On June 30th, the members of Cabrini of Westchester’s Cultural Awareness Committee organized a Multi-Cultural Celebration to honor the many different ethnic backgrounds of the staff members employed by the nursing home. The festivities began with a parade of flags and traditional wardrobe and ended with a display and tasting of dishes from various countries. Many thanks to the members of the Cultural Awareness Committee and all participants for making the day such a fun, festive and educational experience as we learned about cultural diversity!
Cabrini of Westchester celebrated The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 11th with a special liturgy led by Pastoral Care Director, Fr. Thomas Vadakemuriyil in the Cabrini Chapel. We were fortunate that several Missionary Sisters and Cabrini Lay Missionaries were present. They were able to recite their vows and commitments in front of the few that were physically gathered in the chapel and the residents who were watching the Mass from their rooms via television.
A festive luncheon, prepared by Cabrini’s Food Service Department, was held in the Board Room for those Missionary Sisters that reside in the nursing home.
As a happy coincidence, Sr. Alfonsina Gomes celebrated her birthday on this day! Sr. Alfonsina lives in the Cabrini convent and ministers to the residents as a Pastoral Care Associate. After the Mass concluded, Sister was serenaded to the tune of “Happy Birthday” and a birthday cake was served at the luncheon!
A wonderful Feast Day was had by all!
What an exciting day April 22nd turned out to be for Cabrini of Westchester. On that day, Deborah Mosley, a trained storyteller, Ellen Tessitore, a certified NY State Teacher and Lorraine Campanelli, Director of Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY presented a workshop at a national conference. The workshop, ‘Intergenerational, Intercultural Art and Storytelling for Healing Depression, Anxiety and Isolation,’ was presented virtually for the Expressive Therapies Summit 2021.
In 2019, prior to COVID, Deborah, Ellen, Dr. Paulette Sansone, our Grant Writer, and Lorraine submitted a proposal to the Expressive Arts Summit about a program that they created. The program, ‘Expressive Arts: Improving the Well-Being of Adult Immigrants and Elderly Nursing Home Residents,’ was being held twice a month and involved some nursing home residents and some of our CIS clients. The proposal was accepted and we were going to be off to Los Angeles in April 2020!
Due to COVID, the program was postponed for one year. One year later, traveling and being in groups was still not permitted, so it was decided that the program would be held virtually. Debbie, Ellen and Lorraine presented a 3-hour workshop via Zoom. Lorraine discussed the need to reduce depression, anxiety and loneliness in both populations. We then spoke about how we started the program at the nursing home and how the program was designed. We wanted those in attendance to experience the actual program which involves a story, discussion and an art project based on the story. Deborah told the participants the story, The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. There was a discussion about the book and how it affected each person.
Ellen had the participants create their own banners Using different materials (the list of needed materials was sent prior to the workshop), each participant created 3 squares. One square had their name, one had something that describes them and the third square showed something that they are interested in doing. The participants were wonderful! They not only added to the discussion about the story, they also shared their art work and why they chose certain symbols, etc.
We shared a picture of the quilt that was created by the residents and CIS clients who attend our program. Everyone loved the quilt and felt it was a great way for people to express themselves. The quilt is displayed in the Rose Room at the nursing home.
It was a beautiful experience. We all felt so honored to have been chosen to present at a national conference. We were asked to share our email addresses because the people wanted to stay in touch and have us help them as many wanted to recreate the program.
been an exciting week at Cabrini of Westchester as we welcome back visitors! Family members are now able to visit their loved ones up on the residential nursing floors with social distancing in place and mask wearing.
Due to visiting restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has been more than a year since this has taken place. It is wonderful to see some new and familiar faces in the halls of the nursing home once again!
Monday, January 11, 2021 was a very exciting day at Cabrini of because residents and staff received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine! A team from CVS Pharmacy was on site to administer both doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, the first of which was distributed on December 21, 2020. In total, 217 residents and 177 staff members opted to be inoculated. Another site visit is planned for February 1, 2021.
“We are fortunate that the Covid-19 vaccine has demonstrated-safety and is highly effective,” said Dr. Jeffrey Gold, Cabrini of Westchester’s Medical Director. “Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective way that we can protect ourselves, and most especially the residents, in order to address the global pandemic.”
With the second dose, the vaccine is said to be more than 90% effective against the on-going threat of the COVID-19 virus. This is a great relief to the residents, staff and most especially the family members, who haven’t seen their loved ones in person in quite a long time. “A renewed sense of hope accompanies the availability of the vaccine for the residents and our hard-working staff,” said Patricia Krasnausky, President and CEO. “Reuniting residents and their families with in-person visits is our greatest hope for this year.” ~ submitted by Susan Herceg, Cabrini of Westchester
Not only was Tuesday, December 8th the celebration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, it was also a very special day for Cabrini of Westchester’s Chaplain, Fr. Thomas Vadakemuriyil, CMI. Father Thomas renewed his religious vows during the 11:00 Mass in Cabrini of Westchester’s Chapel, witnessed by several staff members, as well as, all the residents who were watching the televised Mass from their rooms. Each year, the Carmelites of Immaculate Mary renew their religious vows on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, since the first eleven members of the congregation professed their vows on December 8, 1955.
Father Thomas expressed his appreciation to all those who attended and shared that since he was not living in a congregation with fellow priests to celebrate this occasion, he was very pleased to be celebrating with his Cabrini Family.
Before the conclusion of Mass, Vice President of Operations and Administrator, Bonnie Burke, offered congratulations to Father Thomas saying, “Here at Cabrini, we are the recipients of the gift of your faithfulness to God and the Church. Thank you for your service, thank you for weaving the thread of the scripture of Holy Mass and guiding us into the truth, encouraging us to keep a focus on Jesus. Your pastoral care is an authentic expression of this gift. On behalf of our staff and all the residents, we wish you happiness and deep commitment.”
After 7 long months, Cabrini of Westchester is able to reunite family members with their loved ones in person! In order to keep the residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, very strict guidelines from the New York State Department of Health have been in place since March. Visiting began on Monday, October 26th and it was a joy to witness the smiles and happy tears that were shared.
Each visit is by appointment only and takes place in Cabrini of Westchester’s lobby. All visitors must provide a negative COVID test and wear a mask at all times. Even though a six foot social distance is in place between family and residents, the feeling of love is obvious and almost tangible during each visit.
“The hardest part is not being able to give my mom a hug,” said Fran Pellegrini, daughter of resident, Louise Carbone. “But, I’m so happy to see her in person. She looks wonderful!”
After many months of uncertainty, it is so heart-warming to see happy memories being made once again!
Sr. Catherine Garry, MSC, long time board member of Cabrini of Westchester, was honored with the Trustee of the Year award from LeadingAge New York, part of a national association of 5,500 not-for-profit organizations. This prestigious award is given in recognition of trustees who have served with distinction and made significant contributions to the betterment of services for the aged and infirmed. Sr. Catherine would have been presented with the award earlier this year, but due to the social distance restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was presented to her on October 20, 2020 after a special Mass in Cabrini of Westchester’s chapel.
Sr. Catherine’s extensive career includes teaching and serving as principal in several schools, administering a retreat center and serving as a Trustee at Columbus-Cuneo-Cabrini Hospitals in Chicago. She has also held the position of Provincial of the Missionary Sisters and remains on the Boards of Cabrini of Westchester and Mother Cabrini High School in New Orleans.
Sr. Catherine has always demonstrated a deep commitment to Cabrini of Westchester’s residents, clients and staff and has provided guidance as a trustee in many areas including her expertise in by-laws of the corporation, the effects of canon and civil law, and most importantly, the essence of the mission of the organization.
“It is my privilege to present this award to Sr. Catherine on behalf of LeadingAge, the Board of Trustees, the residents and employees to thank her for all she has done for Cabrini of Westchester,” said Patricia Krasnausky, President and CEO of Cabrini of Westchester. “Sister is an inspiration to us all and I am grateful for her steady and committed presence.”
Upon receipt of the award, Sr. Catherine shared the following: “Coming to Cabrini of Westchester for meetings and to see the residents is high spot in my life. You have been as supportive to me as I have been to you. Thank you very much for this award.”
On Tuesday, June 30th, a caravan of at least 30 cars paraded through the grounds of Cabrini of Westchester in Dobbs Ferry, NY, while the song “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” was blasted for all to hear! The cars were decorated with signs of appreciation in honor of the members of the 1199 Service Employees International Union who are employed at St. Cabrini Nursing Home. As the cars made their way to the front of the building, staff members emerged out of the doors while dancing, singing and wearing huge smiles.
Organized by the administration of the 1199 Union, the parade was to thank the dedicated employees who tirelessly care for the residents of the home, most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the parade, organizers arranged for New York State Senate Majority Leader and friend of Cabrini of Westchester, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, to attend and address the group with words of thanks. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, you showed up to work every day and proved that you are beyond essential. I came here on behalf of myself, the Senate and every elected official throughout Westchester County and the State to say thank you for being our backbone, our constant and our heart.”
As festive as the atmosphere was, it was apparent that there was a special individual that was missing from the celebration. A moment of silence was held in memory of Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Barbara Holmes, who succumbed to the COVID-19 virus in May. Barbara was employed at Cabrini for almost 41 years and was a passionate advocate for both residents and co-workers. It seemed appropriate that Patricia Krasnausky, President and CEO of Cabrini of Westchester announced that the monthly Values in Action Award will be renamed in Barbara’s honor, since she was the epitome of Cabrini’s core values of pride, dignity, compassion and respect.
So often we hear, “In a matter of a moment, everything can change.” The Coronavirus has certainly proven that point. One day, life went on as usual and then the next day, life as we knew it, changed completely.
Cabrini Immigrant Services (CIS), Dobbs Ferry, NY, had to close its doors due to the ‘Pause Order’ in New York State. The lives of our clients changed. So many businesses closed, therefore, jobs were no longer available. The majority of our clients are not eligible for unemployment nor can they receive the government stimulus check as it was clearly written, only American citizens are eligible for the checks.
We are very fortunate in Dobbs Ferry, NY as we have many available resources. Each month, many Dobbs Ferry families receive a food card to Stop & Shop through the Family toFamily program. In addition, SPRING Community Partners assist with food cards and emergency funding. The school district continues to distribute ‘Grab and Go’ breakfast and lunch food bags for the students.
Despite the fact that CIS is closed, many of our adult tutors stay connected with their students through Zoom or phone calls. Some reach out to make sure that their students’ children are able to complete their assignments now that they are doing distance learning.
Despite COVID-19, CIS continues to reach out in many ways. This week, CIS was able to help 56 families with food cards. Thanks to a grant that CIS had received, each family received a $100 food card to Stop & Shop.
We are so grateful to be able to help our families in a much-needed way. One can only imagine the stress of having everyone at home 24/7, perhaps not having any income, plus, trying to navigate the school system so the children can go to school on-line.
We do not know what the ‘new normal’ will look like or when we can reopen our doors. All we can do is pray for one another.