Local nurse manager joins Maria Shriver’s Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge

Jayne Kennelly, Nathaniel Witherell nurse manager on the Specialized Dementia Unit, is in good company. She has been selected to join Maria Shriver, Ann Romney, Chris Evert, Rosalynn Carter, Brooke Shields and dozens of other inspirational women featured on Maria Shriver’s Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge “Big Wall of Empowerment.”

Jayne Kennelly

Jayne Kennelly

The online Challenge encourages readers to be an “architect of change” and to add their voice to the collection of inspirational women working to wipe out Alzheimer’s. Kennelly, a Board Certified Gerontological Nurse, has worked at Nathaniel Witherell for eight years, six of them as the Nurse Manager in the Specialized Dementia Unit.

Maria Shriver’s Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge is “a local, social action campaign to mobilize a movement of innovators, agitators and instigators … women are at the epicenter of this crisis and they will be at the heart of the solution,” according to their website, whose “Big Wall of Empowerment” encourages women to share how they are helping to wipe out Alzheimer’s. Kennelly did just that. She sent in a story about her work with patients and families with Alzheimer’s at the Witherell, and the story was published on the wall. Here is what she wrote:

“Being the Nurse Manager at The Nathaniel Witherell on the Specialized Dementia Unit, I can honestly say, I love my job,” said Kennelly. “Although it’s not an easy responsibility and each day brings different challenges, my main focus is the well being of my patients. Dementia and Alzheimer’s don’t only affect my patients, but, also their families. I make a conscious effort to ease their emotional pain as they watch their loved ones go through the different stages of this debilitating disease. I use different techniques and years of experience to therapeutically achieve this goal. This isn’t just my job, it’s my passion and I feel that the most important tool that I use is my heart.”

Allen Brown, executive director at the Witherell, has only positive praise for Kennelly, saying, “Jayne has an exceptional combination of clinical and interpersonal skills that are essential to success in caring for people with advanced Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.” He adds, “She’s a real people person and truly loves her patients, their families and friends, as well as her coworkers. It’s easy to measure Jayne’s passion for her job – you can see it in the smile that she wears every minute of the day.”

Kennelly has worked in the healthcare field for 17 years. She received her Nursing Degree from Rockland Community College in Suffern, N.Y., where she was an adjunct faculty member for two years.

To read more about the Maria Shriver’s Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge “Big Wall of Empowerment” and see Kennelly’s testimonial on the site click here.

Nathaniel Witherell Nurse Manager Jayne Kennelly (right) joins Witherell resident Cordella Shaw (second from left) as she listens to one of her favorite songs on an iPod as part of the skilled nursing facility’s new Music & Memory program. They are also pictured with Witherell staff members Violet Johnson (left), certified nursing assistant, and Gail Carone (second from right), recreation therapist.

Nathaniel Witherell Nurse Manager Jayne Kennelly (right) joins Witherell resident Cordella Shaw (second from left) as she listens to one of her favorite songs on an iPod as part of the skilled nursing facility’s new Music & Memory program. They are also pictured with Witherell staff members Violet Johnson (left), certified nursing assistant, and Gail Carone (second from right), recreation therapist.

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