Quality Improvement

FHCA 2011 Award Recipients


Andrew McKilliop






Arthur H. Harris Government Services Award

Andrew McKillop, Okeechobee Health Care Center
Andy McKillop has never hesitated to take part in FHCA’s legislative activities. From meeting with legislators at the Capitol or inviting them into the facility for an extensive tour, this member understands the importance of building relationships early and often. McKillop is also a tremendous spokesperson for the long term care profession, with an invaluable understanding of our issues – from adequate Medicaid funding to staffing and quality of care. He understands the importance of communicating with the media to raise awareness to these issues and delivering the messages with poise and passion. Additionally, McKillop has never hesitated to jump into action when FHCA called on him for support.  Year after year he organizes his district members to take part in Lobby Wednesdays, encourages his staff to write letters to legislators and has been a long-time active participant on FHCA’s Legislative Committee. 

The Arthur H. Harris Award is given annually to an FHCA member who actively engages in the Association’s legislative initiatives and advocates on behalf of the profession and long term care residents at the state and federal level. 


 Ron Ferro

Nursing Home Administrator of the Year

Ron Ferro, Southlake Nursing & Rehab Center, Jacksonville
Ron Ferro has served as an administrator for over 20 years and throughout his career, has touched and influenced many lives. His dedication and commitment to residents, staff and the local community has remained constant, and his passion to provide quality care has led his team to transform the 180-bed Southlake Nursing and Rehabilitation Center into a five-star facility. He has been a mentor to many, sharing his knowledge and creating an environment where nursing students can learn and experience the rewards of working in long term care. He constantly encourages his staff and empowers them to become involved in the legislative process, which provides a real face to the needs of the elderly. 


 Rosemary Carbonelli

ALF Administrator of the Year

Rosemary Carbonelli, Pines of Sarasota ALF
Rosemary Carbonelli has over 20 years’ experience in leadership and team building and is known for being an action-oriented administrator deeply committed to residents’ quality of life. As administrator of Pines of Sarasota ALF, a 72-bed assisted living facility, she works tirelessly to address the needs of every resident and the results are in their satisfaction levels; they so very much appreciate the job she is doing. She is also actively involved with Florida Health Care Association, serving as the Association’s national affiliate State Leader (National Center for Assisted Living – NCAL) where she represents Florida’s assisted living facilities at the national level to help Members of Congress better understand what’s happening with assisted living services in Florida today.


  Joe Mello

Willis J. Gregson Associate Member of the Year Award

Joe Mello, Florida Power & Light Plantation
Joe Mello is a 25 year veteran of FPL and has dedicated most of his career to helping businesses and has been a long-time member of the FHCA Quality Foundation’s Emergency Preparedness Council, rarely missing an opportunity to lend a hand professionally. His ongoing support has led to a strong partnership between Florida Power & Light Company and FHCA on addressing emergency preparedness and response issues for the long-term care community. Mello never hesitates to take part in mobilization efforts to support local nursing homes when a natural disaster strikes. As a result of his active involvement with FHCA, for the last three years, FPL has funded a number of discussion-based emergency preparedness exercises for FHCA members, training over 160 long term care professionals in the south Florida area.


 Virginia Hemhauser

Resident of the Year

Virginia Hemhauser, The Courtyard Gardens Rehabilitation Center

Ms. Hemhauser has called Courtyard Gardens Rehabilitation Center home for the past nine years. She serves as the Resident Council President and is known for her strength, drive and compassion. Ms. Hemhauser is actively involved in the Red Hat Society, is an avid fundraiser for children and is always available to help her fellow residents. “She is extremely caring and well-known for giving to others, making her stand out among the rest,” said Joann Hofman, Courtyard Gardens’ Director of Activities.  



Media & Community Involvement Award

Bonifay Nursing & Rehab Center
Bonifay Nursing &Rehab Center is a 180-bed, four-star facility that is committed to providing high quality care and positively influencing long term care at the local, state and national levels. The facility is intertwined with the Bonifay community, encouraging local citizens to become active participants in enhancing residents’ quality of life and representing the facility in the community’s civic and humanitarian activities and associations. Bonifay Nursing & Rehab Center promotes the initiatives of the long term care profession by actively taking part in the legislative process, with staff hosting facility tours for legislators and meeting with lawmakers during FHCA’s Lobby Wednesdays and other legislative events. 



Constance Amabile

Adult Volunteer of the Year

Constance Amabile, North Rehabilitation Center
Constance Amabile has made volunteering with North Rehabilitation Center in St. Petersburg a daily tradition for over 7 years, making her more than just a volunteer – she’s considered part of the team and family to the residents and staff. From baking homemade cookies with the residents, joining them on outings, delivering their mail or reading the news and sharing stories with them, Constance is known by all for her award-winning attitude and her warm heart.

“Ms. Amabile has a giving heart that is exemplified in the many volunteer hours she has given North Rehab Center. She has a generous spirit which enriches the lives of the residents,” said Alexandra Albani, administrator of North Rehabilitation Center, a 49-bed skilled nursing facility in St. Petersburg. 


 Alliance Support Group

Group Volunteer of the Year

The Alliance Support Group
The Alliance Support Group is a nonprofit organization serving adults with developmental disabilities which has been volunteering with Health Central Park for the past six years. Under the direction of Paul Durand, the team works with the Health Central Parks’ residents who engage them in conversation, serve as mentors and friends and help them improve their job skills. The Alliance Support Group helps each month with mailing projects, visiting with residents, and caring for the facility’s pet bunnies and birds, providing members of the group with job training skills.

“Health Central Park has been blessed in many ways by The Alliance Support Group.  Their involvement provides the residents and staff with an opportunity to serve as mentors and friends and do our part to give back to the community,” said Lori Jowett, administrator of Health Central Park, a 228-skilled nursing facility in Winter Garden.