Valerie Chambers-Jones, CNA at Fletcher Health and Rehabilitation in Tampa, Florida, had a very large surprise on Wednesday, October 21st. After attending the usual morning meeting in the care center, Fletcher’s executive director, Scott Allen, casually mentioned that they would be having visitors that day. Then, while Valerie was assisting a coworker, the two employees were called to help with a resident.

As Valerie and her coworker responded to the call, they walked through the courtyard of the building, where they found a group of staff and a representative of the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA). Upon approaching the group, Valerie was stunned to be presented with a plaque declaring that she had won the FHCA award for CNA of the year. Valerie was very puzzled to see her husband present at the gathering, and she began to cry tears of joy. She received a beautiful bouquet of flowers, a cake, and “awesome” balloons.

The FHCA representative explained the extensive nomination process for the CNA of the year award, and how Valerie was chosen by a committee who carefully considered the finalists. Anyone who knows Valerie can completely understand why she won the award. Valerie started working with the team 31 years ago, before the current Fletcher center was built. In June 1998, Valerie and her coworkers moved 60 residents to the brand new building. She has continued to be an outstanding employee in that location to this day.

Valerie lives in a community located directly across the street from the care center. After the award was presented, Scott Alexander, the executive director, spoke about Valerie. He said that “I can always call her because she is across the street.” He mentioned that he can ask her to open a door or do a CNA shift, and she always helps out. Valerie admits that she never says “no” when she is called on by the care center. Even if she isn’t home, she lets them know how long it will take her to get to the building to respond.

Valerie said that winning the award “makes me want to work even harder. Growing up, I was always told that my work would speak for itself.” Valerie has taken that advice to heart and demonstrates her integrity by doing her best work every day, whether or not she receives recognition for it. She said that she likes everything to look neat, and she takes it to a whole new level. The staff at the care center say that Valerie’s award was well-deserved. In her heart, Valerie knows that her parents would be so proud of her if they could see her now.

Valerie said that all of Consulate’s core values guide her behavior at work. “I love the staff and residents here, and I want to do whatever I can for them.”

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