Janie Whipple’s Personal Touch

Janie Whipple receiving award

For one resident at Academy Point at Mystic, maintaining a sense of normalcy was key. For many years before moving to the community, he went out weekly to enjoy oysters, a gin and tonic, and crème brulee.

When Janie Whipple, the receptionist at Academy Point, heard that he was missing this routine, she figured out a way to keep the tradition alive.

“She arranged a standing weekly dinner reservation at his favorite local restaurant for the two of them, even coming after her usual shifts and calling ahead to ensure they would have his favorite table by the water and his favorite waitress,” said Bonnie Pollard-Johnson, executive director of Academy Point.

Does she even like oysters? “I do now,” Janie said.

Providing that kind of individualized attention to not only the residents, but also the staff, earned Janie a 2022 Argentum Hero Award, which was presented recently at Argentum’s annual conference.

Argentum, the national industry group for assisted living, describes the award winners as: “Individuals like Janie who show care and compassion that raises the bar of excellence in senior living, particularly in the wake of the challenges the industry has faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Janie has transformed the reception area into a “concierge hub for the com-munity,” Bonnie explained. Whether bringing in soap for a resident who ran out, to donating a watch to somebody who misplaced theirs, to leading a game of Scrabble, Janie has touched many.

Sometimes residents can feel disconnected, and Janie helps them plug back in.

One resident had a friend in England. The receptionist coordinated phone calls at a time convenient for the global pals to chat.

As Academy Point’s Cultural Ambassador, Janie has planned fundraisers for a number of causes including the Benchmark One Company Fund, Argentum’s Silver PAC, the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut and The Terrie Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, Bonnie noted.

Bonnie said that Janie not only helps associates navigate their new jobs but continues to assist them in their day-to-day work experiences as their tenure continues.

Janie said she has found a home at Academy Point.

“I’m hoping to stay at Academy as long as I can,” she said, to which Bonnie replied, “Hopefully she’ll take over for me some day.”

Janie Whipple with grandfather

Academy Point at Mystic