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Blog: Hospice Views

Meet our 2014 Caring More Award Winners

undefinedThe “Caring More” Award is presented to outstanding social workers who go above and beyond to improve lives through their work with patients and in the community. The award includes a $500 prize to the non-profit of the recipient’s choice, and a breakfast in their honor with invited colleagues, family, friends, and a distinguished panel of judges during National Social Work Month in March.

These extraordinary people demand from themselves a high level of service, which creates a special bond with their patients and leaves a feeling of complete satisfaction.

After a long review process by our panels of judges, we are proud to announce our 2014 Caring More Award Winners:

AKRON-CANTON Lisa Boris, LSW Social Worker Bath Manor Special Care Non-profit: Summit County Humane Society

As a social worker at Bath Manor, a skilled nursing residence in Akron, OH, Lisa serves a client base of long-term residents. She is responsible for conducting psychosocial assessments, scheduling care plan meetings, addressing resident and family concerns, and providing dementia education to staff. Prior to her arrival at Bath Manor, Lisa worked as a medical social worker and as a director of social services for several area facilities. Lisa’s favorite aspect of her job is the chance to be a regular presence in the lives of residents who need her most and the opportunity to be a positive presence as they cope with progressing diseases.

Thank you to our Akron Caring More Judges:

  • Ronald Bierman, Chief Executive Officer, Affinity Medical Center

  • Chad McCabe, Executive Director, The Inn at Whitewood Village

  • Lisa Grubbs, Executive Director, Phoenix Rising Behavioral Healthcare and Recovery Inc.

  • Naomi White, MSW, Field Coordinator and Assistant Professor, University of Akron, College of Health Professions, School of Social Work

  • Gloria Sanders, Family Support Services Counselor, Reed Funeral Home

ATLANTA Fernando Harrold, MSW Medical Social Worker Grady Health System Non-profit: Project Open Hand / Meals on Wheels Atlanta Fernando Harrold has dedicated his 30-year career to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in Atlanta. As a medical social worker at Grady Health System, Fernando works with HIV-positive patients to ensure they receive the treatment and support they need in a safe environment once they are discharged from the hospital. He has worked in case management, counseling and residential services at Tidelands Community Mental Health Center, Aid Atlanta, Greenbriar Children’s Center, Charter Hospital and the Devereux Center. Fernando received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of West Georgia and his master’s in social work from the University of Georgia. In the community, Fernando remains dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness as a regular participant in Atlanta’s AIDS Walk and as a volunteer lecturer on HIV prevention Thank you to our Atlanta Caring More Judges:

  • Jennifer Bartl, Behavioral Health Program Manager

  • Fulton County Oak Hill Child, Adolescent & Family Center

  • Moira Keller, LCSW, Clinical Social Worker, Sixty Plus Older Adult Services, Piedmont Healthcare

  • Jeff Skinner, Senior Academic Professional, University of Georgia, School of Social Work

  • Caro Shanahan, LCSW, Faculty Liaison, University of Alabama, School of Social Work

CINCINNATI Brent Hartke, LISW-S, MSW Clinical Supervisor Caracole, Inc. Non-profit: Caracole, Inc.

As a clinical supervisor at Caracole, Inc., Brent Hartke oversees a team of 13 medical case managers who work with HIV-positive individuals, many of whom suffer from chronic homelessness. Brent and his team members provide emotional support to clients and connect them with housing, medication, and financial resources. As a social worker,

Brent has served a range of populations from children and victims of domestic violence to individuals struggling with substance abuse, but he feels especially compelled to serve those affected by HIV and AIDS. In the community, Brent serves as treasurer of the Cincinnati Regional Advisory Group on HIV/AIDS and co-chair of the Ohio Community Planning Group.

Thank you to our Cincinnati Caring More Award Judges:

  • Yvonne Dressman, Patient Services Coordinator, ALS Association, Central & Southern Ohio Chapter

  • Liz Kramer, Social Worker, Jewish Hospital, 2013 Caring More Award Recipient

  • Donald Lane, Esq., Attorney, Droder & Miller

  • Krista Powers, Development Director, Alzheimer’s Association of Cincinnati

  • Lisa Zimmer, Director of Field Education and Field Service Instructor, University of Cincinnati

CLEVELAND Kathy VanDoros, BSW, LSW Elder care Coordinator The Kabb Law Firm Non-profit: Kabb Care Collaborative

In a social work career that has spanned more than 35 years, Kathy VanDoros has served seniors in various capacities with a passion for their wisdom and histories. As the Elder Care Coordinator at The Kabb Law Firm, which specializes in elder law and life care planning, Kathy performs initial assessments, care planning and implementation for an average caseload of 100 clients and their families. Her primary responsibility is to advocate for clients who live in nursing homes and ensure they are receiving the care they deserve by building strong relationships. In the community, Kathy has volunteered as a board member of the Akron Area Alzheimer’s Association, as district chair of the Ohio Health Care Association Council of Social Workers, and as a member of the UHHS Bedford Senior Network.

Thank you to our Cleveland Caring More Award Judges:

  • Adam Van Boxel, In Home Services Supervisor, Geauga County Department of Aging

  • Julia Ellifritt, Education/Program Director, Cornerstone of Hope

  • Adrienne Green, Director, Geriatric Care Management Services, Lake County Council on Aging

  • Greg Kovach, Director of Outreach Services, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2012 Caring More Award Recipient

  • Emily Marvin, Director of Care Coordination, Caring Tree Senior Care, 2013 Caring More Award Recipient

DAYTON Leanne Maury, BSW Director of Social Services Trinity Community of Beavercreek Non-profit: Trinity Community of Beavercreek / Diabetes Dayton

As the director of social services for Trinity Community of Beavercreek, Leanne provides behavioral assessments, conducts care conferences, handles discharge planning, and educates her staff on resident rights and community resources. She also serves as Trinity Community’s dementia director. Leanne sees advocacy as making the extra effort to enable her residents to do the things they love, even if they are no longer able to do so on their own. To help her residents enjoy some of these activities, Leanne obtained a license to drive Trinity’s wheelchair- accessible bus, and uses it to transport residents to special dinners and concerts. In the community, Leanne participates in annual walks to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease.

Thank you to our Dayton Caring More Award Judges:

  • Dr. Carl Brun, PhD, Chair, Professor, Department of Social Work, Wright State University

  • Kenn Daily, District 2 Chairman, Ohio Health Care Association

  • Pat Mayer, Assistant Director, Montgomery County Area Agency on Aging

  • Laura Roesch, Executive Director, Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley

  • Ebony Speakes, Region 7 Director, NASW Ohio Chapter

KANSAS CITY Kelly Artis, LMSW Palliative Care/Hospice Social Worker Kansas City VA Medical Center Non-profit: American Cancer Society Hope Lodge – Kansas City

As a palliative care and hospice social worker at KCVA Medical Center, Kelly Artis does daily rounds with the nursing staff, provides end-of-life counseling, coordinates ancillary resources and is responsible for inpatient and outpatient consults. Kelly also serves as KCVA’s Ethics Consult Coordinator and as Chairperson of the Bereavement Committee. She never gives up on her residents and their families, no matter how significant their challenges might be. In the community, Kelly has coordinated several fundraisers for area veterans and participates in panel discussions to address veterans’ specific needs at the end-of-life. She also volunteers her time by providing support to female offenders and individuals experiencing homelessness.

Thank you to our Kansas City Caring More Award Judges:

  • Charli Ackerman, Public Administrator, Office of Pettis County

  • Laurel Hilliker, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Psychology & Sociology, Park University

  • Laura Lopez, Director, Go Red for Women, American Heart Association

  • Dr. Tyghe Nielsen, Owner, BrightStar Care

  • Eileen Van Tasell, Owner, Barr Private Care Service

LENEXA Jennifer Cardinal, LMSW Director of Social Services The Sweet Life at Brookdale Place Overland Park Non-profit: The Bridge Program of Rose Brooks Center

As the director of social services for The Sweet Life at Brookdale Place, Jennifer is responsible for over 30 long-term care residents. In addition to providing counseling and connecting residents with community resources, Jennifer connects patients with hospice and other care services to meet their needs. Before she arrived at Sweet Life, Jennifer served as the lead social worker for Truman Medical Center in Kansas City. She was also a crisis intervention volunteer for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA) and the Rose Brooks Center in Kansas City. Jennifer received her master’s degree in social work from the University of Kansas and bachelor’s degree in social work at Avila University in Kansas City.

Thank you to our Kansas City Caring More Award Judges:

  • Erwin Abrams, Former Chair, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

  • Myra Hyatt, LCSW, Landon Center on Aging Geriatric Clinic, Kansas University Medical Center

  • Nancy Lindquist, RN, ALS Care Services Specialist, ALS Association Keith Worthington Chapter

  • Felicia Shockey, LMSW, Director of Social Services, Brandon Woods at Alvamar

  • Mary Defree, Community Care Nurse Coordinator, Veterans Affairs

  • Andrew Loos, President, Heartland Cremation & Burial Society

MEMPHIS Julie Goodman, LBSW Community Relations Belmont Village Assisted Living Non-profit: Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association’s Meals on Wheels Over the last 25 years, Julie has found her niche in serving the elderly population of Memphis. Julie works as a community relations representative for Belmont Village Assisted Living. On a daily basis, she connects with discharge planners, physicians and healthcare organizations to determine how Belmont Village can best serve their patients. She serves as the West Branch Chair for the National Association of Social Workers, and as a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Mid-South Chapter. She serves on the boards of Creative Aging Mid-South; Case Management Society of America, Chapter of Memphis Mid-South; and the Professional Network on Aging. Through her work with these organizations, Julie organizes live performances and events for elderly communities throughout Memphis. Thank you to our Memphis Caring More Award Judges:

  • George Munchow, Administrator, Bright Glade Convalescent Center

  • Susan Graham, Senior Director of Special Events, Alzheimer’s Association

  • Susan Elswick, LCSW, Assistant Professor of Social Work, University of Memphis

  • Mable Barringer, LCSW, Executive Director, National Kidney Foundation of West Tennessee

  • Arnetta Macklin, Vice President of Senior Programs, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association

  • Catherine Logan, Director of Social Services, The King’s Daughters and Sons Home

OKLAHOMA CITY Mary Brawner Lead Case Manager Kindred Hospital Oklahoma City Non-profit: What God Has Joined Ministries

As the Lead Case Manager at Kindred Hospital, Mary Brawner conducts psychosocial assessments, coordinates weekly family meetings and accompanies the nursing staff during their daily rounds. She does it all for patients in need, from organizing clothing drives to washing and drying their jackets at home. Mary has been at Kindred Hospital since 2007 and is humbled by the letters and visits she receives from former patients. Her primary goal is to help patients and love ones transition as smoothly as possible to the next stage of care. In the community, Mary facilitates collections and recruits volunteers for the American Heath Association’s Heath Walk and gathers donations for toy drives around the holidays for children whose parents are deceased. She is also very active with her church and a marriage ministry known as Covenant Keepers.

Thank you to our Oklahoma City Caring More Award Judges:

  • Candice Banks, Social Service Director, Manor Care Brookline

  • Robbie Harper, Director of Resource Management, Midwest City Regional

  • Carla Jennings, Lead Social Worker, Davita Dialysis

  • Julie Kamp, Case Manager, AMG Specialty Hospital

  • Gary Lambert, Director of Nursing, South Park East Nursing Home

  • Jeanette Phillips, Executive Director, Emerald Square Assisted Living

PHILADELPHIA Deborah Jesseman, MSW, LSW Team Leader Montgomery County Vet Center Non-profit: Vets for Vets

As a Team Leader for the Montgomery County Vet Center, Deborah Jesseman supervises five staff members, maintains department budgets, and provides individual and group counseling services to veterans and their families. Her primary goals are to ensure Veterans are aware of the benefits they are entitled to as service members and realize that they are not alone. As a veteran of the U.S. Navy herself, Deborah is able to build strong connections with clients. Throughout her 10 years of active duty service, she received two Navy Achievement Medals for outstanding performance, two Overseas Medals, a National Defense Medal and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. In her spare time, Deborah participates in suicide and Alzheimer’s awareness walks and volunteers with the American Business Women’s Association.

Thank you to our Philadelphia Caring More Award Judges:

  • Wendy Benoff, Geriatric Care Manager, Aging Advisors

  • Donna Fiedler, Professor of Social Work, LaSalle University

  • Brian Kersey, Marketing Director, Blue Bell Place

  • David A. McKeighan, Executive Director, Delaware County Medical Society

  • Shushma Patel, Program Director, Project Hearth

ST. LOUIS Christina Troisi, MSW, MPH, LCSW Director of Social Services Beauvais Manor on the Park Non-profit: Tenth Life Cat Rescue

As the Director of Social Services at Beauvais Manor on the Park, Christina Troisi is responsible for overseeing social service assessments, discharge and care planning and family meetings for the 184-bed facility. Christina is a strong advocate of hospice care and has supervised a number of social work interns over the years, including one who returned to the facility for a full-time position after graduating. Since arriving at Beauvais Manor in 2006, Christina has done everything from organizing a team of coworkers to clean out a resident’s apartment to helping a Vietnamese resident reroute her pension back to the United States. In the community, Christina is very involved with the local Alzheimer’s community. She’s been hosting a monthly, public support group for caregivers and leading Beauvais Manor’s annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s team since 2007.

Thank you to our St. Louis Caring More Award Judges:

  • Maggie Murphy-White, Education Coordinator, Alzheimer's Association St. Louis Chapter

  • Michael Thorsten, Palliative Care Coordinator, VA

  • Christy Stretz, Education Coordinator, LeadingAge Missouri

  • Valerie Warters, Administrator, Heritage Care Center of Berkeley

  • Colleen Hill, Administrator, Mary Culver Home

  • Stan Smith, Administrator, Missouri Veterans Home - St. Louis

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