Garballey honors Park Avenue facility's aide

State Representative Sean Garballey, Democrat of Arlington and West Medford, at the Park Ave Health Center in Arlington, awarded a gold star of honor to Gertrude Mayant for exceptional elder care.

Garballey’s grandparents had both lived at Park Avenue.

Until June 2014, when Synergy Health Centers, based in New Jersey, began managing the center, the facility was called the Park Avenue Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

Garballey, who toured the facility while meeting with staff and residents Sept. 3, said in a news release that he was pleased to see many of the staff members that cared for his grandparents were still working at the facility.

"The Greatest Generation has strengthened our country and our community," he said in the release. "They’ve worked their whole lives to create a better future for us. Now, in their golden years, they deserve the best care. Park Avenue Health Center has made vast improvements since my grandparents were residents here and since Synergy took over management. From the moment I entered, I could feel the positive energy and I observed the excellent quality of care the residents were receiving."

During the visit, Garballey, with Executive Director Karen Babb and COO Dov Newmark, presented Mayant, a nurse’s aide, with a gold star of honor for her commitment to Synergy’s mission of providing outstanding care to its residents.

A resident’s daughter remarked that she now feels a sense of relief knowing her mother is being cared for by Mayant. Both the resident and her daughter described Mayant as "an angel."

The residents said they were pleased to meet Garballey and grateful that a leader in the community would take the time to visit them.

Since his election to state office in 2008, Garballey has worked on behalf of seniors and to support long-term health-care facilities. Most recently he sponsored legislation that became law requiring public comment about the closing or sale of nursing homes, a bill that Synergy Health Centers said it fully supports.

This report was published Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015.

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