From housekeeper, to CNA, to an activities director, this employee has worn many hats over the last 50 years. It’s an unusual story, but Mary Williams of Fort Pierce Health Care, in Ft. Pierce, FL has spent half a century working hard and doing whatever job necessary to care for her residents. Working in one building for so many years is a rarity, but for Mary this is her calling. When speaking with Mary you would think that she was only 20 years old with the amount of energy and excitement in her voice. Even after a lifetime career she still brings the enthusiasm of a girl in her first job. Her demeanor is not only refreshing, but it’s inspiring.
Mary began her career at Fort Pierce in 1967 when she was hired as a housekeeper. She was a single mother at the time and needed to find work that was within walking distance of her home and close to her son’s school. This was just a job for Mary, but what she soon realized upon working there was that she really enjoyed the residents. While cleaning the rooms, she observed the CNAs who worked with the residents and watched closely to learn what they did so that she could step in and help if need be. She eventually was able to offer help beyond her role as a housekeeper and her talents were noticed. A fellow CNA suggested she take an eight-week training course to become certified because she thought she would make a fantastic CNA. So, Mary got certified, and from that point forward she was a CNA. Helping residents brought her to life and she knew that this was the path for her.
Even though Mary’s passion has always been about being a CNA, she is more than willing to do whatever is needed in order to help a resident. She also realizes that every role in the care center is not only interesting, but also rewarding and she has respect for everyone that she works with. Because of this, Mary eventually ended up working as the activities director about 12 years ago. Since then, she now not only manages the resident activities, but she still helps out as a CNA or in any capacity that she is needed. She is an all around dedicated employee who does not live by her title, but only her calling to help others. Mary is just one of a kind.
We asked Mary how she stays motivated to come to work after 50 years on the job. She said, “I look forward to coming here every morning and knowing that when I leave here at night, I’ve been productive and I’ve helped somebody during the day.” Being helpful to others has always been what drives Mary in her work. She is also moved by the atmosphere of the care center and the people that she works with. We asked her what she likes most about working there and she said, “I would describe it as being more like family. I’ve been here the longest, but there are many only five or six years behind me and we are very tight-knit.”
As one can imagine, Mary has met several residents throughout her time at Fort Pierce who have had an impact on her life. So many, that choosing one in particular was just too hard for Mary. She devotes her time equally to her residents, and she said, “My favorite thing is just to sit and talk with them and learn about their lives prior to coming here. I love to do anything I can for them and to learn from them.” Mary also loves when she gets to help a very sick resident get healthy enough where they are all better and sometimes even leave the care center. “Seeing a resident come in at the point where they may not make it, and then watching them walk out the door later, is the most rewarding thing.”
Mary has had a very meaningful and prosperous career at Fort Pierce. She has been able to enjoy her time there because of her commitment to her residents and the respect that she has for them. Respect is the Core Value that Mary believes to be the most important. She said, “When you respect people in their position, work goes more efficiently and the care is better for the residents.” Mary’s commitment to her residents will always be something that she is remembered for.
However, when asked how she would like to be remembered, Mary said, “As always having a smile on my face. Arriving in the morning, speaking to everybody and always having something positive to say.” That is absolutely how she will be remembered. Thank you Mary for dedicating your life to healthcare and to helping residents. Your time at Consulate Health Care is appreciated more than you’ll ever know. Congratulations on 50 years!