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FHCA Recognizes Lady Lake Nurse as RN of the Year

June 14, 2016
Contact: Kristen Knapp, APR

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A registered nurse known for her special focus on education and hands-on approach to patient care has gained statewide acclaim as Florida’s Registered Nurse of the Year. Carman Dockham, Assistant Director of Nursing Services at Lady Lake Specialty Care Center, was honored by the Florida Health Care Association at its 2016 Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards presentation, held 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.”

Dockham has almost two decades of experience in the long term care profession. She began her nursing career as a Certified Nursing Assistant in 1998 before becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2007 and, finally, a Registered Nurse in 2010. In nominating Dockham for the RN award, Kimberly Biegasiewicz – Director of Nursing at Lady Lake, which is located at 630 Griffin Avenue in Lady Lake – said she sees Dockham more as her partner than her subordinate, exalting her trustworthiness, independent spirit, and commitment to ethical medical practices.

Dockham’s unyielding attitude in continuing her education has carried into her career, demonstrating itself in patient care. She manages a program designed to ensure that the nursing staff at the 145-bed facility properly administers specific medications while maintaining patient comfort as their primary focus. In this capacity, she has decreased antipsychotic use by nearly 40 percent and gained respect from her peers and supervisors alike as a nurse who goes above and beyond for the sake of patient well-being.

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. 

Other recipients of this year’s awards are:

Nurse Administrator of the Year: Kristin Rutherford, BSN, RN, Director of Nursing Bayside Health and Rehabilitation Center in Pensacola
LPN of the Year: Amy Welty, LPN, PruittHealth-Santa Rosa in Milton
CNA of the Year: Mary Stevenson, CNA, Rehabilitation Center of Winter Park in Maitland
Rising Star in Nursing: Amina Dubuisson, Executive Director of North Beach Rehabilitation Center in Miami

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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