Tony was born and raised in Springfield, along with her 3 sisters and 1 brother. She graduated from East Longmeadow High School and started working at Spectrum Home Healthcare as a Home Health Aide in July 1996. After a few years, she was working on the New York unit of the Jewish Nursing Home, as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She was planning on going to school for Physical Therapy, but met and worked with some wonderful nurses on the NY unit, who inspired her so much that she changed her plans, deciding instead to become a nurse. She applied and was accepted to the STCC Nursing Program. While going to school full-time, she continued working full-time at the Jewish Nursing Home .
After graduating from STCC, she decided not to pursue working as a nurse and has continued working at the JNH until the present time. And now, she has decided to take a refresher program, so that she can take the nursing licensing exam in order to pursue a career as a nurse. “In part,” she said, “I want to be an example for my kids: to show them that you don’t give up. “
Tony has 2 children, a son Milan age 22 and daughter, Nya, age 14. In addition to her children who live with her, her aunt and her mom are also living with her now. With her aunt coping with dementia, they all want to be there to help offer her a better quality of life.
Looking back at her 24 year tenure at JGS, Tony says, “The people I have worked with here have become my second family. I’ve met a lot of great people, who are either still working here or have left, but I am still friends with many of them. I love working with the elderly. They had rich lives before they got there and this is their last home, and you want to make them happy. They look forward to sharing their stories with us. They touch our lives and we theirs. That’s why I like my job so much.”
During the Covid crisis, Tony got sick and stayed home recuperating for 3 weeks. She finds she is still recovering. “It takes a piece out of you,” she said. “At times, it has been scary to come back to work,” she said, “We just don’t want to get it again.” In her spare time, Tony loves to spend time with her family and close friends. “Family is a big deal for me,” she says. She also enjoys cooking, and eating, and shopping. In general, I’m a very happy person: I love to laugh, and I try not to let life get me down. “
We so admire Tony and her positive and life-affirming spirit and we celebrate her 24 years of service to the residents of the Jewish Nursing Home. We thank her for bringing so much laughter and compassion to those she has worked with and those she has taken care of. We wish her much success in her career and years of good health and joy.
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