Michelle Gardner, Intake and Outreach Coordinator for Day Kimball HomeMakers, a division of Day Kimball Healthcare at Home, has been named employee of the year for 2018 by Day Kimball Healthcare (DKH).
Gardner, whose selection was announced at the annual meeting of the DKH Corporators held at The Mansion at Bald Hill in Woodstock on February 13, was a guest of honor at the event along with fellow DKH 2018 Employees of the Month. DKH President and CEO Anne Diamond and DKH Chairman of the Board Joseph Adiletta presented Gardner with the award.
“Michelle is so deserving of this award. Her true passion for homecare, exceptional work ethic, and positive attitude, are admirable qualities we all strive for every day across our organization,” said DKH President and CEO Anne Diamond.
After nine years of employment at CVS, and following her mother’s cancer diagnosis Gardner chose to pursue a new career path as a Certified Nursing Assistant through the Community College of Rhode Island. Gardner joined the Day Kimball Healthcare at Home team as a full-time health and hospice aide in 2002.
In 2017, Gardner accepted a new position as Intake and Outreach Coordinator at Day Kimball HomeMakers and in this role is responsible for processing new client referrals ensuring the plan of care meets each client’s individual needs. She performs home visits to existing clients to ensure that changes in status and client needs are reflected in the plan of care, and to evaluate the quality of care provided by HomeMakers’ staff. Gardner also works per diem as a home health and hospice aide for DKH at Home and is a certified personal care assistant trainer for HomeMakers.
“I have spent almost half of my life working alongside Michelle, first in the field when I was a nurse and she was a home health aide caring for patients together, and now in our current roles,” said Day Kimball Healthcare at Home Executive Director Renee Smith. “I am not surprised that Michelle was chosen as Employee of the Year for 2018 and that is because she has demonstrated all of the very same qualities that earned her this award since the first time we walked into a patient’s home together.”
“Not only does Michelle put her heart and soul into everything she does, she has always put the needs of our patients, clients, and organization before her own. Michelle works hard to foster positive staff morale and team cohesiveness. Watching Michelle grow and blossom in her current position has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a leader,” Smith said.
In response to being named Employee of the Year, Gardner said, “I am thankful for the accolades of being chosen as Employee of the Year. Since joining DKH in 2002 I felt a sense of belonging; a family of sorts and a very tight knit community. DKH at Home is just that. A sense of community within our organization all striving to keep our residents of the Quiet Corner in their homes and that is something I’ve always wanted to be a part of since losing my Mom to cancer who used the Hospice services in RI. I am so appreciative of what DKH has given me throughout the years – knowledge, friendship, and team building.”
In 2017, Gardner received the “Hero for Homecare” award which recognizes a healthcare partner who advocates for homecare and promotes collaborative patient care across the continuum.
When asked what she likes most about her job, Gardner said, “The ability to help our clients stay at home gives me the most satisfaction. I also enjoy my interactions with clients, listening to their stories and learning more about who they are.”
Gardner was born and raised in Woonsocket, RI with her five siblings. She now lives in Tolland, CT with her husband, Steve, who owns a small business in South Windsor. The couple also resides with their 16-year-old cat, River. When not at work, Gardner can be found running a 5k or spending time with her friends. She is also a member of the Tolland Chapter’s “Buy Nothing Project.”
The other 2018 employees of the month who were honored include: Lindsay Ferrer, radiologic technologist at Day Kimball Hospital; Matthew Kenney, occupational therapist at Day Kimball Healthcare Center in Plainfield; Heather Gormley, phlebotomist at Day Kimball Healthcare; Jennifer LeClair, night cook at Day Kimball Hospital; Jessica Provencher, RN at Day Kimball Hospital; Jillian Mancini, staff pharmacist at Day Kimball Hospital; Stacey Jones, lead phlebotomist at Day Kimball Healthcare; Michelle Dickinson, RN, operating room charge nurse at Day Kimball Hospital; Chris Lavallee, education training assistant at Day Kimball Healthcare; Sherry Fitzgerald, nutritional services at Day Kimball Healthcare; and Leslie Taylor, phlebotomist at Day Kimball Healthcare.
PHOTO CAPTION: DKH Employee of the Year for 2018 Michelle Gardner (pictured at center) with fellow DKH 2018 Employees of the Month at the annual meeting of the DKH Corporators at The Mansion at Bald Hill in Woodstock on February 13.