Employees and residents at the Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program on the Lutheran Campus in Jamestown celebrated National Assisted Living Week in September. The festivities usually include various events for staff and residents, but some modifications needed to be made to keep everyone safe from the threat of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). One important part of the week-long event is to award the assisted living program’s Employee of the Year.
“We have such a compassionate and dedicated group of people working with our residents every day. This has been an unusual year to say the least, but our staff have moved mountains to help our residents feel safe. One in particular stood out during this difficult and emotional time we’ve been in,” said Kathy Lynch, Administrator of Hultquist Place. “Our Employee of the Year is chosen by our residents and this year they selected Matt Hummel from our Dietary Department,” said Lynch.
Hummel has worked at Lutheran for over six years, most of that time working directly with the residents at Lutheran’s assisted living program. During the socially distant presentation, Hummel was described as being a caring employee who takes the time to get to know residents personally and steps in when his fellow coworkers need a hand, always delivering a personalized experience to whoever he is with.
During a typical year, the Dietary Department at Hultquist Place serves chef-inspired meals in the dining room (or room-to-room when needed), hosts various meal-time events and activities, and the dietary staff will often jump in and socialize with the residents. This year, the team had to adapt to many new challenges brought on by COVID-19. Hummel was very surprised but excited to win the award given all that has happened and changed this year.
“It makes me feel really good to win this award and be recognized for my work, but this year has been a challenge for all of us,” said Hummel. “I look at this as a team award rather than an individual award. Our dietary team works together and we win this together,” he said.