November 13, 2018
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PHCA Announces 2018 Hero Award Winners

Seven, elite health care professionals honored with awards

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Seven of the commonwealth’s best healthcare professionals were honored as 2018 Hero Award winners for their extraordinary contributions toward the care of the state’s seniors by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) during a ceremony on Nov. 13.

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. More than 100 nominations were submitted by facility administrators and staff, and winners were selected by the PHCA awards committee after a review of each nominee was conducted.

“Every day in Pennsylvania, more than 81,000 frail, elderly and disabled residents who need around-the-clock support for clinically complex medical conditions receive high quality, compassionate care from many of the finest health care professionals in the nation,” said PHCA CEO W. Russell McDaid. “Our seven Hero Award winners represent some of the very best in long-term care and were honored to recognize them for the outstanding services they provide to residents and their families.”

The 2018 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:

  • Amanda Bechtel, a Resident Caregiver at Arden Courts of Susquehanna, an HCR ManorCare facility, in Harrisburg, PA, is the PHCA AL/PC Personal Care Aide of the Year. You can view Amanda’s video at
  • Courtney Bolinski, the Executive Director at the Woods at Cedar Run, an IntegraCare facility in Camp Hill, PA, is the PHCA AL/PC Executive Director of the Year. You can view Courtney’s video at
  • Linda Clawson, the Director of Resident Care Services at New Haven Court of Lindwood, an IntegraCare facility, in Greensburg, PA, is the PHCA Nurse of the Year award. You can view Linda’s video at
  • Melissa Hallman, the Administrator at Brookside Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a Nationwide Healthcare Services facility in Abington, PA, is the PHCA SNF Administrator of the Year. You can view Melissa’s video a
  • Abdulrazak Juma, a Certified Nurse’s Aide at ManorCare-Bethel Park, an HCR ManorCare facility in Bethel Park, PA, is the PHCA SNF Certified Nurse’s Aide of the Year. You can view Abdul’s video a
  • Richard Matters, an LPN at Quality Life Services-Mercer, a Quality Life Services facility in Mercer, PA, is the PHCA SNF Most Valuable Employee of the Year award. You can view Richard’s video at
  • Christina Merritt-Lawrence, a Connections Community Life Coordinator at Country Meadows of Leader Heights, a Country Meadows Senior Living facility in York, PA, is the PHCA AL/PC Most Valuable Employee of the Year. You can view Christina’s video at

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 wants to recognize colleagues for their commitment and dedication to quality care and quality of life.

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