RISE Life Services has an amazing team of people, who make a powerful and positive difference every day in people’s lives.  We’d like you to meet our staff members and learn more about them. This week we introduce you to Jim Vantassel, RN and Director of Nursing. We asked Jim some questions to get to know him better.

What is your role at RISE?

I am currently the Director of Nursing here at RISE.

When did you start with our organization?

I started here in June 2018, less than a year ago.

What is your favorite part of working here?

The residents, and knowing that they are progressing and living full lives with many choices.

What do you find challenges you the most? 

One of the greatest challenges so far has been managing some of the complex health issues and insuring the best care for our residents.  As the population gets older, the medical care slowly increases and the training of the staff as well as the resident is ongoing.  Overcoming the fear of medical issues and helping staff and residents cope with the changes that come with that is a big part of what the nurses do.

Any specific goals for this year, professionally or personally?

I would like to see our medical services expand to those people who are dual diagnosed with mental health as well as intellectual impairment conditions.  There are people who are under-served and I think that we are poised as an agency to help them.  I’d also like to start writing a textbook for nurses and medical students to learn about the developmentally disabled and their specific needs.

Do you have any hobbies or special interests? 

I enjoy working in the garden and working on my house with the never-ending projects that a homeowner has.  Some of it’s good, and some of it’s tedious, but necessary. I am fairly involved in church-related activities and community volunteer work as well.

What would we find you typically doing on a day off? 

As I said, I do enjoy working in the yard.  But I enjoy ‘thrift’ stores and yard sales on Saturdays.  Sometimes I take a ride out east with friends to go to an art show, have lunch or just go to the beach.

Favorite food(s)?

My favorite food is Shepard’s Pie.  I also enjoy steak and meat loaf.  Actually, I’ll eat most anything.  Why?  IS THAT A PROBLEM?   (Laughing out loud!)

Favorite color?

My favorite color is blue.  Although, I do like green because it’s the color of money.

What advice do you have for someone starting their career in this area?

Learn and learn some more.  This is a great field to work in and offers many opportunities for advancement.

RISE Life Services provides a residential and supported living environment on the East End of Long Island, dedicated to empowering people with intellectual disabilities and mental health challenges to RISE to their full potential. To learn more about RISE Life Services, residential housing, job opportunities and other programs, please browse our website or call 631-727-6220 ext. 203 with any questions.