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FHCA Honors Recipients of 2024 Excellence in Long Term Care Nursing Awards

St. Pete Beach, Fla. – The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) today awarded the top long-term care nurses in the state of Florida at the annual Nurse Leadership Program Excellence in Long Term Care Nursing Award Ceremony in St. Pete Beach, Florida. The award ceremony recognizes nurses and nursing assistants in Florida who embody FHCA’s mission to provide the highest quality of care to long-term care residents across the state.

“We are delighted to honor these outstanding caregivers for their exemplary work in the long-term care profession,” said Emmett Reed, CEO of FHCA. “Each of our 2024 award winners has shown that their careers in long-term care are not just a profession but their true passion. They all go above and beyond for the residents they serve, making them feel safe, loved, and well-cared for. We’re so grateful for their service to our residents and the high standards they set for long-term caregivers in Florida.”

Janeth Solis, Director of Nursing at Cypress Cove Care Center in Crystal River was named the 2024 Nurse Administrator of the Year. Solis began her nursing career in the Philippines, and after immigrating to the United States almost 35 years ago, she began her journey in long term care nursing. She has worked at Cypress Cove Care Center for more than 28 years, serving as the Director of Nursing for the past 17 years. Solis is passionate and dedicated to those she serves and feels at home working with seniors. During her tenure at Cypress Cove Care Center, Solis has led her team to many successes through her commitment to quality care. This includes earning the Governor’s Gold Seal Award for Excellence in Long Term Care, an AHCA/NCAL National Bronze Quality Award and being Joint Commission certified. In 2023, Solis graduated from FHCA’s Executive Nurse Leadership Academy, showing her commitment to ongoing learning and advancement in her field.

Anila Xhaho, Assistant Director of Nurses at Tierra Pines Center in Largo was named the 2024 Registered Nurse of the Year. Growing up caring for her grandmother in Albania, Xhaho knew she wanted to pursue a career in long-term care when she moved to the U.S. in 2002.  Xhaho immediately started school to become a licensed practical nurse, and after obtaining her license, she began studying to become a registered nurse. Seeking to advance her career, Xhaho began working as the Assistant Director of Nurses at Tierra Pines Center in 2021, focusing on the secured Memory Care Unit. Her passion for memory care inspired her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in mental health.

Greg Dennis, LPN Unit Manager at Manatee Springs Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Bradenton was named the 2024 Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year. With more than 40 years of service as a caregiver, Dennis began his career in long-term care as a Certified Nursing Assistant in 1983. After passing his NCLEX, Dennis worked in a 52-bed long-term care facility in St. Petersburg, where he became Charge Nurse. From there, Dennis developed a passion for psychiatric nursing in long-term care and worked to become a psych nurse assistant, eventually becoming the manager of Psychiatric Services for his facility. Throughout his tenured career, Dennis has always shown great patience and care for the residents he serves.

Abigail Washington, Memory Care Unit Lead CNA at Blue Palms Health and Rehabilitation of Daytona was named the 2024 Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year. Washington has worn many hats throughout her career in long-term care from assisting with supplies, scheduling, activities, and transportation, to serving as unit clerk and CNA coordinator. Washington is currently the lead CNA for Blue Palms Memory Care Unit which houses 18 residents. Washington was recently accepted to a nursing program and will soon begin classes to become a registered nurse – proving it’s never too late to continue following your dreams.

Ashley Montgomery, LPN Unit Manager at Aspire at Big Bend in Perry was named the 2024 Rising Star in Long Term Care Nursing. Montgomery began her career in health care as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), going back to school a few years later to earn her LPN license. After working part-time in a physician's office, Montgomery returned to her true passion of serving as a long-term caregiver, at Aspire at Big Bend, where she was quickly promoted to Charge Nurse. As Charge Nurse, Montgomery supervised all CNAs, administered treatments, and managed charting. Knowing how important continuity of care is, Montgomery played an instrumental role in establishing consistent assignments of CNAs to residents.

FHCA’s Excellence in Long Term Care Nursing Award honors nurses and nursing assistants, nominated by FHCA-member skilled nursing and assisted living centers from across Florida, who reflect the unique characteristics, professionalism, and expanded skill sets needed in the long-term care nursing profession. The annual awards recognize exceptional caregivers in long-term care for their outstanding service and help provided to centers to achieve the highest quality of care to residents. 


May 31, 2024

Kristen Knapp, APR
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