It is with a sad emoji face that we announce the retirement of Marilee Ernst. Marilee has been a nurse for 45 years and Mainstream Living was fortunate to have had her kindness and expertise for the last 14. When you ask the people that worked closely with Marilee, the same adjectives come up again and again - big heart, caring, kind, inclusive, and of course fun. From the time she started, there have been immense changes in the Mental Health program. Marilee was integral in the coordination of care in all of our programs. Lu Wingfield supervised her from the start and recalls how instrumental she was with the transitioning of members to SCL when the Apartment program closed and with the opening of the TAY homes. Marilee conducted Medication Management Training and worked closely with members and staff on medication and health issues. Lu jokes about Marilee being ‘old school’ both in her hard work ethic approach to care and with paperwork. She hopes Marilee has forgiven her for throwing out all the handwritten forms and spreadsheets when going through the apartments. Marliee did make the technology jump as she transitioned in the Therap Medical Module (although she is still probably carrying a spiral planner). Marilee has the ability to create positive working relationships with members and motivate them. She has been a huge source of support for an SCL member nearing end stage liver disease, working directly with him in his home and being a stabilizing factor in his life. He may miss that big heart of hers the most. Marilee will be with us through February 26th. We all wish her the best (and lots of fun) in retirement.
Here are a few quotes/memories from those who worked mostly closely with Marilee:
"When Marilee was first interviewed, she was asked "what boardgame would you be". Based on her response, I recall and later told her that I was convinced that she was a person who did not like to have fun. Boy was I wrong! From the first craft day where she stole my reigning craft queen title to many hours of problem solving and many, many laughs! Marilee truly cared for members and did her best to serve for Mainstream. Now, it won’t be any fun without her!"
"Oh my little Mimi! When I first met Marilee I was new to the company. She was so kind and chatted away. I felt like I’d known her for years. She definitely left an impression on me with her kindness and loving spirit."
"Marilee was always ready and willing to do whatever needed doing. This often involved lots of cleaning, room and apartment de-bugging, helping the pack rats clean and sort, searching charts for lost orders. You name it and she was willing to help. She taught me a lot about good old fashioned bedside nursing."
"I’ll never forget the look on her face when we figured out she had gone to highschool with my husband and he told me that his friend had the biggest crush on her and she never knew it. We just laughed and laughed about that."
“I will miss her Mimi giggle."