When Kim Berry was in high school, a classmate at Canandaigua Academy was working in Nutrition Services for Thompson Health and encouraged her to apply.
Twenty-five years later, Berry has experienced many changes – both personally and professionally – but there’s still no place she’d rather be.
“Thompson is like family,” she said. “You become very close to the people you work with, and everyone is supportive, energetic and hardworking.”
After a couple of years in Nutrition Services, Berry decided she wanted to try a position in Environmental Services instead. It was the right fit at the time, but a few years later, she started working evenings in Emergency Department registration, later switching to a daytime position in outpatient registration.
It was about 15 years ago that Berry decided she wanted more interaction with families – not just a few minutes during a registration process, but more time, with a more meaningful connection. She applied for an opening as admissions assistant at Thompson’s M.M. Ewing Continuing Care Center, where 10 years ago, she was promoted to the position of admissions coordinator.
In her role, Berry meets with families, gives them tours of the facility and tries to help ease the process of placing a loved one in skilled-nursing care. “It’s one of the hardest decisions they’ll ever have to make in life,” she said, noting that she loves seeing the families in the lobby or halls as time goes on, hearing how happy they are with the care.
Berry also loves her role in the facility’s Sharon M. Pepper Wish Upon a Star Program, dressing up as a genie and sharing the good news with residents whose names are randomly drawn for a wish fulfillment. She once even got the chance to dress up as the health system’s mascot – Thompson Bear – for a parade.
During Berry’s time at Thompson, the health system has changed a great deal. She used to know all of the faces and every inch of the campus, but it has grown tremendously, giving her the opportunity to work with many people.
Throughout, Thompson was a good place to be as she raised her daughter and son, offering flexible scheduling so she could be sure to be there for all of the important moments. “Everyone has been very supportive of me transitioning and growing throughout the system over the years,” she said.
According to Berry, Thompson is a great place to be for anyone looking to grow their career. “Just get your foot in the door and you can work your way up,” she said.
And that high school friend who first encouraged her to apply to Thompson? She’s now the director of Hospital Medicine, Advanced Surgical Services, Gastroenterology and Obstetrics/Gynecology for the health system.