A custodian at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. James has been named State Employee of the Month.
Democrito Saberon, or "Crito" as most people know him, began working part time at the home in 2011. His supervisors said his "infectious, positive personality" won over veterans, co-workers and visitors at the home.
Before the end of 2011, Saberon was a full-time employee in the laundry and currently is assigned to the special care unit environmental services crew. This unit is where cognitively impaired veterans are given an individualized approach to their needs. The veterans often build bonds with caregivers and staff who clean their rooms, bring their meals or assist with daily living.
Recently, Saberon's supervisors noticed a veteran, who seldom interacts with others and prefers not to participate in routine care, enjoys interacting with Saberon. He came to the unit manager and apologized and asked if he had intruded in the plan of care, but the manager saw the connection Saberon had made with the veteran and that his overall care had improved immensely.
Saberon's supervisors said he understands his job description and qualification limits yet offers to assist with communication and encouragement for the veterans.