Candace Murphy was only 15 years old when she started working in a long-term-care facility. Now, she is demonstrating her dedication to the elderly in her new position as social services designee at Cherry Village Benevolence, 1401 Cherry Lane.
“I started out in long-term care in the dietary department,” Murphy said. “That is when I got my passion for working with the elderly. I am gratified that I can be of even more service to our residents and their families.”
As part of her continuing education, Murphy earned certification as a social services designee through the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services late last year. She has worked at Cherry Village for 3-and-a-half years, most recently as the billing supervisor.
Her background also includes experience in medical coding, and Medicare and Medicaid issues.
“While I am keeping some of my former responsibilities, this new position allows me to advocate more directly for residents and their families,” Murphy said. “I advocate for their health care and legal rights, while also seeing that their physical, social and emotional needs are met.”
As part of the admissions team at the non-profit Cherry Village, she collaborates with the director of nursing and other staff members on behalf of each resident.
Murphy also works one-on-one with families during the admission process and throughout the resident’s stay at Cherry Village. Residency at Cherry Village involves short-term stays for recovery from a joint replacement or stroke, as well as long-term care.
Other responsibilities include: helping people apply for Medicaid; keeping the schedule for medical and other appointments; and participating in the monthly Residents Council meeting.
“Our monthly meeting allows time for residents to share with one another and with staff,” Murphy said. “Even though the staff interacts with people many times throughout the day, residents enjoy sharing information and concerns with one another at our meetings.”
In some cases, Murphy is the first person contacted about a concern. “I can often answer their questions right away. But if I can’t, I know where to go for advice. I can call on the staff person who has the best information.”
In addition to her social-services-designee certification, Murphy also is a certified nurse’s aide, and has a medical coding certificate from the American Academy of Physicians Coding.
Her professional background also includes employment at the former Central Kansas Medical Center and in medical offices.
Murphy and her husband, Eric, have three children: Caleb, 12; Cailyn, 9; and Cara, 7. They live in Great Bend.
A local family has managed the non-profit Cherry Village, 1401 Cherry Lane, since it opened in 1978.