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State grant to expand worker training at St. John’s Home

charlie-runyon

Charlie Runyon

St. John’s Home, a provider of senior living and care options, will receive a $100,000 from the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council to further the organization’s employee training, officials said Monday.

“This grant serves as recognition of the incredible work our team is doing at St. John’s Home in changing the way we think about long-term care,” said Charlie Runyon, St. John’s CEO. “We’re empowering our staff in ways we never have before. The result is staff members who are confident in their ability to make decisions and residents who are comfortable with the same familiar faces caring for them each day.”

The funding will help train 610 existing employees in the best practices to improve care and quality of life for the nearly 1,000 elders at St. John’s, officials said. The funding also helps St. John’s in its transition to the small homes model of care, which creates living spaces that mimic the idea of home.

The model is focused on the use of shabazim, universal workers, rather than nurses or certified nursing assistants. Shahbazim provide medical care and also support residents in other ways, including meal preparation, shopping, cleaning and genuine engagement.

“Our proposal focused on accelerating job creation and strengthening our region’s quality of life through the shahbazim role,” said Joanne Braeunle, St. John’s corporate strategy officer. “We expect that the shahbazim role will emerge as a middle-skills job class and create more opportunities for our community employee base as we continue to invest direct care dollars to ensure a living wage reflective of the responsibility that the role carries.”

Follow Kerry Feltner on Twitter: @KerryFeltner

(c) 2017 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-363-7269 or email madams@bridgetowermedia.com.

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