Notes from Nate

friendly adjective
friend·ly | \ ˈfren(d)-lē
1 : of, relating to, or befitting a friend
2 : serving a beneficial or helpful purpose


Over the course of this next year, I will be contributing some thoughts and observations to our blog.  One thing that really interested me about coming to St. John’s was the companywide commitment to the brand characteristics, so I decided to use those as a framework for writing.  In this post, I wanted to focus on the brand characteristic of being friendly.

When you walk through the halls of St. John’s it is easy to see this in action: people greeting each other as they go by with a warm smile, welcoming words as people arrive, and helpful directions to folks who are not quite sure where to go next in our very large building.  Friendliness, however, is not just about people being polite, it is about the relationships that form and grow.

The notion of friendly is evident between the interactions of staff members and residents. One particular instance that struck me was seeing our building services and environmental services departments interacting with various residents. The work that these folks do almost always involves certain tools of the trade to get things done. Whether it is a wrench, a hammer, a mop, or a vacuum, their work requires equipment. Though their focus is usually on the tools they are holding, I have seen time and time again the utmost friendliness to those around them. I have seen a member of the maintenance team chatting from atop a ladder to a resident, talking about the work getting done and the steps needed to remediate an issue.  Although one may be on a ladder, while the other sits in a wheelchair, the conversation is between friends.  I have also seen a member of the environmental services staff cleaning common spaces within the small homes, talking with two residents next to her, listening as they told stories about their families.

The tasks at hand do not supersede the conversations, because the conversations are built out of friendship. All too often our society devalues the lives of elders, and living in a residential facility can be isolating. The antidote is being known by those around you, and that starts with the friendly inquiry into someone’s likes, preferences, and lives.

In a community as large as St. John’s, we each see so many faces day in and day out. I am grateful that for both residents and staff, those familiar faces develop into friendships.

Nate Sweeney, Vice President of Skilled Services

We embrace living by being …

Friendly—welcoming, engaging, willing to be open and interactive with others

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