Philip Arthur has picked up the nickname “Mr. Okay” in his two years working at New Community Extended Care Facility.
Perhaps that is why Arthur works in two different departments at the skilled nursing facility—both in dietary and housekeeping.
“Whenever they need me, I’m available,” Arthur said on a recent Friday as he unloaded boxes of tissue off a pallet. “That’s how my parents raised me.”
Robert Smolin, former facility administrator, described Arthur as “pleasant” and said that his specialty in housekeeping is floor care. (Veronica Onwunaka, former director of nursing, is now the new administrator of Extended Care.)
Arthur said that what motivates him to work is a commitment to serving his fellow man.
“I don’t care about money—just helping people,” he said. “I work with my heart and mind.”
A deeply religious man, Arthur attends prayer meetings on Friday afternoons. He grew up in Cape Coast, Ghana, where he lived most of his live in a mission house. His friends were ministers and later on, Arthur served as a Sunday school teacher.
“I like working with aged people,” Arthur said. “People need help,” he added.
Arthur said that he has siblings living in the U.S. as well as well as in Ghana.
A Newark resident, Arthur first arrived in the U.S. and lived in Delaware for a few months. He then relocated to Chicago, where he had relatives, and worked in nursing homes for about 10 years. He moved to Newark, where his brother lived, a few years ago.
In his free time, Arthur said he enjoys playing the keyboard.
“Nothing is lost. You have to trust God,” Arthur said.