Trilvia Spencer’s early influences sparked the catalyst of her passion for high-quality senior care. She explained: “I was raised by my grandmother after my mother died, so it’s my way of giving back.”
Now the Assistant Business Office Manager at Consulate Health Care of Williamsburg, Spencer originally began her career in health care 32 years ago in a hospital setting, but for the past 12 years has lent her heart, dedication, and compassion to patients in nursing homes. For much of that time, Spencer worked long hours and served as a jack-of-all-trades in the food service department—lending her skills to different aspects and roles, including cook, aide, stocker, cleaning and maintenance, and nutritional assessment.
Nowadays, in her current role as assistant business office manager, Spencer has managed to slow down a little, and no longer needs to shift gears and roles so frequently.
She explained that much of her job consists of organizing and managing residents’ day-to-day schedules, such as arranging timely transportation to and from their appointments, rescheduling appointments as necessary, ironing out potential insurance issues, and in general, assisting residents’ family members as much as possible. Her main priority is “meeting the needs of families.” She said, “If I can help or accommodate them, by all means, if there’s something I can do to help that family member, I will. I don’t want to step in someone else’s lane, but I’m here to help.”
Business Office Manager of CHC of Williamsburg, Marsha McCue Brown, was quick to sing praises for Spencer: “Trilvia goes above and beyond at all times, but during my absence [in June], she was beyond exceptional to all the needs of our residents and family members. Even when she didn’t know, she took action and did not push it off until I returned! So grateful for a compassionate ABOM.”
However, Spencer’s duties run deeper than logistics and filling others’ shoes. She said, “A lot of the residents don’t have family, so you are their family.”
Spencer emphasized the particular importance of core values integrity, honesty, and compassion, and broke it down: “Basically, for me, compassion is caring for the residents and making sure their needs are met. Integrity is being a person of your word. . . committed to doing what you say you’re going to do. . . If you say you’re going to do something, then do it. Be someone people can trust.”
In addition to Spencer’s testament to Consulate’s core values and her appreciation and love for her grandmother and honoring her legacy, Spencer’s spirituality and faith have also driven her to devote her career to the pursuit of healing and compassionate care for those who need it.
Humble at heart, Spencer said: “My journey is no different from others. We all have hills to climb and roads to cross. Sharing God’s love to people, even when a person does not treat you with respect or love, is a gift from God’s amazing grace.”
In Spencer’s positive, crystal-clear perspective, serving others with compassion, honesty, integrity, respect, and passion is more than a job or obligation—it’s an opportunity and gift.
Spencer consistently commits herself to raising the bar of compassionate, high quality care and basic human decency. “People may not always treat you how you want them to. But set the bar higher. Treat them better than they treat you. Give your best each day, at work and at home. And be kind to someone each day and your life will be blessed.”
Fortunately, Spencer doesn’t need to do it alone. She stressed the importance of teamwork within the field of compassionate health care, and how that’s one of her favorite parts about working at CHC of Williamsburg. “Whatever facility I go to, I find you need to work together with everyone. . . We all come from different backgrounds. We all have knowledge in different areas and can learn from one another. We pick up each others’ slack.”
Spencer raved about the many positive influences she has encountered during her time working at Consulate Health Care: “I am thankful and grateful for the support from Regine Thomas, who has always been a light and a shining star through my career and my life. . . I was with her at Bonview. . . She’s at Westover now. As an administrator, with her fairness and willingness and whatever she knew, she would teach you. She was big on teamwork and a family-like approach. . . I am thankful for support from Masha McCue-Brown, Becky Bodie, Rob Hanson, and Victor Pope. But most of all, support from my husband, Marvin Spencer, who walks with me and holds my hand through life’s journey.”
Spencer offered words of advice to those working in or seeking a role in the health care field: “My advice would be to stay true to yourself. Learn as much as possible as you can. . . Challenge yourself to learn different things in life. It might not be your actual position, it might be someone else’s. For now, I’m learning new things in the business office, and I really like it.”
Spencer’s plans for the future include continuing to learn, eventually retire, travel with her husband, and watch her grandchildren grow up.