Harvest Hill’s Resident Care Manager Kristen Moskalenko-Locke knew she wanted to be a nurse since childhood, from her first job as a candy striper at 12, to her current job leading a team of 45 staff who care for Harvest Hill’s assisted living, independent living, supported living and memory care residents.
Kristen said she strives to both “give exceptional care to our residents and to ensure that staff have satisfaction in their roles. I make sure our residents are getting what they need, that they’re safe in their environment; I meet with them and their families as they request it or as I need to, whether it’s about care or just checking in.”
Her daily tasks vary widely and include everything from conducting resident health assessments to helping staff with medication issues, to handling resident admissions, talking to doctors about resident health, and with families about their loved ones.
“Care here is resident centered, so that’s the bulk of my job,” she said. “The other part of it is making sure staffing is where it needs to be and helping our nurses and Licensed Nursing Assistants. It’s all about solving issues as they come up and preventing problems before they start.”
Originally from Claremont, New Hampshire, Kristen has been a Registered Nurse for 27 years and before that, an LNA for 10. She has earned many nursing certifications over the years and is currently working on her dementia care certification.
Prior to joining Harvest Hill in early 2020, Kristen worked at Dartmouth-Hitchcock for 20 years, starting as a float nurse, then moving to gastroenterology, occupational health, and later oncology as a breast cancer nurse. She has also served as the director of nursing at senior care communities in Vermont, including Cedar Hill Health Care Center in Windsor, Vermont and Valley Terrace in White River Junction.
Today, Kristen lives in Sharon, Vermont with her fiancé, where they run a small mountaintop farm. She has a 23-year-old son and when not at work, enjoys the ocean, reading and being outside.
Being a caretaker has always been an innate part of Kristen’s personality, and just one reason why she loves what she does. For this, Kristen also credits her “amazing nursing staff, the supportive Harvest Hill leadership, and our wonderful residents.”
“These residents amaze me every day — they share stories, they’re always happy to see you, and they are so thankful for even the littlest things,” said Kristen. For example, Kristen recently found the perfect way to help a resident with a poor appetite. “I asked her, ‘If you could have anything in the world right now to eat, what would it be?’” said Kristen, “and she said she wanted watermelon, so we got her one. It was like I’d given her the world! I love to see the smiles on residents’ faces, and especially now that we’re opening up again after COVID, we’re seeing a lot more of them.”