During the Florida Health Care Association’s Annual Conference in Orlando in August, several long term care professionals were recognized for their outstanding dedication to the Association and the profession as part of FHCA’s annual Long Term Care Achievement Awards.
Alex Terentev, FHCA Past President and COO of The Lilac Health Group, earned FHCA’s highest honor during last week’s Annual Conference. Alex was named the 2022 Walter M. Johnson, Jr. Circle of Excellence Award recipient and joins a distinct group of leaders of the association and within the long term care profession. Alex has served as District President, Region VP, Annual Conference Committee Chair and in multiple Executive Committee roles. He is an FHCA Florida Leader, an AHCA/NCAL Future Leader and serves on the AHCA/NCAL Board of Governors. After Hurricane Michael devastated the Panhandle, Alex led the initiative to donate hundreds of supplies and raise more than $40,000 to support long term care employees in the area who were affected by the storm.
Dan Frenden, administrator of Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of New Port Richey, was honored as the 2022 Nursing Home Administrator of the Year. Dan is an FHCA Florida Leader and the District V President and is a mentor to those seeking to enter the long term care profession. He is loved by his team and is known for his commitment to quality, running a facility with Joint Commission accreditation, a Bronze National Quality Award, Five Star Quality Rating and most recently, a zero-deficiency survey result.
Lonnie Steckler (left), administrator and owner of The Pointe of North Gables, was honored as the 2022 Assisted Living Facility Administrator of the Year. Lonnie serves as the Florida Center for Assisted Living Committee Chair and the ALF Vice President on the FHCA Board and is known for leading with compassion, building strong community partnerships and making a tremendous impact on the Association’s assisted living initiatives.
Mel Beal (left), CEO and representative of Facility Support Company, was honored as the 2022 Arthur H. Harris Government Services Award recipient. Mel has been an active member of FHCA for over 10 years and serves as the Member At Large and Our Florida Promise representative on the FHCA Executive Committee. Mel is actively involved in FHCA’s annual legislative platform with a specific focus on advocating for reimbursement to support providers’ continuous quality care improvements. Mel played a key role in helping to secure the 2021 temporary enhanced Medicaid rates and the $293 million Medicaid funding increase in the 2022-23 state budget.
Matt Depenbrock of Guardian Pharmacy was honored as the Willis J. Gregson Associate Member of the Year. Matt recently completed his term as the Associate Member Support Committee Chair and Associate Member Vice President and is known for ensuring the voices of FHCA’s business partners are reflected in the Association’s programs and events. He regularly shares his guidance on assisted living and clinical perspectives to help inform FHCA’s legislative agenda and strategic initiatives.
Additionally, FHCA honored a number of individuals for making an impact on the lives of residents and helping to enhance the quality of life in Florida’s long term care centers.
Ms. Betty Souder, a resident at Valencia Hills Health & Rehabilitation in Lakeland, was recognized with the Joe Negron Resident of the Year Award for her enthusiasm and support for her fellow residents. Souder has been a resident at Valencia Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center for 11 years and is an active member of the resident community. She has served as the center’s Resident Council Vice President for the past two years and in that role, is an advocate for her peers. Souder is welcoming and encouraging to everyone and loves to make the residents laugh, even on their difficult days.
Emerald Coast Rotary Club in Panama City was recognized for their years of service to the Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans’ Nursing Home. The Club sponsors an annual Miracle League baseball game, holiday parties, such as Mardi Gras celebrations, Valentine’s Day and Halloweed events and other activities, for the Veteran residents, their families and the staff. They also donated iPads during the COVID-19 pandemic to help residents stay connected with their loved ones.
Ms. Joan Reinebach was recognized as the Adult Volunteer of the Year for her service to Pines of Sarasota, where she brings love and smiles to residents and staff. Reinebach uses her creativity to help residents with various crafting and gardening projects, most of which are done with supplies she has donated. In addition to coordinating group projects, Reinebach supports those residents who may not be physically able to leave their rooms by personally visiting them, bringing them reading materials and helping them feel a greater quality of life.
Julie Ann Kemman was also honored as the 2022 FHC PAC Star for her outstanding advocacy and support of the Association’s grassroots initiatives to ensure the voices of long term care providers are heard in the Florida Legislature.