Meet Beverly Burns
New Unit Manager on C-2 Neighborhood
Beverly Burns was initially attracted to JGS Lifecare because of the proximity to her house (she lives less than two miles away) but once she began working in the organization, she quickly began to appreciate the team spirit, the amazing dedication of the staff and the degree to which the employees are invested in what they do. “I really believe my efforts are appreciated here, “stated Beverly. “Without a doubt, I have found a new work ‘home.’ It is a terrific feeling.”
Born in Lawrence, MA, Beverly moved to Holyoke when she was in grade school. Married for 18 years, she is now a single mom with two wonderful sons, ages 22 and 20. Her oldest son is in the Airforce and lives in North Carolina, and the younger one is in school for graphic design.
Beverly became a CNA at age 17 and an LPN at age 21. Since then, she has worked in many different settings and roles, including floor nurse, nurse manager, admissions, CNA instructor, dialysis, and infection control. Recently, Beverly completed her prerequisite courses to be able to apply for an RN program and hopes to get in for the fall of 2022. Beverly also spent six years in the Army Reserve where she worked in a combat support hospital, post-surgical ICU.
Regarding her relationship with the families of our residents, Beverly noted how warm and supportive the JGS community has been to her. “I was new to JGS (in August) and had not yet built many relationships,”said Beverly. “But as soon as I mentioned I was interested in creating autumn décor to help brighten up our space on C-2, one of my families went right out and brought us beautiful mums and fall decorations!” Added Beverly, “It was such a selfless and amazing gesture. I have never received that kind of response from families before.”
For Beverly, the pandemic was a difficult time. “When COVID first hit, I was working as a regional infection preventionist for three buildings in another organization,” said Beverly. “I will never be able to articulate the weight of this, but it felt like having the responsibility for almost 300 residents in my hands. I was working 70+ hours a week, seven days a week, for months. I was dealing with grieving families, staffing nightmares, government officials and my own (and my family’s) fears.”
Beverly believes the level of trauma caused by the pandemic will be felt in the healthcare field for years to come. “I think 2020 affected us all,” said Beverly. “By far the hardest part was the negative press and social media response in community forums degrading long-term healthcare facilities. It was a very dark time for me.”
When asked what she considered to be the biggest influence upon her career, Beverly was quick to respond. “The residents and the people I’ve cared for have had such an impact upon me. I have had the opportunity to give comfort and support to people in their darkest hour. I have held the hands of dozens of people as they took their final breaths. This is my little piece of the puzzle. I feel fortunate I can contribute to the world and make a difference in people’s lives.”
Beverly’s truly enjoys interacting with seniors. “They are so grateful for the smallest things. Plus, they remind me to slow down and appreciate the moment!” As Beverly explains, “Working with elders also helps you appreciate your youth and your health, both of which should never be taken for granted.”
A fitness enthusiast, Beverly enjoys trail running best (especially this time of year) but also likes competing in triathlons – running, biking, and swimming. During COVID she took up backpacking and hiked the Massachusetts section of the Appalachian Trail.
As to the future, Beverly speaks with enthusiasm. “I am so excited to be a part of the JGS Lifecare team. Truthfully, I am very grateful to be part of this vibrant organization.”