When our loved ones have medical needs that are more than we are able to provide at home, we turn to rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers to assist. Nurses, therapists, and all of the staff at the care centers become more than workers or acquaintances, they become family. Maria Fiorentino found this to be true in her experience at Plantation Bay Rehabilitation Center in St. Cloud, Florida.

When Maria moved from New York to Florida two years ago, her mom needed rehabilitation and was receiving care at Plantation Bay. Maria visited frequently and became friendly with the staff and other residents. Maria told us that her mother’s care at Plantation Bay was exceptional.

After Maria’s mom passed away, Maria continued to visit the staff members and residents who had become such an important part of her life. During one of these visits, Maria was recruited to work at Plantation Bay as a receptionist. She had never worked in healthcare before, but her friendly disposition and her vast experience in the legal, finance, and hospitality industries made her a perfect candidate for the job.

Maria loves her job because she is able to pay forward the kindness and compassion that her mother received. Maria tells us, “it feels good to be able to sit on the other side of the desk and return the goodwill that was shown to me and my family when my mom was a patient.” Specifically, Maria said that she enjoys talking to the residents and joking with them. Other times, she feels like she’s a sounding board for the residents, and it makes her feel good to know that the residents feel better after talking to her. She makes a special effort to check in on residents who don’t have regular visitors.

"...she is able to pay forward the kindness and compassion that her mother received."

In regard to the staff, Maria said that “it is an honor to work with them. They are the same people who provided wonderful care to my mom.” She has valuable advice for Consulate team members at other care centers. “Make the families feel welcome. Make sure they know that their loved one is getting exceptional care and that they can approach anyone at the center with comments or concerns.”

Maria plans to continue working at Plantation Bay for a long time to come. She says, “Plantation Bay has been very special to us.” Maria, thank you for all you do. You continue to be a very special part of Consulate Health Care family.