She was only 16 when she came to Ardenwoods to wait tables for a summer. That was 13 years ago! Today residents and families know Felicia as the Wellness Navigator on Speed Dial.
Felicia moved to Mills River from Hickory when she was 13. We can definitely call her a local. She loved that job she took as a 16 year-old so much that she decided to work weekends until she went off to college. Then, she decided to come back from college on the weekends.
Education and Destiny
Felicia got her undergraduate degree in Psychology and her graduate degree in Social Work with a goal of working with… children.
After graduate school, she applied for a few jobs with children thinking, “I should want this,” but “fortunately” she wasn’t called back. One day, former Executive Director Jake Rightmyer asked her, “If there was a job open here, would you take it?” Her answer was, “In a heartbeat!” He asked her for a little time. Two months later, there were some changes at Ardenwoods and she was able to apply for the newly created position of Wellness Navigator. The day after she took the job, she was called back for one of those other positions she had applied for. Felicia will tell you that she loves children, but working at Ardenwoods is her “passion and destiny.”
As Wellness Navigator, Felicia loves being a go-to person for residents and their families. She gets to learn new things all the time. Every day she gets a new challenge. After she works it out, that challenge becomes one more resource she can use in the future.
Wellness Navigator Loves the Teamwork
When asked what she loves about her job, Felicia will tell you that the staff is amazing and really connected with each other. That teamwork makes life easier for them as well as for the residents. “Ardenwoods is small and very comfortable yet big enough for the residents to live independent and private lives. We all know each other by name.”
The community knows more than Felicia’s name; they even know her husband of three years, Michael. Michael worked at Ardenwoods as a server as well and is now just down the road at Appletree Honda.
Felicia monitors the emergency pendants and “babysits” the emergency pager. She advocates for residents when they need outside medical care and coordinates with their care planner. She also loves the “extra-curricular” part of her job – ice cream socials and car washes for the Alzheimer’s Association. Wonder what she does in her free time? Just ask her about “critters” and “crocheting” – she’s a woman of many interests and talents!