Every person has a special gift, and Vernon Cave at Envoy of Westover Hills in Richmond, Virginia has made the most of her gift of abundant compassion. As staffing coordinator at the care center, it’s her responsibility to make sure the staffing needs are met at all times.

Vernon learned many tricks of the trade over her 14 years at the care center. It’s helpful to know that Vernon worked her way up through the ranks at the care center and held several different roles. When she first came to Westover Hills, she served as a CNA on the 3-11pm shift, which led to a job as a wound nurse aide. Then, she worked in central supply before moving to her current position in staffing. There are many reasons she is so successful at her job. She told us about some of her techniques, and we also heard from her co-workers.

We learned that Vernon is a true educator and does a great job of guiding staff to make the right choices. Vernon has found that communication is key in working with her employees. Specifically, everyone benefits from understanding the various challenges that their co-workers face depending on their role within the care center. Realizing this as an education opportunity, she taught the staff about nursing ratios and how staffing needs fluctuate based upon the census. As a result, Vernon has found her staff to become understanding and flexible based on the daily needs of the care center.

She’s not just an educator, but also an enthusiastic student. Vernon shared that she has learned from fellow leaders who have worked in her care center over the years. She still remembers certain lessons from co-workers who have moved to different jobs outside Westover Hills. In addition, she mentioned that she gets a lot of support and encouragement from her current executive director, director of nursing, and many other staff members. They work as a team to ensure staffing is at the correct levels.

"She’s not just an educator, but also an enthusiastic student."

“She is compassionate to our staff, but her primary focus is the resident, to which she will go above and beyond,” tells another employee. Vernon has grown close to several residents over the years. One gentleman in particular reminds Vernon of her father. He comes to Vernon for help with his electronic devices, and Vernon enjoys checking in with him regularly. Sometimes, she will even stop at the store on her way home from work to buy his favorite snacks and juice.

Vernon is tireless with her compassion. We were told by another employee that “Vernon will stay late and come in early and she will even go to the floor as a CNA when the need arises.” It’s hard to believe that she still has energy for caregiving outside the care center. Vernon is a very involved mother of five, has raised nine children, and has 17 grandchildren. She loves taking care of her own grandkids as well as babysitting the kids of her staff so the parents can come into work.

Vernon willingly accepts the fact that she will sometimes receive staffing-related calls in the middle of the night and that she may even have to let others use her car on occasion so they can get to work. This is just who she is; she has cultivated a special trusting relationship with her staff and everyone knows that open communication is the key to their success. Thank you for your compassion, generosity and commitment to our family!