|Florida Health Care Association recently recognized the winners of the 2021 Excellence in Long Term Care Nursing Awards during the Nurse Leadership Program taking place in St. Pete Beach. These awards, which honor the shining stars in long term care nursing, were presented by FHCA President Marco Carrasco and the awards program sponsor, Robin Bleier of RB Health Partners, Inc.
Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year
Minnie Diaz (right center), CNA with Royal Oak Nursing Center was named FHCA’s 2021 Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year. Minnie has been a CNA at Royal Oak for nearly 20 years and is described as being an incredible team player and a dedicated employee who always takes the extra time to make sure her residents’ needs are met and that they feel safe.
Minnie is known to sit at their bedside, hold their hand and take the time to listen and comfort them when they need it. Minnie also has an excellent understanding of falls prevention and goes above and beyond to put interventions in place for those residents who need it.
Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year
Charmaine Jobe (center), LPN and Social Worker at Consulate Health Care of Winter Haven was recognized as the 2021 Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year. Charmaine has been in the nursing profession for over 18 years and with Consulate for more than 7 years. Her knowledge and experience, along with her ability to build relationships with residents and family members are what make her a top-notch leader. Charmaine knows how to build their trust and always follows through on calls and visits to make sure the residents and families have what they need. She is a wonderful communicator, which is important in her role to handle the facility’s hospice referrals and speak with families and support the residents during their end-of-life care.
Registered Nurse of the Year
Verdell Larkins (center), RN Supervisor at Harbor Beach Nursing and Rehabilitation Center was recognized with FHCA’s 2021 Registered Nurse of the Year Award. Verdell has been in nursing for 44 years, with 12 of those years working with Harbor Beach. She’s described as an educator and mentor to her fellow nursing staff. and has proven herself to be steadfast and a trusted part of the team. Known for being compassionate and having a warm heart, Verdell has a way of putting residents, their loved ones, and the staff at ease during challenging times. Verdell is described as having a sense of integrity and ability to problem solve, which is what sets her apart and makes her an amazing leader.
Rising Star in Long Term Care Nursing
Andrea Mattern (center), Assistant Director of Clinical Services and Infection Preventionist at Countryside Rehab and Nursing Center was presented with FHCA’s 2021 Long Term Care Rising Star in Nursing Award. In her 8 years at Countryside, Andrea has risen up the ladder of responsibility. From supervising a team on the 3-11 shift to unit manager to RN/MDS Coordinator, she has always demonstrated strong leadership skills. Her attention to detail and extensive experience, along with her certification in Infection Prevention, also put her in the critical position of overseeing the facility’s precautionary measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. When Countryside became one of AHCA’s designated COVID Isolation Centers, Andrea was responsible for coordinating staff testing, managing infection control surveys and health department visits, educating staff and coordinating vaccination clinics. At the height of the pandemic, she was also using her knowledge and experience to offer guidance and support to several facilities in the region.
Nurse Administrator of the Year
Teresa Edge (right), Director of Nursing at Suwannee Health and Rehabilitation Center was recognized as FHCA’s 2021 Nurse Administrator of the Year. Teresa has spent over 20 years in nursing, with 3.5 of those at Suwannee. Under her clinical leadership, Suwannee had the best survey outcome in its history, with 3 or fewer citations; they earned Joint Commission Accreditation, the AHCA/NCAL Silver Quality Award, a Five Star Rating, achieved 100 percent occupancy, are maintaining zero nursing agency usage and are sustaining a 90% customer satisfaction rating. Teresa is described an incredible motivator and educator of her team, and that was never more critical than during COVID, when Suwannee was hit hard with an outbreak. The clinical practices and systems she instilled in her team is the cornerstone of the facility and the reason they were able to navigate through the crisis while Teresa was out recovering from the virus.