Have you ever thought about what you would do if you won the lottery? At some point, almost everyone has thought about the idea of winning millions of dollars and quitting their job. Would you be surprised if you heard that this actually happened to one of our hard-working CNAs? The ironic part…she didn’t quit her job, not even after years and years of giving her all to residents. This is just one of the many reasons that Patricia Cormack (Pat) of Renaissance Health and Rehabilitation in West Palm Beach, FL was recently named CNA of the year by the Florida Health Care Association. This award is something to be extremely proud of, and it’s something that Pat claims was more shocking and amazing for her than winning the lottery.
Pat has been working at Renaissance for over 30 years, and for most of that time she has been a CNA. She started out in housekeeping helping out in laundry, and cleaning rooms. She did that for only about a year before she realized that being a CNA was her true calling. We asked Pat why she never left to do anything else and she said, “This is my calling. I love what I do. I love the residents. I mean…I LOVE them!” It’s no surprise that the residents love Pat equally as much. Recently, a resident was refusing a shower from another caregiver and said he would only shower for Pat. So, Pat came over and said to him, “I have time, will you let me pamper you?” The resident gave in, and the next morning asked if she was available to give him a shave. Pat just has a way with the residents that no one can emulate. We asked her how she does it, and she replied, “The key is to have patience.”
Pat really embodies everything it means to be a CNA. From her passion, her patience, her determination, to her love of long-term care, she has it all. Despite this, Patricia is still so humble. To her, this is just her life, it’s who she is. She never once expected to be awarded for doing what feels natural to her. This is why when her name was announced as the CNA of the year, Pat could not believe it. We asked her what it felt like to receive the award and she said, “I have never felt so nervous, overwhelmed, overjoyed. To me that was better than when I hit the lotto. Really, this was better. I love what I do!” As unbelievable is it seems, it’s true. Pat loves her job so much that even when she hit the lotto she came right back to work.
Patricia realized that she won the lottery the week that hurricane Matthew was predicted to make landfall. She won the lotto on Monday, came into work on Tuesday, drove up to Tallahassee to claim her prize on Wednesday, and came all the back before the storm was supposed to hit on Friday just to help prepare. She chose not to tell anyone her news and decided she would just continue on with her normal life. But, once the news was published in the local paper, everyone knew. Her executive director Gary came to talk to her the next morning when she came into work, and Pat said right away, “Gary, before you say anything, I’m not quitting. I’m going to stay right here”. According to Pat, she was happy, but not excited when she won the lotto. She said, “with money, you have friends or you don’t have friends. At the end of the day, I know I have my residents who love me though.” There was no question for Pat about coming back to what she feels is her home.
In addition to saving the money she won for her grandkids to go to college, she also pays for two residents to have their hair cut every month at the care center. Her love of helping others goes well beyond that of just coming to work each day. The passion and sincerity that Pat has is what led her to become CNA of the year. Everyone at Renaissance recognizes Pat’s dedication and greatly appreciates all that she does. They wanted to honor her for her hard work, so a parking spot was designated to her with her own parking sign. We can’t think of anyone who deserves that kind of recognition more than Pat. Consulate Health Care couldn’t be more proud of her and her amazing achievement. Congratulations Pat! Thank you so much for choosing us to share your life with!