Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino, Life Care Public Relations

Natalie Merten, physical therapist at Life Care Center of Wichita, Kansas, received Life Care Centers of America’s Central Division Whatever It Takes And Then Some Award on Sept. 8, 2021, for her dedication to customer service.

Life Care awarded Natalie a $1,000 cash prize during an awards ceremony at the facility. Facility leadership surprised Natalie, who was told she needed to watch a training video. When the video started, it was actually a video of fellow associates at the facility, as well as residents, talking about what they appreciate about her.

“You are so giving,” said Donita Helterbrand, occupational therapy assistant, in the video. “You are so kind. You are so patient.”

Natalie was chosen from among thousands of associates in the Central Division and was one of only eight associates from Life Care’s more than 200 facilities nationwide to receive the award.

Last year, during visitation restrictions due to COVID-19 precautions, Natalie arranged for a bluegrass band to play outside the facility’s isolation hall for residents who were feeling down. She organized a window painting activity for residents to honor their health care heroes and bought fun decorations to hang in residents’ rooms. She also purchased softer clothing for a resident who needed sweatpants instead of jeans to protect his skin and make him more comfortable.

“I really, really enjoy my job,” said Natalie. “I love working here. I so enjoy the interaction, and what we do makes such a huge difference.”

Life Care’s Whatever It Takes And Then Some program rewards associates for extraordinary acts of kindness. Monthly awards are presented in Life Care facilities nationwide based on nominations from fellow associates, family members, residents and guests. Each facility then chooses an annual winner, from which the divisional winners are selected.

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