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

Supplements Ongoing Caregiver Awards to Recognize Extraordinary Service

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE 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.

“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.

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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. T 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.'”

 

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 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.

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“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.

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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.

Matt Lawlor of Ceca Foundation on the Eric Stewart Radio Show

Press Releases and Articles

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:

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  • 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.

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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.

Ceca Foundation Announces Annual Caregiver Award Honorees

Nursing and Hospital Caregivers Recognized with the Ceca Award

WASHINGTON, DC, February 14, 2019 — Ceca Foundation is pleased to honor three extraordinary health caregivers with its Annual Ceca Caregiver Award:

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  • Latifa Bowser is a Life Enrichment Coach at Forest Hills of DC, a leading nursing and assisted living facility offering memory care at Forest Side in NW Washington, DC. Latifa was honored for her exceptional ability to engage her memory care residents with physically and mentally challenging games and pastimes, curating each person’s experience to their interests, needs, and hobbies. This has resulted in a profound impact on residents’ quality of life and happiness. Latifa comes to work with a contagious smile and provides personal attention to ensure residents stay involved and enjoy activities.
  • Melvin Nde is a Psychiatric Counselor at Psychiatric Institute of Washington, the first and only dedicated psychiatric hospital in Washington, DC, offering innovative behavioral health programs, treatment, and care. Melvin was recognized for his empathy and support by dozens of patients suffering from depression or substance abuse and addiction. His work with adolescents, in particular, made an incredible impact during their time of need. Melvin works with a kindness and compassion towards patients and their families that provides calm and confidence in their ability to improve.
  • Peter Walden is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Charge Nurse in the memory care center at Knollwood, a Life Plan community for retired officers of the Uniformed Services and their families, also offering independent and assisted living and skilled nursing care. Peter was recognized both for his clinical excellence and his creative focus on the needs of each resident, dedicating himself to personalizing their experience in their new home. This personal touch continues to have a significant positive impact and aids in their quality of life, treatment, and emotional wellness. By providing both medical and emotional support, Peter cares for Knollwood’s residents in the fashion our military veterans richly

Each of these Honorees receives a cash award of $2,500, and all are celebrated by their fellow staff members, patients, and families at their respective healthcare communities.

The Annual Ceca Awards are an extension of Ceca’s monthly and quarterly awards granted to caregivers who exemplify qualities of empathy, humor, integrity, professionalism, and teamwork in treating patients or residents. Over 120 caregivers honored in the Mid-Atlantic region during 2018 were eligible for the annual award. Annual award honorees were selected by a panel of Ceca’s directors and advisors. Ceca would also like to recognize the following finalists:

  • Sherri Edgar, Social Worker at Capital Caring (hospice) in MD, VA and DC
  • Josephine Fashina, Registered Nurse at Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home in NW DC
  • Melvin Amadu Kamara, Maintenance Supervisor at Goodwin House Alexandria in VA
  • Barba Kargbo, Housekeeping Aide at Potomac Falls Health and Rehab in VA
  • Stephanie Sorgen, Resident Aide at Heritage Springs Memory Care in PA
  • Starletta Speaks, Certified Nursing Assistant at Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home in NE DC
  • Jessica Tyler, Registered Clinical Counselor at Mary Marshall Assisted Living in VA

“All of these individuals are shining examples of the spirit of caring that takes place in our nation’s healthcare communities every day,” said Matt Lawlor, CEO 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.”

Since Ceca’s launch in metropolitan Washington, DC in 2014, over 18,000 Ceca Award nominations have been submitted by staff members, patients, and their families detailing stories of exceptional acts of care and kindness. In cooperation with its healthcare facility partners, Ceca operates the program and underwrites most costs for its innovative software and cash awards. Ceca is expanding its program with selected healthcare communities across the Mid-Atlantic and beyond.

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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. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook. To schedule an interview with one of our award recipients, contact Nathan Hamme.

Media Contacts:

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

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

Operating Contact:

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

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

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