That act of kindness — the caring and compassionate touch —

reveals the best the human experience has to offer.

Matthew Lawlor

Founder, Ceca Foundation

Our Mission

To improve the human experience in healthcare communities by honoring the work of exceptional caregivers.

Our Vision

By recognizing and rewarding the work of exceptional caregivers in healthcare communities, we are able to drive not only an enjoyable patient experience, but better quality of care for patients, residents, and families. The Ceca Award Program serves as a network for healthcare communities to demonstrate their commitment to core caregiving values, while ensuring staff are engaged and feel appreciated. Research shows these critical elements lead to higher safety and security, better staff retention, and improved care delivery.

Our Story

Mary Lawlor with family

Mary Lawlor (center) with family.

Ceca Foundation (pronounced see´-ka) was established in 2013 to “Celebrate caregiver” excellence by the Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor family. The Lawlors were inspired by the exceptional care Matt’s mother, Mary Lawlor, enjoyed in her later years, and by what they witnessed as volunteers at care facilities for the physically and developmentally disabled.

It became clear to the Lawlors that outside of friends and family, those who had the biggest impact on their mother’s quality of life were the nurses, housekeepers, porters and other healthcare staff who were part of her day-to-day world. These staff members provided excellent skilled care, and more importantly, they offered compassion and companionship. This experience had a profound impact on Matt and Rosemary. They wanted a way to honor these special caregivers, and highlight meaningful acts of kindness in a way that would inspire other staff members to do the same.

Mary Lawlor WAC photo

Mary in the Women’s Army Corps

The Lawlors set about to develop the Ceca Award Program. Matt got it started, modeling the program after a staff-inspired recognition program with a public company that he founded and headed for 20 years. Rosemary used her experience and contacts with a hospital board, and with several community programs which focused on serving the sick, poor and aged. Their sons pitched-in with technology and human resources know-how. Together they designed the Ceca Award Program as a way for healthcare communities to honor their exceptional clinical and support staff members.

Watch our Overview of Ceca Foundation

This short video gives you a high-level introduction to Ceca Foundation and how our award program works. Hear from key leadership, healthcare executives, and past Honorees about the award program’s impact on healthcare communities.

See Our Impact