Certified Nursing Assistants are a blessing to Cortland Acres residents



Raeanna Martin, a certified nursing assistant at Cortland Acres, spends time talking with Hugh Bright. She has been at the rehabilitation and long-term care facility for 11 years.

THOMAS, W.Va. – Raeanna Martin and her certified nursing assistant colleagues are everything residents at Cortland Acres want and need them to be.

“We do everything from helping them brush their teeth and getting dressed in the morning to changing their shoes, fixing their hair and transporting them in and out of activities and physical therapy,” Martin said. “We are the ones who are there when they are sick. We are the ones who hold their hand. We are the ones who are there when they are dying.

“We are their comfort away from home.”


“We are their comfort away from home.”

Her co-worker, Brittany Toth, wholeheartedly agrees. She said the job can be tough some days but she enjoys the difference she can make daily in people’s lives.

“I love working at Cortland Acres where I can help people who are like family to me, my grandmother or my grandfather,” Toth said. “I’ve worked the same wing for almost four years and know each individual’s wants and needs. I have never met so many loving and caring people and enjoy helping to brighten their days.”

Brittany Toth has been a certified nursing assistant at Cortland Acres for almost six years. She enjoys making people like Mitchell Teter smile and laugh.

For many residents, certified nursing assistants (CNAs) like Martin and Toth are guardian angels. They become an extended member of the family and enhance the resident’s quality of life, said Cortland Acres Administrator Beth Clevenger.

“We are fortunate to have a talented staff of certified nursing assistants on our team and recognize their commitment to the residents who call Cortland Acres home,” Clevenger said. “It takes a special person to become a caregiver and serve others. We encourage our entire staff to spend time interacting with the residents. We want the staff to sit down and take time to talk with residents, and find out their joys or what may be troubling them.”

Martin said she relishes the one-on-one time she can spend with the residents on her wing.

“People just like for you to talk to them because a lot of them don’t have families,” she said. “We become their families and we just treat them like they’re one of ours. We joke with them and make them feel good.”

Vicki Pennington has been a certified nursing assistant at Cortland Acres for 34 years. She finds her works in the memory unit very rewarding.

“The duties for an aide differs in the memory unit,” she said. “In addition to the normal CNA duties, we also help with activities, movies, music and cooking. We have a kitchen where we can make sandwiches and bake cookies and cakes.

“I enjoy seeing a resident’s face light up when they remember something from the past.”

“I enjoy seeing a resident’s face light up when they remember something from the past.”


Martin said she sees herself being at Cortland Acres for many years to come, comforting and caring for the residents.

“When they are sad and crying, I can guarantee you that I am there crying with them,” Martin said. “Sometimes it is trying but this is one of the best rewarding things I have ever done.

“I want to be a certified nursing assistant here. This is where I am.”

Cortland Acres will soon be offering a six-week course training opportunity for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in Thomas. Upon completion of the course and certification, applications for employment at Cortland Acres may be offered. For more information call Lois Nelson at 304-463-4181 or email lnelson@cortlandacres.org.

The Cortland Acres campus includes a 94-bed long-term care facility, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation center and programs, rental apartments in Pineview and townhouses in The Pines. For more information or to set up an appointment call 304-463-4181 or visit www.cortlandacres.org.