Connie McNeal, activities director at Willow Brook Christian Village in Delaware, won the 2020 Excellence in Caring Award from LeadingAge Ohio, the statewide association representing 400 long-term care organizations and hospices.
“2020 has been without doubt the most challenging year ever experienced by the long-term care sector,” said Kathryn Brod, president/CEO of LeadingAge Ohio. “To have champions like Connie among our membership has given strength to care providers as they continue to serve residents, patients, staff, and families throughout the pandemic year.”
McNeal’s job is to lead activities for residents at Willow Brook Christian Village. Gifted with a love of music, McNeal presents musical programs featuring residents, employees, children, and their parents. She also has taken these shows on the road to the Ohio Statehouse, the Ohio Historical Society, and other venues
McNeal’s leadership ability and fun spirit make employees new and old want to emulate the love and care she displays. COVID-19 has offered a new way for her to mentor co-workers. She identified the talents of other staff and encouraged them to share their skills with all residents, including nail care, hair styling and art.
More than 20 years ago, McNeal founded the Rainbow Kids program, which brings school-age children to Willow Brook for activities with residents in the nursing home, assisted living and memory care.
Willow Brook Christian Village is part of Willow Brook Christian Communities, a not-for-profit organization providing housing and health care services in central Ohio to older adults.
Erin MacLellan is the director of community relations at Willow Brook Christian Communities.