Here’s how team members at The Village of St. Edward in Wadsworth have rallied behind the scenes to help residents navigate the new normal

By Patricia Nugent

Like a perilous storm, the pandemic has brought its share of unknowns to decipher and heartbreak to shoulder. At senior care facilities—where residents are especially susceptible to social isolation—the fallout is intensified.

Behind the scenes, past the locked doors, workers on the frontlines have shown bravery in doing whatever it took, and still takes, to carry on.

“Every employee here has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” says Annette Walters, corporate director of marketing for The Village of St. Edward in Wadsworth. “These are the people in the trenches who have formed a chain of compassion, helping our residents continue to thrive.”

In Their Own Words

Becky Soucie, RN, helps keep everyone healthy and engaged.

Becky Soucie, RN, Director of Nursing — “Since the Village opened in 2018, I have overseen the nursing care. When I come to work every day, it feels like I’m visiting 80 grandparents, which is pretty special. After the pandemic hit, in addition to precautions against the virus, we have been chiefly concerned with preventing the decline of our residents cognitively and emotionally since they are isolated. It’s been inspiring to see my phenomenal team come together in this regard, always on the lookout for ways to help people stay engaged. This past weekend we began vaccinations, which was wonderful…the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Joan Burtscher helps keep The Village of St. Edward clean and sanitized, more important than ever.

Joan Burtscher, Housekeeping — “I’ve been working here for over a year as a housekeeper. My favorite part of the job is getting to know the residents. They come from such different walks of life, each with his or her own interesting story to tell. I love listening to them. I realize how important my job is. My coworkers and I are on the frontlines to keeping the virus out. I would say a silver lining the pandemic has taught me is to slow down and live in the moment.”

Part of Wendy Hughes’ tasks include keeping residents’ spirits up and helping them stay engaged.

Wendy Hughes, Nursing Assistant— “For the past year, I’ve worked here helping people with their daily activities, like getting dressed. I spend time talking to them, always trying to make a positive difference. The worst part about social distancing is I cannot physically hug the people I’m used to hugging, though I still do my best to keep their spirits up and help them feel less isolated. We run socially distanced activities like trivia and bingo to help them feel more like normal.”

Leslie Knotts, LPN, acts as an advocate, interfacing with patients’ families and doctors.

Leslie Knotts, LPN — “I worked as a nurse in the Fairlawn location for 14 years, and then moved to the Wadsworth Village when it opened. I take care of the residents, checking their vitals and medications. I act as an advocate, interfacing with their doctors and families. As a protection, we do everything we can to keep them here in the building, bringing in X-rays and doctors. My favorite part of the job is interacting with these people, which can be challenging with masks. I wish they could see me smiling at them and vice versa.”

Putting Trust in Safety Protocols
Annette says during the past year they have welcomed many new residents to the Village.

“We are thankful that people have put their trust in us to provide a safe and secure environment for their loved ones,” she says.

The faith-based, not-for-profit facility caters to the physical, spiritual and social needs of its residents within three separate wings dedicated to independent living, assisted living and memory care.

The Village of St. Edward has three locations. In Wadsworth, the address is 880 Main Street, and phone number is 234-217-8735. In Fairlawn, the address is 3125 Smith Road, and phone number is 330-668-2828. In Green, the address is 3813 Fortuna Drive, and phone number is 234-294-0010. Virtual tours are available. For more information, go to