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Sarasota’s Canines for Christ Named FHCA 2016 Group Volunteer of the Year

Pet Therapy Organization Recognized with Statewide Award

August 19, 2016
CONTACT: Kristen Knapp, APR
(850) 701-3530 or kknapp@fhca.org

Tallahassee, FL – The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) awarded Sarasota residnts John and Cindy Godby of Canines for Christ as the Association’s 2016 Group Volunteer of the Year. The award, which is given annually to a group that demonstrates outstanding service to seniors residing in Florida’s long term care centers, was presented by FHCA during the Association’s Annual Conference in Orlando on August 7-11.

The Godbys work with Canines for Christ to bring their two dogs, Goose and Gandy, to Hawthorne Village of Sarasota. They interact weekly with all the residents, going room to room to offer cuddles and prayers. As a team, the four Godbys – two human, two canine – bring happiness and light to the life of each resident, many of whom had pets at home and long for the kind of companionship Goose and Gandy bring each week.

“Both John and Cindy have devoted their lives to the service of others by bringing the joy only pet companionship can provide,” said Ezekiel Thomas III, activities director of Hawthorne Village of Sarasota. “We are so grateful for the happiness they bring to our residents every week.”

Added FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed: “John and Cindy Godby are so inspiring and, with Goose and Gandy, add so much to the lives of the center’s residents. Their enthusiasm and dedication to serving the residents and supporting the staff of Hawthorne Village of Sarasota encourages us all.”

Florida Health Care Association’s Long Term Care Excellence Awards are an annual recognition program. They include the Resident of the Year Award, Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Administrator of the Year awards, and the Willis J. Gregson Associate Member of the Year Award. The Volunteer of the Year awards recognize an individual and a group for their service to long term care, and a long term care center is annually honored for its community outreach. For more information about FHCA’s Long Term Care Excellence Awards, visit the Quality Improvement section of the FHCA website at http://www.fhca.org.

The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation which serves nearly 1,000 members and represents more than 500 long term care facilities that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living, and other services to the elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. The mission of FHCA is to advance the quality of services, image, professional development, and financial stability of its members. As Florida's first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the elderly they serve, the Association has worked diligently since 1954 to assist its members with continuously improving quality of care and quality of life for the state’s growing elder care population. For more information about the Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.

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