Brenda McGriff

“They’re my family,” says Brenda McGriff of her patients. “If they hurt, I hurt.”

Brenda McGriff never really knew her grandparents, so the residents at Westminster Assisted Living have become her surrogate grandparents.

“I just love them,” said McGriff, who has worked at Morningside since 2017. “I love listening to them. I’ve learned so much from them, from careers to canning to raising kids. It’s just a joy.”

Although her title is Transportation Director, McGriff does much more than that.

Mary Ellen Jones, one of two people who nominated McGriff as an Unsung Hero, said, “There is nothing that Brenda would not try to do to assist a patient.”

McGriff schedules patients’ doctors’ appointments, gets them there and stays with them so she can be sure the health care workers have all the information on the patient and so that Westminster knows of any changes to medications or care instructions.

“It’s important to me to be there to be supportive but also for feedback,” she said.

She’s also finding activities to enjoy with the residents.

Samantha Rainwater, who also nominated McGriff, said, “In her down time, she gathers the residents up to play cards or board games.”

McGriff said one activity that she loves is singing with the residents in Memory Care. She said they may not remember conversations you’ve had with them, but once you start signing, “they can sing every lyric to every gospel song they have ever heard.

“I can start signing ‘You are my Sunshine,’ and here we go! They’re signing right along with me.”

She loves working at Westminster, where she says they give her the leeway to have activities with the residents. “The people that work here, from the administrator down, are so great.”

It’s a feeling that’s reciprocated. “The residents at Westminster would like to thank Brenda for all she does for them,” Rainwater wrote. “She is loved and appreciated by everyone here.”

“All of the patients really enjoy Brenda’s presence,” wrote Jones. “She leaves us feeling loved and appreciated.”

“I just love them,” said McGriff. “They’re my family. If they hurt, I hurt.”

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 116.

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