Health Facilities Association of Maryland held an event Thursday to honor front-line health care employees working through the pandemic.
The event, named Celebrating Healthcare Heroes, recognized 20 individuals nominated by their employers for their performance during the coronavirus pandemic, including their demonstrated commitment to compassionate quality care, tireless work ethic, dedication to teamwork and enthusiasm for leadership, according to a news release announcing the event.
Joe DeMattos, health association president and CEO, said he wanted to hold the event because he usually gets to visit facilities weekly but no longer could due to the pandemic. So he found another way to show workers love and support. Attendance was limited and everyone required to socially distance.
“I realized just as residents and patients have been isolated during this pandemic, that often the workers have been isolated as well,” DeMattos said. “I thought it was vital to honor front-line health care workers who her fighting every day to save lives.”
For these workers, DeMattos said it is a calling for them, and any recognition they get is well deserved. He plans to hold the event again in 2021 and make it annual.
The award winners received a personalized trophy, breakfast, lunch and a $100 gift card.
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One of the winners was Cheyanna Washington, activities director at FutureCare Sandtown/Winchester, who won for her creativity, initiative and leadership during the pandemic.
Washington was excited to win her award and be around other health care workers after months of not gathering.
Since the residents at FutureCare could no longer participate in group activities, Washington purchased items they could enjoy in their rooms. She has also expanded the selection of movies, concerts and special programs and continues to get input based on residents’ interests. Washington also scheduled activities residents can participate in from their rooms such as " hallway bingo.”
“I try to come to work every day and make our residents happy and be a team player,” Washington said. “We have been doing a lot of one on one activities with residents and making things more personalized for them.”
Washington was happy she could still attend work and felt good about adjusting things with her residents.
“These health care heroes have been in the trenches fighting a once in a century pandemic for the last six months and this event is one small thing we can do to let them know they are not forgotten and they are tremendously valued,” DeMattos said.
Here are the winners of the inaugural event:
- Tracy Magwood, CMT, Oak Crest
- Latanya Chadwick, Nurse’s Unit Secretary, Loch Raven
- Laurence Hammond, RN, Potomac Valley
- Kahil Wade, DON, Summit Park
- Reva Martin, Receptionist, Oakland Nursing & Rehab
- Kerrie Romeril, CNE, Ballenger Creek
- Don Fielder, Business Office Director, Summit Park Health & Rehab
- David Akoi, GNA, Collingswood
- Leticia Vasquez, Director of Housekeeping, Elkton Nursing & Rehab
- Saddah Raddar, Nurse Manager, Levindale
- Valerie Young, Light Duty Tech, Stella Maris
- Francis Haynes, Maintenance Director, FutureCare Irvington
- Cheyanna Washington, Activities Director, FutureCare Sandtown/Winchester
- Julia Malinovsky, RN, Hebrew Home
- Patrineider Walker, Resident Care Specialist, Sava Bethesda
- Janet Mensah, ManorCare Rossville
- Celeste Hudson, Infection Preventionist; QA: Certified Wound Nurse; Staff Development and Education, Mt. Airy (Lorien)
- Phyllis Coleman, Executive Director, South River (Communicare)
- Lisa Croxton, RN, FutureCare Old Court
- Rochelle Williams, Interim Unit Manager, FutureCare Canton Harbor