Some people are created to care. Gina Tome is one of those people. A preschool teacher for nearly 20 years, Gina has a special knack for making others feel at home, for anticipating needs, for extending a helping hand. When she first came to work at Messiah Lifeways, she was part of the housekeeping team. While enjoying resident interaction and serving their needs, Gina felt a pull to do more. With encouragement from Nursing Home Administrator Crystal Stair, Gina decided to apply for the free nurses aide (CNA) training benefit through Human Resources. She shares, “Tracy Heyman and everyone in HR was so helpful. The application process was very simple!” Gina chose to do her CNA training at HACC where she found flexible schedules & great instructors to be the key. Best of all, Messiah Lifeways’ CNA training program includes an hourly wage reimbursement so Gina could still get a paycheck while furthering her career. She took her state licensure test as soon as she was able and passed! Today, she’s enjoying a new role on the Asper memory care neighborhood and reveling in the distinction that she was the very first person to use the Messiah Lifeways CNA scholarship. Looking back, NHA Crystal Stair recalls, “Gina’s work ethic and people skills in her role as a housekeeper captured my attention and I knew she could succeed as a CNA. She was the ideal person to take advantage of Messiah’s scholarship program.” In less than 2 months, after passing all the requisite credential and background checks, a current team member could gain a new certification. And, according to HR Director Tracy Heyman, “The application process for the CNA training is very accessible.”
Gina’s mother worked in the kitchen at Messiah Village, and now it’s Gina’s home away from home. Although she was a little nervous about embarking on a new career, she credits her supportive and encouraging colleagues with giving her the gentle push she needed. Congratulations, Gina, and thank you for investing in your future and in the lives of the many residents you serve so well!