One word comes to mind when thinking about Taunia Perkins at Gateway Rehabilitation and Healthcare in Lenoir, North Carolina. That word is “family.” During her 20 years at Gateway, Taunia has treated everyone she encounters as a family member, whether it’s her patients, her fellow staff members or her own family members that have been lovingly treated in the care center. Taunia was nominated for demonstrating all five of Consulate’s core values by LeeAnn Griffin in human resources.

Taunia has served in several roles over her 20 years, including CNA, restorative CNA, scheduler, and activities worker. These positions have allowed Taunia to bond with so many patients over the years. She said “I come to work each day to take care of the residents, to see them get better and be discharged, or take care of them for the long run.”  She has sat with many residents as they have taken their last breath because she didn’t want them to be alone. Taunia has a soft spot for those residents who don’t have relatives nearby. Taunia steps in as a surrogate family member and often brings these patients clothes, lunch, and favorite sweet treats. One of these special residents actually refers to Taunia as her granddaughter.

It’s all about family when Taunia thinks about her co-workers too. She said, “Everyone is family-oriented, and we all get along.” In her nomination of Taunia, Griffin said, “Taunia treats new employees as though she has known them forever, teaching them all the tricks of the trade. Her smile and laughter are contagious to everyone from residents, family members, and co-workers.”

Taunia’s love of and confidence in the Gateway family has attracted several of her own relatives to the care center. When Taunia’s mother was recovering from open heart surgery, she came to Gateway as part of her recovery. Ten years ago, Taunia’s daughter broke her hip and came to Gateway for rehabilitation. Currently, Taunia’s mother-in-law is at Gateway getting stronger after a leg amputation. Everyone in the care center refers to her as “Granny Pat.”

Our families are with us for a lifetime, and since Taunia has found her family at Gateway, she would like to continue at the care center for the remainder of her career. Taunia, we are blessed to have you as part of the family!

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