Touchmark Strong Champions

Touchmark Champions are team members who exemplify making smart decisions in all aspects of their lives to protect residents and their fellow team members.

Touchmark at Harwood Groves

701-297-2327

1200 Harwood Dr S Fargo, ND 58104

Brooke Kannas

Brooke works as a Life Enrichment/Wellness Assistant at Touchmark at Harwood Groves. She has been making her mark by finding ways to adapt to new standards to bring top-notch activities to our community. She has adopted creative strategies to engage residents and used technology to connect residents with their family members. She also stepped up to be the main creator of a special pandemic-period newsletter and volunteered to be a Utility Worker to assist in other neighborhoods. When asked what actions she takes to keep herself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, she says:

  • Life looks a little different during this time. At work, I take the proper precautions to keep myself and residents safe. I wear proper PPE and maintain a safe distance when interacting with others. During my home life, I limit my contact with friends and family outside of work. I ensure the trips I take to local businesses are for essential reasons and, of course, always wear my mask! My grandmother has supplied me with a few cute homemade ones that I get to show off when I’m in public.
  • Not only do I want to keep myself safe, but each protective measure I take is also keeping the residents here at Touchmark safe. We have a big responsibility to ensure families’ loved ones are taken care of. Being mindful of my actions outside of work protects not only myself but everyone here at Touchmark.
  • When I am following safe practices in my work and daily life, it positively impacts my Touchmark community by keeping a safe environment. Each safety measure taken is followed with the ultimate purpose of protecting my community.
  • I am a Friend. I try to wear a positive attitude and share my laughter and joyous memories with those around me. I value the close relationships I’ve built with the residents in this community.

“Take some time out of your day to check in with yourself and others. How are you doing emotionally, mentally, physically? I am grateful to have a very supportive team to rely on when those tough days happen.”

Touchmark Strong Champion: Brooke Kannas
Touchmark Strong Champion: George Jallah

George Jallah

George’s primary role at Touchmark on Harwood Groves is as a driver on the Life Enrichment/Wellness team, but since the pandemic started, he has been more than willing to jump into the Health Services department and help out on the floor in memory care. George previously had worked in a group home setting before coming to Touchmark, and he is always willing to help his co-workers with a smile on his face. He uplifts his teammates when needed, and the residents adore him. He is always singing or dancing to brighten days. George often volunteers to stay after his shift to ensure all residents are back home from appointments and to make sure the floor is covered for the evening shift so the night goes smoothly. When asked what actions he takes to keep himself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, he says:

  • In my life, I always try to take preventive measures because I understand that prevention is better than a cure, so I always wash my hands and keep my distance. I always have my mask and shield on at work, and even out of work, because I believe when you are saved, others will be saved. I love the residents and my co-workers; they special to me.
  • My motivation comes from being a people person and compassionate for the residents and my co-workers.
  • The positive impact my actions have on others is keeping them safe so they’re not personally affected by the virus.
  • The Values that most resonate with me are compassion and hospitality. Being compassionate makes you give your best, and if you love the residents and your coworkers, you will want to keep them safe. Compassion makes you hospitable.

“Keep Touchmark Strong! We need to keep Touchmark safe, and we can do that by maintaining social distances, avoiding huge gatherings, wearing our masks, and washing our hands as often as we can.”

Solveig Brunkow

Solveig works as a Life Enrichment/Wellness Assistant at Touchmark at Harwood Groves. She has been instrumental in adapting activities for residents during this challenging time, using virtual methods and drawing on her faith to bring daily devotionals to those missing regularly scheduled spiritual services. She has been dubbed the “PPE Queen” due to her commitment to ensuring there is proper PPE available to team members wherever they need it, and further supported her colleagues by stepping in as a Utility Worker and CNA. When asked what actions she takes to keep herself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, she says:

  • I have been trying to keep open communication between myself and those I see in my life outside of work. My friends and family have been amazingly supportive in keeping me posted on their health if we are planning on seeing each other. I always ask if they have been feeling sick and they give me honest answers in order to make an informed decision on whether it would be safe to get together. I am so thankful for those in my life who have been supportive of the precautions I need to make to keep our residents safe.
  • I am motivated by the awesome residents and the ways that they are also taking precautions to protect others. They have been so appreciative of the steps we take to protect them, and knowing how much it means to them is encouraging for me.
  • I think that, as a community, we feel safe because we know that everyone is taking precautions both here as well as when we are outside of the community. There is trust among us because we know that everyone is doing their best to protect one another. I think this time has created quite a bond between everyone because it is apparent how much we care for one another, and we can show it in tangible ways like wearing our masks.
  • I resonate with the value of “I am a Friend.” A friend is someone who seeks to protect those they love and puts the other before themselves. It is not about my comfort or preferences but the health and well-being of those I love.

“This season has brought a lot of stress and difficulty, but each day is still a gift, and there is so much to enjoy. For our own peace of mind, as well as to encourage our residents, we can find joy and spread it to those around us. Let’s cherish today!”

Touchmark Strong Champion: Solveig Brunkow
Touchmark Strong Champion: Tony Hendrik

Tony Hendrik

Tony works at Touchmark at Harwood Groves as a cook in Dining Services. He has led by example by wearing his mask diligently everywhere he goes, including outside of work. He orders most everything online and is extremely clean at work. In fact, he has worn out a paper towel machine from washing his hands so often! He sanitizes his work station before using it even though he might have just watched somebody clean it. He has very high standards when it comes to cleanliness, and this has been very appreciated. When asked what actions he takes to keep himself, residents, and fellow colleagues safe, he says:

  • Along with practicing the recommended precautions, I have made exercise a priority for myself. I have also encouraged friends and family to make regular exercise a part of their life. Specifically, hiking has been my go-to form of exercise. With one activity, I am able to get fresh air, sunshine, a change of scenery, an increased sense of peace and well-being, a safe way to socialize with another person, as well as exercise.
  • My motives for taking these actions are very simple. At the beginning of the quarantine, I was not hiking or getting very much exercise. The consequences of not making time for these things were fully felt. I hike because I want to be healthy, have energy, and feel good.
  • My hope is that by encouraging others in my community, they will also be healthier, have more energy, and feel better.
  • Teamwork comes to mind when I think about making safe decisions. The people that I am around practice safety precautions so we can keep each other safe, and in turn, keep the people in our individual lives safe.

“The one piece of advice I would give to my teammates, or anyone else, is the same advice I would give myself a few months ago. And that is, to make time for fresh air, sunshine, safe socializing, and exercise. A little bit every day enhances all other areas of life.”