Careers in Aging: Katoria Westbrook, Director of Nursing Careers In Aging Week Published:March 23, 2021 Page ContentKatoria Westbrook has spent the majority of her professional career working at Centre Pointe Health & Rehabilitation, dedicating 20 years to caring for seniors. At the young age of 17, Katoria graduated high school with her LPN certificate and came to Centre Pointe to work as a certified nursing assistant until she earned her LPN degree. The first in her family to graduate high school and college, Katoria worked her way up the long term care career ladder and today she’s the center’s Director of Nursing. She’s spent her career mentoring others, motivating her peers and leading her team members by example. Trust, compassion, dedication and perseverance are some of the words that describe Katoria, and she’s one of the reasons Centre Pointe is known for the quality care it provides to the seniors in this community. As a long term care nurse, Katoria wears many hats – caregiver, friend, clergy, social worker, therapist. For months Katoria and their team worked tirelessly to keep COVID out of their care center, but we all know this invisible virus manages to find its way even with the most heightened protections. Katoria and her team felt deflated at first, because they worked so hard to mitigate the spread for so many months. But as a leader she took swift action to keep her residents safe, putting aside her fears about her own safety and the worry that she might bring the virus home to her family. Katoria not only had to focus on all the safety measures to protect her residents from COVID, she had to ensure the residents’ every day needs were taken care of – their medications, feeding, dressing, and emotional needs. She also had to keep family members informed and serve as an emotional caregiver since visitors weren’t allowed in – because even during COVID, life does not stop. Recently Katoria got vaccinated because she has seen the first-hand effects of this virus, and she wants to be part of the solution to stop this pandemic. It’s been a challenge for Katoria and her fellow caregivers. But through it all she has shown tremendous courage.