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Sunrise Heights benefits from long-term employees PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 05 February 2016 17:47

Long-term staff members positively impact Sunrise Heights of Wauneta. Long-term employees include from left to right Lisa Kisinger, Ray Kisinger, Pat League, Marsha Gafford, Sherilyn Kirk, Deb Andrew, Patsy McMinn, Carol Runge, Theresa Faith and Stacy Troutman. Not pictured: Ila Foley, Judy Morris, Vicky Nelson and Tammi Simpson. (Pat Holder | Johnson Publications)


By Pat Holder

The Wauneta Breeze


The mission statement at Sunrise Heights of Wauneta is “Integrity. Care. Compassion. Home.” The facility’s values  statement goes on to add, “That is what we believe and who we are.”

These words ring true in every way at Sunrise Heights, a care home where twenty-two percent of the employees (by the end of 2016), will have worked for the facility for ten years or more.

Lisa Kisinger, administrator, makes clear the connection between long-term staff members and the excellent quality of care at Sunrise Heights. She attributes the home-like atmosphere and continuity of care offered at Sunrise Heights to the staff, saying, “I think we have a family here.”

Kisinger praises employees for their hard work and adds they know their jobs “inside and out,” something also enhanced by longevity of employment.

Kisinger, who has been at Sunrise Heights for over 17 years, spoke for employees and herself when she said, “It is an honor and a privilege to care for people.”

Vicky Nelson, 12-year employee, said she truly enjoys “the residents and their stories—so much to be learned.”

When employees who have worked more than ten years at the care home were asked what their favorite thing about working at Sunrise Heights is, comments included:

“Family oriented, great care provided, the care and compassion provided to each resident and the warm and fun atmosphere,” from Teresa Faith—13-year employee.

The theme continues with, “The love you share, the joys from the residents, making their family and friends feel like they are a part of our Sunrise family,” from Pat League, 17 1/2-year employee.

And the effect of longevity is shown by the comments, “It’s been rewarding to know several generations of some of our residents. Having cared for their grandparents and parents helps you get to know our present-day residents,” from Deb Andrew—34-plus year employee.

All employees cited the warm, friendly, homey and family-like atmosphere makes working at Sunrise Heights a great experience.

The long-term employees also had anecdotal experiences to share including:

“My father is in the nursing home here. He tells me that he wanted more chocolates. So one day, I bought a huge bag of mini-candy bars and had the joy of walking around giving residents and staff mini-candy bars. Their faces just glowed,” from Marsha Gafford, at Sunrise Heights 10-year employee.

Warm sentiment shared between long-term employees and residents is expressed in the comment, “We had a female resident who just took a shine to me and I really cared about her. Her family asked me to be a pall bearer when she passed away and I was so very honored. Things like that make my job all worthwhile,” from Ray Kisinger, 19-year  employee.

Another example of the close bond between employees who have been at Sunrise Heights for the long run is related in the story, “We had a certain resident who would carry my picture around when I made employee of the month. He would say, ‘I got Sherlynn Kirk’s picture’,” from Sherlynn Kirk, 10-year employee.

Also related were stories of a humorous nature like the following shared by Kisinger:

“We had a gentleman who was such a corker. One day I asked him, ‘How are you today?’ He replied that he wasn’t very good. When I asked what was wrong, he told me, ‘My plane got shot down today.’ I said, ‘Boy! That IS a bad day. Well, at least your parachute opened!’ to which he replied, ‘NOPE! It didn’t open either.’ Life is good, isn’t it?”

Kisinger appreciates the contributions from long-term employees including the solid knowledge base, stability and invaluable training they are able to provide the new employees. These benefits factor to make Sunrise Heights a premiere home-care facility.