St. Joseph of the Pines Conducts Colleague Safety Fair

March 15, 2019

St. Joseph of the Pines recently conducted its first annual mandatory safety fair in Southern Pines and Fayetteville for the more than 700 colleagues who care for 1,500 older adults every day across six counties in the Sandhills.

“Resident safety is a top priority because virtually every colleague comes in regular contact with our residents,” said Wanda Avetta, director of quality and risk management at St. Joseph of the Pines. “We decided to be proactive and do it in a fun way.”

The Fayetteville safety fair was held Feb. 27-28 at the LIFE at St. Joseph of the Pines building on Raeford Road, while the Southern Pines fair occurred March 13-14 on the Belle Meade campus off Camp Easter Road.

Colleagues visited five exhibits and listened to respective presentations about fire safety, infection prevention, drills and codes, how to prevent workplace injuries, and the use of proper body mechanics when assisting residents.

“The topics were chosen based on applicability at all of our campuses,” Avetta said.

St. Joseph of the Pines operates independent living campuses at Pine Knoll and Belle Meade in Southern Pines, as well as Providence Place for lower-income older adults in Aberdeen, Carthage, Red Springs and Robbins. The Belle Meade campus is also home to three assisted living buildings and a skilled nursing and rehabilitation building. The LIFE building in Fayetteville houses the largest PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly) program in North Carolina with almost 300 participants. St. Joseph of the Pines provides home care in Cumberland, Hoke, Lee, Moore, Richmond and Scotland counties.

The safety fair was hands-on, as well, as colleagues practiced the proper technique for using a fire extinguisher by putting out a small contained blaze after the fire safety presentation.

“Because resident and colleague safety is everyone’s responsibility, I need to be certain that I know exactly what to do in case of an emergency,” said Lori Portfleet, president at St. Joseph of the Pines. “Actively participating in the safety fair changed my perspective from ‘I think I know’ to ‘I know.’ That is invaluable.”

Colleagues took a quiz after each presentation, answering questions such as:

  • What does P.A.S.S. stand for (when using a fire extinguisher)?
  • How long should you wash your hands?
  • What should you do if an active assailant is in your building?
  • Which job has the most injuries on your campus?

Colleagues also filled out a short survey about their experience, provided other feedback, entered a raffle for a gift basket, and voted for their favorite exhibit. Fire safety was the winning exhibit.

“We tried to make it as interactive as possible to keep colleagues engaged throughout the 20 to 30 minutes that it took to complete everything,” said Jackie Jamerson, a human resources generalist at St. Joseph of the Pines. “We received a lot of positive feedback and we’re all looking forward to doing it again next year.”

The fair was developed and implemented by the 12-member Safety Committee at St. Joseph of the Pines.

St. Joseph of the Pines is an aging services network offering a full continuum of retirement housing, health care and community-based services for older adults as well as community outreach to those in need. It is a Trinity Health Senior Community continuing the legacy of the Sisters of Providence.

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