2015 VHCA Awards Recognize Excellence in the Profession and Dedicated Volunteers

This year we again we recognized excellence in the profession at VHCA Awards Banquet.  We celebrated the outstanding achievements of administrators, clinical staff, volunteers, and others who help make Virginia long term care facilities and assisted living facilities centers of quality care for the frail and elderly.   

Congratulations to the following award winners for their exceptional service to the profession.  To see photos from the banquet, visit VHCA’s Facebook page.

VHCA Nursing Facility Administrator of the Year Award

Mandy Gannon, Administrator at Burke Health and Rehabilitation Center.  Under Ms. Gannon’s leadership, her facility has one of the highest retention rates and lowest turnover rates among the centers in her company.  She has helped her facility earn several outstanding state and federal surveys, including a zero deficiency survey. In 2010-2011, she spearheaded and managed the addition of a 4,200 square foot rehab gym and facility renovation at Burke.  Ms. Gannon has served on the VHCA Board of Directors representing the Northern District, and was appointed to the Virginia Board of Health Professions.  Her career of caring and compassion began at the age of nine when her father became the guardian of a young paralyzed woman whom she visited every weekend.  During high school and college, she worked at a nursing facility as a nursing aide.   

VCAL Assisted Living Administrator of the Year Award
Joan Thomas, Administrator of the District Home at Birmingham Green in Manassas.  Ms. Thomas is the driving force for quality at the facility and has been actively involved in the development and implementation of a campus-wide diversity program for staff and residents. In addition to her responsibilities as an administrator, Ms. Thomas also directs her center’s community relations program.  She has facilitated a relationship between the facility and a George Mason University to study the effects of music, imagery and moment treatment interventions on emotional and cognitive functioning of residents in nursing home and assisted living placement.  

VHCA/VCAL Director of Nursing of the Year Award
Pamela Whorley, Director of Clinical Services at the Envoy of Staunton.  Ms. Whorley has been praised for her clinical skills and for her role as a willing leader within her corporate organization.  She is known for her caring approach with residents, patient temperament with her staff, and a high level of commitment to her center.  Ms. Whorley began her career as a CNA, and then became a LPN, and later a RN.  She has transformed a facility from one that wasn’t making the grade on the company’s internal quality scales, to a building that has consistently achieved or exceeded corporate standards each month.  Last year she assisted in training a new Director of Clinical Services at a sister center while her center was preparing for its annual survey.

VHCA/VCAL Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year Award
Sabrina Collins of Heritage Hall – Nassawadox.  Ms. Collins was described by the daughter of one of her patients as expressing “so much love and care with all her patients . . . it has been an easy adjustment for the entire family knowing that she is there.”  She has spent 23 years with her center and knows the residents she cares for so well that she often informs the nurses when a resident might be ill or needs special attention.  Ms. Collins’ commitment to compassionate care does not end when she walks out the door of Heritage Hall.  She organize a private duty sitter network for her friends and family on the Eastern Shore to help reduce the burnout so often experienced by family members caring for elderly loved ones.

James G. Dunton Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement
The late Jake Mast, former CEO at Lucy Corr Village in Chesterfield.  Mr. Mast dedicated his career to the long term care profession for nearly 30 years.  At Lucy Corr, he inspired the development and construction of a state-of-the-art health care center, the first memory support center in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Mr. Mast served on numerous boards and foundations including VHCA.  Mr. Mast was named the VHCA Administrator of the Year in 1979. His wife and sons accepted the award on his behalf.

VHCA/VCAL Adult Volunteer of the Year
Freeda Wiant—Life Care Center of New Market
Ingrid Silverman—Beth Sholom Village in Virginia Beach

VHCA/VCAL Group Volunteer of the Year
Liberty Baptist Church—Newport News Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

VHCA/VCAL Teen Volunteer of the Year
Kaitlyn Johnson—Dogwood Village of Orange County Health and Rehabilitation