Renee and Denise’s Story: Reunited at St. John’s

A funny thing happens when a person finds an employer for which they truly enjoy working.  They feel content. They feel appreciated.  And—if given the opportunity—they tell their friends and encourage them to make a similar move.

Thus is the case with Renee Krahenbuhl. Now a clinical coordinator on the Lilac neighborhood, Renee has worked at St. John’s for a year and a half. Over the past year, she has tried to convince several other nurses she has worked with in the past to consider joining the St. John’s team, citing the unique Small Homes model of care as a major selling point.

Renee and Denise smiling together.

One of those nurses is Denise Angelo. “Denise is one of the best nurses I know,” explains Renee. “She truly has a heart for caring about residents. She had the characteristics of St. John’s before she even applied here.”  Denise and Renee worked together for 4 years at another skilled nursing community in Rochester. Eventually, the environment they worked in together ended up leaving them both disheartened. Striving to make the lives of residents they care for more fun and interesting, they both went in separate directions.

Renee and Denise are the first employees to benefit from a newly launched clinical referral program. In an effort to grow our team of exceptional nurses, any St. John’s employee who recommends a new RN or LPN candidate will receive a $500 bonus upon the hire of that referred employee. Once the referred nurse has completed six months at St. John’s, another $500 bonus is awarded to the employee who recommended them.

When Renee landed at St. John’s, she found that better fit she had been looking for. “I have time built into my schedule to spend time with residents and families, plus I get to cook with my residents,” she says.  Renee’s desire to build relationships with residents and create special moments with them shines through when discussing her role at St. John’s. “I should have been Italian because I show love through cooking,” she jokes. She has had the opportunity to re-create special family recipes with residents all while caring for them with her nursing duties.

Renee receiving her first referral bonus.

When Denise left her last employer, she took a well-deserved break from working to focus on her son and spend time with her family. A serendipitous text message from Renee was sent to Denise the very same day Denise decided to go back to work. Before she applied anywhere else, Renee convinced her St. John’s would be the perfect fit. Denise recalls her pleasant surprise when she started in orientation and learned the innovative and interactive ways nursing staff engages with residents.

Both Renee and Denise agree that approachable and caring leadership can make or break a work environment. “I have never had a boss like Ashley (Daggett),” says Denise.  “I know I can go to her with anything and she is truly listening and understanding what I have to say. She really cares, and that is what makes St. John’s amazing.”

In addition to compassionate staff, both Denise and Renee mention the available benefits and efforts to engage employees. “St. John’s does a lot for their employees, because they genuinely care,” says Renee. “I’m not a job hopper and I’ve found my place at St. John’s. I hope to spend the next twenty years of my career working here.”

Denise —nodding in response to Renee’s comment — adds, “There are growth opportunities here, and St. John’s encourages employees to master their skills and move into new roles. I’m asking other colleagues to follow me to St. John’s. I recognize people who will flourish at St. John’s and make a difference in the residents’ lives.”

The St. John’s brand characteristics are the foundation of the organization, and both Denise and Renee embody them through their day-to-day work, compassion for residents, and collaborating with coworkers. For more information about joining our team, please visit stjohnsliving.org/careers.