Clark Nurse Manager Lera Davis is one of the most dedicated frontline workers you will ever meet. Davis has been with Clark for five years and specializes in care for dementia patients. When Davis came to Clark from another long-term care community, she was ready to continue her passion for providing exceptional care to assisted-living residents. As a bonus, she was immediately impressed with Clark’s staff and community, in addition to the high-quality care given to its residents.
“I wake up every day knowing I’m doing an important job,” she said.
From a young age, she knew her calling was to specialize in long-term geriatric care, thanks to her close relationship with her grandparents. As the oldest of the grandchildren, Davis saw the help and companionship her grandparents needed as they aged.
“People get older, the grandchildren have their own lives and you visit your grandparents less,” said Davis. “My grandparents needed that extra help, which led me to venture into geriatric care.”
Being so close to her grandparents, Davis had a good idea of not just older adults’ physical needs, but their emotional needs as well. She brings that influence into work every, treating Clark’s residents like they are her own family.
As COVID-19 began to spread in the United States, Davis witnessed how Clark excelled not only in providing compassionate care and ensuring safety measures for residents, but also for staff.
“They were ready and gathered personal protective equipment (PPE), making sure we had enough to handle situations we’d possibly face,” Davis said. “They reach out to employees to keep them updated and have daily meetings with all the general managers to make sure residents and employees stay safe.”
As a manager, Davis is part of the Clark Retirement Community COVID-19 Task Force, which had its first meeting on March 13. She, along with other staff members representing every department in the organization, use their experience and knowledge to best plan for the constantly evolving situation. The task force’s charge: to do everything in their power to keep Clark residents and staff safe.
“I gave all my employees my cell phone and email,” Davis said. “If they call with concerns, I’m there to help. I make sure I check in with them frequently to see how they’re doing and make sure they’re confident and ready to perform their jobs the best they can.”
Davis believes mental health is critical during this time, so she encourages her staff to take advantage of Clark’s employee assistance program which provides mental health support.
“Mental health plays a huge part of this job. If you’re stressed, you’re not thinking clearly. We have to make sure our employees are calm and confident.” Davis said.
The support Clark is providing its employees shows. Davis says she has been proud of how her staff and colleagues have gone above and beyond during these challenging times.
“I’ve seen a lot of people stepping outside their job description to make sure things are running smoothly – changing their hours, making themselves more flexible,” Davis said. “I love how everyone has come together like a family.”
Like with her staff, Clark is providing Davis with the same compassionate care and support. All staff receive meals during their shift and have been given a temporary benefits package that helps take care of their needs while they are working during a pandemic. Davis also talked about new electronic databases and additional staff education as ways Clark has helped streamline communication and given its employees the resources to best do their jobs.
For Davis, though, rising to the occasion is something she’s prepared for her entire career.
“I’m always looking at the bigger picture,” Davis said. “This is all part of what we need to do to stop the spread of the virus. I’m making a difference and whatever I can do to prevent spread makes me happy.”