IHCA/INCAL to Honor 2017 Senior Living Award Winners at Annual Convention

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Award Recipients Exemplify Exceptional Service in Resident Care

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From making new advancements in clinical operations and outcomes to redefining the meaning of person centered care, the staff and individuals we recognize this year exemplify quality.

The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL) will honor recipients of the 2017 Senior Living Awards on Tuesday, August 15th at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. Award winners are selected from peer and colleague nominations and represent the highest commitment to quality in long term care and assisted living.

Administrator of the Year: Holly Witkemper, Morning Breeze Retirement & Healthcare Center (Greensburg, Indiana)

Clinical Staff of the Year: Louise Bethany, CNA, Cardinal Nursing and Rehab (South Bend, Indiana) and Samantha Conner, CNA, Cloverleaf of Knightsville (Knightsville, Indiana)

Support Services of the Year: Joanie Freeman, Parker Health and Rehabilitation Center (Parker City, Indiana)

Assisted Living Facility of the Year: Coventry Meadows Assisted Living (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Long Term Care Facility of the Year: Ashton Creek Health & Rehabilitation Center (Fort Wayne, Indiana)

Associate Member of the Year: BKD, LLP

The staff at Morning Breeze Retirement & Healthcare Center in Greensburg, Indiana describe Holly Witkemper as a selfless and compassionate administrator who freely gives of her time and resources to both residents and staff. Under Holly’s leadership, the center has maintained a CMS 5-Star rating and recently received a Bronze National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association (AHCA), the first step toward a Gold Award in the rigorous Baldrige Criteria-based program.

Two certified nursing assistants will share the title of Clinical Staff Member of the Year, Louise Bethany, a CNA from South Bend and Samatha Conner, a CNA from Knightsville. Louise has been a CNA at Cardinal Nursing and Rehabilitation for over 51 years. Her colleagues, many of whom she trained over the years, say she rarely misses a day of work and has no plans to retire. Samantha Conner’s coworkers at Cloverleaf of Knightsville nominated her for her outstanding dedication to a resident with Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Samantha learned sign language to communicate with the resident who is unable to speak and even visits the woman on her days off.

Joanie Freeman began working at Parker Health and Rehabilitation in 1974, a week after its opening. As Housekeeping Supervisor, Joanie’s colleagues say she is committed to providing the highest quality of life for the residents and making their environment as homelike as possible.

Coventry Meadows Assisted Living has received a 100% resident satisfaction rate through monthly customer satisfaction surveys in 2017. This year, Coventry Meadows introduced an outpatient gym which allows residents to have access to physical, occupational, and speech therapy onsite. The staff host monthly theme dinners to enhance the resident experience.

Ashton Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center has maintained a 5-Star rating from CMS since opening in July 2012. The facility received the 2016 Bronze National Quality Award and the 2017 Silver National Quality Award. In 2016, Ashton Creek formed a partnership with Parkview Hospital, developing an advanced Transitional Care Unit (TCU) jointly operated between the hospital and the skilled nursing facility. The TCU has been instrumental in lowering hospital readmissions and assisting the hospital with over capacity issues.

The BKD team has been a staple to the skilled nursing and assisted living profession in Indiana. Rick Mittman, a Managing Director at BKD, has co-chaired the IHCA Reimbursement and Payment Committee for nearly a decade and given hundreds of hours to help his colleagues across the state with complex reimbursement methodologies. Deborah Lake, RN, is a go-to guru on patient assessment, care planning, and documentation. Experts like these support the provision of hands-on care to those in need.

“I applaud our 2017 Senior Living Award winners for their deep commitment to providing the best possible care,” said IHCA/INCAL President Zach Cattell. “From making new advancements in clinical operations and outcomes to redefining the meaning of person centered care, the staff and individuals we recognize this year exemplify quality.”

The award recognition will take place during the 2017 IHCA/INCAL Convention & Expo. More than 375 Indiana nurses, nursing assistants, health facility administrators, clinical staff, and others working in long term care and assisted living centers across the state will be in attendance. Caregivers will participate in three days of education on recent and impending regulatory changes and new technologies in the industry, helping them to better prepare for the challenges of caring for an aging population.

IHCA/INCAL is the state’s largest trade association and advocacy group representing for-profit and not-for-profit nursing homes, as well as assisted living communities and Independent Living. The association provides education, information, and advocacy for health care providers, consumers, and the workforce on behalf of its more than 350 member facilities.

For additional information about the Senior Living Awards and the 2017 recipients, contact Kate Vaulter, Director of Public Affairs, at kvaulter(at)ihca(dot)org or 317-616-9002.

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