As the new director of New Community Adult Medical Day Care, Leslie Eaddy takes a highly personalized approach to her job.
If something seems to be amiss with a client in the program, which is offered at NCC Extended Care Facility, Eaddy says she later pays a visit to their home to check on their well-being and talk to family members.
“I want to see what’s going on,” said Eaddy, a social worker by trade who has worked with veterans and counseled disaster victims, including people impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Eaddy knows that caring for vulnerable populations, such as seniors, requires a fine-tuned attention to the subtle signs alerting problems. Eaddy officially began her duties at New Community on May 12.
Under Eaddy’s guidance, the staff at Adult Medical Day Care has put on new events such as a recent Hawaiian-themed luau, which drew seniors from several NCC buildings. Eaddy said she hopes to attract more clients to the program.
Clients like Ronald Garretson have noticed her efforts. “She knew my name before I knew hers,” Garretson, 72, said, noting that he was impressed with Eaddy’s interpersonal skills.
“She listens to us,” said Inez Bronson, 80. Since Eaddy came on board, Bronson said there has been more robust attendance among clients.
Eaddy credits the late Betty Lawson, former Administrator of Extended Care, with bringing her on board to head Adult Medical Day Care, which offers seniors and disabled adults vital medical care and social services as well as fun-filled activities. She said Lawson reached out to her in April, after the two women had previously crossed paths working in East Orange—while Eaddy was at East Orange General Hospital and Lawson worked for the city health department. “I’m glad she remembered me,” Eaddy said.
After graduating college from Rutgers-Newark, Eaddy worked for the New York City Department of Social Services, where she was exposed to the stark realities of the welfare system.
“You saw some people who were really trying, you saw some people where welfare was a way of life,” Eaddy said. She recalled meeting a colorful array of individuals—an ex-showgirl from the legendary Cotton Club, a Holocaust survivor and a former mobster.
“It made me appreciate people and their circumstances,” said Eaddy. Her past professional experience includes working at Bergen Pines County Hospital, Mount Carmel Guild Behavioral Healthcare System, Amerigroup, the Essex County Regional Health Commission, Witness Project of Harlem, what’s now called Trinitas Hospital’s Children’s Mobile Crisis Services and interning at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. In 2003, she earned her Master of Public Health degree in community health education from New York’s Hunter College.
“Leslie brings a wealth of experience to NCC and Adult Medical Day Care and we look forward to seeing her thrive in this role,” CEO Richard Rohrman said.
While Eaddy isn’t shy about her home visits, she said she regards her clients with the utmost respect.
“I see my aunts, I see my mom,” she said. “We have so much to learn from them.”
Eaddy and her husband, Steven Belvin, reside in Englewood.