Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are profiling the McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 6 through Aug. 9. To see the 2021 McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction awards ceremony, register for free here. For additional profiles of McKnight’s Women of Distinction, visit this page.
Not many people can say they’ve been passionately working the same job for more than 35 years, but that’s exactly what Johnnie Brooks gets to do every day.
In 1972, Brooks began as a secretary at Treutlen County Nursing Home in Soperton, GA. She never left. She was promoted to activities and social director in 1974 and transferred to the role of secretary and bookkeeper in 1976 until 1985. She obtained her administrator’s licensure and became Treutlen’s top leader that year. She has served in that position to this day.
Since becoming administrator, Brooks has helped Treutlen achieve a strong reputation as a nursing home, and among its Ethica Health & Retirement Communities family. She has led Treutlen to Ethica Facility of the Year awards twice and also has been named Administrator of the Year twice. She also has received several Gold- and Platinum-level Quality Awards from Ethica.
In addition to the recognition from Ethica, Treutlen and Brooks have also received attention from other organizations. Treutlen has been a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 5-star facility since 2008 and it received the American Health Care Association Gold-level Quality Award for 2020, among multiple other awards and accomplishments.
On top of via this acknowledgement from outside the facility, Brooks’ coworkers can see her hardworking habits as she leads by example. She has been seen picking up trash, pushing residents and patients to their activities, and cleaning spills. She sometimes even faces one of her greatest fears, the sight of dentures, by diving in the dumpster to look for lost pairs.
Brooks has changed the Treutlen facility in countless ways over the years, colleagues say. One of the most striking was introducing an option for employees to bring their children to work and beginning a small day care at the facility so they wouldn’t have to pay for one. Accordingly, the nursing home residents reportedly have enjoyed interacting with the kids.
The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.