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  • Major BA Kinesiology, Health and Wellness Promotion concentration
  • Work history Activities Director/Personal Care Coordinator at Grand River Health & E. Dene Moore Care Center

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

The person centered care/activities coordinator helps further develop E. Dene Moore Care Center’s Planetree model of patient-centered care. Planetree is a holistic approach to healing the mind, body and spirit and the model empowers patients through information and education, encourages more active participation by patients and emphasizes healing partnerships among caregivers, patients and their families. The person centered care/activities coordinator also oversees the Activities department and their daily functions.

Activities Coordinator

Daily tasks associated with my job as an activity coordinator include: developing meaningful and purposeful activity programs to enrich the lives of the residents and families; developing and implementing a monthly activities program calendar based on the therapeutic scope of programs; providing a forum for residents and family members to meet regularly and share their ideas, thoughts and concerns regarding their daily living experience, etc.

Person Centered Care Coordinator

Daily tasks associated with my job as a person centered care coordinator include: providing oversight and leadership for all processes related to improving patient-centered care at EDMCC, providing updates on Planetree activities to the CNO (Planetree executive sponsor) and seeking senior leader approval for patient-centered care initiatives as needed, providing support to component teams as they work to implement Planetree model, etc.

After suffering a heart attack in 2008, I decided to make a career change after years of working as a residential designer. It was during my rehabilitation that I discovered I enjoyed being part of the recovery process. Originally graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin in 1988, I went back to school at Colorado Mesa University to study kinesiology. I graduated in 2012 Magna Cum Laude at the top of my class.

How did your experience at CMU prepare you for a career?

It was during my time working as an intern in cardiac rehabilitation that I was able to work with many of the elderly/frail population. I was also studying physical activity and aging. Working with this age demographic became my calling in life. This is where I discovered the Planetree philosophy as part of my curriculum.

What was your transition like from being a student to your current career position?

After graduation, I was hired in November 2012 at E. Dene Moore Care Center. I initially served as a social services assistant. I worked in this capacity until the opportunity to move into the Activities Department arose. Taking on the role of an activities coordinator, I was quickly appointed the department head and activities director. With a good understanding of the Planetree philosophy and an award-winning published background in design/environment, I became a natural fit to guide implementation of activities that advance organizational progress toward person-centered care goals.

I found the training and education I received benefited me well. I was prepared to learn new information and apply what I already knew. Having some practical clinical experience while interning, really helped me to understand many of the clinical challenges that our residents face daily.

What do you think set you apart from the other applicants for your current position?

I was highly motivated to make a difference. When I submitted my letter of interest with my resume I made sure that it wasn’t a generic letter even though it was an entry level position. I found a reference from an old song that spoke to the care these people do. I quoted that song. I was turned down for that job as they thought I was over qualified. As it turned out something else opened up a few months later. That song quote stuck with the administrator. She called me back in to interview for another position and here I am today. The point is if you are passionate about something you have to find a way to get that across.

What advice would you give to incoming college students?

First and foremost, never miss class unless you have a really good reason. As someone who went through college more than once, I can tell you that by going to classes and paying attention, your stress level will be far better and you will enjoy the college experience even more than if you don’t. Take pride in what you do. Ask a lot of questions, get to know your professors... they hold the key to your future.

Read more on what motivated Paul to study kinesiology at CMU.

 Published 5/2/2018

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