For the past two years, Jenny Callihan has served as Golden West’s Assisted Living Care Staff Manager, coordinating care for around 40 assisted living residents and managing a team of 20 caregivers and qualified medication administration personnel, called QMAPs.
As coordinator for the Mezzanine at Golden West, Jenny’s job responsibilities include hiring, training and scheduling team members, and engaging with residents and their families to make sure their needs are met.
“It’s important to me to build a picture of the whole person to understand where they’re coming from and what they need, and I always try to advocate for both the residents and the staff and so that those needs are met,” said Jenny.
“My overall responsibility is supporting the caregivers so they like their jobs, and supporting the residents so they like where they live.” Jenny said. “It’s about fielding questions and meeting people’s needs.”
Jenny is part of the Assisted Living management team and works very closely with the Mezzanine Resident Care Manager Angela Youngs, and under the direction of Assisted Living Administrator, Jennifer Giovanetto, to make sure the Mezzanine is running smoothly and in compliance with state regulations. Golden West is happy to be report that the last annual survey for assisted living was deficiency free, as well as the Infection Control survey in the spring which confirmed all the necessary and proper infection control procedures were in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Jenny explained that with COVID-19, it’s really been about how to be proactive and to try and plan for the unexpected. The Mezzanine team has focused on educating and helping the caregiver team and the residents to cope with this new reality. “Golden West has done an amazing job with this, which I think is a testament to our leadership team,” said Jenny.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree of science in psychology at Grand Canyon University, Jenny’s first job was with a memory care community, where she started out managing the reception team and then was promoted to memory care director. She came to Golden West in January 2019. Prior to earning her degree, she spent 18 years homeschooling her four children.
Today, Jenny said she loves working for Golden West in part because it’s a nonprofit, so she has a greater ability to impact people in a positive way than if she were working at a for-profit corporation.
“I have a lot of love and admiration for my elders. I like sitting down and talking with them about where they came from, the tapestries of their lives,” said Jenny. “But as much as I love having fun with our residents and joking around with them, I also feel like I’m doing a real service and meeting their needs.”