Family Tree: Winter 2021 Newsletter

Dear Family & Friends, 

As 2020 comes to a close, we would like to take the opportunity to reflect on this year. We acknowledge the loss, the sadness, the isolation and the incredible difficulties our residents, staff, families and all in the community have experienced.

We understand the hardship you face each day in being apart from your loved ones. We appreciate your patience, understanding and continuous ability to adapt to these challenges and changes.

We see, each day, the incredible courage and determination our residents demonstrate while enduring these difficult times.

We admire and appreciate our staff for their bravery, dedication and commitment to caring for our residents each and every day.

We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.

Looking forward to the gift of the new year!

Warmest Regards,


Staff Behind the Mask Spotlight! MARIANNE HALAS Nurse Manager

Our beloved Nurse Manager, Marianne Halas, RN, FNP, joined Bear Hill in March 2018. Marianne has always loved and fostered an interest in science and medicine and was drawn to nursing in particular because it allows her to develop meaningful relationships and make a difference in other people’s lives. Marianne has been working diligently in her off-hours to earn her Master’s Degree and was recently credentialed as a Nurse Practitioner. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Emmanuel College and a Bachelor’s in Nursing from Simmons University School of Nursing.

Marianne has always been drawn to geriatrics. “Older people have wonderful stories to tell,” she says. “It’s nice to get to know who our residents really are, to discover the person behind the diagnosis.”

Marianne loves the folks at Bear Hill and has developed strong relationships with both staff and residents. In fact, a former resident who moved on to an assisted living facility is still in touch with her, and they recently FaceTimed.

Who is this friendly person behind the mask, anyway? Marianne grew up in nearby Lynn MA, and now lives in Beverly. She enjoys staying fit, playing tennis, rowing, and working out. She played division 3 level softball in college, and still loves to play. In fact, that’s how she met her fiancé! Engaged in July and with a wedding planned for June 2022, Marianne, who got COVID back in April, is hopeful that the pandemic will be a thing of the past by the time she’s ready to get married.

“These times are tough for residents and their families, and the nursing staff here is stepping in as a second family,” she says. “Being a nurse during such trying times makes us all stronger, as we see we can handle anything!”


Holiday cheer is in the air here at Bear Hill! Our residents had a great time decorating our tree with Sara Rao, our Activities Director. We enjoyed music, snacks, and a visit from our pet therapy dog Georgia. 

We’d like to give a special shout-out to our pet therapy dogs Georgia (pictured to the right) and Dexter, who have always been helpful to our residents, and this year more than ever their presence has been crucial. Georgia, a local rescue who belongs to our Administrator, Stephen Buckley, visits residents two to three times a week. Dexter is another furry visitor who you’ll find in the rehab gym working with patients and residents five days a week. Thank you, Georgia and Dexter! You’re well-loved here at Bear Hill!