School-to-Community: Ms. Grace Ann Waters from Maryhaven Center for Hope

November 25, 2019

For those interested in the healthcare field, Maryhaven Center for Hope provides opportunities to care for people, both children and adults, with special needs. Started by a group of nuns who wanted to help children impacted by polio, Maryhaven has now grown into a larger healthcare system with approximately 50 sites scattered across Long Island. In addition to caring for those with special needs, the Catholic Home Services-affiliated organization also cares for people dealing with substance abuse and mental illnesses.

Although Maryhaven does not offer volunteer opportunities, the organization is always eager for qualified help. For academic and experience-related requirements, Ms. Grace Anne Waters, the Talent Acquisition Specialist at Maryhaven, said degrees, although preferred, are not required for entry-level positions. She also noted the importance of having any kind of certification regarding the medical field, such as certifications in first aid, CPR, and AMAP (Approved Medication Administration Personnel). Prior experience caring for elders or children, as well as other volunteer experiences at hospitals or concerning the care of others, are also unofficial requirements. Bedside care is not the only care opportunity available to workers. Particularly interesting are the various community-based work programs aimed at giving vocational training and finding employment for those with special needs.

Mrs. Waters is looking for “[employees] who are passionate about this field and about this population because you have to have a good heart. You have to have patience.”

Employees are required to undergo two weeks of training and obtain certification. Mrs. Waters says this is because “they’re [the individuals living on various Maryhaven sites] behavioral; you have to know how to deal with their behaviors.”

This is where retaining staff members becomes a problem. “We do have a high turnover rate, so what a turnover rate means is that employees are resigning and leaving us pretty quickly, and that’s because it is a challenging job.”

Nevertheless, Maryhaven Center for Hope is a noble cause and many applicants are sure to find satisfaction in helping others.

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