What’s New

July 25, 2023

It’s Never Too Late for Love

An Oakwood Romance

A timeless love story blossomed between Anthony Granato and Margaret Mazzola in the halls of Oakwood Healthcare and Rehabilitation. They became the best of friends in 2022, when they met and bonded over their shared faith. Anthony knew he had found his soulmate in Margaret.

He made his intentions known to the Social Services Department, and picked out a ring. One evening, after dinner, he asked Margaret to become his wife…and she said yes! On June 22, 2023, they exchanged heartfelt vows amidst the love and support of their Oakwood family.

Congratulations Anthony & Margaret!

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August 11, 2021

Rehab Success!

Tawanda Roberts

Tawanda arrived at Oakwood in early March 2021 following an extensive and complicated hospitalization involving a surgical amputation of her right leg. Since her first day at our facility, Tawanda has ALWAYS remained positive and upbeat, motivating not only herself but also those around her. Even though she had her own physical and medical issues to work through following the recent surgery, Tawanda never faltered in her spirit. Tawanda worked hard during each therapy session to improve her ability to transfer in and out of bed, in and out of a wheelchair, and even started walking household distances with her new prosthetic leg using a walker!

We are extremely proud of Tawanda and all that she has accomplished for herself. Her wonderful smile, bubbly personality, and joyous energy added so much to our facility!

July 23, 2021

Meet Our Admissions Director

Brandi Brown

We are excited to feature our beloved Admissions Director in this issue. Brandi started at Oakwood Healthcare in 2008 as Social Services Director, and transitioned to Admissions Director within 5 years. With her characteristic exuberance and joie de vivre, she is a tremendous asset to our center. Her natural affinity to seniors led her to choose a career in long-term care setting. She loves spending time with our residents and the relationship is reciprocated in kind. Brandi feels that she has gained a wealth of knowledge from her interactions with our diverse resident population, and enjoys meeting people from all different backgrounds and cultures.

A Philadelphia gal, born and bred, Brandi earned an MBA from Eastern University and 2 Masters in Management from Devry University. She recently finished her AIT certification. A woman who wears many hats and is always on her toes, Brandi helps out in multiple departments – from social services to case management. She worked straight through Covid, coming in to Oakwood every single day.

Brandi is married and is the proud mom of one son. She loves relaxing and spending time with her family and her dog, Ace. Other leisure outlets include dancing, music, art and entertainment.

“I just love working with seniors. There is no place I’d rather be than here. I have gained so much from meeting so many different residents from diverse backgrounds and cultures.”

March 8, 2021

Rehab Success!

Janice Waddington

Janice Waddington arrived at Oakwood Healthcare & Rehabilitation mid-January after a very complicated hospitalization involving additional time in the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit. This unexpected health setback took a great toll on Janice and she found it very difficult to complete simple, everyday tasks and activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing and grooming. Her customized rehabilitation plan was focused on helping her regain her strength so she could independently complete these basic tasks and ultimately return home safely to her family.

From Janice’s first day at Oakwood she was very motivated to complete all her rehabilitation sessions, all the while attending dialysis three times a week! Janice bravely fought through the daily fatigue that dialysis causes and pushed herself to achieve and exceed her goals during her rehabilitation. We are very proud of Janice’s accomplishments, and wish her all the best as she returns home stronger and more independent.

February 20, 2021

Meet Our ADON

Jaime Blount

Jaime Blount, our Assistant Director of Nursing (ADON), has been at Oakwood Healthcare & Rehabilitation for more than six years. Jamie, who is a certified wound care nurse, started here at Oakwood as a part-time licensed practical nurse, upgrading her accreditation and becoming a full-time registered nurse, then a full-time unit manager. For the past two years Jamie has been working as our ADON alongside Barbara Lorman, our Director of Nursing (DON).

“Oakwood is a great place to work,” Jamie says. “I have learned a lot from my DON and gained a lot of experience.” In addition to supervising the three units here at Oakwood, Jamie makes rounds with our doctors, assists our unit managers, and manages scheduling and daily appointments.

Jamie, who was born and bred in Northeast Philadelphia, always wanted to be a nurse but put her plans on hold, choosing to get married and start a family first. She’s the proud mom of four beautiful children (now grown). Sadly, Jamie lost her husband when she was just 36 years old. Soon afterwards she decided to realize her dream of becoming a nurse, a challenge as a single mom with teenagers at home! Jamie set a strong example of hard work and dedication for her children. She put herself through nursing school, all the while working as a full-time certified nursing assistant (CNA), often studying during her work breaks.

Jamie attributes her success in part to having a very encouraging and supportive nurse supervisor. “A supportive mentor can’t be underestimated,” says Jamie, who attributes her success in part to a very supportive nurse supervisor.

Jamie moved to Bensalem about a year ago, and has a hairless cat, Cindy, and a dog named Chanel, whom many of our residents know and love. Before COVID, Jamie often brought Chanel in to visit with Oakwood’s residents. Thank you so much Jamie, for being such an important part of the Oakwood family!

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November 11, 2020

Here’s Marisel Mendez’s

Moving Story

Released from hospital in late July after having major open heart surgery, Marisel Mendez arrived at Oakwood Healthcare motivated and determined to regain her independence. The surgery took a great toll on Marisel’s strength, endurance and mobility and she required rehabilitation to help her complete the simple everyday tasks she was once able to do like dressing, grooming, and walking. The Oakwood team created an individualized rehabilitation program for Marisel that was focused on helping her regain her strength and independence so she could return home safely and be with family once again.

Marisel was extremely motivated since Day 1 to complete all of her therapy sessions, despite also being a dialysis patient. She fought through the frequent fatigue that dialysis causes and pushed herself to attend every session. Although she entered our building in a stretcher and used a wheelchair for long transports,at the time of her discharge, she walked out independently, without the use of an assistive device!

“Therapy helped me a lot. They sent me home with exercises that I continue to do every day. I had rehab once before, and this experience was so much better!”

November 11, 2020

Staff Behind the Mask Spotlight

Meet Our Rehab Director Lincy Philip

Lincy Phillip has worked as our Lead Therapist since 2019 and became the Director of Rehabilitation at Oakwood Healthcare in July 2020. Lincy is an extremely enthusiastic and passionate Physical Therapist who is dedicated to supporting our residents and patients with strong rehabilitative care.

Lincy now lives in Montgomery County with her husband, daughter, and French bulldog Bailey. She graduated from the University of the Sciences in 2013 with a doctorate in Physical Therapy and a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences, and forged a career path practicing in Acute Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities in both PA and in NJ. There she found her passion within geriatrics, focusing on rehabilitating and maintaining functional mobility within the elderly population. Over time, she has honed the various rehabilitative skills required to optimize individuals to their maximum rehab potential with the goal for a safe discharge to their previous lifestyle and setting. Lincy is grateful to her parents who instilled in her a deep respect for her elders.

“At Oakwood Healthcare, we aim to make a difference in someone’s life so that they can return home with a newfound sense of accomplishment, motivating them to be able to get stronger and safely return to the community, both mentally and physically, and as independently as possible,” says Lincy.

Lincy is incredibly proud of her rehab team, who puts forth their best effort each and every day to ensure that our residents receive the best rehab care, treating the resident as a person and not just their impairment. The entire rehab team is committed to ensuring residents are involved in all aspects of their care, starting from the initial evaluation. Discharge planning is discussed right from the beginning so that the goals set by both patient and therapist are geared towards discharging safely back to the community.

My favorite quote is: “Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives” from Michelle Obama.

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February 9, 2019

Dr. Farooq Awarded

Top Doctor 2018

We are honored to have a physician of Dr. Umar Farooq’s caliber as our Medical Director, and we congratulate him on his recent award.

Dr. Farooq is the only internist in Northeast Philadelphia to be awarded this distinction from Philadelphia Magazine.

Practicing medicine for more than two decades, Dr. Farooq is affiliated with multiple area hospitals including Jefferson Health, and is highly esteemed throughout the area.

December 20, 2018

Helping Residents Move Forward

With Stroke Recovery

Individuals recovering from stroke must overcome many challenges
to recapture the basic skills they’ve lost.

At Oakwood, we’re here to assist residents on their journey – easing the way in our supportive environment to facilitate their return to the daily activities they love.

To help our residents attain the best possible outcomes, we have recently introduced two new pieces of cutting-edge equipment:

Our Robotic Gait Trainer improves residents’ functional mobility and balance by supporting users in a harness in a mobile frame – providing the freedom to determine one’s gait pattern without the risk of falling.

Our 3D Arm-Weight Apparatus is an active assistive arm support that allows users to move their otherwise limited arms during engaging computer programs The machine provides customizable support at each joint and tracks user range of motion allowing our residents to track their progress, The game-like exercises are designed to train core movement patterns that are commonly used in Activities of Daily Living.

Our therapy team is pleased to see continued resident improvement and increased user engagement with usage of this equipment. We continue to explore all of the benefits and uses of this equipment for individuals with a wide range of neurological diagnoses including stroke, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis, as well as various orthopedic conditions.

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September 15, 2018

The Doctor’s In The House!

The presence of Dr. Sabahat Farooq in our building 6 days a week is Oakwood Healthcare’s vital differentiator.

Dr. Farooq, an attending physician at Oakwood for more than a decade, is licensed by the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine and is a Board Certified Diplomat in Internal Medicine. She parlays her wide swath of experience to spearhead our residents’ care– collaborating with our DON and her team, and making her rounds every morning, Monday through Saturday.

Her presence is key to getting our residents the treatment they need quickly as her ability to discern conditions that can be treated in-house such as mild dehydration or pneumonia without hypoxia from medically complex ailments that require hospitalization remains unmatched. Her careful analysis of each patient and forward thinking shows her passion and commitment to maintaining Oakwood’s effective delivery of quality care.

"I make these judgment calls daily. I can’t reiterate how important it is to actually listen to the nursing staff on the front line. If they are concerned about a patient, I take it very seriously,” states Dr. Farooq."

Inspired by her father, a doctor, to pursue the field of medicine, she completed medical school in Pakistan – her native country. While a medical student she met and wed her husband, Dr. Umar Farooq, who is the current Medical Director at Oakwood.

Dr. Farooq resides with her family in Bensalem, PA, where she and her husband have a private practice, Knights Medical Associates, and are active members of the community.

"Having a doctor on premises daily with her level of knowledge, skill and experience, is tremendously reassuring to our residents and families." – Administrator Sam Smith

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July 15, 2018

Moving Forward After An Amputation

Never Say “I Can’t”

Inspiration comes from many sources. Ethel Driscoll could never have imagined that she would be exactly that to so many. Others might not have seen a “below-knee amputation” as a possibility for hope and a “New Day”. However, Ethel was determined to regain her strength and balance, relearn the skills needed to live independently, and prepare for the arrival of her artificial leg – and chose to do just that at Oakwood Healthcare. Our physical therapy team worked with her on desensitizing her residual limb area to avoid phantom leg pain and contracture.

Told to expect the delivery of her prosthetic in about a year, she was pleasantly surprised when it was delivered only 3 weeks later! Since she had exerted herself in therapy – doing her daily exercises diligently – she was well-conditioned and able to walk with it immediately after putting it on for the first time.

Ethel successfully reached her goals and is now able to walk with a rolling walker, dress herself, do her own skin checks, and independently manage her prosthetic and shrinkage. Our staff members are thrilled with Ethel’s progress and proud of the integral role they played in enabling her to move to Colorado to live with her daughter.

“My therapist Olga Golant really pushed me and motivated me to keep going. She told me to never say that I can’t, and that I will. That mantra really stuck with me and I kept saying ‘I will! I will! I will!’ in my room to help me get through this.”

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April 15, 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON: Stroke Awareness

Did You Know?

Educating yourself about stroke can be lifesaving. Knowing when someone is at risk for stroke and what a stroke is, can help you be prepared when it’s time to react.

Stroke can occur at any age; 1 out of 5 people who have a stroke are under 55 and your chance of stroke increases as you get older. There are nearly 7 million stroke survivors in the U.S.

More women have stroke than men and more women die from stroke than from breast cancer every year.

Manageable risk factors include: high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation (A-fib), high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, poor circulation, inactivity, and obesity.

Act FAST. Any of these signs could mean a stroke, and the sooner you call 911, the better the chance of recovery.
Face: Look for an uneven smile.
Arm: Check if one arm is weak.
Speech: Listen for slurred speech.
Time: Call 911 at the first sign.

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March 19, 2018

Oakwood’s In Full Bloom!

You can feel the excitement at Oakwood Healthcare now that Spring is here. Every year our residents and activities staff eagerly wait for the frost to subside and get their gardening gloves on to start planting the flowers for Spring and Summer.

We are fortunate to have “Enabling Gardens” outside the Main Dining Room. These gardens feature raised flower beds so that residents in wheelchairs can easily plant and tend to the flower gardens.

This year we are starting from scratch and will have fresh soil placed in the garden areas to provide nourishment to the annual flowers selected for the garden.

Fresh air can do wonders for our mood and health – so can sunshine. The sun’s rays cause the body to produce vitamin D and boosts serotonin levels in the brain.

Residents who are avid gardeners enjoy going out daily to plant and water the variety of flowers that are grown. When you come visit, take a moment to step outside to smell the flowers . . . and view our beautiful gardens.

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February 3, 2018

SPOTLIGHT ON: Heart Health

Did You Know?

Your heart works nonstop for your whole life – show it some TLC! Making small changes in your habits can make a real difference to your cardiac health.

•Aim for lucky #7. The latest research in cardiac care indicates that 7 hours of regenerating sleep can have a positive impact on your heart.

•Keep the pressure under control. Get your blood pressure checked every year if you’re 40 or older. Cut back on salt, limit alcohol to no more than one to two drinks a day, favor healthy eating habits and manage your stress.

•Move more. Aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise. That includes any activity that gets you moving around and breaking a slight sweat.
•Clean up. Your heart works best when it runs on clean fuel. That means lots of whole, plant-based foods (like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds) and fewer refined or processed foods.

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January 31, 2018

Face to Face with our Director of Food Services

Donald Williams

Graduating in 1992 with a Certified Dietary Manager Degree, Donald has been a Director of Food Service since 2004. At Oakwood, Donald is responsible for our successful dining services – and the efficient Meal Tracker System behind them!

Working since 2001 with Irene, Oakwood’s Administrator, Donald emphasizes the importance of working with an administrator who “gets it”.

“A good fit with the administrator is a very important piece of this job”, indicates Donald. “Irene understands what running a kitchen entails and makes sure we have everything we need to operate an efficient kitchen that produces medically prescribed food that is both appealing and tasty”.
As for Donald’s pride & joy:


“When someone stops me in the hall and says—’Donald, soup was phenomenal’—it means that we are doing our job, and it means a lot to me!

You have to understand, our competition is ‘HOME’. Our residents’ daily fare needs to be at least as good as their food at home.”

Most people have preconceived notions of nursing home food but Oakwood is breaking that mold with fantastic food that is appealing to the eye, nutritious, satisfying, and beyond residents’ expectations.


“We have an amazing team at Oakwood and our high level of morale shows up in our residents’ food experience.” Kudos to Assistant Managers Chris Simbo & Charles McIntyre, and to Amy Coughlin, Dietitian, who are integral to the success of Oakwood’s kitchen!

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November 28, 2017

Meet Our Podiatrist

Dr. Stuart Jacob

Dr. Jacob, DPM, is a welcome presence at Oakwood as he works “hand in hand” with our staff to keep our residents’ feet problem-free.

Board certified by both major boards in podiatry, Dr. Jacob is proactive in his approach to foot care, and looks to prevent complications before they arise. He knows our residents well and has made many friends.

Dr. Jacob has been affiliated with Lourdes Hospital in Burlington, NJ, since it opened 25 years ago, and currently serves there as the Wound Center Podiatrist.

October 8, 2017

Face to Face with

Jae Leyson PT, DPT

What is distinctive about rehabilitation at Oakwood?

Our staff! It makes a BIG difference on the therapy side because it is clear to us all that we are NOT treating impairments. We are treating people – human beings with a life to live, dreams, and expectations. It is important to know our residents’ expectations, to communicate and find out their personal goals, and then customize the therapy goals as much as possible.

Residents want to resume their prior level of activity. While that might not always be possible due to various health factors, we customize the therapy to help each individual maximize their physical functioning.

The best part of your job?

Discharging a resident of course – is the climax of our relationship and occurs when residents attain their highest level of overall independence in terms of transfers, autonomous eating,
dressing etc.

Our residents return home with a comprehensive Discharge Packet that includes exercises to sustain the goals achieved in therapy, safety recommendations, as well as recommendations for levels of assistance they will require back at home, and the equipment that will make their life easier and more independent.

In your position, what makes you especially proud?

My pride & joy is our staff at Oakwood: Each therapist gives of their heart 100% to each resident – all the time! Our residents are in good hands.

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August 16, 2017

Meet Dr. Whaley

Clinical Psychologist

Newly arrived residents to Oakwood are often dealing with the aftermath of a life-changing event. To help residents and family members cope with their challenges, Dr. Darren Whaley is on hand to address their emotional needs through consultation and therapy. He works hand in hand with our social workers, Denice Carroll and Samantha Bylina, and our dedicated nursing team headed by Barbara Lorman to ensure that by the time every patient is ready to be discharged home, not only are they rehabilitated physically – but in a better state of mind.

July 20, 2017

We Live and Breathe It.™

Respiratory Program

With 64 million people currently diagnosed with COPD, Oakwood has once again stepped up to help this growing population. We have created a unique respiratory program right here in the Northeast of Philadelphia.

Our respiratory therapist is in Oakwood daily, screening all new admissions and providing treatments throughout the day. We can administer many new and innovative therapies to help our population live and breathe easier. We strive to improve all of our residents quality of life each and every day with our specialized pulmonary services:

    • Tracheostomy Care & Management
    • On-Site & Full-Time Respiratory Therapy
    • CPAP, BiPAP & Trilogy
    • High Flow Oxygen
    • IV Medication Administration

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