all are receiving the best care possible. The on-site services include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
Suzie and Kris spend time listening to others and helping them sort through their anxieties. Some of the specific anxieties include:
- Anxieties of families over their loved one being taken care of by someone else
- Anxieties of children shifting to the role of caretaker and decision maker
- Anxieties of independent living residents transitioning to assisted living
- Anxieties of a family member dealing with their loved one’s loss of memory
- Anxieties over long-term insurance and paying bills
Handling Crises with Care
Often when people first come to see the team there is a crisis going on requiring a change of care. One example is when a family member needs to move into hospice care which happens on-site. These transitions are daunting, so the team wants to put their minds at ease as quickly as possible. Information and communication are key.
In addition to their caregiving for all residents, Suzie and Kris also have special stories of residents and their families.
Suzie’s Special Story
Suzie is a cornerstone of support for many families, past and present. One family gifted her with a special thank-you gift. This family began their journey with the Shannondale of Maryville community in one of the privately owned homes. There came a time when the wife required more care and was moved into assisted living. The husband’s special role was to go to Costco. He always had plenty of supplies on hand including hundreds of paper towel rolls. When the family was cleaning out the home, they wrote a special message on a roll of paper towels and gave them to Suzie. And those paper towels still sit promptly on Suzie’s office shelf and are a reminder that she is making a difference in the lives of her residents and their families.
Kris’s Special Story
Kris was Frank’s person. Frank was a widower with no children or living family. He visited with Kris daily. Together they would read devotionals and enjoy happy hour with ginger ale and Ensure. Everyone on staff had special jobs like trimming Frank’s eyebrows and nails. They took Frank out to dinner each year on his birthday. When he became unable to go out, they brought the birthday celebration to him. Kris was with Frank when he took his last breath.
Furthermore, Suzie and Kris consider the Shannondale family a huge blessing and are thankful that they get to be a small part of it. Reach out today to schedule a tour of the Shannondale of Maryville campus or to apply to join the Shannondale “family” of miracle workers.