In celebration of November as National Home Care Month, the Chautauqua County Home Care Association, honored employees and guests recently gathered at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Dunkirk for its annual dinner and employee recognition.
CCHCA members work to improve recruitment and retention of health care workers, share ideas and network and make improvements in the delivery of home health care. The annual dinner provides a forum for special recognition to employees throughout the county for their exemplary service to their agencies and patients.
Keynote speaker Dr. Rudy Mueller addressed the audience of 75 members about the significance and on-going need for the services home care aides provide to the elderly, chronically ill and disabled residents in the county. He also spoke about the rising costs of health care and insurance.
The Annual Service Award followed with Dana Corwin, CCHCA Interim President, presenting the award to outgoing president Lori Poniatowski. The award is given to someone in the county whose hard work, special efforts and creative ideas have improved the delivery of home care and health care services.
"Each agency has an opportunity to honor an employee who has exemplified what every agency hopes their caregiver will provide its patients - consistent demonstration of commitment to their jobs, productivity and compassion," said Anne Massar, RN, committee chairperson.
An Employee of the Year is identified from each of the participating agencies, who is then honored at the dinner, and receives a Certificate for Outstanding Service from each of their respective agencies: Accredited Care - Debra Elliott, PCA; Aftercare - Dorothy Painter, PCA and Lori Angelo, LPN; Caregiver's - Lesly Charles, HHA; Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. - Patricia Campese, PCA and Gloria Carey, PCA; Hospice - Patricia Fuller, HHA; Hultquist Place - Shelly Nelson, HHA; Lake Shore LTHHCP - Cynthia Zuech, RN Case Manager; New Vision Services - Rick Tuzzo, PCA; PSA Health Care - Amy Richmond, LPN; Visiting Nurse's Association - JoAnn Neal, RN
The group of local agencies work collaboratively with the county Department of Social Services and the Office for the Aging to provide home care services to individuals in need throughout the county. Home Care has proven to be an especially effective and economical avenue to meet the health care needs of a growing number of individuals. Members are available to speak to groups and share information about available home care and services. The association also presents two scholarships each year to potential nursing school graduates from JCC.
The County Home Care Association is a coalition made up of the county's home care agencies: Accredited Care, Aftercare, Amedisys, Chautauqua Opportunities Inc., Caregivers, Hospice, Hultquist Place, PSA Healthcare, TLC Health Network, the Visiting Nurse's Association, the WCA Home, and Willcare, as well as the Department of Social Services CASA unit and the Office for the Aging.