Editorial: Doing Well, Doing Good

Editorial By
Monsignor William J. Linder

Anursing home is more than just a place to convalesce. It becomes a second home.

The staff function as your family, fellow residents become friends and areas like the rehabilitation therapy room, cafeteria and lobby serve as a living room for social interactions.

For the most vulnerable residents of the inner city, New Community Extended Care Facility has provided quality care in a patient-focused environment. The residents have long known what Medicare.gov officially reported in April.

Let me be clear, the staff is second to none and does their work with tremendous care. The nursing staff, led by Director of Nursing Veronica Onwunaka, as well as activities, housekeeping, dietary and business office provide excellent care because of the way that NCC has personally touched their lives. Allow me to share the stories of Maria Cruz, Daberechi Amadi and Joyce Misiani.

Maria Cruz grew up in Newark and became a certified nursing assistant in 1997 under the instruction of Onwunaka. A single mother of four, Cruz decided to go back to school at the New Community Workforce Development Center to become a licensed practical nurse in 2001. As a testimony to the level of care she provides, Cruz gets notes and visits from former residents who want to express their deep gratitude. She’s now studying to become a registered nurse.

Born in Nigeria, Daberechi Amadi is a registered nurse who came to the U.S. in 2014 and has been serving the residents of Extended Care for two years. As a youth, he dreamed of becoming a lawyer. However, his uncle selected the field of nursing as Amadi’s chosen career path and Amadi has been dedicated to his job ever since. Now the assistant unit manager of the third floor, Amadi has focused all his energy on helping residents improve their physical conditions, in spite of various challenges. “We are getting them well,” he said.

Joyce Misiani was homeless when she came to New Community. She and her children arrived at NCC’s transitional housing for the homeless, known as Harmony House, in 2007. Misiani began studying to become a licensed practical nurse at New Community Workforce Development Center and graduated in 2008. She has gone from being homeless to now studying to become a registered nurse to advance her ability to care for patients. Her life experience has engrained compassion into her every action, just as Amadi’s work is more than a job. In Cruz’s own words, “New Community changed my life. That’s why I’m still here.”

The five star rating highlights the level of care that residents receive but also celebrates the fact that the mission of New Community is alive and well: To help residents of inner cities improve the quality of their lives to reflect individual God-given dignity and personal achievement.

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