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2007 Hero Award Recipients

Congratulations 2008 ALFA Hero Award Winners

Six ALFA Heroes and several Champions were honored as outstanding assisted living professionals at the 2007 ALFA Conference & Expo. The Assisted Living Federation of America launched the Hero Awards a decade ago to honor assisted living professionals who provide extraordinary senior living care by going above and beyond expectations to surprise and delight residents. Following are the 2007 winners pictured with ALFA Chairman Steven Vick and President/CEO Rick Grimes.

Staff Member Hero Maria Hernandez has served as a housekeeper at Silverado Senior Living at Sugar Land, Texas, since October 2004. Hernandez doesn't "work around" residents; she converses with them and checks on their well-being. She even brings along her daughter, Julissa, to spend time with residents and often will stay late if she is involved in a "project" with a resident. "[Maria] touches people's lives every day and makes a difference through her job that others may never have thought possible," says Le Riggs, the community's administrator.

Caregiver Hero Kathy Gonzalez is a resident assistant at The Orchards at Bartley in Jackson, New Jersey. She goes out of her way to make residents feel special and shows exceptional patience and kindness to residents every day. She has special affection for residents who don't have close family nearby, taking each of them to lunch on their birthdays. She'll even take residents shopping on her own time. Residents trust her and the community appreciates her calming nature and geniune care and concern.

Caregiver Hero Latarsha Nathan is a resident assistant at Sterling House of Parklane, a Brookdale community in Columbia, South Carolina. Nathan has no reservations about meeting all residents' needs. Recently, a resident who had been disabled for many years suffered chest pains and 911 was called. The resident was frightened and asked Nathan to hold her while waiting for the ambulance. Without hesitation, Nathan climbed into bed with the resident, put her arms around her, and laid quietly besie her until the ambulance came. It's the kind of care and devotion she shows consistently.

Volunteer Heroes Gary and JoEllen Hahn help out at Summerville at Lakeview in Groveport, Ohio. Despite their own health problems, they visit the community several times a week. They always bring a smile, a laugh, a quick joke, a pat on the back, or a listening ear, but their greatest gift is their ability to touch each resident as an individual.

Executive Director Hero Leigh Morehead serves as executive director of Sunrise Senior Living of Willowbrook, Illinois. Last year, Morehead decided to fulfill a wish for John, a Willowbrook resident. John, carried a picture of a Chrysler 300 in his wallet and often showed the clipping to Morehead. Knowing how much he loved the car, Morehead secretly arranged to borrow one from a dealership. She surprised John one afternoon and the pair spent an afternoon driving around the region. Morehead took a picture of john in the care and had it framed, and it now hangs proudly in his suite. She never tires of giving herself to residents unconditionally.

Winners of this prestigious award were honored at a special luncheon during the 2007 ALFA Conference & Expo in Dallas with a plaque and $250 prize.

2007 Assisted Living Federation of America Champions

ALFA also announced several “Champions” of assisted living who exemplify extraordinary service to seniors. They are:

Chuck Allen, Volunteer, Woodland Ridge, CaraVita Senior Care;
Carrie Boisen
, LVN, Silverado Senior Living at Sugar Land, Silverado Senior Living;
Loretta Burroughs
, Manager/Assistant Life Enrichment Coordinator, Mey House, Assisted Living Concepts;
Ronald DeVerse
, Administrator, The Cherry Tree Assisted Living;
Robert Elmer III
, Administrator, The Elms Assisted Living;
Willie Ferguson
, Executive Director, Sterling House of Durant, Brookdale Senior Living;
Stephanie Floyd,
Senior Lead, Heritage Hills Alzheimer's Special Care Center, Emeritus Assisted Living;
Donna Heckman
, Dining Service Director, Perinton Park Manor, Emeritus Assisted Living;
Katie Huberdeau
, Activity Assistant/Culture Ambassador, Haverhill Crossings, Benchmark Assisted Living;
Mary Jacobs
, LPN, The Forum at Desert Harbor, Five Star Quality Care;
Rosetta Lewis
, Health Care Coordinator, Sheridan Senior Living, Brookdale Senior Living;
Silvio Maio
, Food and Beverage Manager, The Forum at Desert Harbor, Five Star Quality Care;
Gina Nance
, Executive Director, Spring Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care, Signature Senior Living; and
Judy Walker
, Volunteer, Sterling House of Central, Brookdale Senior Living.

CONGRATULATIONS!!


View the 2008 ALFA Hero Award Winners

View the 2009 ALFA Hero Award Winners

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