Nursing with Heart at CBV

Pam Novielli, LPN - Nursing with Heart at CBV

The dedicated staff members at Central Baptist Village create a warm, welcoming environment for all residents, filled with comfort, care, and moments of joy. For Pam Novielli, LPN, who works on Pavilion 1 and cares for residents with late-stage memory care needs, it’s often the little things that create the biggest impact.

“The small gestures make a big difference,” Pam says. “Words may not always stick around, but the way you make people feel stays with them.”

Right after graduating from nursing school, Pam was a nurse in the surgical float pool at Lutheran General Hospital (now Advocate Lutheran General) in Park Ridge. Although she enjoyed that job, she realized how much she loved spending time with the senior citizen community: listening to their stories, learning about their history, and making a positive impact on their health and their lives. Inspired by her desire to work in an assisted living community, Pam began her career at CBV—nearly 38 years ago!

During the entire span of her career at CBV, Pam has worked with residents who need the greatest level of memory care. She has seen the Pavilion grow through the years, and she’s grateful that there’s now an entire floor dedicated to residents with late-stage memory care needs and there are lots of resources for these residents. Activities in the Pavilion encourage residents to do what makes them happy and comfortable, such as coloring, cleaning, and listening to music.

Laughing when asked if there is a typical day in nursing, Pam says that her two main tasks are giving residents their medication and ensuring they eat. But as she explains, the heart of her job is making sure residents are safe, comfortable, and happy in their home at CBV. “We are here for them, meeting the residents where they are at,” says Pam. “We listen to their stories, we engage in their daily lives, and we laugh a lot. We make it feel like home.”

To sweeten the days, Pam points out that a hug and a smile go a long way. “Of all the expressions, I think the smile is the most important for our residents. If somebody smiles at you, you’re going to feel happy.” And if the smiles don’t work? “There’s always chocolate,” says Pam, a favorite treat among residents
and staff alike.

In addition to the many resources CBV offers to enable staff to meet the specific needs and wishes of residents, Pam is grateful for the collaboration and open communication among the nursing staff and the doctors who work together with a shared commitment to the well-being of residents. “The doctors really listen to the nurses. The CNAs are excellent. There isn’t one I wouldn’t want taking care of my own parents,” she emphasizes.

“I feel very fortunate to have been here this long. Many of us have been at CBV a long time, and that says a lot,” says Pam. She appreciates that CBV looks out for and lifts them up when they need it, whether it’s providing additional training or hosting an ice cream day. As Pam explains, “It’s a very supportive place to work. It’s not just a job, and I’m not just a number. I have been here so long because it’s a true family—a work family.”