Mar 4 2024

Celebrating the contributions of women at White Horse Village

In celebration of Women’s History Month in March, we want to recognize the many women here at White Horse Village whose leadership, talents, and passion help make our community what it is. 

We’re highlighting just a few of them who are great examples of the team members we count on every day. 

Photo of Stacey Burns, nursing supervisor, one of the women whose talents make White Horse Village great.

Stacey Burns, nursing supervisor

Nurses have opportunities in all kinds of settings, but Stacey is happy working alongside seniors.

“That’s where my passion is, where I’m comfortable, where I get the most reward,” she says.

She lost both grandparents while she was in nursing school, which she thinks influenced her preference for this vocation.

“I enjoy being around older people,” Stacey reflects, and she sees her work as a chance to pay something back for everything they’ve done for others throughout their lives. She also likes supporting families.

She’s been at White Horse Village for about three years working as a part-time nursing supervisor. Before that, Stacey had a similar role for about a decade in another senior community.

She’s married and has three sons, ages 18, 12, and 3. About the time her last child was born, her husband got into powerlifting. Stacey went with him to a competition and found herself also drawn to this pastime. Early on, she participated as a way to get in shape, but eventually started competing. She’s now getting ready to compete in her fourth meet.

“I think that it just pushes me to be my best self,” she says. “I really have to be disciplined to get into the gym so many days a week to get my workouts done.”

Photo of Kathy Hynson, outpatient lead LPN

Kathy Hynson, outpatient lead LPN

As the 11th of 12 children, with many cousins, Kathy grew up surrounded by family. Many of them were older, and while she feels a natural connection with older adults, she initially didn’t set out for a career in the field. Instead, she was training to work in banking.

But after her father became seriously ill and needed full time care, Kathy came to realize “this is something I would want to do, caring for other folks.”

She switched to nursing, and soon after came to work at White Horse Village. That was more than 25 years ago, and Kathy eventually transitioned to helping give assessments to incoming residents.

She’s lost her own grandparents, but enjoys building those kinds of relationships with residents now, interacting and listening to their stories. She feels she’s helping them live with dignity and quality of life, but the benefits go both ways.

“Their wisdom is unmatched, as far as what they’ve already experienced,” she says.

Kathy lives in Twin Oaks with her husband. She has two daughters and a son, and enjoys spending time with her four grandchildren. She’s quite active, serving as a deaconess at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. She organizes an annual group to participate in the Susan G. Komen Walk for a Cure, and is also a board member for the Pennsylvania Institute of Technology.

When time allows, she enjoys reading, the beach, and the outdoors, especially the peace she finds taking walks.

Photo of Melissa Jackson, hostess

Melissa Jackson, hostess

After a life spent moving around the country and a 26-year career as a flight attendant for Pan Am and United, Melissa landed in Philadelphia. She spent a few years in retirement, then started her job here almost 12 years ago. She’s quite familiar to residents in her role as dining room hostess.

Melissa says her two careers are actually similar, as they both involve giving, providing, and making sure others are comfortable.

She enjoys being around seniors. “My favorite person in the entire world was my great-grandmother. And I spent the first six years of my life almost every day with her,” Melissa remembers. “I find older individuals interesting. I love listening to their stories and garnering some of their wisdom. So this has always been a part of my life.”

She values her relationships with the residents and the conversations and advice she gets. Melissa remembers her mother reflecting that when she got to a certain age, she suddenly felt invisible.

“I want to make sure that (residents) know that they matter, and that we care, and that I do see them,” she says.

Melissa has a husband and three stepsons, and in her spare time enjoys crocheting, a hobby she picked up when she was just 8 years old. “It’s a nice form of therapy.”

Photo of Lydia Leary-Jones, CNA

Lydia Leary-Jones, CNA

Service is a family tradition for Lydia. She remembers seeing it modeled as a child, when her mother, a nurse, took Lydia and her sister along sometimes.

Lydia has now served in senior living for more than 20 years, and came to White Horse Village at the end of 2022. “I just love doing it,” she says. She also values the chances for advancement and education available to team members here.

Lydia is very busy these days, as she works full time while also studying for a degree in health management. With all that on her plate, what she does most in her off time is try to snatch some rest.

She also likes spending time with family and hopes to start traveling more again once she’s done with her degree.

The ninth of 10 children, Lydia lives in North Philly and has two daughters and two granddaughters.

Photo of Crystal McCarty

Crystal McCarty, lead security officer

The idea of being a police officer always appealed to Crystal. While her career didn’t take that direction, her job on security for White Horse Village allows her to have a similar experience helping people.

“Helping the residents is just the greatest part of my job here,” Crystal says. “You get to know the residents on a one-on-one basis. They’re your family here.”

Family is important to Crystal. She lives in Ridley and has three children of her own — a daughter (21) and two sons (15 and 25). One of her favorite activities is spending time with them, whether that’s going out to watch a movie or just hanging out.

Crystal started out in housekeeping at White Horse Village in 2015. She had run a cleaning business before that, and a friend told her this was a great place to work. She transitioned to security six years ago, helping in a wide range of areas, from daily check-ins, to offering assistance at the front desk or responding to medical needs.

Photo of Crystal Wydler

Crystal Wydler, Human Resources director

Since her early career, Crystal has worked in senior living. She started out as a dining aide, spent time in other roles like receptionist, and then after college began working in HR.

All told, she’s spent more than 17 years in this vocation. She joined the team here in 2022, and now serves as compliance official and senior director of human resources. Crystal enjoys the process of meeting challenges by analyzing them and building a plan. She also likes getting to know team members and helping them advance their careers.

Crystal values the chance to interact with seniors and hear their background and stories. “I never met any of my grandparents, so I always lacked that in my life,” she says. “So I think that by working here, it fills that void.”

She’s a fan of Philly sports, and enjoys hiking, taking in concerts, and spending time with her 6-year-old daughter Olivia Grace.

She’s also a fan of traveling both in the U.S. and abroad. “I like the history piece of it. I just like the experience of going somewhere new. I take a lot of pictures. And I like to take in the culture.”