Doylestown Housekeeper Honored as PA Staff of the Year

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At 62, Willie Macatantan isn’t stopping for much – not even COVID-19.

Throughout the pandemic, Macatantan changed beds and sanitized the rooms of sick patients in the Pine Run retirement community, often volunteering to work seven days a week, without worrying about potential health risks.

After a year of cleaning around the clock and interacting with those recovering from the virus, Macatantan was named AP Staff of the Year by LeadingAge PA, an organization representing life providers and services for seniors across the state. The award is usually given to those who have “demonstrated excellence” and provided “exceptional service” to members of the community, according to the LeadingAge website.

Pine Run Housekeeping Associate Willie Macatantan was named AP Staff of the Year by LeadingAge PA, a group for senior communities.

Macatantan worked as a housekeeping associate for nearly seven years at Pine Run in Doylestown, where he is responsible for day-to-day maintenance primarily on the health center’s short-term rehabilitation floor and deep cleaning between residents. .

But her job description changed around March of last year, when several rooms in the health center were blocked and designated as a “COVID unit”.

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Despite his age and close interactions with dozens of residents every day, Macatantan has chosen to put on the extra weight, venturing into rooms infected with COVID almost every day, speaking with bedridden people and using words and smiles. kind to encourage them to heal.

It was the patients themselves, along with his supervisors and colleagues, who nominated Macatantan for the award. At Pine Run, professors can write a personal message called GEM – Going the Extra Mile – for those who go “beyond” their jobs, said Jennifer Doone, senior director of sales and marketing.

“Some of them bring tears to your eyes,” Doone said. “One of them said, ‘I was taken care of by a guardian angel, he was remarkable.'”

Housekeeper Willie Macatantan during her cleaning rounds at Pine Run.

The consensus of many who have worked with and around Macatantan is the same. As one Pine Run resident put it, “Willie is more than a cleaner.

Chris Garges, Mactantan Supervisor and Senior Director of Environmental Services at Pine Run, Mactantan Direct Supervisor and Retirement Community Nursing Home Administrator all nominated him for the award, which Garges said , “says a lot” about Mactantan’s character and work.

“We have satisfaction surveys that come from patients who stay with us and applaud Willie by saying, ‘he was more than a housekeeper,'” he said. “He walks in, goes through procedures, follows our infection control practices and does the job properly and thoroughly, and always smiling. “

Willie Macatantan poses with his PA Staff Member of the Year award.

While cleaning a resident’s room, Macatantan noticed that the man was not eating. But instead of finishing his job and limiting his interaction, Macatantan encouraged him to eat his meal – and he did. During a conversation, Macatantan transformed from guardian to healer and friend.

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His personal interactions and friendliness extended to his work with COVID-positive patients. With full personal protective equipment, Macatantan said he was “not really afraid to come in.”

As a housekeeper during the pandemic, Macatantan has been dubbed an essential worker, meaning her in-person duties continued despite quarantines, isolation and public health concerns. He drove 45 minutes to go to work and back, Monday through Sunday, because he wanted it, not just because he needed it.

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Willie Macatantan (middle) smiles along with other Pine Run staff.

Part of Doylestown Health, Pine Run cares for around 400 patients, Doone said, but it is only now that the public fully recognizes the unrecognized diligence and hard work of essential workers who are the backbone of health facilities, in light of the pandemic.

“Critical workers, for a long time, have been very invisible,” Doone said. “If you were a senior who contracted COVID, your world has been rocked… and that’s where essential workers come in. They allow that person to recover so that they can resume a normal life. “

Thanks to team members like Macatantan, along with other housekeeping and nursing staff at the health center, Pine Run has never experienced a serious outbreak of COVID-19.

Willie Macatantan stands in front of cleaning supplies and sanitary ware at Pine Run.

Before coming to Pine Run, Macatantan immigrated from the Philippines to Philadelphia, where he stayed for about 35 years. By commuting to work almost every day, he finances his daughter’s school fees and supports his wife and teenage son.

But despite being away from his family most of the time, Macatantan made Pine Run his home.

“When I come here I feel like I don’t have any stress,” he said. “(It’s) like family here.”

Above all, Macatantan said he loves his job and enjoys working, which Doone says is essential in the healthcare community.

“Customer service is at the heart of what we do here at Pine Run,” Doone said, “and Willie is certainly an example of that.”


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