This month, we are excited to honor Sheila White as she celebrates her 20th anniversary with Pate. Sheila, who is a mother of one son and sister to seven siblings, is a native of Texas and proud of her Texan roots. She is a fun and energetic person who has a love of movies and music—from R&B to Yanni—and also believes in relaxing and pampering herself when she is not working.
Prior to Pate, Sheila held nursing assistant positions and also worked as a sewing machine operator. A member of the Baptist church in her community, she previously served as usher and president of the usher board—a role that allowed her to visit nursing homes and offer support to those unable to live in the community on their own. Helping people has always been her passion.
Sheila was hired as a personal care attendant on the night shift in October 1991. She first worked at Pate’s Main House residence at Brinlee Creek Ranch in Anna, TX, serving adults with traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). After three years as a personal care attendant, she was promoted to shift leader and is now responsible for leading a team of three staff members. Her team is responsible for ensuring that the needs of all the residents are met throughout the shift. Sheila has held this position for the past 17 years, still working where she began her career at Pate, in the Main House.
One of Sheila’s fondest memories of her earliest days at Pate is of a resident who had particularly challenging needs. Sheila and the resident quickly established a rapport, and this trusting relationship had an impact on the patient, eventually helping turn his behaviors around. Sheila was elated that she was able to help foster such a dramatically positive change in his life.
“It is a miracle watching how the residents’ behaviors change as they develop coping strategies, foster positive relationships, and apply effective behaviors to manage their life situations,” said Sheila. “Working with individuals with TBIs has surely changed my perception of this affliction in particular, as well as of persons with other physical and cognitive limitations. I am proud of my 20 years at Pate and thankful for the experiences I have with the patients and staff. I enjoy coming to work every day!”
Sheila believes that working with residents with brain injuries has changed her life. Over the years, Sheila has seen miracles happen in the lives of brain injury survivors. For example, several residents in her care who were initially unable to walk and function independently have been dedicated to improvement and worked diligently to walk again, without assistive devices. In turn, they have led more successful, independent lives. She has gained a sense of compassion and respect for these individuals and now finds herself compelled to be their advocate. She treats the residents as if they are family—she relates to them with compassion and sincerely cares about each person.
A highly respected leader within our organization, she executes her responsibilities in the spirit of excellence and is affectionately referred to as our seasoned shift leader in residential services.
The residents are also pleased to be in her care, noting that she is, “a good friend, a very dedicated worker, fantastic at her job, accepting of people as they are, intelligent, excellent, and loving.”
Sheila, having you here is an awesome honor and privilege. You bring a smile to all the members of the Pate family—both patients and staff. Thank you for the impact you continue to make in the lives of the residents, and congratulations on your 20th anniversary!