CCNH Difference Makers – Pam Puzyn

“Difference Makers” is a blog series highlighting many of the incredible employees at Catholic Charities NH, each making a positive and unique impact on the individuals, families, and communities that we proudly serve. Today, meet Pam Puzyn, medical records coordinator and licensed nursing assistant (LNA) at Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Windham, NH. Pam has been an LNA for the past 15 years and we are grateful to have her – and countless others – who have done incredible work on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s learn more about Pam:

How long have you worked at Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center?

I’ve been at Warde for one year and four months!

What does your typical day look like?

My typical day is busy, but a good busy. Every day at Warde is different and we take it one day at a time. I find that my job is gratifying but also challenging. I’m on a great team that I love to work with. Things go smoother when we work together, especially right now during the pandemic’s ups and downs.

What do you enjoy most about working at Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center?

I enjoy making the residents smile. I’ve been an LNA for 15 years. I started by volunteering at nursing homes and then got my LNA license. I’ve learned a lot through the years, and it’s been a humbling experience working in skilled nursing facilities. It makes you realize how quickly life goes. We care for our residents like they are our parents or grandparents. Their families know that their loved ones mean the world to us.

Why is Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center a special place?

You know that feeling you get when you know something is special? I had that feeling when I interviewed at Warde. I previously worked at three or four different nursing homes prior to coming here, and when I got to Warde, I knew the quality of care was unlike any other. Here, every staff member truly cares, creating a genuinely loving environment.

What is so unique about the Catholic Charities culture at Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center?

Our management makes us unique, especially Bret Pomeroy, our administrator. When I’m not okay about something, I know that I can constructively talk to Bret about it and get good feedback. He has been excellent with that. Bret listens, understands and deals with any conflict that we may have. You come to work and know you’re appreciated and that you’re doing a good job. Bret goes out of his way to recognize our hard work and all we do, which has been especially meaningful through the COVID-19 pandemic.

What does working here mean to you?

It means I can get up and look forward to going to work. In the last few years of my previous job, I never felt like that. How you perceive your job affects other aspects of your life. I also look forward to seeing the residents every single day. Don’t get me wrong; there are challenges, but Bret and the team make it a great place to work. I also love the chapel we have here at Warde. I can sit and have a few minutes of quiet time during a busy day.

How has working at Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center helped with your professional development?

I’ve grown a lot during my time here. Management gives us growth opportunities, like pursuing a nursing career if I wanted to go down that path. It helps keep our quality staff and build incredible teams. I am currently talking with management about helping train other young LNAs by mentoring them and teaching them different aspects of the job.

What is most rewarding about your work?

The humility and life lessons I’ve learned from our residents. I don’t take things for granted as much as I used to. The residents have a lot to say when you sit and listen. They all have lived full lives; we can learn a lot from them.

Why do you love helping others?

Helping others has always been a part of who I am. If you can help somebody, you should. People have been there for me in hard times, so I know what it’s like to need help. It can make all the difference in the world. Outside of work, my husband and I volunteer through our church. We also volunteer to help the homeless by running clothing drives.

What is one of your favorite memories working at Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center?

The memories I have with Sister Monica Markey. Before she passed, we got to be very close. We hit it off right away; she was funny, kind and fresh. We had a unique bond, and she trusted me – maybe I reminded her of someone she used to know, I’m not sure. We would look through her pictures together, and she would talk about her life. I’ll always cherish the memories of my time with her. Pam Puzyn and a resident participate in an outdoor visit at the Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Windham, NH

How has the COVID-19 crisis changed the appreciation you have for working at Warde and the team around you?

It’s been a very challenging time, but everybody has come together as a team. Whether you work in the kitchen, cleaning or nursing staff, it’s all about working together to get the job done. None of us have said, “No, that’s not my job” when a task needs to be done. We all do what we need to help. We’ve had a lot of staff who have risen to the challenges COVID-19 has presented.

Describe Warde Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in 3 words

Kind, beautiful, and comfortable.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work? What are some of your hobbies?

In my free time, I do a lot of gardening, furniture flipping and spending as much time with my granddaughter as I can – it’s one of my best hobbies. I also enjoy volunteering with my church and local food pantries.

What do you love about New Hampshire?

I love the lakes, the ocean and the mountains. I grew up in the city, so I enjoy how open New Hampshire is.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

We love Ogunquit Maine. It’s so homey – my family and I enjoy walking around the quaint New England town. We spend a lot of time relaxing on the beach, which we don’t get to do enough of these days.

What is your favorite motto or quote?

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain. I saw this quote one day, and it stuck with me. Sometimes it takes a long time to find out your “why.”

What is your favorite book?

A book I love and repeatedly reread is “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. It’s a book that helps you discover who you are.

Who is a person you admire most?

My husband – he’s a strong person and has been through a lot. He didn’t have the best life growing up. He went above and beyond for his mother before she died and helped take care of her while she was homebound.

Who is a person you’d most like to meet?

I would’ve loved to meet Martin Luther King Jr. I think he’d be a great person to have around right now, with his strong outlook on life. I’ve watched a lot of his speeches and read some of his books. He had many positive things to say, and always stood up for what was right.

If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?

“I Am Enough.” It’s taken me a long time to learn who I am. I’ve had challenges in my life and learned through those hard times that I am enough.

What is one thing people might not know about you (or be surprised to find out)?

I’m 59 and still working on myself; I’m a work in progress. I learn something new every day. Don’t stop working on yourself. Are you interested in becoming a key part of our team and helping others? Click here for our many openings in healthcare, social services, administration and more!