Monarch Caring Comm Award Web Banner Image
Monarch Caring Comm Award Web Banner Image

Monarch Caring and Community Award –
2023 Senior Living Award Recipient

Donna Kaufhold
Resident Care Assistant, Trinity Oaks of Pearland

In her role as a resident care assistant, Donna Kaufhold assists Trinity Oaks’ approximately 80 residents with everyday activities, from making the bed to bathing to helping with meals and medications. She never hesitates to go the extra mile for her residents, visiting them when they are off-site at a hospital or in rehabilitation, or bringing them supplies that family members may have forgotten. She is adored by her residents and team members, and as of today, recognized by her parent company as one of its most outstanding caregivers. On September 20, 2023, ScionHealth recognized Donna as a 2023 Monarch Caring and Community Award recipient for being an exemplary caregiver and team member. The award is our company’s highest honor, designed to showcase the truly exceptional caregivers amongst our 102 community hospitals, specialty hospitals and senior living facilities across the country.

Congratulations, Donna, on becoming a Monarch Award recipient, and thank you for being a standard bearer for the care we provide our residents and the communities we serve.

Learn more about Donna in the video and story below

With a caring heart and dedication to serve those who depend on her each day, Donna Kaufhold has distinguished herself as one of the exceptional caregivers within ScionHealth.

Kaufhold, a Resident Care Assistant at Trinity Oaks of Pearland (Texas), is the 2023 senior living recipient of the Monarch Caring and Community Award – the highest honor ScionHealth presents to healthcare professionals working in their 102 hospitals and senior living communities nationwide.

Kaufhold was nominated by Trinity Oaks of Pearland Executive Director Karla Orduna, who praised Kaufhold’s willingness to go “above and beyond” for residents while embodying the spirit of what it means to be a senior living caregiver.

“The fact she is being recognized for the care she provides our residents is really exciting,” Orduna said. “What helps Donna stand out is that she does everything from the heart. She embodies caring for others. She always puts the residents’ needs first and doesn’t let anything get in the way of that. She’s a leader who guides everyone else to have a care-centered community.”

A team member at Trinity Oaks of Pearland for 13 years, Kaufhold said she dedicates each day to making it the brightest and most meaningful that she can for the community’s approximately 80 residents.

Kaufhold is responsible for helping residents through their activities of daily life, including assisting with meals, linens, bathing, clothing and medication. She also communicates with residents’ relatives when they visit and has become close with many of them.

“I don’t see myself as overly special (and as someone) to be picked” for the award, she said. “I just try to do everything I can to help the residents and make their life the best it can be.”

Orduna said on the days that Kaufhold is working, everyone senses the positive vibe she creates.

“All the residents love her,” Orduna said. “She loves and cares for every single one of the residents, and there’s not a single resident who wouldn’t say good things about Donna.”

Kaufhold’s empathy and compassion motivate her. She noted that several residents in the community may have experienced significant loss in the later stages of their lives, such as the loss of a spouse or the ability to care for themselves alone. They also must adjust to leaving the home where they lived for much of their lives.

“I just feel like as a caregiver, it’s our role to make it the best for them,” Kaufhold said. “To do a little extra, to make them laugh, make them smile, make them feel comfortable.”

One example of Kaufhold’s selflessness came during the major winter freeze in Texas during 2021, when millions across the state lost power during the cold weather.

Trinity Oaks lost power only once – for about 12 hours during a rolling blackout – but, Orduna said, they had no idea at the time when the power would return.

The staff worked hard and prepared well to make sure residents stayed warm, fed and comfortable, and they succeeded. However, a couple Trinity Oaks residents needed constant oxygen treatments, which require electricity. The community likely would have needed emergency medical services to provide the oxygen to the residents, until Kaufhold volunteered to bring in her own generator from home.

Kaufhold said she didn’t even know her family owned a generator until her husband mentioned it, and then she immediately told him to bring it to Trinity Oaks. The generator worked perfectly, and the residents had no interruption in their oxygen.

“If it happened again, I would do it again,” Kaufhold said. “I just did what had to be done. I would hope anybody else would do the same thing.”

In 2023, ScionHealth introduced its corporate Values that Empower, and the three new values – Show Courage, Value Every Voice, and Lean Into New Ideas – were a focus of the 2023 Caregiver Summit. Kaufhold said the one she relates to most in her line of work is to Value Every Voice, particularly that of her residents.

“We have to value the voice of the residents,” she said. “We have to speak out for those who can’t. You listen to them, try to understand them. Someone may walk in and not hear what they’re saying if you’re in a hurry. We just have to get to know them, and some of them can’t speak up for themselves.”

Kaufhold also believes in supporting her teammates. When they work well together, back each other up and create a positive culture, it creates the best experience for the residents.

“We’re all there for one goal – to help the residents,” Kaufhold said. “I joke around with the residents a lot, with the staff members a lot. We’re there to help each other. Where one (team member) lacks (the ability to handle something alone), we kind of pick up. If one of us doesn’t like to do something, someone steps in. A resident may respond better to one person than another. Our goal is to make it better for the residents. It’s for them, not for us.”

Kaufhold is the first senior living caregiver to receive ScionHealth’s highest award, with the honor coming about nine months after Trinity Oaks and seven other senior living communities that were formerly part of Cornerstone Healthcare Group were acquired by ScionHealth.

“We get to show our best and start with our best,” Orduna said of Kaufhold receiving the honor in Year 1 of senior living communities being included.

“I feel a lot of pride, a lot of gratitude that I get to work with someone (like Kaufhold) who truly does senior living for the right reasons,” Orduna added. “Finding someone with that (level of) compassion and caring for residents (is invaluable). I have learned twice as much from her as she ever would from me, leading with the heart.”