Contact: Megan Webster
Six extraordinary senior living professionals were presented with the 2007 ALFA Hero Awards at the ALFA 2007 Annual Conference and Expo in Dallas last month. The annual competition honors executive directors, staff members, caregivers and volunteers for their commitment to residents in their communities.
“On a daily basis, thousands of caregivers across the nation go above and beyond the call of duty to influence a resident’s life for the better,” said ALFA President/CEO Richard P. Grimes. “These six heroes are particularly noteworthy because they inspire everyone in the senior living business to make extraordinary service their goal every day—even in the most challenging of circumstances.”
The 2007 ALFA Heroes are:
- Executive Director Category: Leigh Morehead, Sunrise Senior Living of Willowbrook in Willowbrook, Illinois is selfless with her time and is always thinking of ways to make each day special for each resident. “You never hear her say she doesn’t have time or that something is a problem,” members of her team said. “She truly lives the saying, ‘the answer is yes, now what is the question?’”
- Staff Member Category: Maria Hernandez of Silverado Senior Living–Sugar Land in Sugar Land, Texas is much more than a housekeeper. While handling her daily tasks she takes the time to interact with the residents to ensure their well-being. “Maria is an excellent example of why it is so important that everyone who cares for the elderly is genuinely compassionate, understanding and patient,” said Le Riggs, the community’s administrator.
- Caregiver Category: Latarsha Nathan of Sterling House of Parklane in Columbia, South Carolina provides her residents with love, compassion and a sense of security. Latarsha not only comforts residents, but also remains calm while acting quickly during an emergency. Her caring nature also extends to the families of her residents. When a frustrated family attempted to remove a bulky bed for their mother in favor a new one, she quietly disassembled and removed the old bed for the family.
- Caregiver Category: Kathy Gonzalez of The Orchards at Bartley in Jackson, New Jersey “always goes out of her way to make a resident feel special and cared for, and she shows exceptional patience and kindness each day,” says Christina Barcellona, the community’s executive director. Kathy makes extra time for residents who do not have families nearby by taking them to lunch for their birthdays. She also baked a tiered cake for “wedding day” at her community and purchased and tailored a suit for a resident to wear to his mother’s funeral.
- Volunteer Category: Gary and Joellen Hahn have had and still have family members living at Summerville at Lakeview in Groveport, Ohio, but they have adopted all residents as family. They visit several times a week and are involved in various community social activities from bingo to holiday parties and zoo outings. In their spare time they even recruit other volunteers to help at the community.
Also recognized were the 2007 ALFA Champions of Assisted Living:
Chuck Allen, CaraVita Senior Care Community; Carrie Boisen, Silverado Senior Living–Sugar Land; Loretta Burroughs, Mayhouse of Senior Living Concepts; Ronald DeVerse, The Cherry Tree Assisted Living; Robert Elmer III, The Elms Assisted Living; Willie Ferguson, Sterling House of Durant; Stephanie Floyd, Heritage Hills Alzheimer’s Special Care Center; Donna Heckman, Parinton Park Manor; Katie Huberdeau, Haverill Crossings; Mary Jacobs, The Forum at Desert Harbor; Rosetta Lewis, Sheridan Senior Living; Silvio Maio, The Forum at Desert Harbor; Gina Nance, Spring Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care; and Judy Walker, Sterling House of Central.
About the Assisted Living Federation of America
The Assisted Living Federation of America is the largest national association exclusively dedicated to professionally operated assisted living communities for seniors. ALFA’s member-driven programs promote business and operational excellence through national conferences, research, publications, and executive networks. ALFA works to influence public policy by advocating for informed choice, quality care, and accessibility for all Americans.