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Kandy Poarch works with Elsie Johnson. Pictured, from left, are, Bill Belmonte, Johnson, Poarch.

When Kandy Poarch accepted the Director of Nursing Administration position at Emporia Manor in April, Emporia Manor Administrator Bill Belmonte knew immediately he had the person he wanted to fill the vacancy.

“We are blessed to be able to recruit Kandy and keep her in the community,” he said. “This community deserves a special nurse that doesn’t leave the area to work for a competitor.”

Poarch, a BSN, MSN, received her Masters from Grand Canyon University and her Bachelors from Old Dominion University. She has been nursing in the community for 29 years, the last 21 at SVRMC. Poarch was head of Nursing Administration and working at the Emergency Room at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center the last 15 years before arriving at Emporia Manor. In a way it was a return to where she started when she began her career at Greensville Manor in 1990.

Belmonte said Poarch brings critical thinking skills to handle the clinical needs of residents and ability to build relationships with employees. He said both assets are extremely important to the job. He and Poarch have the shared belief that it is essential to manage employees with dignity and respect.

“Employees want to be heard and they want to be appreciated,” Poarch said. “A happy employee is going to give good patient care. Our nursing aids are courageous heroes beyond what the public knows. They are the backbone of long-term heathcare.”

Poarch said she enjoys spending time with Emporia Manor residents and the facility is their home. She wants them to feel as if they are at home. Belmonte said Poarch’s philosophy is contagious and spills over to the staff.

Emporia Manor’s LPNs and RPNs are highly skilled, highly trained and their enthusiasm for what they do spills over to the residents. Elsie Johnson, a retired nurse is now a resident of Emporia Manor and loves living there.

“The whole atmosphere is warm — not phony, but real,” she said. “Any problem I’ve had has been addressed immediately. They go out of their way to please you. The people here are warm, loving and caring.”

The warm, loving and caring atmosphere from the employees of Emporia Manor starts with the administration. It is a mindset Poarch adamantly believes in and practices on a daily basis.

“I feel blessed to be here,” Poarch said. “There are so many satisfactions I get out of taking care of the residents — their hugs, their smiles. Here at Emporia Manor you are looking to make a big difference in the rest of their lives.”

Belmonte believes Poarch is making a positive, caring difference in the daily operation of Emporia Manor.