"I grew up in the Midway area of St. Paul. Starting work here was kind of like coming home for me," Melissa, Chief Operating Officer of Episcopal Homes, said.
Seven years ago Melissa joined the organization as Administrator of our flagship, 131-bed nursing home and transitional care community, Episcopal Church Home. Beginning October, Melissa began her new role as Episcopal Homes' Chief Operating Officer. She is proud to have found a fabulous work life balance and a fulfilling career. Her daughter, Addison, has attended KinderVillage, the intergenerational daycare on-site, for her first 4 years.
Besides finding peace of mind knowing Addison and her youngest daughter are just a short walk from her during the day, Melissa has noticed that having the daycare has really changed the environment at Episcopal Homes. Not only is it convenient for those work at Episcopal, but it greatly benefits both the residents and children. "I've seen it work both ways. Working in the nursing home and having a child in KinderVillage," Melissa said. "For residents, it's bringing the life and spontaneity that kids bring to their daily lives, including the happiness, joy, and laughter. For the kids, it's meaningful as they see the behaviors older adults have. They are learning social skills, learning how to reach when interacting with other people. Some of the fear that exists with older adults doesn't happen for these kids because they are able to interact day in an day out with their elders. It's really significant for both the kids and the residents."
Seeing kids parade through the facility - literally as elders toss candy - has brought excitement and life to the community and has added another layer of relationship building. Melissa noted that many days on the walk through the parking garage, there are many interactions between her daughters, residents and staff. These interactions cause Addision to instantly light up. Whether it be to admire artwork, ask about her day, or just to say hello.
'Coming home' to Episcopal Homes and being able to experience work-life balance while having her two young children on-site at KinderVillage has enabled Melissa to be a stronger leader and enjoy her job more. Episcopal Homes is so proud of the many generations that it touches and connects, each and every day.