Employee Spotlight: Winne Funke, CNA, A.G. RhodesWhen Winne Funke moved to Worcester, Massachusetts from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania nearly 15 years ago, her desire to help others led her on a path to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

The third of six children, Winne grew up caring for others.

“Growing up, most of what I did was help my mom with my siblings,” she said.

After living in Massachusetts for over a decade, Winne moved to Georgia in 2018 to be closer to other family members living in the state. She researched places to work and landed at A.G. Rhodes Cobb where she works the 11 p.m.-7 a.m. shift as a team leader.

Winne says this line of work is more than just a job.

“To me, helping out people comes from the heart,” she said. “You have to connect with them.”

Winne says that listening, patience and empathy are crucial in long-term care.

“Sometimes people think they [nursing home residents] don’t have a voice, but they do have a voice,” she said. “They know what they need. You have to listen and make them feel comfortable. You have to put yourself in their shoes.”

Administrator Melanie Haders says that Winne is not only a natural caregiver, but she’s a natural leader.

“Even through the most challenging periods of the pandemic, Winne kept a calm and confident composure. Her peers look up to her, and the residents love her.”

One way that Winne stays grounded in her job— and as a mom to two busy teenage daughters—is by taking care of herself and exercising regularly.

“When I exercise, I feel better about my job and I stay healthy.”

Winne also credits her steady demeanor to never losing sight of her purpose.

“When the pandemic started, I was scared like everybody, but it didn’t change my spirit in what I do. I was focused on the same thing; caring for people.”

May 2022