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2022 AHCA Annual Awards<p>The American Health Care Association (AHCA) pay tribute to the best and brightest in long term and post-acute care. Individuals and groups honored with awards will be recognized during the 73rd AHCA/NCAL Convention &amp; Expo this month in Nashville, Tenn.</p><p><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><br></strong></p><p><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">MyRon Zimmer, Bowdle Healthcare Center, Bowdle, SD</strong><br><span class="ms-rteForeColor-2">AHCA Volunteer of the Year Award</span></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/MyRonZimmer.jpg" alt="MyRon Zimmer" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" />MyRon Zimmer has been a volunteer at Bowdle Nursing Home in Bowdle, SD, for many years, and has volunteered every day of the last four years. He can be described as the “textbook definition” of a passionate and caring health care volunteer. He interacts with every resident of Bowdle Nursing Home as if they are his own loved ones. His caring smile and outgoing personality bring joy to each and every resident he interacts with. Zimmer partners with Bowdle’s activities department for monthly “Painting with MyRon” sessions which residents enjoy and look forward to. As an extremely talented artist who loves to share that passion, Zimmer leads residents in painting free-hand creations that decorate the dining room and hallways at Bowdle.</p><p>At the height of COVID-19, Zimmer led the charge to continually bring joy to the residents to combat the fear and uncertainty many residents felt. He goes beyond above and beyond to ensure residents experience the highest quality of life, whether it be by planting and tending the luxurious garden that all residents enjoy in the back courtyard, giving haircuts, taking residents outside, or spending one-on-one time with residents who confide in him. Without a doubt, Zimmer is an extraordinary volunteer that the staff at Bowdle Nursing Home are honored to work alongside. </p><p><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Meera Riner</strong><br><span class="ms-rteForeColor-2">Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award</span><br></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/MeeraRiner.jpg" alt="Meera Riner" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" />Meera Riner, chief operating officer of Nexion Health Management, Inc., based in Sykesville Maryland, is the 2022 recipient of the&#160;Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award. Riner is recognized for her outstanding contributions to quality in long term and post-acute care.<br></p><p>Over the last several years, Riner has worked to bridge the gap between regulators and long term care facilities. She was instrumental in the development of the Texas Coalition for Long-Term Care and the criteria for the Texas Quality Incentive Payment Program (QIPP), a performance-based program that incentivizes nursing facilities to improve the quality and innovation of their services. As a result, since 2019, the QIPP program has positively impacted quality in Texas nursing facilities by improving resident outcomes, with antipsychotic usage down in long-stay residents by 33 percent and improvement in long-stay residents’ ability to move independently up by 10 percent. <br></p><p>She is a Baldrige Program Fellow, the first person in long term care to achieve the honor. In 2020, Riner was awarded the McKnight’s Woman of Distinction Hall of Honor, and in 2020 she was recognized by McKnight’s Senior Living with an Innovation in Technology Award for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic. <br></p><p>Riner has served on the Texas Healthcare Association’s Board of Directors, and as an AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program Examiner, and on AHCA committees that address quality and workforce. <br>Each year, AHCA/NCAL presents the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award to an individual that has made significant national contributions to advancing quality performance in long term and post-acute care. Recipients display leadership in the development, promotion, and implementation of quality improvement initiatives that have resulted in measurable outcomes.<br></p><p>In 2011, the Friend of Quality Award was renamed the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award to honor the ongoing legacy and commitment to quality care demonstrated by its namesake, Mary Ousley, a licensed nursing center administrator and nurse who has dedicated her life to quality improvement programs in long term care.</p><p><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Mario Whitt, Harris Hill Nursing Facility, Williamsville, NY</strong><br><span class="ms-rteForeColor-2">AHCA Noble Caregiver</span><br></p><p>Mario Whitt has been part of The McGuire Group’s Harris Hill Nursing Facility for <span></span>over 20 years and currently <span><span><span><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/MarioWhitt.jpg" alt="Mario Whitt" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" /></span></span></span>chairs the Advisory Board Council. Whitt has been a beacon of inspiration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and as the sector moves <span><span></span></span>forward. He continually contributes to the positive well-being of Harris Hill and displays leadership of the highest standards. Over the last year, Whitt has been instrumental in implementing of the State of New York vaccine mandate. He coordinated messaging to staff across McGuire Group’s facilities to help achieve some of the highest vaccination rates in the region. He served as a spokesman throughout the vaccine campaign and provided an in-depth overview of the vaccine, defining efficacy, best clinical practices, and debunking myths along the way. <br></p><p>Whitt also encourages employment for youth in health care. He introduced the concept of youth employment to reinvigorate workforce development, creating a pipeline of school-aged employees. In 2022, Harris Hill launched the program, which works primarily with inner-city high school students to develop health career tracks and valuable life skills for future employment. The first program of its kind within the Western New York Region, it is designed to be a paid internship for youth interested in health care and help them realize their dreams. <br></p><p>Additionally, Whitt is a true conduit bridging the gap between Harris Hill and the local community. In May 2022, following a mass shooting that took the lives of 10 individuals at a local grocery store, he coordinated efforts between local churches, community parishes, and The McGuire Group to hold numerous food drives and fundraisers. All of the food went to families of the victims, and proceeds funded the burial and funeral arrangements for the victims. <br></p><p>Whitt is closely tied with his community and continues to work toward a brighter future for the families, staff, and residents within the long term care community.<br><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><br></strong></p><p><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Larry Slatky, Shaker Place Rehab Nursing Center, Albany, NY</strong><br><span class="ms-rteForeColor-2">AHCA Administrator of the Year Award</span><br></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/LarrySlatky.jpg" alt="Larry Slatky" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" />Larry Slatky has been the Administrator at Shaker Place Rehab Nursing Center in Albany, NY, since 2014. Prior to his arrival, Shaker Place was a one-star facility based on CMS’ Five-Star Quality Rating system. Under his leadership, the nursing home is now a four-star CMS Quality facility, an AHCA Silver Award recipient, and recently named the Best Senior Living Facility in the Capital Region by the Times Union, Albany’s local newspaper.<br></p><p>Slatky creates a team approach to manage Shaker Place, keeps lines of communication open, provides staff with the tools necessary for every department to reach its goals of operation, and always maintains an open-door policy. Understanding the importance of community, Slatky has established partnerships with educational institutions including BOCES, Siena College, St. Mary’s College, University of Albany, and the College of St. Rose that use Shaker Place for their various nursing, therapy, and dietician programs. Slatky also permits low-income families to send their young adults and other relatives to receive training in the trades, such as food services, maintenance, environmental services, and security.<br></p><p>Slatky leads from the heart with a passion to serve others, and with the highest degree of integrity and ethical behavior.</p><p><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Longevity Fun Run, Forest Hills of DC, Washington, DC</strong><br><span class="ms-rteForeColor-2">AHCA Program of the Year Award<br></span></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/Awards_run.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" />After an annual city-wide AARP luncheon to honor centenarians was canceled due to COVID in May 2021, Forest Hills of DC established its Longevity Fun Run. Born out of the need to celebrate health care heroes and honor their residents during COVID, this event brings together residents, families, staff, volunteers, and community representatives, including DC Department of Health (DOH) Council members. The event takes place every May during Older Americans Month and National Skilled Care Week in a fun, inclusive, community-bonding running event connecting assisted living and nursing homes across the District of Columbia. <br></p><p>At this year’s Longevity Fun Run on May 12, 2022, DC Council passed a proclamation that May 2022 be decreed as “Old People Are Cool” month to honor seniors and residents, take a stance against ageism, celebrate the wisdom seniors have to offer, and to lift up those health care workers who care for the residents. The event builds a sense of greater community with and around Forest Hills’ residents, involves government council representatives, the DOH, skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, board members, staff department heads, and CNAs all on a level playing field. <br></p><p>The energetic exchange between teams running and support from friends and family waiting to greet them when they arrived are reminders that the purposeful work of long term care connects everyone involved.&#160; <br></p>2022-09-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/Awards.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAndrea Todd and Natalie VisnickAHCA pays tribute to the best and brightest in long term and post-acute care.
2022 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Awards Recipients<p>The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living is pleased to present the companies that have earned AHCA/NCAL National Quality Awards in the Gold—Excellence in Quality, Silver—Achievement in Quality, and Bronze—Commitment to Quality categories.</p><p><strong style="color&#58;#cc9900;"><span style="color&#58;#cc9900;">GOLD</span></strong><br>Gold recipients demonstrate through their approach, deployment, and consistency of results that they are achieving high levels of performance in health care, customer satisfaction, market, workforce, process, and leadership outcomes. At the Gold level, applicants must address the Health Care Criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in its entirety.​</p><p><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-1-4"><strong>SILVER</strong></span><br>Applicants that receive the Silver award provide an extensive assessment of their systematic approaches, performance measures, and sustainable organizational and process results that are linked to the key customer requirements, success factors, and challenges the applicants previously identified in earning the Bronze award. </p><p><strong style="color&#58;#cc6600;"><span style="color&#58;#cc6600;">BRONZE</span></strong><br>Applicants that receive the Bronze award are able to describe their vision and mission, outline plans to improve processes within their communities, identify key challenges, and recognize the relationship of these factors with their ability to achieve performance improvement.</p><p><a href="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/Documents/QualityAward%20Prv091022.pdf" target="_blank">2022 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Recipients</a><br></p>2022-09-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/QA_Maunalani.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAHCA/NCAL is pleased to present the companies that have earned National Quality Awards in the Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories.
2022 NCAL Annual Awards<p>The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) pay tribute to the best and brightest in long term and post-acute care. Individuals and groups honored with awards will be recognized during the 73rd AHCA/NCAL Convention &amp; Expo this month in Nashville, Tenn.</p><p><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-6">Doreen Locke, R.N., D.O.N.</strong><br><em>Assisted Living Nurse of the Year Award</em></p><p><span><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/DoreenLocke.jpg" alt="Doreen Locke, RN, DON" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" /></span>After 30 years with Odd Fellows’ and Rebekahs’ Home of Maine, RN Nurse Supervisor Doreen Locke has created an environment that makes this assisted living community the most sought-after facility in the region. <br></p><p>She knows each resident personally, their favorite things, health concerns, and their personal family dynamics. She communicates with staff daily. She is always accessible to staff without complaint – even while on vacation, recovering from an injury, and through the births of her nine grandchildren.<br></p><p>Locke works weekends, night-shifts, and whenever needed to make sure everything is covered. She has worked as a floor nurse, a CNA, a CRMA, and even in dietary. Recently, she held the kitchen staff together with four dietary aides and no cooks, herself cooking on weekends—including a double shift when there were two call-outs. She refused to ask for help from an aide who was available because she wanted him to have a day off after 10 days straight working. <br></p><p>She always makes everyone laugh. She has an infectious wit and gets credit for keeping staff from burnout during the past three years. She has shown what it means to put the resident first, even throughout the pandemic. She has maintained the best attitude and is a shining example of what a caregiver is all about.</p><p><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-6">Barbara Quezada</strong><br><em>NCAL Noble Caregiver in Assisted Living Award</em></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/BarbaraQuezada.jpg" alt="Barbara Quezada" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" />Barbara Quezada has served the residents of Beehive Homes of Taylor Ranch in New Mexico for the past 13 years as a Caregiver/House Manager. She consistently shows up for work when scheduled and is the first to pick up the extra shifts to make sure the residents get the care they need. She consistently demonstrates the community’s mission statement—“People are our business, improving the lives of all we touch”—in the humblest way.<br></p><p>When a new house manager and/or mentor is hired, Quezada is the first one called to educate and train this new position. She is always ready and willing to help, even when the training takes place away from her home in New Mexico. &#160;<br></p><p>She truly cares about her residents and her fellow staff. On one of her resident’s birthdays, the resident was scheduled to go out to lunch with her daughter. Quezada came in on her day off to help the resident shower, get dressed, and fix her hair. She made sure the resident looked and felt her best. <br></p><p>A fellow employee was having a family crisis, and she was there to help. She listened to the employee’s story and told her to go home and take care of the crisis. She then worked the employee’s 12-hour shifts on both Saturday and Sunday—even after completing her own 40-hour work week. <br></p><p><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-6">Nicole Ellis</strong><br><em>NCAL Administrator of the Year</em></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/NicoleEllis.jpg" alt="Nicole Ellis" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" />Nicole Ellis started as a caregiver in 2010 and worked her way up to Administrator at The Cottages of Middleton in Middleton, Idaho in 2013. She did so through hard work, perseverance, and by living the company mission statement, “We Treat People Right.” She also recently took on additional roles of executive director and peer leader. <br></p><p>Ellis is motivated and positively engaged, serving as a true inspiration to her peers, co-workers, and other industry leaders. She has developed processes over the years to manage buildings in an impressively efficient manner. She has successfully built a positive culture in her communities and has maintained an AHCA/NCAL Quality Award-winning culture even through the challenges of the recent years. <br></p><p>Ellis cares deeply about delivering next-level quality of life to her residents. She has supported many efforts like Dream Flights and is always looking for ways to involve her residents in special events and opportunities. She is a true rock star and serves as a shining example within long term care.<br></p><p><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-6">Rod Burkett</strong><br><em>Jan Thayer Pioneer Award</em></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/RodBurkett.jpg" alt="Rod Burkett" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;188px;" />As Co-Founder/President/CEO of Gardant Management Solutions in Illinois, Rod Burkett has been pioneering accessibility and affordability for assisted living for nearly 25 years. His efforts have sparked awareness, conversation, and advocacy. &#160;<br></p><p>Burkett is a visionary who saw the value in Medicaid waiver supported/affordable assisted living. He and his co-founder were one of the first responsive operators approved by the state of Illinois for development and certification under the uniquely licensed Supportive Living Program. He co-founded the Affordable Assisted Living Coalition, which remains the driving force in advocating, promoting, and protecting the Illinois Supportive Living Program. Because of his vision, Gardant Management Solutions serves over 5,600 residents in the Midwest who receive dignified lifestyles and care through services supported by the Medicaid waiver program.<br></p><p>Burkett also developed and hosted two “National Summits” in 2016 and 2017 for key influencers in assisted living to focus on existing and future needs for Affordable Assisted Living (AAL). He partnered with other providers and developers to petition multiple state governor's offices to bring awareness to AAL. <br></p><p>Furthermore, Burkett embraces the quality measures identified in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program. Eighty-five percent of Gardant Management Solutions’ portfolio are Quality Award recipients, and one of the three assisted living communities nationwide to receive the Silver Award in 2022 is a Gardant managed community.<br></p><p>He is an action-driven advocate and leader at the national level. He has served on Argentum's CEO roundtable, chaired NCAL’s Finance &amp; Policy Committee for five years, and served on the NCAL Board of Directors for three years. <br></p><p>Burkett earned his Bachelor of Science with honors in Community Health and his Master of Business Administration from Eastern Illinois University. He has also earned graduate hours toward his Master of Health Administration from St. Louis University.<br></p><p>The Jan Thayer Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have moved the senior care profession forward, positively affecting the lives of those served and those who serve. Recipients must demonstrate dedication, leadership, and considerable contributions to the profession.<br><br></p>2022-09-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2022/SeptOct/PublishingImages/ncal-awards.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAbigail BarretoNCAL pas tribute to the best and brightest in long term and post-acute care.
2022 AHCA/NCAL Silver National Quality Award Recipients Announced<p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/qualityaward_silver.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;height&#58;200px;" />The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is pleased to announce the&#160;names of the 46 recipients of the&#160;2022&#160;Silver – Achievement in Quality Award. <br></p><p>This year, 40 skilled nursing care centers, 3 assisted living communities, and 3 skilled nursing/ assisted living providers in 24 states and the&#160;District of Columbia achieved the Silver Award.</p><p>A <a href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/QualityAwardRecipients.aspx" target="_blank">complete list</a> of the 2022 Silver recipients is available on the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award website.</p><p><span>The Silver award is the second of three distinctions possible through the&#160;<a data-linkto="https&#58;//" href="https&#58;//www.ahcancal.org/Quality/National-Quality-Award-Program/Pages/default.aspx" title="https&#58;//cl.exct.net/?qs=cea46ab20949a040ea4dce2625daab2b71c6b230c22849008ac82148cb68c3f978d14eec3fa9f8cd963301684ae2055c491dd5a5eee9c73b" target="_blank">AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program</a>,&#160;which recognizes providers across the nation that have demonstrated improved quality outcomes for staff, residents and individuals with disabilities in long term and post-acute care.&#160;Each application is reviewed and judged against a set of nationally recognized standards for achieving excellence.</span></p><p>On August 5, 2022, Gold Quality Award recipients will be announced.</p><p>The awards will be presented during <a href="https&#58;//www.eventscribe.net/2022/AHCA/" target="_blank">AHCA/NCAL’s 73rd&#160;Convention &amp; Expo</a> in Nashville, Tennessee, on October 9-12, 2022.<br></p>2022-06-27T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/qualityaward_silver.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAHCA/NCAL StaffThis year, 40 skilled nursing care centers, 3 assisted living communities, and 3 skilled nursing/ assisted living providers in 24 states and the District of Columbia achieved the Silver Award.