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What does "Ceca" stand for?

Ceca stands for Celebrating caregivers, and is pronounced see’-ka. The Foundation was established to celebrate caregiver excellence and promote quality patient care. We believe that honoring those who provide care, and promoting caregiving best practices, leads to better patient experiences and outcomes.

What is the Ceca Award?

The Ceca Award is a combination of public recognition and a monetary award presented to a caregiver at a Healthcare Partner organization who goes above and beyond to serve a member of the patient, resident, or family community.

Special consideration for the Ceca Award is given to caregivers who best exemplify the qualities of empathy, humor, integrity, professionalism, and teamwork in treating patient/residents, as these qualities are valued by the cared-for and fellow caregivers alike.

Who is eligible for the award?

Ceca believes “Many Hands, One Team.” That’s why we define the term “caregiver” broadly, including direct care, indirect care, administrative, and support staff. As long as an individual is nominated for the Ceca Award, any staff member at a participating Healthcare Partner organization is eligible. Nurses, doctors, housekeepers, cooks, dieticians, transport services, security, activities and administrative staff have all been recipients of the Ceca Award.

While direct caregivers tend to interact more closely with patients and residents, approximately one third of Ceca’s Honorees serve patients in a supporting or indirect care roles.

How does a caregiver get nominated for the award?

While the Ceca Award Program focuses on a peer-to-peer recognition process, managers, healthcare consumers, and family members can all participate through the CecaAward.org website. All Ceca Healthcare Partner staff are given an account that allows them to log in to the website to recognize their coworkers. Non-staff may access a nomination form by selecting Guest Access and choosing their healthcare provider.

How much does the Ceca Caregiver Award Program cost?

Depending on the type of program, organizations are assessed an annual Membership Network Fee. While Ceca Foundation underwrites most operational and development costs for the program, the Membership Fee helps to offset the cost of our software, hardware, program materials, account management, creative and marketing support. The cost depends on two factors: the frequency of your Award Program (quarterly or monthly) and your type of healthcare community. Please contact Ceca for custom pricing.

The Membership Network Fee includes:

  • Monthly or quarterly cash awards directly to Honorees
  • Access to the CecaAward.org platform
  • One CecaTV-enabled monitor (a $300 value); integration with existing digital signage also available
  • Free mobile applications for iPhone and Android smartphones
  • Account management services
  • Marketing support services
  • Interviews and media outreach highlight inspiring honoree stories
  • All honorees are to be considered for our $2,500 Annual Award end-of-year (currently 3 recipients across Ceca Healthcare Partner facilities)

Depending on hardware preferences, there may be a need to mount and provide power and network access to the CecaTV monitor. Additional CecaTVs can also be sourced by Ceca at cost. Larger organizations with supporting Foundations may choose that their charitable affiliate co-finance the award and other program costs.

How much time and effort is required to launch the program?

A typical setup ranges from 3-6 days, but depends on your facility size and complexity.

For most staff, there is minimal time and effort required to support the program. Most Healthcare Partners assign a project manager to coordinate with the Ceca team to implement the program. Project management usually takes 2-3 days of coordination, typically over a 4-6 week period. Here’s an overview of typical time requirements and responsibilities by department:

  • Human Resources
    [approx.1-4 hours depending on staff size]


    • organizes and delivers staff names, email addresses, photos and other information [estimated 2-4 hours depending on existing availability]
    • organizes and conducts staff training
    • updates new employee on-boarding materials to include training on participation
  • Maintenance/Engineering
    [approx. 1-2 hours]


    • installs web-enabled CecaTV monitor(s) and connects it to the local network
  • Information Systems and Technology
    [approx. 2-4 hours ]


    • reviews Ceca’s website and installs internal whitelists and desktop links to Ceca’s Award website
    • there is no need for integration with the Healthcare Partner’s information systems
  • Legal and Compliance
    [approx. 2 hours]


    • reviews Ceca’s procedures and standard agreement to assure compliance
  • Marketing
    [approx. 1-2 hours]


    • prepares communications to announce and promote the program’s launch
  • Other
    • various internal departments may contribute a handful of “Ceca Champions” to receive initial training, test your new Ceca Award site and promote the program to the staff.
      [approx. 30 minute training session]
    • incidental time is required to appoint a Selection Panel member to represent the patient-resident community, procure award props, select staff member to take photos, etc.
      [approx. 1 hour]


How much time and effort is required to maintain the Ceca Award Program after launch?

On an ongoing basis, an hour or two each Award period is required from a very limited number of staff.

  • President/CEO/Administrator (or a designee should they be unavailable)
    • Serves on the Award Selection Panel
  • Human Resources Designee
    • Ensures up-to-date staff account information by adding new employees and removing former employees
    • This may be done ad-hoc at regular intervals throughout the year, or through an automated report delivery to Ceca’s FTP site
  • Marketing Advocate
    • Encourages program participation at the organization’s discretion; minimal time organizing Award presentations/celebrations
Is the honoree selection process independent of the Healthcare Partner?

Cooperation and support of Healthcare Partners is critical to the success of our caregiver recognition program. However, the selection process should strive to be as independent as possible. Healthcare Partner leadership serves as one of the three voting members in selecting award winners, but may also veto a panel selection if deemed inappropriate based on feedback from HR or direct supervisors. This supports the credibility of the selection process with individual caregivers without ceding management control. Monetary awards are financed directly by Ceca Foundation to avoid being classified as additional compensation, and an IRS Form 1099 is issued by Ceca for awards over $600. Healthcare Partners are also encouraged to continue using their own employee recognition programs (e.g. employee of the month, special awards) and to work with other healthcare recognition programs—as most programs are complementary to Ceca.

How does your system deal with Private Health Information (PHI) to conform to HIPAA?

Ceca does not request nor require any patient or resident-specific information. In the unlikely event that private information is submitted, absolutely no free-form nomination is ever displayed publicly. Only summary level nominee and nominator names and photos are shown publicly on CecaTV Monitors – without detailed text information. Ceca also provides tools for approval and removal of any nominations that do not meet industry guidelines.

How is confidential information protected?

Although Ceca does not hold PHI data, all nominations and staff account data are kept private and protected by log-in credentials. Data is securely hosted in Microsoft’s Cloud database, assuring compliance with industry security standards. Ceca staff and its providers are also bound to strict confidentiality standards, and Ceca agrees to restrictions on use of program data.

How is Ceca Foundation funded?

Founded in 2013, Ceca operated until early 2019 through a $2 million contribution from the Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor family. Ceca currently is financed through a combination of additional contributions from the Lawlor family, Ceca’s Membership Network Fee (see above for details), and public support.

Annual financial reports are prepared by Jitasa, a leading accounting firm specializing in nonprofit organizations and are posted on Ceca’s website (see annual IRS Form 990-PF). Ceca’s investment funds are managed by US Trust, an affiliate of Bank of America.

How do you measure results from the program?

We measure results by looking at several specific metrics.

Level of Engagement

The Participation Rate measures the number of unique staff members that make award nominations divided by the total staff (FTE) over a 90-day rolling period.

The Recognition Rate measures the number of unique staff members recognized on an annual basis, divided by the total staff (FTE) for that year.

Ceca also measures engagement by the “touches”, defined by the number of nominations made and received, plus the number of sign-ins and responses.

Impact on Patient-Resident and Staff Satisfaction

Ceca uses a Net Promoter Score where caregivers rate whether they would recommend the facility for their own family or friends. Research suggests that employees are rigorous in making the patient satisfaction assessment. Ceca also tracks other metrics, such as CMS benchmarks and employee engagement, which correlate to a better quality of care and patient experience.

Staff Retention

The cost of turnover in the healthcare space is a primary concern across the industry. Ceca tracks staff retention for all positions, particularly for Ceca Award recipients and those who participate in the program. The cost of RN turnover in hospitals is $37,700 to $58,400 per position. In the long-term care space, LeadingAge estimates the comprehensive cost of replacing a direct-care employee at approximately 25% of their annual compensation.

Are each Healthcare Partner’s performance metrics kept private?

Yes. Ceca supplies each Healthcare Partner’s senior management program performance metrics on a monthly basis. In addition, Ceca sends a performance comparison with a blind pool of other Ceca Healthcare Partners’ performance metrics at least once per year. None of the shared information identifies individual institutions. Each Healthcare Partner’s management chooses how to use its own information. For example, many share the participation rate with their staff to encourage increased adoption.

If we decide to move forward, what’s the process and timeline?

After both parties complete their due diligence, including a review of Ceca’s standard agreement, Ceca and its Healthcare Partners enter into a preliminary agreement to move forward. We then begin implementing the system as described above. Once the system is in place and a definitive agreement is fully executed, Ceca works with Healthcare Partners on employee training and marketing programs to raise awareness and interest in the Program. This can take anywhere from two weeks to two months—depending on the availability of partner resources, information, and the size of the organization.

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