Welcome the new Director of Nursing at WCBR – Kathy Gerhart
Kathy Gerhart, the Director of Nursing at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge, is a busy woman. Since she permanently assumed the position on Sept. 21, her duties have included:
Supervising the nursing staff in WCBR’s healthcare areas, ensuring 24-hour coverage.
Making daily rounds for observation of the care of residents. That includes using her own nursing skills to pitch in when needed – “When they need an IV put in or another set of hands, I’m here to help.”
Talking with physicians and visiting selected residents.
Working with other team members to coordinate admissions, discharges, transfers of residents to their homes, and ensuring that after-discharge support is provided.
Working with dining services to ensure orders are correct, and residents receive prompt meal delivery.
Collaborating with her nursing team and others to improve processes for Monthly Quality Assurance.
Managing the nursing team to improve all quality measures – to plan, organize, develop, and direct the overall operation of the Nursing Service Department in accord with WCBR policies and state and federal guidelines.
… and quite a few other things. Fortunately, she had the opportunity to get a running start on the job.
For three months before the September starting date, she was already in place, serving as interim Director at WCBR. She was busy then, too. As Vice President of Operations John Kovaleski said in announcing her hiring for the permanent job, “During that time, her focus has been on recruitment and retention for nurses and CNAs, establishing routine clinical meetings for nursing, and updating various nursing processes to advance the quality of care.”
Kathy, who is originally from Pennsylvania, obtained an associate degree in nursing from Pennsylvania State University and her bachelor’s degree from the Chamberlain University College of Nursing. Since then, she has worked as a nurse or as a manager – usually as Director of Nursing – in a variety of settings in Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia, most recently at Evergreen Health & Rehab Center in Winchester.
But this is her first time at a Continuing Care Retirement Community, and she has found that she loves it. “It’s been just a pleasure,” she says. She was drawn by the residents, the staff and the setting, but especially “the residents themselves – those in independent living as well as those in healthcare. Taking care of them is really what brought me here.”
And she’s pleased as well with the way the actual work is going. She believes she and her team have gained a lot of ground in these last few months, improving the care and related processes.
When she’s not busy here, Kathy enjoys oil painting and crafts. You’ll know she’s fully settled in Charlottesville when her craft room at home is fully set up and operational.
“I have been blessed and fortunate in gaining experience in healthcare for 26 years,” she says, “but it is a particularly great honor to join the team in serving the residents at Westminster-Canterbury of the Blue Ridge.”