Every month, we invite one of our team members to sit down with us and tell us more about their journey to Elder Care Alliance, their role now, and their insights into older adult care. We are excited to share the expertise and knowledge of our many team members who come to work every day and help our residents live their best lives with us.
Today in our team member spotlight, we welcome Michael Davis, Mercy Retirement & Care Center Director of Nursing.
Us: Hi, Michael! Tell us a little about your background and role at Elder Care Alliance.
Michael: I am the newly-minted Director of Nursing (DON) for the Care Center here at the Mercy Campus in Oakland. Previously, I was a charge nurse and then Assistant Director of Nursing at Gladman, a telecare facility and the first freestanding subacute psych facility in the Bay Area. I was also previously the Director of Nursing for Redwood Healthcare Center and Lake Merritt Healthcare Center.
I’ve only been here for about six weeks now, but I already feel like a fully-fledged team member. My role has me managing and supervising the day-to-day operations of the Care Center’s nursing team, which encompasses CNAs, LVNs, RNs, and the nursing department heads (over staff development, MDS, and infection prevention).
Us: How does your work benefit residents at Elder Care Alliance communities?
Michael: Oh, gosh. That’s both easy and hard to answer. I would say the benefit comes mainly from how I treat my staff. I preach a positive, healthy work environment and work-life balance. I try to give my staff assistance wherever I can, whether it be answering phones, giving people an extra day off here or there, or even just taking the time to speak to a resident about concerns they might have. When the staff feels supported, they can fully support the residents they care for. That’s where the real benefit comes in.
Us: Tell us more about a specific feature of your job or duties and what residents can expect to gain from it.
Michael: One thing people often forget when they see or hear about me as a DON is that I’m a nurse first. I grew up in this area and cut my teeth working as a nurse down the street in a psychiatric hospital. I’ve been a nurse for over half a decade, and I’m not even 30 yet! So, residents are often pleasantly surprised to see me jumping in, passing meds, helping answer call lights, or even just getting them a cup of coffee. It’s small human moments of caregiving where residents begin to feel that this place is less a hospital and is really, truly a center where they are cared for.
Us: What is one of your favorite memories or experiences working at Elder Care Alliance?
Michael: Another tough question! I’ve barely been here a month, but I enjoyed showing up to my welcome party late — after it had begun — because I was too busy doing admissions! That’s a fun memory I’ll always carry.
Us: What is the greatest reward that your role at Elder Care Alliance brings?
Michael: I would say it’s the ability to develop a department and mold it into my future vision of what American healthcare should look like: patient-centered, driven solely by altruism and a desire to help the people who need it most because it’s our calling and purpose in life. We are here every day for our residents to give them a quality of care that we would love to see given to our families and ourselves. That’s the statement I want my staff to believe in every day.
Us: Can you share any insights into new programs, menus, etc., you are planning for the future?
Michael: I’m beginning to develop ideas on fresh, creative ways to solve our challenges around staffing. I’m finding some success in the feedback of my experienced staff members around finding, training, and retaining the top-quality talent our residents deserve. Mercy (and the wider ECA family) have an incredible breadth of incentives to offer the people we hire. I’m so excited to try these new methods and show the nursing staff of the Bay Area why they should choose Mercy as their home away from home!