Inside Athena: A Connection Back Home For Northbridge Director
BRIDGEPORT, C.T. — 25 years ago, Aleksandra Blaceri, her husband, and their 6-year-old daughter landed in Connecticut after leaving Albania for a better life.
It was difficult for Blaceri to leave her family behind, but soon found a solution to missing her parents: working with seniors.
She began her career with Athena Health Care Systems in 2006 at Beacon Brook Health Center in Naugatuck as a Housekeeper. Blaceri later became an Assistant Supervisor and then Supervisor at Beacon Brook. More than eight years ago, she moved to another Athena managed center Northbridge Health Care Center, in Bridgeport to take on the role of Director of Resident Support Services. In that position, she oversaw a team of 20 in the Housekeeping and Laundry Departments. In May 2023, she was promoted to Regional Director of Housekeeping and Laundry, covering seven Athena-managed centers in western Connecticut.
“I am very excited and thankful for the opportunity to enter this position. I am looking forward to using my knowledge and experience to help better the facilities in my region,” she said.
Northbridge will remain her home center. She found happiness at the center as she was able to put her skills to work.
“This job gives me more opportunity to utilize my organizational skills, my communications skills. I like cleaning and this is a good career for me,” she said.
She went to college for finance in Albania and worked in that for many years. After moving to the U.S., the journey in education started from the beginning. Her diploma wasn’t the same in the United States as it was in Albania. She worked two jobs to get herself through school again, but it was those two jobs combined that prepared her for the current journey she is on.
While working at Beacon Brook, she also worked at a local grocery store as a manager, building managerial and customer service skills. While many aspects of the director role are similar like managing staff, there are differences between the roles.
“To work with a patient is different. You have to be honest, truthful, organizational,” Blaceri said.
She enjoys working at Northbridge, her residents, and especially her team in Bridgeport.
“My favorite part of working at Northbridge is my daily interaction with my great staff. I have good staff here working with me,” she said. “The first day I came in here everybody was welcoming and especially my staff.”
Her daughter works for the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, following in her mom’s footsteps of helping others. Her son, who she had two years after moving to America, is attending Central Connecticut State University for Civil Engineering. While she’s watched her family grow in her personal life, she still feels connected to her family back home through her professional life.