Continuum of Care, Inc. provides comprehensive, community based housing and support services, crisis, case management, in-home healthcare, peer mentoring, and outpatient clinical care for adults with mental illness and/or developmental disabilities.The Agency touches the lives of more than 2,400 individuals annually throughout Connecticut.
Caregiver Highlight: Pat Yashenko
When you ask around the halls of Continuum about nurse Pat Yashenko, an LPN at Continuum Home Health, the immediate reaction is, “Oh Pat!”
At first, people seem at a loss for explanation, as if “Oh Pat” was all encompassing and speaks for itself. But, when prompted further, you get the sense that Pat’s peers and managers are at a loss because it is difficult to succinctly describe her and select among the myriad stories that exemplify her drive, passion and deep concern for her patients.
Additional words like perseverance, passion, compassion and advocacy. Take advocacy, for example. Pat consistently advocates for her patients with doctors, pharmacies, administration, and peers when she believes the patient needs or is deserving of something that they are not yet getting.
Then, there’s perseverance. When Pat goes out for a home care visit and finds that the patient isn’t home, she’ll go back the same day a second, third, forth, and even fifth time to make sure he or she is OK and receives the needed nursing care. In addition, she is known to voluntarily take on difficult patients with challenging behaviors and quickly earns their trust.
When Pat seemingly hits a wall in trying to help her patients, she cuts out a door to create new possibilities, even if what is needed doesn’t fall under her job description. For example, one of Continuum’s clients bikes to work. One day, the bicycle got stolen. Pat raised money through friends and co-workers and got him a new bike.
Another patient was in need of a lung transplant and was scheduled to go to New York for the procedure. He had no car and he had significant emotional difficulties using public transportation. Pat was determined to break down these obstacles so some way she hired a limousine to take the patient to New York for his evaluation.
Donations are essential in Pat’s world. She has raised funds and donated her own money for compelling circumstances her patients have endured. She is also a frequent “shopper” at our donation center, rummaging through generously donated goods for things she knows her patients need.
Her colleagues are moved by Pat’s compassion: "She perseveres in advocating to try to help her patients, and you just can’t say no to Pat or the cause she is advocating. She goes far above and beyond. She is the kind of nurse you would want for yourself or a family member.”