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January 31, 2022, Adrian, Michigan – The Adrian Dominican Sisters and the Lenawee Intermediate School District (LISD) have entered into a partnership that would allow people interested in becoming Nursing Assistants to receive training through the LISD while working at the Sisters’ Dominican Life Center (DLC) as Nursing Assistant Companions. The DLC offers a continuum of care to retired Adrian Dominican Sisters, many of whom need daily medical care.
Heather Wanshon, Recruiter for Adrian Dominican Sisters, said the Congregation will hire people as Nursing Assistant Companions, pay their Certified Nursing Assistant class tuition and pay in-class time while also working at the DLC. Once classes and training are complete, they will transition to Nursing Assistants, which includes a pay increase. Because the DLC is a private rather than a state-licensed facility, graduates of the LISD course do not need to complete the state exam for certification to continue working at the DLC as a Nursing Assistant, Heather added.
Erin Dress, Director of Human Resources, said the Adrian Dominican Sisters are looking to hire people who have a desire to care for the needs of others, but lack the training to work as a Nursing Assistant. This new partnership helps those with a heart for service to become trained, while gaining practical experience.
“I’m excited about this partnership because it offers opportunities at so many levels,” Erin said. “The Sisters are such a big part of the Adrian community, but many people aren’t aware of the many employment opportunities on our campus. I see this as a great way to get the word out about the Adrian Dominican Sisters and to foster a partnership with the LISD.” The partnership also benefits people in the community who are interested in entering the field of health care but who may find tuition for the certified nursing assistant program to be out of reach financially, she added.
Nursing Assistant Companions perform tasks that alleviate some of the work of the Nursing Assistants but don’t require professional training: assisting the Sisters during their meals, passing out water, changing bedding, and being a companion to the Sisters, Heather explained. Training through the LISD course will equip them to perform tasks performed by Nursing Assistants, such as measuring vitals and safety-sensitive direct care tasks.
“We’re looking for people with an interest in the healthcare field,” Heather said. “This is an entry level position that a person with the right heart and attitude can get into – someone who’s caring and loves to help people.”
Those interested in applying to be a Nursing Assistant Companion should visit www.adriandominicans.org/employment and click on the “View Jobs and Apply” tab or contact Heather at firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-759-0130, or 517-266-4100.
November 9, 2021, Adrian, Michigan – Archivists from a variety of U.S. congregations of Dominican Sisters gathered virtually October 19-21, 2021, to discuss best practices and common issues and to learn from speakers in related fields. Participating were Sister Beverly Bobola, OP, Assistant Archivist, and other members of Dominican Archivists for a Common Repository (DARC), as well as professional archivists and historians from related organizations.
About 30 people attended the entire summit, while another 20 or so – including leaders of Dominican Congregations – joined the gathering when possible.
Lisa Schell, Archivist for the Adrian Dominican Sisters and a member of the planning committee, said this year’s summit brought in speakers from a variety of fields and from organizations such as the Detroit Institute of Art, the Queens (New York) Memory Project, and the City of Chicago. “We wanted to look outside ourselves,” Lisa explained. “The idea was to collaborate outside of our comfort zone and be inspired.”
Archivists who work in organizations outside of congregations for women religious have much to teach the Dominican archivists, Lisa said. “We could still get the benefit of sharing best practices of archives and get a perspective of what’s possible.”
One keynote speaker – Eileen Markey, journalist and Assistant Professor at City University of New York Herbert H. Lehman College – noted the importance of archivists of women’s religious congregations. “She spoke of how important it is for archivists to understand that much of American history is patriarchal, centered in the male,” Lisa recalled. The archives of women’s religious communities are treasures that can profoundly influence the understanding of the role of women in U.S. history, Lisa added.
Another speaker, Katie Gordon, is Co-founder and National Director of Nuns and Nones, which brings Catholic Sisters together with young Millennial spiritual seekers to share community, faith, and experiences. “She had a lot to say about Sister stories and how important they are, making them accessible and available to people of younger generations,” Lisa said.
For her part, Lisa especially loves the opportunity to tell the history and stories of the Adrian Dominican Sisters. A lover of history, she taught high school history for 15 years before changing course. She earned a Master of Library and Information Science degree with certificates in Archival Administration and Records Management from Wayne State University in Detroit and worked for eight years as a corporate archivist before coming to work for the Adrian Dominican Sisters in 2018.
A year later, Lisa hosted the Dominican Archivists Summit in Adrian. The focus then, she said, was on standardizing the archival collections of the U.S. Dominican congregations. Participants at the 2019 Summit worked together to bring consistency to their collections and to the vocabulary they use for those collections in preparation for the time when they might be in a common repository.
Hopes are that the 2023 Summit will be in person. However, Lisa said, she is stepping away from planning the Dominican Archivists Summits after being elected Vice President and President-Elect of the Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR), a professional organization of about 350 archivists serving congregations of Sisters in the United States.
Whether working with Sister Beverly at the Adrian Dominican Motherhouse, with archivists of other Dominican congregations, or with Colleagues from the ACWR, Lisa relishes her work. “I love Sisters’ history and the Sisters here,” she said. “It’s so exciting to be part of a community that is in alignment with things I believe in … It’s a rare opportunity to be a professional woman and surrounded by women.”
Feature photo: Katie Gordon, Co-founder and National Organizer of Nuns and Nones – an alliance of Catholic Sisters and diverse spirituality seekers – offers a presentation on programming and outreach engagement during the summit of Dominican Archivists.