By Nicole Heubusch

Asuncion Colibao, known as Sunshine, has been a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Hawthorne Village Retirement Community of Brandon for 19 years. She moved to the area from the Philippines in 1995.

When she lived in the Philippines, she and her husband owned a pharmacy. However, they decided to move to the United States to try and provide a better life for their family. Now, her family has grown and she has four children and three grandchildren.

Since moving to the United States, Sunshine has worked at Hawthorne, and she is retiring at the end of June after almost two decades of helping patients in the long term care and short term rehabilitation. Hawthorne is the only five star rated facility in the Brandon area, and Sunshine had a big part in helping Hawthorne gain its five star CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) rating.

The job of a CNA is to care for patients, mentally and physically. Being a CNA requires a strong work ethic and ability, as well as the ability to work in a very fast-paced job. A CNA provides health care needs to patients, and is a rewarding job. There is a lot of training involved when becoming a CNA, not only how to care for their patients, but also on how to be a team player. This is a job that requires dedication and working well with your co-workers. Since CNA’s see their patients on a daily basis it’s easy to form bonds with them.

“I will miss taking care of my resident’s very much,” said Sunshine. “I love them all equally.” Sunshine will be enjoying her retirement and plans to spend time with her family and stay in contact with Hawthorne.

Hawthorne Village Retirement Community of Brandon offers services with everything from long term care, short term rehabilitation, assisted living, independent living and massage and outpatient therapy. It is located at 851 W. Lumsden Rd. in Brandon. For more information, visit


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