Champion of Caring is HCR ManorCare’s national employee recognition program. Scroll down to meet the individuals who make a real difference in the lives of their patients, residents, family members and fellow employees for the care and caring they provide.
Our Champions of Caring
Certified Nurse Aide
Heartland Hospice of Virginia Beach
Celeste joined our Heartland Virginia Beach hospice agency in 2006. In the time since, she has been known for her dedication, compassion and genuine work ethic, a work ethic she defines as her autograph, one that is signed with pride and excellence. She is a role model and mentor for the agency’s new CNAs, emphasizing giving dignity to patients whose turn it is to receive the blessing of care. She has become certified as a hospice and palliative nursing assistant and a certified NAHCA preceptor, all while she dealt with her own health issues, which have been turned into in-service learning experiences. She is the 2017 NAHCA Devoted Service Excellence Award honoree, the first hospice CNA so honored.
Oralia (Sonia) Rodriquez
ManorCare Health Services—Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Certified Nursing Assistant
ManorCare Health Services—New Providence, New Jersey
Our first HCR ManorCare Champion of Caring is Lorna Downer, a certified nursing assistant at ManorCare Health Services in New Providence, New Jersey in our Atlantic Coastal Division. For a remarkable 34 years, Lorna has exemplified our helpful, caring and responsive commitment in providing quality care to our patients and residents. After many hard years of caring and supporting siblings as a surrogate mother in her native Jamaica, Lorna found her health care calling soon after arriving in America and training to become a CNA. Over her long tenure with our company, co-workers have recognized her dependability, energy and compassion. Patients and families have recognized her positive attitude, ever-present smile, and the sense of security and comfort she affords them. She has had to endure additional hardships, at no time did she waiver or change in the way she went about her calling as a hardworking, dedicated caregiver. She has served as a stellar role model for the young individuals starting their health care careers and aspiring to be quality caregivers.
Nurse Supervisor RN/House Supervisor
ManorCare Health Services—Fountain Valley
Gemmar has been a calm and compassionate caregiving leader at ManorCare—Fountain Valley, California for 22 years. She is characterized by excellent critical thinking skills; knowledge of our clinical systems; and her responsive, positive can-do attitude. She can diffuse and resolve any customer concern with ease and has received numerous complimentary patient comment cards. This led to her being named the center’s Employee of the Year for 2016. She has shown that she knows what to do to mobilize and motivate the team in handling a wide variety of unexpected emergencies, and her smile and gentle touch win over confused and combative patients.
Certified Nurse Aide
Heartland Health Care Center—Knollview
Cheryl is one of our longest tenured employees, having worked at Heartland – Knollview, Michigan for more than four decades, starting barely out of high school. She revels in the simple successes patients achieve, such as being able to walk from the bed to the bathroom and back. She enjoys being part of helping patients get better. She has seen a lot of positive changes in the care we provide patients over that span. While she has seen a lot of change over her career, the one constant she has found is the importance of caring for people and the enjoyment it provides.
Heartland of Springfield
Angel’s 20 years with Heartland of Springfield, Ohio have been characterized by getting to know patients and their families and providing personalized care. With a smile on her face, she encourages patients to work toward their goals. She is also a great role model for staff. She is known for investing her personal time to help provide patients meaningful life experiences, all while providing for her own special needs daughter. She makes the most difficult of skilled nursing center jobs look easy. Patients, staff and family members have recognized her selfless service many times over the course of her employment.
ManorCare Health Services—York North
For nearly 18 years, Trish has been an integral and essential member of the ManorCare—York North, Pennsylvania team. Over her career, she has excelled at teaching, training and guiding new nurse aides. More recently, her respectful, calm and composed demeanor has made her a proficient and skillful scheduler, one who is always willing to help employees on the floor instead of just sitting in her office. She is kind, flexible and willing to help with duties not her own, and has been recognized by family members as a compassionate caregiver, all leading to her being named the Pennsylvania Health Care Association’s Caregiver of the Year for 2017.
Administrative Services Assistant
Arden Courts of Allentown
Pat has been a true resident advocate at Arden Courts of Allentown, Pennsylvania since 2008. She is a cheerleader with an uplifting presence to sooth residents and their families during a challenging time. She takes the time to personally welcome each new resident and his or her family, and is able to strongly connect with them because her mother had been an Arden Courts resident. She assists overwhelmed family members by painstakingly labeling every piece of each resident’s clothing, and she delivers messages and hugs to residents when families are unable or too far away to visit.
Heartland of Austin
In her more than 11 years with Heartland of Austin, Texas, Maggie’s positive attitude has provided guidance and a helping hand to new employees. Her care and concern are the cornerstone of her mission to bring happiness to patients and families on a daily basis. She worked her way up from CNA to RN, and now as a supervisor and preceptor, uses clear communications to set expectations. Her eagerness to learn and teach has been part of the nursing team’s success in earning a 5-Star Rating in Quality Measures. Her role in training and leadership has aided employee retention.
Registered Nurse Supervisor
ManorCare Health Services—King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Mirlande has been a steady presence for staff and family members on her unit at ManorCare—King of Prussia for 12 years. She is a natural leader who focuses on nursing basics and makes her job 100 percent about her patients. Early in 2017, she was recognized with an honorable mention for the Gwynedd Mercy University Nurse Excellence Award. Mirlande is committed to the health, safety and care of her patients and is known for her comforting way with family members and her guidance of nursing assistants. She exhibits every day the caring we seek in our staff.
Spiritual Care Counselor
Heartland Hospice—Fairview Heights, Illinois
Mike has been with Heartland Hospice for 14 years following a 20-year stint in the Air Force. He has worked through personal loss to mold an end-of-life calling based on compassion, honesty and dignity. Today, Mike is going through a terminal battle with pancreatic cancer at the same time his wife is dealing with terminal liver cancer, but he continues to help others through their end-of-life journey while on one of his own. He amazes his coworkers with his patient-focused dedication. Leading by example is an inspiration to his entire agency, the facilities he visits, and the patients and families he touches.
Arden Courts of Ft. Myers, Florida
Darline has been caring for residents of Arden Courts of Ft. Myers for nearly five years. The way Darline goes about her daily responsibilities is a roadmap for guiding fellow employees on the helpful, caring and responsive path to resident and family member satisfaction. She is a strong advocate for the residents under her care, establishing rapport and respecting each as the individual he or she is. Darline projects calmness, even on the longest of days, and is humble in her approach, effecting a lasting and positive impression on all she encounters. A consummate team player, always willing to assist without being asked.
ManorCare Health Services—Venice, Florida
Maria Moors has been with ManorCare—Venice for over 10 years. The smile on her face and in her voice is considered the center’s first and best impression for all those who enter. She is described by coworkers as vivacious, dependable, energetic and compassionate. Family members note that she has a special talent for relating to people, making you smile, even on the hardest of days. Maria takes to memory every patient, family member, staff member and community partner, showing attentiveness well beyond her receptionist duties. Her warm greetings have led to an enviable number of positive Care Line calls.
Heartland Health Care Center—Livonia, Michigan
Jacqueline has been providing therapy for patients at Heartland—Livonia for more than six years. Patients treated by her love her for her performance and commitment. Communication is a strong attribute, ensuring each patient is cared for, encouraging patients to reach their individualized goals and getting even the most reluctant of patients to come for their therapy sessions. Jacqueline is an instrumental part of Heartland—Livonia’s bariatric program. She is at the forefront in center fundraising and team-building events and has developed strong relationships with coworkers. Her sunny disposition and ever-present smile warmly welcome everyone.
ManorCare Health Services—Barberton, Ohio
Pam has been spreading the helpful, caring and responsive philosophy at ManorCare—Barberton for 28 years. She takes new staff under her wing, and coworkers view her as a mentor and friend. A bad day never shows for Pam, as she never complains. She doesn’t seek recognition for her work, but a patient has described her as having the biggest heart in the world. In 2016, she was honored as November’s Hero of Long-Term Care by the Ohio Health Care Association. Pam was born to take care of people, and it shows every day. She treats each as someone special.
ManorCare Health Services—Tacoma, Washington
Ruthie is a 10-year employee at ManorCare—Tacoma. Her upbeat, positive attitude has earned the respect of coworkers and patients alike, leading to multiple monthly Employee of the Month awards and Employee of the Year recognition. She is quick to help out wherever needed and always puts others before herself. Her presence is calming and soothing, and she is gifted at building trusting and meaningful relationships. Ruthie’s “can do” attitude and bright smile brighten the lives of everyone she encounters and model the behavior desired of every employee. Her warmth is a beacon welcoming all patients and family members.
Oralia (Sonia) Rodriquez
ManorCare Health Services—Elk Grove Village, Illinois
Sonia has been a caregiver at ManorCare—Elk Grove Village for 21 years. She makes a point of learning patients’ names, and they know hers. She takes pride in her work and is a stickler for detail. She instills her strong work ethic in the housekeeping staff she trains, which has led to a remarkable housekeeping team with excellent customer service scores. Her HRD holds her up in orientation as the example of how employees should respond to customer needs and concerns. She has a caring, positive attitude and goes out of her way to make sure patients are safe.
Village of Westerville Retirement Center, Ohio
Michael has been at the Village of Westerville Retirement Center for 20 years. He rides his bike to work, rain or shine, and until some significant health care issues worsened, never missed a day of work. He is a true leader in the dietary department, training new dining room employees with patience and a sunny disposition. Michael always goes out of his way to make sure he knows the likes and dislikes of the residents he serves.
Home Health Aide
Heartland Hospice of Kenosha, Wisconsin
Tanya has been serving Heartland Hospice patients for a little over a year. Her paperwork is characterized by meticulous detail and accuracy, and always is turned in timely. She has been the subject of numerous complimentary Care Line calls and “Caught You Caring” cards. Facilities where our patients make their home ask for Tanya by name because they know they can always count on her. Her positive and uplifting attitude has led her to be chosen to head up her agency’s “Fun Committee” so she can pass along her exuberance to her agency coworkers.
ManorCare Nursing & Rehab Center—Kingsford, Michigan
Agnes had been with ManorCare—Kingsford for nine years and in that time has been named her center’s monthly Champion of Caring four times and was named the center’s Champion of Caring for the year 2015. She advanced from CNA to RN and also serves as a nurse preceptor, providing excellent job training and support for new nurses. She often picks up shifts or remains past her shift and has filled in as a nurse’s aide in times of need. She has been mentioned in many post-discharge thank you cards, customer satisfaction surveys and patient testimonials.
ManorCare Health Services—Ruxton, Maryland
Renita has been with ManorCare—Ruxton for six years. She greets everyone she comes in contact with. Her skill with crafts and developing fun and stimulating programs has turned the memory care unit into a home for residents. She is the Ruxton cheerleader in planning and creatively decorating for special events and a morale booster with her goodies for staff and patient parties and fundraisers. She also oversees the beauty shop and helps train new hires. In addition, she has an eye and an ear for picking up on changes in patients’ conditions and passing the information on to medical staff.
Resident Caregiver/Med Tech
Arden Courts of Austin, Texas
Griselda has been with Arden Courts of Austin for 15 years, and in just about every one of those years, she has earned Employee of the Month recognition. She was the center’s 2014 Champion of Caring. She is one who genuinely cares about residents, and who often purchases little grooming items and treats for residents with her own money because she loves her residents and it makes her feel good. She is described by family members as highly competent, professional, compassionate, patient, extremely positive and always with a smile.