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Love in Any Language, Fluently Spoken Here


From L to R: Afia Serwaa, Regina Ross, Bob Speelman, Sophia Tieku, Helena Paylay

August 8, 2018
My journey as an STNA took me last night to Highbanks Care Center, our 56 bed skilled nursing facility located in Worthington, Ohio. Michael Helco is our Licensed Nursing Home Administrator at Highbanks and is a wonderful leader for the Atlas team. I had the opportunity to meet four amazing women that care for our residents-- Afia Serwaa, Regina Ross, Sophia Tieku, and Helena Paylay.

I spent most of my time with Afia Serwaa. Afia came to the United States from Ghana where she earned two Bachelor’s Degree’s in Education. Afia has a daughter (age 13) and a son (age 15). Her daughter Abigale has Autism and is the main reason their family was looking to move to the United States. Ghana does not have much in the way of services and help for children with Autism, and Afia knew that for her children to get the best chances for success, she would have to bring her children to the United States. A year before they came to the United States, Afia’s husband passed away from a heart attack. Afia still went ahead and made the journey to America, as a single mother with two children.

After arriving and learning that her degrees are not recognized here in the States, Afia spoke to a friend who educated her on becoming an STNA. Afia’s friend told her it was hard work and a steady job, and Afia said she was glad she made the leap, and I am very glad she did, too!

Afia’s love and care for her residents is amazing! Her ability to communicate with residents that can’t verbalize, or don’t speak English, was incredible to witness. Seeing her interactions with these residents reminded me of a line in a song I heard many years ago- “Love in any language, fluently spoken here.”

That was Afia! Every resident knew she loved them, cared for them, and would do anything for them.

When the rush of tasks that we had to do as night-shift nursing assistants eventually slowed down, I had a few minutes to chat and talk with the caregivers about their stories and what brought them to Highbanks. I also sat with them and discussed things we could do to improve as a company. Who knows better what we need to give better care, than our caregivers?

I left Highbanks that night with a sense of pride, knowing that we had this caliber of caregivers as part of our team. I also left with a sense of responsibility to do right by them, and make sure they know that they are the reason for our success.

“When I talk to Managers I get the feeling that they are important.
When I talk to leaders I get the feeling that I am important.”

I hope our entire team at Atlas know how valuable they are to our success. I wear my STNA license with tremendous pride, because whether you are at the top of our organizational chart or the bottom, we are all called to serve.


Bob Speelman, STNA

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