During the early part of each year, the entertainment and movie industries celebrate the contributions of the professional actors, directors, and all of those who have dedicated their lives to entertaining others. In January 2018, we watched the Golden Globes and in March we saw the Academy Awards. No less important are the contributions made by Florida nurses who work in long-term care. Although the February 7th, 2018 FADONA Awards of Excellence ceremony  had slightly less glamour and fanfare than Hollywood, the dedicated commitment of long-term care nurses is no less important than their counterparts in show business.

Florida Association Directors of Nursing Administration/LTC (FADONA) is the largest educational organization dedicated exclusively to nursing and administration professionals in long-term care and assisted living. FADONA supports its members in providing long-term health care services that are desired, meaningful, successful, and efficient. FADONA assists nurses in achieving these objectives and guiding and inspiring their leadership in long-term care.

One of the most effective ways that leaders can learn new and creative strategies is to share their experience and achievements with each other, FADONA helps identify nurse leaders through their Awards of Excellence ceremony during their annual meeting. This year, the meeting took place in Daytona Beach, Florida, and employees from the Consulate Health Care family proudly claimed four of the FADONA awards – walking away as the only company to have received the most awards!

"FADONA helps identify nurse leaders through their Awards of Excellence."

The first award was for the Nurse Administrator of the Year. Diane Mitchell, RN, who is the Director of Nursing at Heron Pointe Health and Rehabilitation, in Brooksville, FL was surprised and delighted to earn this award. Diane has been a nurse for 29 years, and the most recent 14 years have been at Heron Pointe. “Heron Pointe is like a family setting where everyone supports each other,” Diane told us. She and her husband attended the FADONA meeting, where she was one of final three nominees for the award. When Diane’s name was announced, she joked that “her skin was quite expressive; it turned red as a tomato.” Diane told us that she thinks honesty is the most important of Consulate’s Core Values. “If you can’t admit your mistakes, you don’t have the opportunity to fix them.”

Tarena Arroyo, LPN, the unit manager at Consulate Health Care of New Port Richey, in New Port Richey, FL won third place as LPN of the Year. She has been at the care center for 18 years and she “loves the residents. I come to work everyday and look forward to hearing residents’ stories and about their heritage.” Tarena mentioned one of her residents that used to love to dance. When she is confused and looking for her husband, Tarena will turn on the resident’s favorite music and dance with her. Tarena is a glowing example of another one of Consulate’s Core Values, compassion.

Two of Consulate’s CNAs were awarded CNA of the Year. Taking second place was Debbie Adams, CNA, who is the lead restorative nurse at New Port Richey. Debbie has been a CNA with New Port Richey for 31 years and has taken on a multitude of additional responsibilities over the years. Debbie brought Dawn Simmons, a fellow CNA at New Port Richey, as guest to the award luncheon. “She is the ying to my yang,” Debbie said. Debbie was humbled and excited to win the award. “I enjoy being their (residents’) voice for everything from food likes and dislikes to how they should be positioned in their wheelchairs.” Debbie is a true example of Consulate’s Core Value of integrity.

Jeanette Clark, a CNA from Wood Lake Health & Rehabilitation Center in West Palm Beach, Florida won third place for CNA of the Year. Jeanette was very excited because it was her first experience at the FADONA meeting. She met a lot of people in the nursing field, many of whom she has worked with in the past. Diane considers herself a customer service liaison for her residents. “I try to keep my residents happy. I’m connected to everyone in the building.” Winning the award “Impacted me to work even harder! To go even more above and beyond for my patients and their families. If I see a resident who is sitting alone or maybe looking down, I check in with them and think of something they’ve told me in the past that I know will make them smile and cheer them up.” It sounds like Jeanette is a vibrant example of Consulate’s Core Value of compassion.

We congratulate these four remarkable nursing professionals on this latest achievement! We know that they will continue to inspire and educate their peers in long-term care, while exemplifying Consulate’s Core Values each day at our care centers.