Vanessa Bryn, Community Life Coordinator on Willow Lane Memory Care Unit at Bethany on University, has been selected a 2019 Activity Professional of the Year by the North Dakota Long Term Care Association. She was honored at the Association’s recent Spring Convention in Bismarck.
Bryn began working as a Community Life Coordinator on Willow Lane 2nd (Memory Care Unit) at Bethany on University in December, 2005. She previously worked as both an activity assistant and in dining services in a Grand Forks nursing home where she served in the dementia unit which sparked her passion for and interest in working with residents who live with dementia.
Bryn graduated from the University of North Dakota with a bachelor of science degree in Recreation & Leisure. She is certified as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and is also certified through the Activity Professional Board. As part of the certification process, Bryn looks for opportunities for in-services and community conferences to maintain and advance her knowledge in resident/dementia care.
Bryn participates in the Fargo “Walk To End Alzheimer’s” as part of the Bethany team which is consistently the top fundraising team. Her family also participates in the walk. She walks in memory of her grandmother and in honor of the residents she cares for daily.
Maren Johnson, Director of Community Life at Bethany on University, remarked “Vanessa champions best practice with residents in her care every day. Everything from stopping in the middle of a task to comfort a resident who is upset, to leading an activity that several residents are captivated by, to visiting and consoling with a resident family member as they watch their loved one decline in their dementia process. She does it all with grace, kindness and a willing spirit. She continually seeks out new ways to engage her residents, visits with their families to learn their loved one’s past and present interests and strives to make their quality of life the top priority. She has worked at getting Facetime and Skype to work so that residents can see family members who are far away and also watch family events, they wouldn’t have otherwise been able to attend.”
Bethany Retirement Living was founded in Fargo in 1939 and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Bethany operates two campuses in Fargo and provides high-quality care to the elderly in skilled nursing, memory care, rehabilitation, transitional care, assisted living, basic care, senior apartments, and personal care programs.