Inside Athena: Connecticut’s Resident Ambassador Alexis DeAngelis
BRISTOL, C.T. — Connecticut’s Resident Ambassador Alexis DeAngelis was one of the first Athena Resident Ambassadors in the company.
She was hired nearly three years ago at Sheriden Woods Health Care Center in Bristol. When the position opened, the Plainville native thought it was the perfect fit for her.
“All the females in my family are all nurses, medical assistants, medical billers and coders so my whole family has been a part of the healthcare industry and I wanted to do the same,” she said. “I’ve always loved sticking up for people. I love speaking for people who can’t.”
The Ambassador Program at Athena Health Care Systems is in place for the residents to have an advocate at the center. DeAngelis focuses on the needs of the residents, customer service, and satisfaction. The goal is to provide high-level customer service through companionship and engagement in meaningful, individualized leisure pursuits. As well as safety reminders, supervision, help assist with everyday tasks when appropriate and non-clinical psychosocial support and companionship. The ambassador’s role also ensures that resident concerns are brought to the appropriate department for quick and timely resolution.
DeAngelis helps support new and existing ambassadors across the state at Athena centers including Crestfield Rehabilitation Center & Fenwood Manor in Manchester, Valerie Manor and Litchfield Woods Health Care Center in Torrington, Montowese Health & Rehabilitation Center in North Haven, Abbott Terrace Health Center in Waterbury, Shady Knoll Health Center in Seymour, Newtown Rehabilitation & Health Care Center in Newtown, and Middlesex Health Care Center and Wadsworth Glen Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Middletown.
“I go into the buildings. I help them with [Department of Public Health] visits, survey. I am currently training a new ambassador at Valerie Manor,” she said.
Before joining Athena, she was a homemaker and companion for an agency based in New Britain and also worked as a pharmacy technician for CVS.
DeAngelis enjoys building connections with residents, their loved ones, and staff members as she said that is important to provide the best quality of life. She said the Ambassador Program has been beneficial to the residents since its creation in 2020.
“When I was hired, we had no visitors coming in the facility at that time… we came in and we were able to give them that one-to-one personable interaction,” she said.
The Resident Ambassador also trains new ambassadors, using the experience she’s gained while working in the homes or other buildings. She has a list of things she’ll do when at her home facility in Bristol and trains the new hires to follow in her footsteps.
There is one success story DeAngelis reflects on. The resident was battling COVID-19 at Sheriden Woods prior to her joining. His goal was to recover and go back home. DeAngelis was able to help him reach that goal.
“I got to experience him finally regain mobility in the facility and go back home to his family and new grandbaby and all his grandchildren,” she said.
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