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Village Shalom Announces 2014 Block ‘Champion of Culture Change’ Winner


 Zenette Kearney, Programs Assistant for Assisted Living, has received Village Shalom’s 2014 Allen and Gloria Block “Champion of Culture Change” Award.

The annual award recognizes an outstanding Village Shalom staff member dedicated to the concept of “culture change” in working with and caring for residents of the continuing-care retirement community. “Culture change” in the long-term care industry is defined as improving residents’ overall quality of life by creating a home-like environment, promoting resident choice and self-determination, empowering front-line team members, enhancing the physical environment and increasing community involvement.

Lorena Williams, Programs Supervisor, presented the award to Kearney, who joined the Village Shalom staff in May 2009.

“Zenette consistently bonds with the residents of Village Shalom by going beyond her normal job responsibilities,” Williams said. “She makes an extra effort in getting to know each resident’s individual needs, likes and dislikes.” Williams added that Kearney often receives compliments about her calm and caring attitude to all staff, residents, families and visitors. Though her assigned area is Assisted Living, she is helpful and well-loved by residents in every area.

“She is a huge champion of culture change. She handles all of the residents’ needs with ease and grace, all the while with a smile on her face. Zenette takes pride in organizing and accompanying residents on outings. She is extremely organized and ensures that everything is under control and everyone is happy. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated, hardworking individual representing Village Shalom.”

Lorena Williams, Programs Supervisor, and Zenette Kearney, Block Award recipient

Kearney said that the residents are “like family to me. I have a special relationship with the residents. I love what I’m doing.”

She is also grateful to Village Shalom for giving her multiple opportunities to grow professionally. “This is my home away from home – I feel like I belong here.”

The “Champion of Culture Change” Award was established by the Blocks in 2008, in conjunction with the Menorah Legacy Foundation. Having previously supported merit recognition for health-care professionals at Menorah Medical Center, the Blocks redirected their fund to Village Shalom to honor exceptional staff performance. Village Shalom’s management team serves as the selection committee for the award, which is given each December.

As winner of the “Champion of Culture Change” Award, Kearney received a certificate, a statuette and a monetary gift of $1,000.