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:

  • 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.


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 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,

Michelle Sims, Director of Marketing, 202-719-8042,

Operating Contact:

Nathan Hamme, Chief Operating Office, 202-719-8042,

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