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FHCA Honors Five Florida Nurses With Excellence in Nursing Awards

June 14, 2016
Contact: Kristen Knapp, APR

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Five nursing professionals whose unique life experiences and dedication to long term care have earned them the respect of contemporaries and administrators alike have been honored by the Florida Health Care Association with statewide 2016 Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards. The awards, in categories for nursing administrators, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and certified nursing assistants, were presented at a Nurse Leadership luncheon in St. Pete Beach.

“Florida is home to our nation’s finest long term care centers, and they wouldn’t be able to maintain this exceptional level of excellence without the selflessness and dedication of our outstanding health care professionals,” said FHCA President Joe Mitchell. “These honorees represent the best our long term care profession has to offer – they’re not only leaders but also role models to be admired by everyone.”

The nursing professionals honored for their exemplary service are:

  • Nurse Administrator of the Year: Kristin Rutherford, RN, Director of Nursing at Bayside Health and Rehabilitation in Pensacola, who helped the clinic achieve a five-star rating in the midst of sweeping administrative changes.
  • RN of the Year: Carman Dockham, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing Services at Lady Lake Specialty Care Center in Lady Lake, who is known for her exceptional commitment to patient comfort and education.
  • LPN of the Year: Amy Welty, LPN at PruittHealth-Santa Rosa in Milton, whose personal experiences as a cancer survivor have enriched the experience she is able to provide to all her patients.
  • CNA of the Year: Mary Stevenson, CNA at the Rehabilitation Center of Winter Park in Maitland, whose nearly 50-year career has made her both a devoted long term care professional and a community staple.
  • Long Term Care Rising Star in Nursing Award: Amina Dubuisson, Executive Director at North Beach Rehabilitation Center, who divides her time focusing on long term care for those in need and her eternal commitment to her Haitian origin, serving as president of the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida and regional vice president for the Florida Association Directors of Nursing Administration.

Excellence in Nursing Award honorees are health care professionals, nominated by FHCA member centers, who reflect the unique characteristics, professionalism, and expanded skill sets of the long term care nursing profession. The annual awards recognize individuals for their important roles in helping centers achieve one or more of FHCA’s four national Quality Initiatives: reducing hospital readmissions, decreasing the use of antipsychotic medications, reducing staff turnover, and increasing customer satisfaction.  

The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation that serves almost 1,000 members and represents over 500 long term care centers that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living, and other services to the frail 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 Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.  

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