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Elizabeth Tomaszczuk: A Calling to Care
Elizabeth Tomaszczuk: A calling to care
From a young age, Elizabeth Tomaszczuk knew that caring for people was what she wanted to do.
Twenty-eight years ago, she was hired by St. Ann’s as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Today, as Chief Nursing Officer, she remains passionate about caring for others.
“It’s a fulfilling experience,” she says. “I can’t imagine being anyplace else.”
The child of Polish immigrants, Elizabeth was a midwife, caring for women during pregnancy and childbirth, before becoming a CNA. She became a Registered Nurse after studying at MCC and later earned degrees in Nursing and Nursing Administration from Roberts Wesleyan.
In addition to CNA, her positions at St. Ann’s included staff nurse, Nursing Supervisor, Nurse Manager for the Special Care Unit (serving residents who have dementia), and Director of Nursing at the former Heritage. In 2015, she was named Chief Nursing Officer, overseeing all nursing functions for St. Ann’s Community.
Elizabeth Tomaszczuk, Chief Nursing Officer
One of the biggest challenges in her career was also the most rewarding: launching St. Ann’s Care Center, the 70-bed skilled nursing facility on the campus of St. Ann’s Community at Cherry Ridge in Webster in 2013.
“We developed a brand new facility under a brand new model of Person-Centered Care,” Elizabeth says.
Person-Centered Care, in which care is tailored to residents’ individual preferences, is now practiced across all areas of St. Ann’s Community.
“It’s a holistic approach to caring for someone,” she explains. “You address not only their physical needs but their social, intellectual, and spiritual needs. Those don’t go away just because someone is 85.”
Elizabeth feels as strongly about that today as she did as when she began caring for St. Ann’s residents 28 years ago. To today’s CNAs who may want to emulate her career path, she has these words of advice:
“Be passionate about what you do. Understand that ‘caring’ really encompasses the whole person. Be determined and hard working. And be good to people.”