October 01, 2019
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Pennsylvania Health Care Association Announces 2019 Hero Award Winners

Seven, elite health care professionals honored with awards

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Seven of the commonwealth’s best health care professionals were honored as 2019 Hero Award winners for their extraordinary contributions toward the care of the state’s seniors by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) during the association’s annual convention last week..

The winners work in long-term and post-acute care centers throughout the state — including skilled nursing facilities (SNF), personal care homes and assisted living residences. Facility administrators and staff submitted more than 100 nominations, and winners were selected by the PHCA awards committee after a review of each nominee was conducted.

“Our Hero Award winners exemplify the skills, compassion and dedication that Pennsylvania families have come to expect and appreciate from the caregivers who assist their loved ones,” said PHCA CEO Zach Shamberg. “It doesn’t get more personal than the relationship between caregivers and the nursing home residents they serve each and every day. The seven heroes we’re honoring this year take quality care to another level with their devotion to residents, the compassion they show during difficult times, and their ability to inspire and comfort those around them.”

The 2019 Hero Awards ceremony took place during PHCA’s annual convention, held at the Valley Forge Casino Resort. In addition to honoring the award winners for their outstanding contributions to the well-being of residents, PHCA made a short video about each winner featuring their colleagues and residents and is making those videos available to the public via YouTube.

This year’s winners are:

  • Kathy Ardekani, executive director at Simpson Meadows Retirement Community, is the recipient of PHCA’s Assisted Living/Personal Care Director of the Year Award for 2019. You can view Kathy’s video here.
  • Kiana Eubanks, program services coordinator at HCR ManorCare’s Arden Court of Warminster assisted living facility, is the recipient of PHCA’s Assisted Living/Personal Care Most Valuable Employee of the Year Award for 2019. You can view Kiana’s video here.
  • Lawrence (Paul) Nicholas, the administrator at Quality Life Services’ Henry Clay assisted living facility, is the recipient of PHCA’s Skilled Nursing Facility Administrator of the Year Award for 2019. You can view Paul’s video here.
  • Kim Polfus, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Grane Healthcare’s Harmon House Care Center, is the recipient of PHCA’s Nurse of the Year Award for 2019. You can view Kim’s video here.
  • Tammi Seanor, the director of housekeeping and onboarding coordinator at Grane Healthcare’s Harmon House Care Center, is the recipient of PHCA’s Skilled Nursing Facility Most Valuable Employee of the Year Award for 2019. You can view Tammi’s video here.
  • Anne Marie Umani, a medical technician at Christ’s Home Retirement Community, is the recipient of PHCA’s Assisted Living/Personal Care Aide of the Year Award for 2019. You can view Anne Marie’s video here.
  • Scott White, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) at ManorCare of Laureldale, is the recipient of PHCA’s Skilled Nursing Facility Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year Award for 2019. You can view Scott’s video here.

PHCA’s Hero Award honors individuals who have excelled in providing outstanding care in a cooperative spirit of teamwork. Each year, PHCA accepts nominations from employees and administrators at long-term care and senior service facilities across the state that want to recognize colleagues for their commitment and dedication to quality care and quality of life.

Every day, compassionate caregivers at Pennsylvania’s approximately 700 nursing facilities provide high-quality and compassionate care to more than 81,000 elderly and disabled residents that require 24-7, around- the-clock support. Today, Pennsylvania nursing home residents are living longer than ever and face clinically complex medical conditions, including progressive health conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s.

For each resident, nursing homes provide nursing care and related services, specialized rehabilitative services, medically-related social services, pharmaceutical services, dietary services personalized to the needs of each resident, emergency dental services and non-emergency medical transportation. In fact, skilled nursing facilities take on many of the services traditionally associated with hospitals, rehabilitation centers, community centers and even a significant number of the services you’d find in a hotel or apartment complex.

Skilled nursing facility caregivers are compassionate professionals from a variety of backgrounds, including nurses, janitorial staff, activity planners, clerical staff, social workers, therapists, cooks and drivers. These community heroes are asked to be all things, at all times for residents, and are committed to providing the highest quality care.

More information about the PHCA Hero Awards, including past winners, is available at https://www.phca.org/for-consumers/hero-awards.

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