An “Old Soul” Rising Star Found Her Early Calling in Senior Care
Our last McKnight’s Women of Distinction post featured Hall of Honor inductee Jamie Dlatt, Vice President of Operations for Legacy Healthcare Services, with advice on juggling her busy career and home life as a working mother. Now we’d like to introduce Felichia Fields, also known as “Sunshine,” a member of McKnight’s Rising Stars Class of 2019, and assistant executive director of St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, MS.
Senior Living is All She Knows
St. Catherine’s Village is an all‐inclusive Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) offering independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. As assistant executive director, Felichia manages seven supervisors – and indirectly three quarters of the community’s 250 employees – as well as a $22 million budget. She’s also been a VP of Operations and an executive director in senior living, as well as the first multicultural outreach coordinator for the North Texas Alzheimer’s Association. Felichia admits that she was introduced to senior living at a young age, and it suited her outgoing personality.
“My mom was a social worker in a nursing home for 25 years, so that’s where I was after school when I was growing up. Many people told me I had an “old soul,” so being with seniors was a perfect fit. Plus, I could never whisper. Now I can talk as loudly as I want to, and our residents appreciate it!”
Advice for Students: Consider the Rewards of Senior Care
Felichia suggests that students seeking a job in the healthcare industry consider a broad range of opportunities.
“Often those preparing to graduate from undergrad or grad school to enter a healthcare profession think only of working in a hospital. It’s rare that people talk about other aspects of the industry, such as senior living, home health, hospice or other types of care. She says students should keep their minds open to these options, because everyone can’t work for a hospital. Senior living provides you not only with a variety of opportunities, but also enables you to see the fruits of your labor firsthand.”
Aging is Universal – Her Job is to Make It Easier
Felichia points out that aging is in many ways the same experience for everyone, as we each become a different person as we grow older. She finds it rewarding to help individuals and their families navigate the process.
“To be able to work with a family, to help them understand what’s happening with their loved one, and that they’re not doing anything wrong by choosing senior care for that person, is very important. I tell caregivers that it’s OK to take advantage of tools to help their loved ones – and themselves – to have a good quality of life. I like to describe it as a ship: the families as primary caregivers are the captain, and we are the mates on deck, here to support them.”
National Recognition is Gratifying
When Felichia learned that she had been nominated as one of McKnight’s inaugural Rising Stars in its Women of Distinction program, she was both excited and humbled.
“To hear that one of my peers thought enough of me and my work to nominate me was a thrill. You work with the same people day in and out, and sometimes you wonder if anyone notices what you’re doing. So that nomination really impressed me. And then to be chosen for my first national award, where more people can see how I make a difference, is a big deal for me. I’m not one to brag, as I think my work speaks for itself. But it’s nice for it to speak for itself at this level.”
PointClickCare is the exclusive Platinum Sponsor of McKnight’s Women of Distinction program. We enthusiastically support the recognition of the female leaders and up‐and‐comers in our industry, as we work together to address the global challenge of senior care.
November 26, 2019