All Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS) team members — not just at the Episcopal Church Home (ECH) but also at other ERS flagship communities — strive to ensure our residents feel like they're being cared for not by expert professionals but by people who seem like family. One way we accomplish this goal is by creating opportunities for residents to build close relationships with staff.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made this goal a bit more challenging. Hence, we’d like to take this time to virtually introduce you to our new Administrator, Jomiya Coleman! We recently sat down with Jomiya to learn about her role as Administrator and her career in senior care.
Q: Will you please describe your current role at ECH?
Jomiya: I serve as Administrator of the Episcopal Church Home. I work very closely with different department leaders and staff members, as well as the residents, to maintain the community’s daily operations. I’m often walking the floor to check in with everyone.
Q: You were an Administrator-in-Training at ECH in 2019. What lessons did you learn from that experience that you’re continuing to use now?
Jomiya: I think the two main things I learned as an Administrator in Training are that relationships are key, and you have to be compassionate.
During my training, I had to shadow a lot of different roles and departments within the community. So, compassion and relationships were key.
When I worked with maintenance and in the dining room, for example, I got to see how fast-paced those departments were.
Q: Sounds like you got to see all sides of the organization!
Jomiya: Definitely! Which is important because if you're going to be a retirement home administrator, you need to know what it’s like to be in other staff members’ shoes.
Caption: In 2019, Jomiya served as Administrator in Training alongside Beverly Edwards, Senior Executive Director of Residential Healthcare at ECH.
Q: What first inspired you to pursue this career path?
Jomiya: I originally went to Bellarmine University for nursing. However, while I was there, my grandmother was in a nursing home. The level of care she was provided — we just knew she deserved better.
At the time, I didn’t know any of the regulations or the long-term care ombudsman. I didn’t know anything. And the Administrator was nowhere to be found. We couldn’t contact a social worker, either.
I promised her and myself that I would not allow something like that to happen if I were an Administrator. So, that experience really ignited my passion for taking care of the older adult population.
Q: You became ECH Administrator in July 2021. What are you most looking forward to learning about in your new role at ECH?
Jomiya: What I'm really looking forward to is learning how to become a strong leader. I'm still learning how to balance my daily tasks while also leading.
Luckily, I know that I have mentors here that will help me grow into a leader. So, I'm looking forward to continuing to grow and lead my team.
Q: What advice do you have for other aspiring administrators or those exploring a career in senior care?
Jomiya: Something that really helped me was connecting with a community of mentors. For instance, I worked with each department in order to understand what their day-to-day was like.
I think, many times, people just go through the motions. But with this career, you really have to put yourself in other people’s shoes to fully understand how it all works.
I think many people forget that. Yes, there are many different roles in a nursing home, but each role is a different piece to a puzzle that makes the community.
Caption: Jomiya describes why she decided to pursue a career in aging services.
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the changes that are occurring at ECH right now due to the Master Plan?
Jomiya: We're in the middle of building 22 new personal care apartments and 27 patio homes. We’re also renovating our office space upstairs and even building a new dining venue called Grille 75. I’m super excited about that.
We’re also adding new roles to reflect our person-centered care model. These are called versatile workers, and the idea is that our residents don’t live in our place of work; we work in their homes. So these positions — including the actual job descriptions — are tailored to that idea. We’ve even renovated all of the spaces to mimic what a home might look and feel like, which has really made not only our staff but also our residents happy.
Q: What do you like most about your career at the Episcopal Church Home so far?
Jomiya: I think what I liked the most about my career here at ECH is the relationships that I've built with staff members and with residents.
I’m in a unique situation because I was an Administrator in Training here in 2019. So I’ve had the opportunity to build upon those relationships that I had already established.
Are you interested in pursuing a career in senior care or learning more about what life at ECH could be like? Fill out an information request form or browse our open opportunities now. We look forward to hearing from you!