“The Staff Member of the Year Award recognizes an individual who has exhibited excellence within their role and enhanced their member community through exceptional service to staff, residents/clients and families served.”
This is according to LeadingAge PA, and based on this curriculum, it makes sense that Linda Plunkett has been awarded with the 2023 installment of the Staff Member of the Year award.
Spending over a quarter century at Phoebe Allentown Health Care Center, Plunkett has served exceptionally well in her role as a staff member. She is an administrative assistant, and in her role she looks out for her residents and coworkers alike.
In fact, Plunkett is such a great staff member that all her coworkers and fellow staff members speak highly of her. They enjoy working with her and they appreciate all the hard work she puts in day in and day out.
“For more than 25 years, Administrative Assistant Linda Plunkett has humbly and graciously served residents and staff of the Phoebe Allentown Health Care Center,” Phoebe Allentown said as a collective unit. “From being a member of the Allentown Basket Social committee to helping sew masks and gowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, Plunkett quietly leads the way in serving the seniors who live just steps from her office, and the staff that care for them.”
Plunkett started in the Activities and Volunteer Department at Phoebe back in 1997, and at the time she viewed it as “just a job.” Little did she know she would be working for Phoebe in the year 2023, and in a high-up role at that.
Plunkett is in her mid-60s and is considered a senior in her own right, but that does not stop her from serving her community well. She wants what is best for all her fellow senior citizens, and that is why she loves working in the position that she does. She even said herself that it helps create a “profound sense of gratitude” for both her personal life and for her loved ones.
And now she has seen her hard work and dedication pay off. She serves as an administrative assistant, and she has made her presence felt, especially when the pandemic struck. She stepped up to the plate and helped sew masks and gowns, as she wanted to make sure every one of the Phoebe Allentown residents had what they needed to get through the pandemic.
“Linda takes the initiative to step in wherever she’s needed,” Michelle Morton, Executive Director of the Phoebe Allentown campus, said. “She always maintains professionalism. And I never see her be anything but kind and compassionate with everyone she meets.”
When you come across Plunkett, you cannot help but to have a smile on your face. She loves to love on people and she loves to make a difference, and from the moment you meet her she makes you feel like the most important person in the room.
This bodes especially well in a senior care community, as it can be easy for residents to lose hope and self-confidence over time. However, Plunkett is right there to help them pick themselves up and to be happy again.
She is also not one who is shy to take on new challenges. If she is asked to take on a task she is not familiar with, she will figure it out and will do it with excellence.
“I have worked with Linda for many years and have watched her evolve without hesitation,” Michell Staska-Pier, Vice President of Health Care Services for Phoebe Ministries, said. “When asked to learn something new or take on a new task, she never wavers.”
You do not last at a place for 25 years without being able to evolve and adapt, and that is something Plunkett has done exceptionally well for so long.
In fact, her ability to adapt, along with many other skills she possesses, helps her show many coworkers the way. Whether you are just starting off at Phoebe or have been there for a decade, if you need help with anything, Plunkett is the girl to ask.
“Linda is a pleasure to work with,” Bobbi-Jo Novogoratz, administrative assistant for the director of nursing at Phoebe Allentown, mentioned. “I’ve known Linda since she was hired at Phoebe. She’s always willing to do anything to help. During COVID, I watched her interact with residents in a new way, significantly stretching herself to be as helpful as possible.”
At the end of the day, it is all about the residents. As long as they are happy and healthy – and feel loved – then Plunkett feels she has accomplished what she has set out to do.
Working for a senior care community can be a daunting task, but it is not something Plunkett makes look daunting. In fact, she makes it look the complete opposite. She comes in each and every day with a smile on her face ready to work, and she is a big part of the reason why morale is boosted at Phoebe Allentown all the time.
“Linda’s commitment to our community, its residents and team members is so high,” Morton said. “She consistently steps in to manage extra projects before others may have even realized there is a need. She manages these projects calmly and never seems flustered or tired.”
That’s just who Plunkett is. She’s got a great personality and is the right fit for Phoebe, and her achievements speak for themselves.
Plunkett has been a Notary Public since 2006, has been awarded two Presidents Awards and has been part of the Basket Social Fundraising Committee since 2009. And now she is the LeadingAge PA 2023 Staff Member of the Year Award winner. Talk about amazing and accomplished.
“I am proud of what I do and the organization I work for,” Plunkett said. “I hope to retire there in a few more years.”
Her organization is certainly proud of the work Plunkett does for them as well, and the day she retires will be a sad day to say the least.
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