CSJ Advocacy Team Moves Forward After the Pandemic

Over the past few months, Pam Sandberg and her colleagues have done wondrous work to build the CSJ Advocacy Team at Carondelet Village.

Pam and her colleagues— Racheal and Sara, as well as nurses Betsy and Julie—are assuring what she terms “soup to nuts” service daily for Sisters living at Carondelet Village. Pam recently took a few minutes away from her busy schedule to share her thoughts on the past, the present, and the future.

How do you describe your team to those not familiar with Carondelet Village?
Basically, I tell them we operate like family for the Sisters. We serve as a connection to the Presbyterian Homes and Services staff. We attend care conferences, take CSJs to appointments, help them with shopping, and generally accompany them like a family member would. Our goal is to help assure each CSJ is living her best life here.

Carondelet Village is a special place that has melded the CSJ life with lay residents who desire to live in a place that is just a bit different from an ordinary retirement facility. Oh, and I tell people it’s a fabulous job that I love!

How long have you worked with the CSJs?
33 years! I retired, but then I came out of retirement to help the CSJ Advocacy Team move forward as the pandemic waned. That’s how much I believe in this office.

I started as an occupational therapy assistant and then became the activity director at Bethany, and then helped transition to this role when Carondelet Village was built.

Tell us about your work over the past few months.
I agreed to come back and assist to get things back to normal as we emerged from the pandemic. Since February, we have hired eight wonderful new people to make sure we have 16 hours per day available to support the Sisters. We are amazed we’ve done so much in such a short time and hopeful because it’s working!

What is emerging today in the life of this CSJ community?
There is no one answer, but we’ve gone from most Sisters living in independence to most needing support to age in place. When the Sisters were living at Bethany, they looked at the future and planned for it by developing Carondelet Village. They responded beautifully to what was emerging at the time. That word—emergence—has been in the Sisters’ lives without them even acknowledging it. It’s what they do. You are never done emerging; it’s constant. The Sisters understand and live that.

That word—emergence—has been in the Sisters’ lives without them even acknowledging it. It’s what they do. You are never done emerging; it’s constant. The Sisters understand and live that.