Newsroom

Featured News

To get the latest news and other updates straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletters.

National Honor Goes to HMH’s Premier Caregiver

July 23, 2020The News-Enterprise covered the Special Award Celebration for Sharon Wright from Hardin Memorial Health. Read the full story.

Excerpt: “During the pandemic, Wright accepted the additional role of incident commander of the hospital’s COVID-19 Response Team. She was charged to assemble clinical leaders to determine the hospital’s response, including design­ing the structure of the response and appointing leaders to numerous roles. She communicates activities with Baptist Health’s incident command structure and reviews and disseminates all updated state and national guidelines for patient care and staff protection, regulatory requirements and financial resources to aid the organization. She also closely works with the Lincoln Trail Dis­trict Health De­part­ment to discuss preparedness, implement restrictions by the state and secure personal protective equipment. She helps communicate with health care providers in the community to best manage COVID-19 cases.”

Sharon Wright of Hardin Memorial Health Receives Ceca Foundation Special Award for Caregiving Excellence

Celebrating the Extraordinary Service of Healthcare Workers During the Time of COVID

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, July 23, 2020 — Ceca Foundation is pleased to honor Sharon Wright, Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Hardin Memorial Health (HMH), was presented with the Ceca Special Award for Caregiving Excellence. The Special Awards were designed specifically to recognize exceptional acts of caregiving by healthcare workers on the frontlines and behind the scenes, who are working tirelessly every day to protect our most vulnerable populations from COVID-19. Ceca previously recognized 40 caregivers in partner communities throughout this unique initiative.

Ceca, which partners with hospitals and healthcare communities to honor their exceptional caregivers, had not previously accepted nominations from outside its network. But Sharon Wright’s nomination was so overwhelmingly inspiring, Ceca felt compelled to honor her through this Special Award. Her nominator, a Hardin Memorial Health Foundation Board Member, also donated to Ceca to extend thanks to so many other wonderful caregivers out there like Sharon, who truly embody what it means to care for others.

View more...

Sharon’s nomination highlighted her leadership in preparing HMH for the novel coronavirus—assembling a multidisciplinary team and serving as Hardin’s Incident Commander, attending to every nuance and detail of response. She researched the issues and collaborated with other hospitals to find creative ways to serve all patients and keep the HMH team safe: turning critical care rooms into negative pressure rooms, procuring personal protective equipment, establishing a sterilization hub for N-95 masks, and more. All the while, she paid keen attention to her team’s emotional and physical well-being, and worked tirelessly to keep lines of communication open, internally and within Hardin. “Sharon’s passion for patients and love for others make her the consummate servant leader, and the reason for much of Hardin’s success,” said Dennis Johnson, CEO and President, Hardin Memorial Health.

On Wednesday, July 22, Sharon was celebrated by fellow staff members, patients, families, and the Ceca team at their Hardin Memorial Health in Elizabethtown, KY.

Matthew Lawlor, Founder and Executive Chair, further stated, “We are proud to honor Sharon, as we have hundreds of caregivers at partner communities since our founding. But her story is unique. The excitement and enthusiasm of her peers at Hardin Memorial show that she is not only respected but loved by those she encounters every day.”

“The Sharon Wright story is exceptional and, while we actively recognize and reward caregivers throughout our network of hospitals and healthcare communities, we know there are thousands of heroes across the country who deserve recognition,” notes Ceca President, Nate Hamme. “So, during these extraordinary times, we are inviting those outside our network to submit their own stories about the kindness, selflessness, creative ideas and extraordinary acts of care that we need to get through these difficult times.”

Added Hamme, “We share the healthcare community’s passion for providing exceptional patient service and hope that these Special Awards help ensure that our country never forgets the sacrifices healthcare workers make every day caring for our loved ones. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.”

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation (derived from “Celebrating caregivers”) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, which partners with hospitals, nursing, aging care and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Founded by Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor, Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards—totaling more than $250,000 to date. For more information, watch a brief introductory video and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About Hardin Memorial Health

Hardin Memorial Health (HMH) is an integrated system of providers and facilities serving approximately 400,000 residents in 10 Central Kentucky counties (Hardin, LaRue, Meade, Breckinridge, Grayson, Nelson, Hart, Bullitt, Green and Taylor). The 300-bed hospital in Elizabethtown, Kentucky includes 270 acute care, 15 psychiatric and 15 skilled nursing beds. Additionally, HMH includes 50+ outpatient facilities across the service area including a Cancer Care Center and Outpatient Surgical Center. There are over 445 physicians and advanced practice clinicians in over 40 specialties and primary care including Hospitalists available 24/7, Emergency and Urgent Care; Cancer, Cardiac, Rehab and Therapy Services; Medical and Surgical Services; Pulmonary Care, Diagnostic Imaging, Ear, Nose and Throat, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Obstetrics including a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and Pediatrics. With 2,900 employees and an active volunteer corps of 140, Hardin Memorial Hospital is the third largest employer in Hardin County.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Megan Blaney, Heartland Communications Consultants, 631-431-3011, megan@heartlandcommunicate.com

McKnight's Long-Term Care News Picks Up Ceca Special Awards

July 2, 2020 – McKnight’s Long-Term Care News recently published an article regarding the 40 Special Award Honorees that received Ceca Awards for their heroic service during COVID-19 titled “A dozen frontline workers honored for ‘extraordinary service’ during pandemic.”

Excerpt from article: “A dozen direct caregivers at nursing homes, senior living and various long-term care facilities were honored for their ‘exceptional acts of care’ during the pandemic. The Ceca Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Washington D.C. that honors caregivers, on Thursday announced the third round of its ‘Special Award’ recipients. The award highlights the ‘extraordinary service’ by healthcare workers during the pandemic. In all, 40 healthcare workers have been honored through the program since April.

‘Every employee throughout our network of hospitals, skilled nursing, and integrated care communities has stepped-up in meaningful ways to support those they care for,’ said Nate Hamme, president of Ceca Foundation. ‘These individuals represent hundreds of dedicated and compassionate healthcare workers at each of their communities. Each person we honor today has been nominated by a peer, manager, leadership team member or a patient, resident, or family member. Their stories illustrate what exceptional caregiving looks like,’ he added.”

Ceca Foundation Announces a Third Round of Special Award Honorees

Celebrating the Extraordinary Service of Healthcare Workers During the Time of COVID

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, July 1, 2020 — Ceca Foundation is pleased to honor 12 additional health caregivers with the Special Award Ceca introduced in April, at the height of the pandemic. The Special Awards were designed specifically to recognize exceptional acts of care by healthcare workers on the frontlines and behind the scenes, who are working tirelessly every day to protect our most vulnerable populations from COVID-19. Ceca previously recognized 11 caregivers in April and 17 in May. This round of Special Awards brings the total to 40 extraordinary healthcare workers honored through Ceca’s unique initiative.

“Every employee throughout our network of hospitals, skilled nursing, and integrated care communities has stepped-up in meaningful ways to support those they care for,” said Nate Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation. “These individuals represent hundreds of dedicated and compassionate healthcare workers at each of their communities. Each person we honor today has been nominated by a peer, manager, leadership team member or a patient, resident, or family member. Their stories illustrate what exceptional caregiving looks like.”

View more...

The following caregivers are being honored with Ceca’s third round of Special Awards:

Washington, DC

  • Sulaiman Bangura, RN Case Manager, Capital Caring Health, Washington, DC, for returning to a family’s home after hours upon hearing his patient had passed away. He sensed the family needed a trusted and familiar face and wanted to be there to support them in their grieving.
  • Steve Roy McLean, Porter, Army Distaff Center at Knollwood, Washington, DC, for working double shifts during the most intense period of the pandemic, when so many workers were calling-out from sickness or fear. Steve worked tirelessly and with great humor to support residents and staff, cleaning and disinfecting areas to ensure they had a clean, safe environment, assisting the engineering team and leading the EVS prayer circle after the loss of a teammate.

Maryland

  • Towanda Evans, Activities Director, Doctors Community Rehabilitation and Patient Care Center, Lanham, MD, for her heartfelt interactions with residents and staff, and for conducting the kinds of activities that make patients and their families happy.
  • Augustina Jarrett, Clinical Supervisor, Doctors Community Hospital, Lanham, MD, for being steadfast and reassuring laboratory staff who were processing significant quantities of samples each day. She provided up-to-date information on evolving pandemic procedures and the latest requirements so samples could be processed and tested efficiently.

Pennsylvania

  • Mary Donna Chehovich, Connections Activities Associate, Providence Place Senior Living of Drums, PA, for her exceptional humor and caring. She recently wore a funny costume to lift everyone’s spirits and always takes time to say a prayer or do something special with anyone who needs it. She makes everyone, residents and coworkers alike, feel like family.
  • Emily Lang, Receptionist, Providence Place Senior Living of Chambersburg, PA, for creating a photo booth to take pictures of residents with their Mother’s Day flowers and gifts to share with their families. She created a wonderful memory for many during this difficult time of separation from their loved ones.
  • Virginia Mill, Resident Life III/Medical Technician, Providence Place Senior Living of Pottsville, PA, for making Mother’s Day special for residents by taking professional photos of all the ladies for a Mother’s Day craft project and made them all feel like movie stars. She has brought sunshine to the community during this dark time.
  • Anthony Patterson, Resident Life Associate II, Providence Place Senior Living of Pottsville, PA, for the personal care he gave to a patient and her family. The daughter of an ailing resident nearing her end was upset when it was time to go home and was kneeling by her mom’s bed. Anthony kneeled down next to her, consoled her and told her not to worry because he would look after her mother’s needs after she left. The daughter needed a friend just then and was so thankful for Anthony’s presence and comforting words.
  • Sue Thompson, Housekeeping Resident Life Associate, Providence Place Senior Living of Chambersburg, PA, for finding a great way for residents and family to connect. She created a distanced “hug” for a resident by using ribbon to measure his arm width and then attached the ribbon to two paper hands, on which she wrote inspirational messages. She gave this to his wife so she could wrap the ribbon around herself and have a “hug” from her husband, which made them both feel closer during necessary distancing practices.
  • Kelly Elkins, Evening Nurse Supervisor at Genesis Gettysburg Center, Gettysburg, PA, who placed big, bold room numbers on each resident’s window, so family members could more easily locate their loved one for an outside window visit. Her empathy for families who have been so removed from their loved ones has made a big impact and uplifted the residents during a difficult period of isolation.

Virginia

  • Henrietta Acquah-Akoto, Nurse Supervisor, Goodwin House, Alexandria, VA, for her diligence, professionalism, collaborative skills, and accountability on a number of occasions. She checked temperatures in the lobby to expedite caregiver entry and worked through Omnicare policy restrictions to make sure a patient, whose fever had spiked, got a full prescription of antibiotics filled over a weekend. Additionally, she made sure a patient’s lab test was sent out properly and timely, despite restrictions on lab pickup during the COVID crisis. She was able to work through changing regulations put in place during the pandemic in order to provide the great care patients deserve, despite any obstacles.
  • Julia Ojo-Adebayo, Receptionist, Birmingham Green, Manassas, VA, for her teamwork, flexibility, and commitment to the mission at Birmingham Green through actions like working two double shifts in a row over Memorial Day weekend, sacrificing personal time in order to help her fellow caregivers and ensure patients’ needs were being met.

Each of these Honorees are celebrated by their fellow staff members, patients, families, and the Ceca team at their respective healthcare communities, in addition to receiving a monetary award of $250.

Matthew Lawlor, Founder and Executive Chair, further stated, “We are proud to highlight another amazing group of caregivers, who have embraced our current challenges and are doing more than ever to keep their communities safe and engaged.”

Ceca, established in 2013 to celebrate caregiver excellence and promote quality patient care, introduced these Special Awards specifically to honor frontline workers and support staff–all defined as caregivers–in the fight against COVID-19 within healthcare communities. The Lawlor family increased its funding and invited outside donors to help underwrite the Special Awards.

Added Hamme, “We share our partner communities’ passion for providing exceptional care and hope that these additional awards shine a light on the sacrifices healthcare workers make each and every day caring for our loved ones. We owe them all a debt of gratitude.”

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation (derived from “Celebrating caregivers”) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, which partners with hospitals, nursing, aging care and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Founded by Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor, Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards—totaling more than $250,000 to date. For more information, watch a brief introductory video and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Officer, 202-719-8042, nhamme@cecafoundation.org

17 Healthcare Workers Honored by Ceca Foundation

Recognizing the Extraordinary Service of Frontline Caregivers Fighting Coronavirus

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, May 29, 2020 — Ceca Foundation is pleased to honor 17 exceptional healthcare workers with a Special Award introduced last month by the organization. The ongoing series of Special Awards are designed to recognize acts of care on the frontlines and behind the scenes during the COVID-19 pandemic. These 17 individuals join the other caregivers that were previously honored, bringing the total to 28 awards.

“Every employee throughout our network of hospitals, skilled nursing, and integrated care communities has stepped-up in meaningful ways to protect patients, senior residents, and one another from the devastating effects of coronavirus,” said Nate Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation.

View more...

“These essential workers are jeopardizing their own health and personal lives on a daily basis—and while all of these employees deserve our thanks, we are pleased to highlight these 17 in particular with our Special Award.”

The following caregivers are being honored with the second round of Special Awards:

Washington, D.C.

  • Cheryl Lucas, Assistant Director of Nursing, Army Distaff Center at Knollwood, Washington, DC, for perseverance in serving as the front-line infection control nurse, testing hundreds of residents, providing updated information, comforting family members, and communicating hope during this pandemic.
  • Arlette Kesseng A Mbassa, Director of Nursing, Army Distaff Center at Knollwood, Washington, DC, for her dedication, sacrifice, commitment, and leadership providing front-line nursing care during this pandemic. There are no self-distancing, work-from-home, or telehealth options for nurses, and Arlette comforts the fearful, swabs for samples, guards the PPE, responds to daily DOH requests, and constantly educates and advocates for her team.
  • Portia Richardson, Medical Records Director, Stoddard Baptist Global Care, Washington, DC, for her attention to detail in working with regulatory bodies, for organizing and promoting facility events that bring peace to the community, and for her warmth in managing relationships with physicians and funeral homes.
  • Steven Skobel, Nurse Practitioner, Capital Caring, Washington, DC, for serving as liaison between the medical team attending to a father, who was intubated for 30 days, and his family, while communicating with skill, dedication, and compassion.
  • Georgiana Walker, LPN at Inspire Rehabilitation and Health Center, Washington, DC, who was recognized by a family member for demonstrating patience, respect, efficiency, timeliness and, above all, love in caring for their mother. Her calm and compassionate professionalism make resident stays peaceful and joyful.

Maryland

  • Noely Diaz de Leon, Clerk at Genesis Healthcare Franklin Woods, Baltimore, MD, for diligently maintaining scheduled appointments, coordinating transportation, and championing TeleHealth visits with kindness, patience, and respect for both residents and family members.
  • Everly Osborne, Critical Care Technician, Doctors Community Hospital, Lanham, MD, for her work above and beyond her job responsibilities in the ICU intubating, prone ventilating, and caring for additional patients, even mopping and cleaning floors to ensure safety and security in critical COVID care rooms.

Pennsylvania

  • Kayla Ramsey, Resident Life Associate, Providence Place Senior Living, Chambersburg, PA, for leaving artistic, creative, though-provoking and informative messages on a whiteboard sign residents and staff use to interact with one another, providing joy and an uplifting way to start the day.
  • Ralph Chatman, Floor Care Technician, Old Orchard Health Care Center, Easton, PA, for his extraordinary efforts during required moves to accommodate affected patients entering the facility. His efficiency in cleaning, moving belongings, and ensuring the safety of resident environments during an unsettling time made a tremendous difference.
  • Kendra Dixon, Resident Life Associate, Connections Unit, Providence Place Senior Living, Pottsville, PA, for helping a patient on Hospice care FaceTime his wife so she could share some special moments during a particularly good day he was having. This became a special memory for the wife as her husband passed away shortly after, but she was able to “be by his side” in his last days.
  • Emelia Jocelin-Sainvil, Nurse Aide, ManorCare Health Services, West Reading, PA, for taking time to provide language interpretation services, and for preparing and delivering cultural foods to residents that brought warmth and comfort to them during uncertain times.
  • Aubrey Marrow, Resident Life Associate, Providence Place Senior Living, Drums, PA, for his enthusiasm and fun-loving spirit, sharing his passion for dance and his extraordinary devotion to COVID residents, as evidenced by his prepping a COVID survivor for her 101st birthday.
  • Michael Tourangeau, Dietary Manager, Laurel Lakes Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, Chambersburg, PA, for initiating and implementing an employee meal plan during this crisis, which allowed all staff to be nourished and to ensure safety by minimizing contact with potential infection vectors.
  • Patricia Weaver, RN Unit Manager, Transitions Healthcare, Gettysburg, PA, for her dedication and efficiency as infection preventionist during the COVID pandemic by distributing masks to all employees, keeping staff updated with current information, lending a listening ear to anxieties and concerns, and ensuring all proper precautions are followed.
  • Amy Ziolko-Yencho, Night Shift Supervisor at Providence Place Senior Living, Drums, PA, for the manner in which she calms residents with voice or touch, the way she listens to residents and anticipates their needs (even those of their pets), and the way she makes everyone feel like family with her homemade meals.

Virginia

  • Edna Berantuo, Nurse, Goodwin House, Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, for providing moments of joy to residents and their families during this pandemic, such as helping a resident set up video conferencing accounts on his new device and teaching him how to set up virtual visits with his family.

West Virginia

  • Carrie Buzzo, Clinical Supervisor at West Virginia Caring, Arthurdale, WV, for her calm demeanor in empathizing with patients and families, ensuring supplies and medications are stocked and ready, and for spending extra time educating staff and residents on the signs, symptoms, and precautions necessary during the pandemic.

Each of these Honorees receives a monetary award of $250, and all are celebrated by their fellow staff members, patients, families, and the Ceca team at their respective healthcare communities during a public and virtual Award presentation over video conference.

Matthew Lawlor, Founder and Executive Chair, further stated, “If there was ever a time to show our appreciation to caregivers, it is now. These are very extraordinary people, and these are extraordinary times.”

Ceca, established in 2013 to celebrate caregiver excellence and promote quality patient care, introduced these Special Awards specifically to honor frontline workers and support staff – all defined as caregivers – in the fight against COVID-19 within healthcare communities. The Lawlor family increased its funding and invited outside donors to help underwrite the Special Awards.

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation (derived from “Celebrating caregivers”) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, which partners with hospitals, nursing, aging care and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Founded by Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor, Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards—totaling more than $250,000 to date. For more information, watch a brief introductory video and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Officer, 202-719-8042, nhamme@cecafoundation.org

Health Organizations That Simplify and Reward Good Care

May 8, 2020 — President Nate Hamme was interviewed for Ideas by We recently. An excerpt is below, and read the full piece online.

Excerpt from Ideas by We: “Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Ceca Foundation has been advocating for caregivers since 2013—and its work has become even more vital as these professionals have come into the spotlight during this pandemic. Ceca (an abbreviation of “celebrating caregivers”) coordinates with healthcare facilities and families of patients across the Northeast to recognize outstanding caregivers, awarding honorees with a public award presentation and monetary prizes throughout the year. The organization is a member at WeWork Universal North in D.C. and has space through WeWork for Good, an initiative that contributes office space to eligible organizations working to fight the coronavirus.”

Ceca Foundation Announces Special Award Honorees

Recognizing the Extraordinary Service of Frontline Healthcare Workers Fighting Coronavirus

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, May 4, 2020 – Ceca Foundation is pleased to honor 11 exceptional health caregivers with its new Special Award. The Special Awards are designed specifically to recognize exceptional acts of care from those healthcare workers on the frontlines and behind the scenes, who are working tirelessly every day to protect our most vulnerable populations from the coronavirus.

View more...

“Every employee throughout our network of hospitals, skilled nursing, and integrated care communities has stepped-up to protect patients, senior residents, and each other from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Nate Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation. “From receptionists who are screening everyone coming through the door, supply chain workers who are procuring protective gear and equipment, staff who are making facemasks to share, IT workers who are connecting the elderly to their families though video, to the medical staff who are jeopardizing their own health and private lives to care for those who need special protection and care–all of these employees deserve our thanks. We are pleased to honor them with our Special Award.”

The following caregivers are being honored with the first round of Special Awards:

  • Talisha Arneaud, Admissions Director at Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home in Washington, DC, volunteered to sit on the front lines and take the temperature of everyone entering the building to protect residents and staff from transported illness.
  • Rachael Beadle, Receptionist at Genesis Glade Valley in Walkersville, MD, has assumed the additional responsibility for screening visitors and vendors, and putting people at ease with her calm demeanor and simple explanations of procedures.
  • Jennifer Bennett, Events Communications Coordinator at Goodwin House in Alexandria, VA, has been helping staff and residents navigate technical issues while streaming information and activities to residents’ apartments—keeping them engaged, connected, entertained and informed during these difficult times.
  • Dawn Crothers, a Registered Nurse at Psychiatric Institute of Washington in Washington, DC, sewed washable, reversible facemasks with fun and unique designs for staff, so everyone would be protected.
  • Ayo Clementine Grant, Certified Nursing Assistant at Army Distaff Center at Knollwood in Washington, DC, has been thrust into the role of gatekeeper and coronavirus screener, often waiting in the cold to check visitors for symptoms before they enter her LifeSpan community, in addition to enforcing protocols for the safety of all residents and staff.
  • Shane Grinder, Admissions Director at Genesis Gettysburg Center in Gettysburg, PA, has been putting together meals, treats and goodie bags to make all of her staff feel greatly appreciated during these difficult times.
  • Carla Nieves, Business Office Manager at Genesis Franklin Woods Center in Baltimore, MD, has been making sure that the front desk is staffed 24/7 and ensures everyone working the front desk is well educated about new COVID-19 changes in policies and procedures surrounding screening and visitation.
  • Bob Royer, Board Member at Army Distaff Center at Knollwood in Washington, DC, anticipated a PPE shortage very early on in the crisis and stopped at a medical supply store to procure masks, goggles, and other protective equipment for the caregivers at Knollwood.
  • Mary Ann Terway, a Resident Life Associate (CNA) at Providence Place in Pottsville, PA, has made over 100 masks and washable gowns for co-workers, who are interacting with patients and residents. She also pampers her residents with special foods and toiletries to make them look and feel their best during these distressing times.
  • Lisa Wallace, Corporate Director of Supply Chain at Goodwin House in Alexandria, VA, anticipated that PPE would be harder to get for long-term care facilities and went well beyond her normal role to plan and coordinate the funding, procurement, and distribution of over 1.3 million face masks for staff at Goodwin House and over 50 other long-term care organizations in the area dedicated to serving the needs of aging adults and people with disabilities.
  • Lucille Williams, a Patient Care Technician at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, MD, used compassion and humor in treating a potential COVID-19 patient, reassuring them and allowing them to relax during a very scary time.

Each of these Honorees receives a monetary award of $250, and all are celebrated by their fellow staff members, patients, families, and the Ceca team at their respective healthcare communities.

Matthew Lawlor, Founder and Executive Chair, further stated, “If there was ever a time to show our appreciation to caregivers, it is now. These are very extraordinary people, and these are extraordinary times.”

Ceca Foundation, established in 2013 to celebrate caregiver excellence and promote quality patient care, introduced these Special Awards to honor frontline workers and support staff – all defined as caregivers – in the fight against COVID-19 within healthcare communities. The Lawlor family increased its funding and invited outside donors to help underwrite the new series of Special Awards that go beyond the regular Ceca Awards giving regularly within partner facilities.

Added Hamme, “While we are honoring caregivers with these supplemental awards, it’s also an opportunity for all of us in the community to salute those who are fighting the coronavirus. The Special Awards provide a small, but sorely needed, financial boost to our Honorees. At the same time, they offer a vehicle for all of us to express a very loud, collective ‘thank you!’”

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation (derived from “Celebrating caregivers”) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, which partners with hospitals, nursing, aging care and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Founded by Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor, Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards. For more information, watch a brief video and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule an interview with one of our award recipients, contact Michelle Sims.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Officer, 202-719-8042, nhamme@cecafoundation.org

Ceca Foundation Steps Up Efforts to Honor Frontline Healthcare Workers Fighting Coronavirus

Supplements Ongoing Caregiver Awards to Recognize Extraordinary Service

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NOTE: This also appeared in Digital Journal, which included additional Q&A at the end of the release.

WASHINGTON, DC, March 30, 2020 – The COVID-19 virus is now running its course in the U.S., putting incredible pressure on patients and residents in the nation’s hospitals and long-term care communities. Healthcare workers are making truly heroic personal sacrifices that jeopardize their own health and private lives, working incredibly long hours to contain the virus and care for and comfort those who are directly impacted.

View more...

“If there was ever a time to show our appreciation to caregivers, it is now,” said Nathan Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation. Ceca, established in 2013 to celebrate caregiver excellence and promote quality patient care, is introducing a new series of Special Awards, stepping up its efforts to honor frontline workers and support staff – all defined as caregivers – in the fight against COVID-19.

Ceca partners with 50 hospitals, nursing homes, psychiatric and hospice centers to recognize and financially reward their outstanding caregivers though its Ceca Award program. The Foundation provides proprietary software and manages its partners’ engagement.

20,000 nominations and countless Ceca Award ceremonies over the years, it still leaves a lump in my throat witnessing Ceca Awardees being honored. These are extraordinary people, and these are extraordinary times.” After founding and funding Ceca with his spouse Rosemary, the Lawlor family will be increasing their funding and, for the first time, actively inviting outside donors to help underwrite the Special Awards.

Added Hamme, “This is an opportunity for all of us in the community to salute those who are on the frontline fighting the coronavirus. The Special Awards provide a small but sorely needed financial boost to our Honorees. At the same time, they offer a vehicle for all of us to express a very loud, collective ‘thank you.’”

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation (pronounced See’ ka, as in Celebrating caregivers) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to improve the human experience in healthcare communities by honoring the work of their exceptional caregivers. Founded by Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor, Ceca publicly recognizes caregivers through its innovative technology platforms, support services, and monetary awards. View our brief video and follow us on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule an interview with an award recipient, contact Michelle Sims.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Officer, 202-719-8042, nhamme@cecafoundation.org

Ceca Foundation Announces Annual Caregiver Award Honorees

Nursing and Hospital Caregivers Recognized with the Ceca Award

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, March 2, 2020 – Ceca Foundation is pleased to honor three extraordinary health caregivers with its Annual Ceca Caregiver Award:

Nicole Dudeck is a Resident Life Associate/Medication Technician at Providence Place in Drums, PA, a senior living facility offering independent living, personal and memory care. After several promotions took her into support roles, she missed direct contact with her patients and returned to work as a CNA. Her kindness is reflected in her many small acts of caring, such as taking the initiative to bring residents new clothing, toiletries, or decorative holiday trees for their apartments.

View more...

She often offers warm hugs to those she cares for—patients, residents and their families.

Olivia Plummer is a Unit Clerk at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, MD. Olivia was honored for helping a family member who needed to fill an insulin prescription for her daughter. After being told Medicaid wouldn’t cover it, the mother anxiously called Olivia. On her own time, Olivia talked to a Medicaid representative and the fulfilling pharmacists, asking questions the patient’s mother didn’t think to ask. With herculean effort and exceptional empathy for those who struggle with the healthcare system, Oliva finally got the much-needed prescription filled, bringing the family member to tears.

Ayan Sharif is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Goodwin House, Alexandria, VA, a nonprofit Life Plan community, and part of the Goodwin House family of senior living communities and services. Ayan was recognized for her special relationships with residents and her focus on their happiness and wellbeing. She engages with residents in a way that helps them maintain as much independence as possible and allows them to have a voice in their own treatment and decision-making. She is particularly known for her exceptional ability to interact with dementia patients.

Each of these honorees receives a monetary award of $2,500, and all are celebrated by their fellow staff members, patients, families, and the Ceca team at their respective healthcare communities.

Ceca Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, partners with over 50 healthcare communities to recognize their outstanding caregivers. Ceca provides propriety software and manages its partners’ engagement and recognition program, while underwriting monetary awards for caregivers.

To build teamwork, all staff are considered caregivers. Ceca Award candidates are nominated by their peers, patients, residents and families, who cite the nominee’s exemplary caregiver values and exceptional acts of care. Selections are made monthly or quarterly by a local selection panel. The program has generated 22,000 nominations since launch and 700 Ceca Award honorees.

Additionally, each year the Foundation seeks to recognize the “best of the best” with its highest award. Annual Ceca Award Honorees and Finalists are selected by Ceca’s Board from the pool of Award winners over the prior year from throughout Ceca’s network of healthcare partners.

Last year, 2,000 caregivers were nominated and 150 were selected for the Ceca Award in their facilities. From this elite group, three honorees received the Annual Ceca Award, and eight finalists were also honored:

  • Paul Blankenship, Vascular Technician at Doctors Community Hospital
  • Carolyn Brown, Restorative Certified Nursing Assistant at Birmingham Green
  • Colleen Carbury, RN Case Manager at Capital Caring Health
  • Carrie Cornell, Social Services Director at Genesis Healthcare, Gettysburg Center
  • Melissa Ellis, Housekeeping/Laundry at Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home
  • Daniel Ghidey, Dining Services Supervisor at Goodwin House Bailey’s Crossroads
  • Sharae Greene, Psychiatric Counselor at Psychiatric Institute of Washington
  • Mohamed Koroma, Director of Engineering at Knollwood Military Retirement Community

“Each of these individuals is a shining example of the spirit of caring that takes place in our nation’s healthcare communities every day,” said Nate Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation. “Some caregiver acts are truly heroic, but often it’s the simple act of connecting with patients, residents, and their families that lifts all of our humanity.”

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation (pronounced See’ ka, as in Celebrating caregivers) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, which partners with hospitals, nursing, aging care and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Founded by Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor, Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards. For more information, visit www.CecaFoundation.org and watch a brief introductory video. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

# # #

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Officer, 202-719-8042, nhamme@cecafoundation.org

Providence Place Caregiver Receives Press Over Prestigious Annual Ceca Award

​February 2020 — Ceca healthcare partner, Providence Place Senior Living in Drums, PA, recently received press coverage from local media about the presentation of the Annual Ceca Award to caregiver Nicole Dudeck. Read the write-up from The Hazelton Standard-Speaker and see the article and video from PA Homepage to learn more about why she was selected.

Excerpt from The Hazelton Standard-Speaker: “Dudeck has been a part of the Providence Place team for 10 years in various roles throughout the community. The annual nomination was provided by Kimberly Perchak, executive director of the Drums campus. ‘Providing care is her passion,’ Perchak said. ‘Nicole never has a bad day. Instead, she will turn your bad day right around…. She has this kindness about her that is attractive. It makes her beautiful on the inside.'”

 

Matt Lawlor of Ceca Foundation on the Eric Stewart Radio Show

Press Releases and Articles

Ceca Foundation Brings its Caregiver Award Program to Five New Healthcare Communities in Pennsylvania

​Innovative Engagement Program Uses Technology to Recognize Healthcare Workers

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, January 13, 2020 – Ceca Foundation, established in 2013 to celebrate caregiver excellence, is launching its innovative Ceca Award program with five additional Providence Place senior living facilities across central Pennsylvania.

“We’ve enjoyed working with Providence Place in Drums, PA, and are delighted to work with these five additional communities and continue our expansion into Pennsylvania. Success in improving the experience of patients, residents and family members

View more...

who come to these facilities for care will allow us to accelerate adoption of the Ceca Award program by other care communities across the country,” said Nate Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation. 

“The Ceca Foundation program brought a lot of positivity and engagement to our team members at the senior living campus. The participation was fantastic and supports our larger mission of creating a caring, collaborative and positive environment for residents and co-workers alike. We are excited to bring this program and spirit to our other five communities soon as well,” noted Rick Barley, COO Providence Place Senior Living.

Since the launch of the program in 2014, more than 20,000 nominations have been submitted by peers, residents, patients, and families to recognize those healthcare workers for caregiving excellence. More than 650 individuals have been selected for the Ceca Award. In cooperation with its healthcare facility partners, Ceca operates the program and underwrites most costs for its innovative software and cash awards. It has now partnered with 40 hospitals, nursing, hospice, and mental health facilities in the mid-Atlantic region and Arkansas.

# # #

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC partners with hospitals, nursing, and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards. For more information, visit www.CecaFoundation.org and watch an introductory video. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Officer, 202-719-8042, nhamme@cecafoundation.org

Ceca Healthcare Partner Featured in TIME

​October 4, 2019 — Our healthcare partner, Knollwood Military Lifespan Community, was recently featured in a TIME cover story titled, “Stop Me if You’ve Heard This One: A Robot and a Team of Irish Scientists Walk Into a Senior Living Home.” Read the piece to learn more about the fun way Knollwood is bridging technology and resident engagement.

Excerpt from TIME: “It’s karaoke-rehearsal time at Knollwood Military Retirement Community, a 300-bed facility tucked away in a leafy corner of northwest Washington, D.C. Knollwood resident and retired U.S. Army Colonel Phil Soriano, 86, has hosted the facility’s semi-monthly singalongs since their debut during a boozy snowstorm happy hour in 2016. For the late August 2019 show, he’ll share emcee duties with a special guest: Stevie, a petite and personable figure who’s been living at Knollwood for the last six weeks. Soriano wants to sing the crowd-pleasing hit ‘YMCA’ while Stevie leads the crowd through the song’s signature dance moves. But Stevie is a robot, and this is harder than it sounds.”

 

"Helping Hands" in The Frederick News-Post

September 2019 — One of our newest healthcare partners, Genesis HealthCare Glade Valley, recently appeared in The Frederick News-Post article, “Helping Hands,” that focuses on the facility bringing the Ceca Award into its employee recognition program, and features their first Honoree, Cathy Warfield. Read the story.

Excerpt from The Frederick News-Post: “In mid-July, Cathy Warfield was recognized as Genesis Glade Valley Center’s first Ceca Foundation honoree. She was acknowledged for muliptle contribbutions, including picking up shifts when others were unavailable, her infectious sense of humor and a willingness to dance with residents to brighten their days.”

Without Formal Nursing Training, Woman Hailed as ‘Angel’ for Her Response to PTSD Episode

July 28, 2019 — Caregiver and Ceca Award Honoree Bernadette Leggett from Stoddard Baptist Global Care talks about helping an aging veteran suffering from a PTSD episode. The interview was done by Ceca’s Lori Stewart and featured on Good News Network. Read the full story.

Excerpt: “Leggett didn’t know it at the time, but Chantel Berrquet, a nursing aide who nominated Leggett for a CecaAward, had been standing by quietly observing the scene as it unfolded. ‘The day I watched her re-orient a resident, I was so amazed by her skill that I had to stop and think about what I witnessed,’ Berrquet recalled of the incident. ‘That day, I thought God had sent an angel to help this man through his difficult moment. Anyone could see the amazing transformation in the resident’s eyes and face after hearing Bernadette’s voice.’”

Ceca Foundation Mentioned in Forbes

June 11, 2019 — Mary Savoy, from our healthcare partner facility Forest Hills of DC, was quoted in an article from Forbes on making employees feel valued through Ceca Award’s and other methods in order to retain quality staff. Read the full article online.

Excerpt from Forbes: “[She] gets a list of upcoming birthdays from the payroll department every month and then writes a personal birthday note to every employee. She also sends notes to acknowledge other events in employees’ lives and to help new hires feel welcome. Employees at Forest Hills can also be nominated for an award and to win a $250 check from the Ceca Foundation, which recognizes and awards professional caregivers for their excellence in service.”

 

Ceca Foundation Expands Award Program in WV, PA, and MD

Innovative Engagement Program Uses Technology to Recognize Caregivers with Six New Healthcare Partners

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON, DC, May 14, 2019 – Ceca Foundation, established in 2013 to celebrate caregiver excellence, is launching its innovative Ceca Award Program with six healthcare communities in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Ceca’s Healthcare Partners selected for launch include:

View more...

  • Genesis Franklin Woods Center, which provides short-stay rehab, cardiac and pulmonary specialty programs, long-term care, palliative, and hospice services in its 117-bed Baltimore, MD facility.;
  • Genesis Glade Valley Center, which offers a wide array of rehab services in its 124-bed Walkersville, MD facility;
  • Genesis Perring Parkway Center, a 110-bed facility in Towson, MD that provides short-stay rehab and long-term care;
  • Genesis Hilltop Center, a 120-bed skilled nursing center offering short-stay and long-term care located in Hilltop, WV;
  • West Virginia Caring, which specializes in hospice care and serves 12 counties in North Central West Virginia; and
  • HCR ManorCare West Reading, which provides individualized post-hospital skilled nursing care to its 176 residents in West Reading, PA.

“These skilled nursing facilities and hospice centers recognize caregiver excellence as a primary driver of improving outstanding patient care, and their employees are dedicated to the delivery of high-quality, personalized healthcare to all,” said Nathan S. Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation. “We are delighted to work with these new communities and want to highlight the addition of two healthcare partners that solidifies our expansion into West Virginia. Success in improving the experience of patients, residents, and family members who come to these facilities for care will allow us to accelerate adoption of the Ceca Award Program by other care communities across the country.”

Since the launch of the award program in 2014, more than 18,000 nominations have been submitted, and those healthcare workers have been publicly recognized for caregiving excellence by their peers, residents, patients, and families. More than 120 individuals were selected for the Ceca Award in 2018 alone. In cooperation with its healthcare facility partners, Ceca operates the program and underwrites most costs for its innovative recognition process and platform. It has partnered with three dozen hospitals, nursing, hospice, and mental health facilities in the mid-Atlantic region.

DOWNLOAD PDF VERSION

# # #

About Ceca Foundation

Ceca Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. partners with hospitals, nursing, and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards. For more information, visit www.CecaFoundation.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule an interview with one of our award recipients, contact Lori

Media Contacts:

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042, msims@cecafoundation.org

Lori Stewart, Senior Advisor, 202-258-8793, lstewart@cecafoundation.org

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Office, 202-719-8042, nhamme@cecafoundation.org

Hamme Named President Of Ceca Foundation

April 8, 2019 — Falls Church native and 2001 George Mason High School graduate Nathan Hamme was named president of the Ceca Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, last month after almost four years there as its managing director. In his high school days, Hamme was a star on the Mason basketball team that made it to the state’s final four and worked part-time at the News-Press. Read the full article in the Falls Church News-Press.

Once Living On the Streets, the Love and Support of 250 Seniors Made Her Sober—and an Award-Winning Caregiver

March 24, 2019 — Featured on Good News Network, caregiver and Ceca Award winner Patricia Murray talks about how working for Carroll Manor, a retirement community in Washington, D.C., helped her from homelessness to a 20+ year career in caregiving. Read the full story online.

Second Acts: NoVA seniors take on new careers, volunteer opportunities and more - Interview with Matt Lawlor in Northern Virginia Magazine

February 15, 2019 — In an interview by Gina Gallucci-White for Northern Virginia magazine, Matt Lawlor talks about his successful “second act” in founding Ceca Foundation and how it gives him purpose and fulfillment in his non-retirement. Download the excerpt of Matt’s interview, or read the full story online.

Shawn Perry interviews Matt Lawlor of Ceca Foundation on his show The Senior Zone

Social Media