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Ron Legere Named 2017 Resident of the Year

Margate Health and Rehabilitation Center Resident Earns Top Honors

August 11, 2017
Contact: Kristen Knapp, APR
(850) 701–3530 or  kknapp@fhca.org

Tallahassee, FL – More than 800 long term care professionals from across Florida were on hand to applaud Ronald Legere of Margate Health & Rehabilitation Center in Margate as he was honored as the statewide 2017 Resident of the Year by Florida Health Care Association (FHCA). The award, presented during FHCA’s Annual Conference in Orlando July 31-August 4, is the highest honor given to an individual who resides in a Florida’s nursing center.

Legere moved from Maine to Margate Health & Rehabilitation Center with his wife Toni in 2013. A quadriplegic who has muscular dystrophy, Legere began advocating for quality of life, fundraising, educating and being a confidante to residents, earning the respect of his peers and the center’s professional staff.

“He is an individual who is always asking what he can do for others,” said Assistant Administrator Cameron Gordon-Forbes. “What makes Ron extraordinary is his humility and down-to-earth personality. Although he suffers from paralysis from the shoulders down, he is independent. There is no activity he doesn’t participate in. We depend on him as our second set of eyes.”

As resident council president, Legere serves as the residents’ voice. They go to him with their concerns, and he even takes it a step further to accompany staff to visit legislators to express his views on medical reform and resident’s rights. In 2016, he played a pivotal role in fundraising for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, encouraging staff and residents to participate in events to raise awareness. Legere even pushes residents to be involved in Margate Life Enrichment, encouraging them to attend facility events demonstrating how they can still enjoy life with gusto.

“There is no way anyone can look at Ron and not see his zest for life, despite his challenges, and want to do the same,” Gordon-Forbes said.

“FHCA is delighted to honor someone with the commitment and drive to help others that Ron shows every day. His enthusiasm and dedication to his fellow long term care residents makes him an outstanding role model for seniors across the state,” said Emmett Reed, Florida Health Care Association Executive Director.

The 2017 Resident of the Year award is part of Florida Health Care Association’s Long Term Care Excellence Awards. These awards annually honor an Administrator of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, and a number of community volunteers for their service to long term care. 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.

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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 subacute 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.