A Look Inside the “Faces of Witherell” Campaign
We’re getting ready to kick off our annual appeal campaign, with this year’s focus on the various faces of Witherell – featuring some of our residents, rehab patients, staff, and volunteers in our “Faces of Witherell” theme. With that in mind, we’d like to share some stories about the people behind some of those faces and give you an inside look at what The Nathaniel Witherell means to our various constituents. We hope you’ll consider contributing to the campaign, because, with your support, we can continue our 112-year tradition of caring for the elderly of our Town when home care is no longer an option, and providing state-of-the-art short-term rehabilitation for those on the mend.
The Face of Rehab: Marie Norton, Greenwich resident and former Witherell rehab patient
In the fall of 2013, Greenwich resident Marie Norton arrived at Witherell confined to a hospital bed and wheelchair. The entire left side of her body was seriously weakened after suffering an aortic tear and stroke. But four months later on Christmas Eve, when Norton finally headed home, the left side of her body showed almost no sign of damage from the stroke. Today, she is driving, shopping, and enjoying her independence. “The staff at Nathaniel Witherell gave me the confidence to get back on my feet; that’s really what rehab is all about…The rehab at the Witherell is really the best in town. It doesn’t get any better. There’s no equal when it comes to staff; they are truly professional and caring,” says Ms. Norton.
The Face of Caring: Jayne Kennelly, Nurse Manager on Witherell’s Specialized Dementia Unit
Jayne Kennelly, a Board Certified Gerontological Nurse, has worked at Witherell for 8 years and has been in the healthcare field for 17. She’s a real “people person” and truly loves her patients, their families and friends, as well as her co-workers. Ms. Kennelly notes, “Although it’s not an easy responsibility and each day brings different challenges, my main focus is the well being of my patients. Dementia and Alzheimer’s don’t only affect my patients, but, also their families. So, I make a conscious effort to ease their emotional pain as they watch their loved ones go through the different stages of this debilitating disease. This isn’t just my job, it’s my passion.”
The Face of Skilled Nursing and Dementia Care: Cordella Shaw, Witherell resident
This year Witherell piloted the Music and Memory program with residents who do not respond well in a group setting, especially those who are prone to social isolation, anxiety, and depression. The innovative music program has already proven to be a great tool for helping residents connect more to the world around them and function at their highest potential, not to mention bringing them great joy and happiness. Among Witherell’s first program participants was Cordella Shaw, age 94, who enjoys listened to her iPod and humming along with her beloved religious and gospel music. Ms. Shaw has been noticeably more alert and chatty following listening to her music on the iPod.
The Face of Volunteering: Nancy Gillon, Witherell volunteer
The Witherell attracts more than 300 volunteers, who are invaluable resources, enriching the lives of our residents daily. Volunteer Nancy Gillon has clocked in more than 800 hours in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 calendar years, helping in the beauty salon and transporting rehab patients and residents to and from physical therapy. Ms. Gillon describes it this way: “I like coming here because it makes me feel good to give back to people who need it. Everybody is very caring, from the volunteers to the staff to the aides. It’s a very friendly place.”
The Face of Leadership: David Ormsby, Chairman of The Nathaniel Witherell Board of Directors and The Friends of Nathaniel Witherell
David Ormsby has served as Chairman of The Nathaniel Witherell Board of Directors since 2006 and was instrumental in the creation of The Friends of Nathaniel Witherell, the nonprofit’s fundraising arm. “The Nathaniel Witherell has long been a treasured local facility and a symbol of our community’s spirit and pride,” says Mr. Ormsby. “Having recently completed a campaign to modernize and refurbish our institution, we must insure we can continue our long tradition of serving the community’s needs and assisting the Town’s most vulnerable elderly residents.”
For more information on contributing to the “Faces of Witherell” annual appeal campaign, please click here.