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FHCA Recognizes Milton Woman as Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year

June 14, 2016
Contact: Kristen Knapp, APR

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A natural-born caregiver who uses her personal experiences to enrich the well-being of residents at a Milton care center has gained statewide acclaim as Florida’s 2016 Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year. Amy Welty, an LPN at PruittHealth-Santa Rosa, was honored by the Florida Health Care Association at its 2016 Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards presentation 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.”

Welty, who achieved her CNA certificate while still a high school senior, is often praised by residents for her keen ability to tell them “what they need to know.” Part of Welty’s talent comes from her own experiences as a patient. In 2005, the young mother of two was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and forced to put her nursing career on hold to undergo treatment. Two years later, having been declared in remission, Welty returned to school and eventually the workplace. In 2009, after becoming an LPN, she began working at Pruitt Health-Santa Rosa and has been at the care center – located at 5530 Northrop Road in Milton – ever since.

Today, Welty’s true passion lies in geriatric care, as evidenced by the close relationships she forms with the center’s older residents. With this in mind, Welty made it her goal to improve communication between PruittHealth-Santa Rosa’s nursing and therapy units. This resulted in positive outcomes for the center and a notable increase in resident satisfaction. In her nomination form, Astrid Wistedt, a risk manager at the center, described Welty as “the nurse we all hope will take care of us in our time of need.” She added, “The profession needs more nurses like Amy Welty, who consistently brings her best skills, attitude, caring and professionalism to her residents every day.”

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
  • RN of the Year: Carman Dockham, RN, Assistant Director of Nursing Services at Lady Lake Specialty Care Center in Lady Lake
  • 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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