In this week’s installment of our Getting to Know You Series, we would like you to meet our Director of Rehabilitation, Phillip Rallis.
Phillip received his B.S. in Occupational Therapy in 2001 from CUNY York College. He went on to work in several different settings, including ten years with V.N.S. Phil came here four years ago, when it was still Michael Malotz, so he’s seen a lot of changes, including the leap to making Adira at Riverside a 5 Star rated facility.
Getting new equipment and the right supplies is no longer a struggle, thanks to the new ownership and management. He sees firsthand that patient care is the top priority. “They’ve gone above and beyond what I expected. Eric, our administrator, is much more involved and he has a pulse of the whole facility…They (Malotz) had 2.5 stars and now we (Adira) have 5 stars. They’re always striving to make it better.”
As the Director of Rehab, Phil assures our facility is properly staffed and supplied so that our patients and residents receive the best care possible. He loves working with the seniors and hearing about their lives and where they come from. “If you take the time to talk to them, there’s so much there. You get a lot of good advice from them too because they’ve been through everything.”
FUN FACT: After selling his two restaurant businesses in NYC, Phillip was uncertain what his next steps would be. His sister in law, who works as an occupational therapist, suggested he come to the hospital with her to check it out and from that day on, he was hooked.
This week, as part of our Getting to Know You series, we would like you to meet our Director of Maintenance, John Borelli.
As a lifelong resident of Yonkers, John shares many common memories with our older residents. Whether it’s taking a moment to reminisce about a diner from days gone by or recalling the Yonkers of yesterday, John adds that extra personal touch to life at Adira.
1. I hear that you’ve been with the facility since the transition?
I came in 2001 when it was Michael Molotz. I just completed 20 years at St. John’s Hospital in the maintenance department. I was an electrician there and here, I’m no-frills general maintenance mechanic.
2. What changes have you seen since Adira took ownership?
I’ve seen actual improvements in the building. The new administration is trying to give the building a more appealing look. I see a change in the way the residents are cared for…a good change. Our administrator is incredible. Eric has literally tucked his tie in and rolled his sleeves up and worked side by side with me. I’ve never seen that before. And a lot of recognition which not something I’m accustomed to. The change has been wonderful.
3. What do you like best about working with the senior community?
I get to take my years of experience and try to comfort people, keep them content in their environment. This is their home. I have a love of working here. I take great pride in it and it’s important to me to do a good job.
4. Happy Birthday! It was this week and it looks like there was a celebration.
Yes! I turned 61. I started at St. John’s in 1981. I never thought I’d last in this profession…but two years came and went…I’m in it over 37 years now. In the beginning, I didn’t feel any allegiance but now it’s the complete opposite. I’m very dedicated to what I do. In some small way, maybe I’m making somebody feel more comfortable….we become their extended family.
5. If you could choose three words or phrases to describe Adira, what would you choose?
Local Community: Because everybody pretty comes from this area.
Thanks to our Director of Activities, Helen O’Brien, we have a rich activities program at Adira. She keeps our residents and patients engaged with a diverse array of options. Perhaps one of the most popular sessions, is when we bring in some volunteers to join the fun.
This week, a group of over twenty high school student volunteers from Yonkers Montessori Academy, came to Adira and engaged with our seniors.
All of our volunteers are wonderful, and we are lucky to have many, but the energetic vitality that these bright young people bring into our facility simply cannot be understated. Their smiles, laughter and vibrant spirits, elevated the moods of everyone at Adira, especially our seniors!
The students spilt into two groups and so they could work their magic throughout the facility. While one group played games, that even included a few sports programs, the other bunch decorated a Spring themed bulletin board and they continued the artistic fun with some painting.
Life in a nursing home can be isolating but community based volunteer programs like this one, help our residents remain engaged and connected to the world around them. Big thanks to the students from Yonkers Montessori Academy, we look forward to having you back again!
If you, or your students, would be interested in volunteering at Adira, please contact Helen O’Brien at 914-963-3333.
This week, as part of our Getting-to-Know-You series, we would like you to meet our Director of Admissions, Rina Thaper.
After a 15-year career on the administrative side of the beauty industry, Rina decided to alter her course and transition into a career in healthcare. While it may seem like a big leap, that’s not necessarily true because there is beauty in taking care of, and caring for, other human beings.
“I wanted to change my career …I have a passion for the elderly and wanted to make them feel wanted and appreciated.”
Rina feels that her role at Adira has given her even more compassion for senior citizens, as well as, a new appreciation for life. She no longer takes the simple things for granted and it’s no wonder, because working in a rehab facility, one is surrounded by individuals who require help with simple day to day tasks. For some, it’s a temporary situation. For others, the requirement of consistent care has become their new reality. Rina is one of the many people at Adira who work to make that transition as smooth as possible for the patient and the family.
Rina enjoys many aspects of working at Adira but the stand outs are; the diverse population of cultures, the kindness of the staff, the warm atmosphere, and the generosity of the owners. “The owners are kind, loving and caring. They go out of their way to accommodate residents needs, even if it comes out of their own pocket.”
The next time you’re at our facility, be sure to swing by the Admissions office and say hello to Rina.
Each month at Adira, we select one of our hard working individuals to be recognized as Employee of the Month. We are lucky in that all of our staff is wonderful but we like to take the time to recognize those who go above and beyond.
This month we’ve selected Recreation Leader, Dan Maloney.
Dan has been working with our recreation department for eight months but has been working with seniors for over thirty years. His favorite activity is active games and he always carries activities in his trunk–we love a man who is prepared!
Helen O’Brien, the Director of Volunteer & Recreation services, said it best, ” Dan was chosen because, although he works part time, his presence is felt throughout the facility. He has a warm smile and a positive attitude that puts everyone at ease. Dan is a genuinely nice person, an exemplary employee and we are lucky to have him.”
Thank you, Dan for being a part of the Adira family!
Everyone at Adira works around the clock to assure the happiness, health and well-being of our patients and residents. Our facility, however, isn’t limited to the patients and we do our best to connect with the families of our residents as well. While we don’t do what we do for thanks or recognition, it certainly does feel good when our staff is recognized for their all of their hard work.
We are grateful for all of the families who pass through our doors and it’s especially touching when they take the time to share their experiences. The McTague family was kind enough to share their gratitude with a heartfelt letter. I had the chance to speak with Ms. McTague and she gave us permission to share it. She said, “Everyone should know how wonderful the care at Adira is.”
When missives like this one are received, they don’t always get seen by all of the people who work at the facility. Make no mistake, there are a multitude of hardworking men and women at Adira and every single one of them has impact on our residents and patients, in one way or another. Whether it’s the housekeeping staff, our activities team, admissions, one of our talented CNA’s, nurses, doctors or therapists, each of them gives of themselves while they are here.
Thank you, Ms. McTague for allowing us to care for your sister, for being a part of the Adira family and allowing us to be a part of yours.