How to make a difference

It is never too late to discover your life’s mission. That’s what Toni Merritt, RN, told herself when she signed up for nursing school late in life and instantly knew it was meant to be. She graduated with honors and started her career during a turbulent time — the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

“I made the most difference in my comfort care patients while I was working on the medical floor,” Toni said, referring to her work in the COVID unit at Providence Centralia Hospital. “I worked there for 9 months and just knew at that time I was meant to be a hospice nurse and make a difference in not only their lives, but their family’s lives as well.”

Toni knew Community was where she could make that difference, and in her short time here, she has been.

A grateful family donated in honor of her care in March, saying, “Our family really connected with her the night dad was brought in. That night, and the other nights, she was with him until he passed. She was informative, compassionate, and we enjoyed her humor .”

“He was a funny man,” said Toni as she thought back to her time with their father. “He didn’t say many words but we had a code we talked in and made each other laugh.”

Moments like these, like when she can connect with a family on such a deep level, reassures her that she made the right choice.

Are you grateful for the service of a particular Community staff member? Call 360.597.0717 or email to make a Grateful Hearts gift.

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