Laramie Shields

Laramie grew up in a very small community on Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands in Washington state. After graduating high school in 1994 Laramie moved to the Everett area and enrolled in a Certified Nursing Assistant Program and had her first experience with caregiving. Laramie worked in a rehabilitation facility for people who had disabilities due to traumatic brain injuries. Laramie thoroughly enjoyed working with the clients there, but she was discouraged by the number of people that she was responsible for. There were 45 individuals living on the unit Laramie worked on and only three staff to provide their care. That meant each staff was responsible for 15 people. Laramie didn’t last long, and left feeling disheartened about what caregiving was really all about.

A short time later a friend told her about a Group Home that they used to work in and Laramie decided to try it out, and that is where she found her niche. There were only 6 individuals living in this setting and yet there were still 3 staff scheduled to provide care. The staff was able to do so much more for the people they were working with, not only with their daily living skills but also really focusing on their hopes and interests and quality of life. Laramie was able to feel good about caregiving again.

Since then Laramie has worked in Group Home and Supported Living programs and has held many different positions. Laramie started as a Direct Care staff and then became a Lead Supervisor for a Supported Living Program, then a Program Specialist and then Program Director for Supported Living. One thing that Laramie was always recognized for throughout all of the positions that she held was her ability to be a good teacher. Laramie was often asked to be the one to train new staff and she welcomed the opportunity because she wanted to be able to ensure that every new employee would have the chance to be the best caregiver and client advocate that they could be.

Contact Laramie at [email protected]