A Profile in Courage and Persistence 

February 21, 2018

Nijazi Sadiku was discharged from care at Holy Trinity Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on January 3, 2018. During the final stages of Nijazi’s stay at Holy Trinity it became very clear that the phrase “A Profile in Courage and Persistence” would be an apt description of his story. 


Nijazi’s Story 

Nijazi was born in Tirana, Albania. Nijazi worked as a mechanical engineer in Tirana until he moved to the USA (Worcester, MA) in 2004. He and his family became members of St Mary’s Assumption Albanian Orthodox church. 


It wasn’t until December 22, 2016 that Nijazi was first admitted to Holy Trinity Nursing & Rehabilitation Center. At that time, his admitting diagnoses revolved around circulatory problems and diabetes. He came into Holy Trinity after a bypass graft on his right foot. The hope was his right foot could be saved. Unfortunately for Nijazi, complications had developed and eventually his foot was amputated. 


This post-surgical amputation in the hospital resulted in Nijazi’s return to Holy Trinity to receive additional treatment. His treatment at that time focused on physical rehabilitation, as well as, supportive services. 


While rehabbing from this operation, Nijazi’s left foot developed a non-healing ulcer. His left foot eventually was amputated as well. Even with his devastating experiences, he never gave up. Nijazi‘s will to overcome these life challenges far and away exceeded his frustrations and depression. 


Upon his return from the hospital, Nijazi’s road to a “new life” included 3 trips per week to dialysis and a double fitting for prosthetics. Once fitted for his prosthetics, Nijazi had to learn how to stand and then walk. At first Nijazi worked on the parallel bars, then graduated to using a walker and finally graduated to using crutches. 


Nijazi’s journey was not a secret to any of Holy Trinity’s residents and staff alike. Everyone watched and marveled at his progression. Many residents referred to him as “a role model”. 

Nijazi told staff his journey was a difficult and emotional one. He is quite complimentary of the “team at Holy Trinity, especially the rehab team”. “I never thought I would walk again and now I am”. On the day he transferred home there were many smiles of appreciation and happiness being shared, Nijazi to staff and vice versa. 


Today, Nijazi is home and living a normal life. He states he has a great social life where many Albanians share his interests. He is happy! 


A final note: a reporter from Channel 3 is interested in Nijazi’s story and he is excited to share it with her. We anticipate that some time in May, his story will air on Channel 3. Stay tuned! 

 (L-R) Anthony Sullo, Director of Rehabilitation Services, 

Nijazi Sadiku, Nobough Asfoura, O.T., Ajitha Pawar, P.T. 

Worcester News Tonight - Preventing the Flu 
WNT interviews Holy Trinity on prevention the Flu.
Holy Trinity Welcomes New Board Members

November 1, 2017

WORCESTER – The Eastern Orthodox Management Corp. Board of Trustees, which oversees Holy Trinity Eastern Orthodox Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Worcester, recently welcomed new board members.


Stephen Fotos, Jr., Thomas Fitzpatrick and Kevin Mercadante, all of Worcester, were elected by the corporation’s general assembly.  Father Gregory Christakos from Saints Anargyroi Greek Orthodox Church in Marlborough was elected to represent the Council of Eastern Orthodox Churches of Central Massachusetts.


Mr. Fotos, who previously served on Holy Trinity’s Finance Committee, was elected board chairman at a trustee meeting in October.  

“We are thrilled these individuals for their service, and we are grateful for their dedication to the Holy Trinity community,’’ said Jerry Shaffer, Administrator of Holy Trinity.  “They each bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table and are committed to Holy Trinity’s mission of providing outstanding nursing and rehabilitative care.’’


Mr. Fotos follows Kristina Niedbala, the outgoing chairwoman who departed under the board’s term-limit requirement. Mr. Fotos is a graduate of Bentley University with a bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in management. He works for TearLab Inc. as a senior territory manager and regional trainer.


Mr. Fotos and Mr. Fitzpartick are both members of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Shrewsbury


Mr. Fitzpartick is an attorney and financial executive St. Gobain Corp. He has significant experience serving on nonprofit boards and has first-hand experience at Holy Trinity -- his mother-in-law was a resident for several years.


Mr. Fitzpatrick has served on the board of trustees and as treasurer for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He is currently the chairman of the board for the organization’s Massachusetts chapter, where he has been involved for 30 years. Mr. Fitzpatrick is also a board member and secretary for the Worcester Historical Museum.


Mr. Mercadante is president of Mercadante Funeral Home in Worcester.  Mr. Mercadante is active in community organizations and serves as president of the Sons of Italy Worcester. A retired major in the Massachusetts Army National Guard, he is the past commander of American Legion Post 201.  He has also given his time as an alumni volunteer for Norwich University.  He and his wife, Kate, live in Worcester, and have three adult children and a grandson.


Father Christakos, who previously served five years as a Holy Trinity trustee, has been at Saints Anargyroi since 2011. He grew up in Methuen and attended the University of Virginia and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He also studied at Oxford University and St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary. After becoming ordained, he spent six years as the assistant pastor at St. Spyridon Cathedral in Worcester.


He is a member of the Middle East Studies Association and the Association for the Study of the Middle East and Africa, and is a senior fellow of the Sophia Institute of Union Theological Seminary.


Dear Brothers and Sisters;


Holy Trinity is a facility that we should all be proud to call home for our loved ones in need of long term care and rehabilitation services.  For the last 23 years, many of our loved ones have found comfort and care from the highly trained and compassionate staff.  Holy Trinity employs 200 people led by Jerry Shaffer, who joined us in December 2016 after taking his previous facility from a 1-star rating to a 5-star rating.  Holy Trinity was recently accredited by the Joint Commission’s Nursing Care Center Accreditation Program. 


Although we do have a great facility with great people, we are not immune to accidents or misfortunes.  The recent media coverage has brought to light one such incident which involved the failure by an agency nurse who was not a member of the Holy Trinity staff to follow the required and appropriate clinical and reporting procedure. From the moment that the incident was brought to the staff’s attention, the appropriate response was followed and the incident has been investigated thoroughly.


We have taken strong and swift action against those who were responsible for the incident and have reiterated to our staff that they are empowered to report anything they believe to be outside of proper protocol to their supervisors without fear of repercussions.  We have developed and implemented a detailed plan of action to ensure that our nurses and direct staff have the necessary training and skills to deal with any situation that they may face from day to day. We know that Holy Trinity is committed to ensuring our loved ones’ safety and health during their time of need.    


The Eastern Orthodox Management Corporation, comprised of 12 Eastern Orthodox Churches, recently held its annual general assembly. Four new board members were elected, replacing those members whose terms were expiring and who had served the maximum period allowed under the board term limits.  The Holy Trinity Board is dedicated to continuing the committed stewardship set forth by the previous Board members. We welcome the entire Eastern Orthodox community to visit Holy Trinity and to offer their time, talents, and treasures to assist us all in the realization of Holy Trinity’s Mission to provide the very best nursing and rehabilitative care in a faith-based setting.


It takes many hands to do great things. With God’s help, the creation of Holy Trinity, through the hard work of the Orthodox communities of Worcester, Southbridge, Webster, Marlborough, Clinton, Fitchburg and Maynard nearly twenty-five years ago, is a testament to that.   With your help, we can sustain that effort and ensure that Holy Trinity is a facility that is the absolute pinnacle by which all other facilities are measured.  We encourage you to visit Holy Trinity and see for yourself the great work being done here. We welcome any ideas you have that you believe would make Holy Trinity a better place for your loved ones.



Stephen Fotos Jr.

Board of Trustees
Eastern Orthodox Management Corp.
Holy Trinity Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
(508) 852-1000



October 16, 2017


Patient Safety Remains Top Priority Under Five-Star Action Plan

By Jerry Shaffer

Our highest priority is providing quality long-term care and rehabilitative care in a safe environment. We take very seriously the trust our residents and their families place in us, and we work hard to remain worthy of that trust.

At Holy Trinity, safety is everyone’s job, as explained recently at a special family meeting focused on patient safety. Department heads from Nursing, Rehabilitation, Social Services, Maintenance and Human Resources shared how they work together to create a safe environment.

Recently, Holy Trinity’s senior management developed and implemented a Five-Star Action Plan. The plan is intended to ensure safety is a priority and help Holy Trinity improve its services, as measured by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Star Rating System. The five parts of the plan are:

     1. Train & Retrain Staff: Retrain staff on proper fall procedure and other patient safety protocols, reinforcing previous and regular in-service

     2. Empower Employees: Every employee is responsible for patient safety and is empowered and encouraged to report problems to             
         supervisors and senior managers without fear of reprisal.

     3. Super Star Supervision: The new Nurse Leadership group brings decades of clinical and managerial knowledge and successful nurse
         leadership experience to train, mentor and lead the nursing staff.
     4. Focus on Fall Prevention: Staff, patients and families will work together to constantly reinforce the importance of fall prevention; 
         implement strategies to prevent injuries; and encourage patients and families to leverage fall prevention technologies.
     5. Seek Council: Reenergize the Resident & Family Councils in a two-way dialogue with senior leadership about patient safety, care and
         quality of life issues.

Did you now that Holy Trinity offers more nursing care than many, many other facilities? On average, we provide 3.5 hours of nursing care to each resident per day. This allows us to respond more quickly to our residents’ call lights and bed and chair alarms, as well as, assist them with other needs.

Based on my 15 years of experience as a state licensed nursing home administrator, the industry standard ranges from 2.9 nursing hours per patient per day to 3.1 hours per patient per day.

This means Holy Trinity is doing a good job in providing nurses to care for the residents. That is to the credit of the Board of Trustees who have made staffing levels a priority and budgeted accordingly.

The nurse staffing levels are the reason Holy Trinity receives a five-star ranking in the two categories of Registered Nurse Staffing and Staffing, according to CMS Star Rating System.

While we are proud of the staffing levels, we have work to do. We received three stars in the Quality Measures category. In eight out of 13 categories, Holy Trinity meets or exceeds state and national standards. Clinical measures of quality include:

  • How does facility manage pain?

  • What is the percentage of residents with a urinary tract infection?

  • What is the percentage of residents who are physically restrained?

  • What is the percentage of residents on antipsychotic medication, and so on.

Overall, we received a positive rating in the Quality Measures category, yet it shows we have areas in need of improvement. Our biggest challenge comes in the Health Inspection category, where incidents involving residents understandably receive a heavily weighted score compared to other categories.

In each of the past three years, Holy Trinity has had a single, isolated incident for which the Department of Public Health investigated and found a deficiency. These incidents are regrettable and should not have happened, but I do not believe they reflect the truly excellent level of care we provide residents. It should be noted that in each case, Holy Trinity submitted and implemented an acceptable plan of correction to the Department of Public Health.

Any incident is unsettling and unacceptable, but you should know our staff works incredibly hard to ensure resident safety. Holy Trinity staff is fully cognizant of the complexities and challenges of working in this industry. We accept these challenges, endeavor to be perfect and when a mistake is made, work even harder to correct it.

Prior to joining Holy Trinity last December, I was an Administrator at another Worcester facility, where we climbed from an overall one-star rating to the highest, five stars. With the hard work, dedication and professionalism that I know we are capable of, Holy Trinity can also become a five-star facility, again.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 508.852.1000

P.S. In the next newsletter I plan to focus on the many accomplishments of Holy Trinity’s professional staff in the past year, from achieving Joint Commission Accreditation, to remaking of a fantastic nurse leadership group, to entering into the modern era of electronic medical records.