By Annette Pinder

The McGuire Group (McGuire) nursing facilities are lauded as a first choice in health care throughout Western New York. One way they assure this is by valuing the staff who care for their residents and patients.

One particularly successful program at McGuire is their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program, which trains individuals to become CNAs through a NYS approved program at the McGuire Training Center at 425 Michigan Avenue in Buffalo. The facility features a hands-on learning lab with resident beds, medical equipment, mannequins for skill development, and a computer lab for online learning and test administration. The paid training program, which has graduated 500 individuals annually for more than 25 years, includes 112.5 hours of training, 10 days in the classroom, and five days in the nursing facility. Individuals receive certification after passing a New York State administered exam.

Prior to training and before beginning the program, CNA candidates work for a short period of time as resident aides at one of McGuire Group’s facilities. “We take our training component seriously,” says Angela Mostiller, lead human resource director for McGuire. “This introductory position allows new-hires to become acclimated to the facility, their team members, and residents, and results in a better understanding of the job and its requirements.”

Amy Schleer is one of the first people trained as a CNA. Schleer says, “I literally grew up at McGuire, first volunteering when I was 13 years-old, and later becoming a resident aide.” Schleer took the certification course and became a mentor for new trainees entering the program. The program provided the impetus for continuing her education, with Schleer earning LPN, RN, and BSN degrees, with McGuire’s support. She is now McGuire’s Director of Nursing at Garden Gate Health Care Facility in Cheektowaga, and says, “I don’t think I could have accomplished all I have without McGuire’s ongoing support.”

McGuire’s CNA program is overseen by a professional team of educators that includes Susan Mann, RN, program coordinator who also began her career with the company as a CNA. Mann and her team teach more than the state-required 100 hours, ensuring that those graduating from the program exceed expectations with the highest level of skill possible.

Mostiller believes in giving staff the tools and education they need to be successful, adding that, “Each person has a variety of talents and attributes that they bring into the organization. When we interview candidates, we’re looking for individuals who embody qualities of being compassionate, dedicated, courteous and informative; we call them McGuire Mission Makers.”

The McGuire Group offers skilled nursing care, subacute and outpatient rehabilitation, memory care, palliative care, hospice care, and respite/short-term care at five WNY facilities located in Hamburg, Cheektowaga, Williamsville, North Tonawanda, and West Seneca. If you are interested in CNA training or other employment opportunities, start your McGuire Mission Maker journey at www.mcguiregroup.com/career-opportunities, or call 716-829-1923.

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