Florida’s Advocate for Long Term Care
Providers and the Elders They Serve

Florida Nurses Recognized for Outstanding Work in Long Term Care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2011
CONTACT: Kendall Peddie
(850) 701-3530 or kpeddie@fhca.org

Florida Nurses Recognized for Outstanding Work in Long Term Care
Florida Health Care Association Honors 2011 Nurse Administrator, RN, LPN and CNA of the Year

Tallahassee, FL– The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) recently recognized its 2011 Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Award recipients for making outstanding contributions when caring for Florida’s elderly and/or citizens with disabilities. This year’s awards ceremony focused on the individual contributions of a Nurse Administrator (Director of Nursing), Registered Nurse, Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified Nursing Assistant, who together have excelled in clinical practice, customer responsiveness, leadership and communication. Each individual was honored for her efforts to improve quality outcomes in nursing home resident care, for her professional excellence and her enthusiasm to promote long term care nursing as a specialty. The awards were presented during the FHCA 2011 Nurse Leadership Program in St. Pete Beach on June 2 with nearly 200 long term care nurses and other health care professionals in attendance.

Award recipients for FHCA’s 2011 Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards included:

Nurse Administrator of the Year:  Kristy Tolley, Director of Nursing, Village on the Isle - Luke Haven Skilled Nursing Facility (co-recipient)
Tolley serves as the staffing scheduler, interviews and hires all nursing staff, oversees staff education, and is on-call. Promoted from nursing supervisor to Director of Nursing in 2007, Tolley’s Administrator recognizes many quantifiable improvements realized under her leadership, from a reduction to those residents taking 9 or more medications, to a sharp decline in moderate to severe pain. She has a great rapport with staff, holding them accountable while valuing their contributions, and has helped reduce staff turnover rates. Tolley’s background in Information Technology helped her become the driving force and primary facilitator behind her facility adopting a fully computerized system for medical records.

Nurse Administrator of the Year:  Reuben Bowie, Director of Nursing, Health Central Park, Winter Garden (co-recipient)
Bowie is a strong leader and well respected by those she serves and works with, as indicated by the 100 staff and resident signatures on her nomination form. Under her direction, her facility experienced a decline in falls through predetermined comfort rounds and improved pain management. She established a specialized restorative nursing program to design individualized programs for residents to maintain their current skills. With a Bachelors of Science, a Master’s in Nursing, and as a graduate from the Student Post Masters ARNP program at the University of Florida, Bowie epitomizes the best qualities of a nurse leader.

Registered Nurse of the Year:  Angela Barnes, Staff Development Coordinator, Life Care Center of Hilliard
Barnes is said by her Administrator to have improved the quality of their facility’s staff. She is always willing to help and maintains control in difficult situations. Serving as Weekend Nurse Manager for 7 years, she helped create a smooth transition from weekday to weekend without mishaps with her hard work and knowledge. Barnes won her company’s Team Spirit Award last year for being an outstanding employee who does whatever it takes to ensure the residents receive the best possible care. Since taking over the Staff Development position last year, she has blossomed, and helps staff meet regulatory compliance and maintain the facility’s policy and procedures. 

Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year: Angel Turner, Unit Manager, Life Care Center of Sarasota
Turner is recognized by her facility as a key element to their success in reducing pressure ulcer and fall rates, implementing new interventions and educating family members about the risk of restraint use. Her Administrator says she “has all the qualities to be the best manager,” combining administrative skills with attentive caregiving. Turner serves as unit manager where she cares for short term rehab patients and attends to residents at the end of life, while being loved by residents and families and respected by her associates. Her service on the facility’s Quality Improvement Committee is credited with their receiving American Health Care Association’s Silver Quality Award. Turner became a CNA in 1999, an LPN in 2007, and is currently enrolled in an RN program.

Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year: Cleo Allen, CNA Level III; Life Care Center of Orange Park
From her personal achievements to the warmth she demonstrates to residents and family, Allen has an exemplary personal record and serves as mentor to new staff and as a leader to the seasoned associates. Acknowledged to be a huge part of their marketing team, repeat patients often call ahead and ask to be back on her hall, requesting her by name. The Director of Nursing said she “does so many little things for her residents that no one knows about because she is not boastful.” Cleo has participated in community support efforts since the facility opened in 1996.  As a Level III CNA, she has undergone extensive training and is the lead CNA on a very busy rehab unit, calmly assisting the nurses in providing attention to new residents.

“These nurse leaders are excellent examples of what a successful long term care nurses bring to the profession, with their unique characteristics, professionalism, dedication and expanded skill sets,” said FHCA Executive Director Emmett Reed. “No other nurse practice setting has such diverse and comprehensive skills sets continually in play as that of long term care, and we are proud to recognize these ladies today as our state’s best.”

Florida Health Care Association’s Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards Program focuses on the individual contributions of nurses employed in Florida’s long term care facilities.Any registered nurse and licensed practical nurse employed at an FHCA member skilled nursing or assisted living facility with a minimum of a standard license for the past 30 months and employed in that member facility for at least one year is eligible for these awards.  For more information about the Long Term Care Excellence in Nursing Awards, visit the Quality Improvement section of the FHCA website at www.fhca.org.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATION
The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation which serves nearly 1,000 members and represents over 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 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 the Florida Health Care Association, visit www.fhca.org.

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