WAHSA’sYear 2000AwardWinners


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WAHSA’sYear 2000AwardWinners

2000Youth Service Award

Youth Service AwardRegion IIITravis JohnsonMorrow Memorial Home& ApartmentsSparta

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Travis Johnson became involved with long term care as part of his school-to-work experience in high school. He loved the experience so much, he continues to spend many free hours at the Morrow Home helping in Activities and in other areas where he can interact with the residents. He helps with bulletin boards, decorates the facility for special events, and is an active helper in large and small group programs.He helps clean work areas and storage areas and maintains the aviary. On the dementia unit, he walks with residents who need to walk, but who also need to be monitored and gently re-directed back to safe areas. Travis is always willing to do the “menial” tasks that other people prefer to avoid or ignore. In the fall of 1999, a position opened up for a casual call, PM, nurse helper to monitor and interact with the active, wandering, dementia residents of Morrow Home. Travis applied and was given that role. He averages about 12 hours per week as an employee since last summer.

Youth Service AwardRegion IVJesse HenningBarron Medical CenterMayo Health SystemBarron Nursing HomeBarron

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Jesse Henning began volunteering at the Barron Nursing Home in the fall of 1998 as part of a school summer program called “Bridging Generations.” As the summer wound down, Jesse asked if he could continue volunteering and he signed up for the Volunteer Mentor Program. Jesse now comes to the facility each week to share his time with the residents and to help out with many different activities. He excels with the afternoon Men’s Group. Jesse comes up with ideas for the discussion and then shares these ideas with the men at Barron Nursing Home. One week he came in with his ice fishing equipment and explained how each piece of equipment worked. Jesse is not afraid to start groups on his own or to invite the residents to the group activities. He shares stories about his life and about current events of the area. The residents enjoy hearing about the community through the eyes of this youth. Jesse brings with him enthusiasm and energy. When Jesse is around, the residents say they feel like a little extra sunshine has been given to them for the day.

Youth Service AwardStateValerie GeniesseLakeland Nursing HomeElkhorn

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Valerie Geniesse is a 14-year-old Junior Volunteer who started working at Lakeland Nursing Home on June 18, 1998. In the past 18 months preceding the submission of her nomination for this award, she had logged over 155 volunteer hours. She is very independent and takes much initiative when volunteering. Valerie deserves special recognition for her ability to motivate her friends and classmates to volunteer at Lakeland Nursing Home as well. To date, she has organized her Student Council to assist in several special events and has recruited ten friends to become registered volunteers.  Valerie spends the majority of her time at Lakeland as a friendly visitor writing letters, polishing nails and making residents feel special with her ability to express herself and her feelings for them. She has taught several residents some basic computer skills such as using e-mail and surfing the Internet. With her school’s Student Council, she has planted flowers, sponsored a Bingo party, brought pets in to visit with residents, and assisted with fundraisers such as “Breakfast with Santa.”

Valerie’s true talent lies in her ability to make the residents feel special. She never hesitates to share a smile or to laugh with residents over a joke. She remembers the residents’ names and asks them questions about their family and their history. She knows the residents’ grandchildren or great grandchildren and she keeps the residents updated on their grandchildren’s school and sports happenings. Valerie especially enjoys visiting on Lakeland’s Alzheimer’s unit with residents who do not receive many visitors. Valerie is an honor roll eighth grade student at Elkhorn Area Middle School and is very active in the Student Council as a representative for community projects. She enjoys keeping busy and her interests include playing the clarinet, computers, dancing and playing school sports. She is, in fact, so busy with school, band, sports and babysitting that it’s incredible she finds time to volunteer as well.

2000Employee ServiceAward

Employee Service AwardRegion IJudy BusserNew Glarus Home, Inc.New Glarus

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Judy Busser started working at the New Glarus Home on January 19, 1990. She became a certified nursing assistant and then went on to define and expand a nursing rehabilitation program even before such a program was required by the State. Today, not only is Judy helping to define and refine a very active nursing rehabilitation program, she also is chairing the Sub-QA committee, she is part of the Safety Committee, and she still finds the time to go shopping for residents. Judy donates numerous hours to enhance the quality of care for residents in many ways. She stenciled and decorated resident areas of the New Glarus Home to brighten up the environment. Judy is always willing to do the little “extras” for residents who have special needs or requests. One day, a resident wanted “the shade of fingernail polish” Judy was wearing. Judy went out that same day, purchased the polish, and delivered it to the resident – hoping to lift the resident’s self esteem. In today’s busy era of all staff feeling “stretched” to the max, Judy is like the “ever ready battery bunny” that “keeps on going.”

Employee Service AwardRegion IVMarilyn VetterkindClark County Health Care CenterOwen

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Marilyn Vetterkind began working as a CNA at the Clark County Health Care Center in February 1983. In 1991, she took the position of a Program Assistant. She picks up extra shifts and still works as a CNA when needed. Marilyn does many extra things to give more meaning to the residents’ lives. She visits with the residents and brings in newspaper clippings about their hometowns. She takes residents to their hometowns -- sometimes to visit their families, sometimes simply to reminisce.Marilyn is loved by all for everything she does. During Clark County’s state survey, Marilyn was singled out for her exemplary service. The surveyors were watching her in one of her well-organized programs. Even though she was interrupted several times, she never faltered from her usual friendly way. She had set up the activity so that it kept going when she had to leave to lend a helping hand to others. When the task was completed, she quickly returned and continued the activity. The surveyors suggested that Marilyn should be cloned!

Employee Service AwardRegion VBonnie TysonSt. Paul Elder Services, Inc.Kaukauna

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Bonnie Tyson is a Support Service Assistant at St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna. She is always willing to help out and to do the many extras that no one else has time for. Bonnie assures that the individual preferences of each resident are met. She takes a special interest in helping those residents who are most in need. While she encourages them to be as independent as possible, she is willing to help them as appropriate.She consistently demonstrates a true caring, compassionate attitude towards all of the residents she encounters. Bonnie sees her role not as just a job, but as a ministry to care for our elders. She is a role model of a compassionate caregiver. A family member of a resident wrote a letter specifically asking that a letter of recommendation be placed in Bonnie’s personnel file.A statement from this family member’s letter best summarizes Bonnie’s role. “Her personality brightens up the day for everyone with whom she comes in contact.”

Employee Service AwardRegion VIBarbara HaddockPark View Health CenterWinnebago

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Over the past 21 years, Barb Haddock has been serving the residents of Park View Health Center as a certified nursing assistant. She displays outstanding qualities as she meets the residents’ physical, mental and spiritual needs. Barb’s sincerity and caring compassion for the residents is shown through her many acts of kindness beyond those expected of a CNA. Using her own resources, she provides gifts for residents on special occasions.She also helps residents by doing laundry, arranging Cabulance rides for resident outings and, on her own personal time, meeting residents on their “outing” such as a Friday fish dinner or a shopping trip in the community. Barb’s co-workers say that Barb gives superior care, whether it is bedside cares, weekly baths, or feeding. She takes her time with each resident to ensure 100 percent care and personal attention to their special needs.Barb is a “can do” person who her co-workers feel deserves recognition for her outstanding work and positive attitude.

Employee Service AwardStateJosephine CoteMorrow Memorial Home& ApartmentsSparta

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Josephine Cote, or Josie as she prefers to be called, joined the Morrow Home “universal worker” team of caregivers in 1972. She was an industrious worker from the beginning and learned all of the trades quickly. In 1975, she was offered a permanent position in the Laundry and Housekeeping role. In 1979, she became the Director of Housekeeping and six months later she became the Director of both Housekeeping and Laundry. When the position of part-time Purchasing Director became available in 1989, she asked if she could do all three jobs: Housekeeping, Laundry and Purchasing. Josie’s husband started having failing health in the early 1990s. She tried to juggle her three leadership responsibilities while caring for her husband.After exhausting all of her family leave and Home Health services, she took an early semi-retirement to do the right thing for her husband. She gave up her responsibilities of Housekeeping and Laundry, but she maintained the 20 hours per week position of Purchasing Director. She came in early and also was available at home to meet the daily needs of the Morrow Home as she continued to care for her husband. In 1997, Josie’s husband became a resident at Morrow Home. When a weekend/evening receptionist position opened up, she asked to pick it up.  

Josie has worked at Morrow Home in various roles for the last 27 years. She is always willing to help and to do whatever she can to improve the environment for others – residents, family members, co-workers or the facility. She doesn’t seek status; she seeks to be of service to others. As a receptionist on weekends or evenings as back up, she will help the nurses as a Ward Clerk whenever an emergency arises. She also has been a volunteer driver for medical transportation when no other drivers are available.Anita Genrich, administrator of the Morrow Memorial Home, said, “Josie has a heart of gold. She advanced in ‘real life experiential learning’ and sought roles of leadership whenever the opportunity arose. Yet her first commitment has always been to her family. Josie works hard and has had perfect attendance since she went back on the time clock. She’s like a chameleon – she can do whatever task she’s asked to do and she can do it with a high standard of excellence. She’s an extraordinary, every day hero for the Home, the residents and her co-workers.” 

2000Volunteer ServiceAward

Volunteer Service AwardRegion IINick ManlopigSauk County Health Care CenterReedsburg

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Nick Manlopig had a stroke in 1996. While rehabilitating at the hospital, he was very grateful to the volunteers who helped him get to therapy sessions and who cheered him during his hospital stay. After recovering, Nick knew he still had skills and abilities to offer, so he decided to volunteer at the Sauk County Health Care Center. He spends an entire day at the health care center every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. He keeps a copy of the daily activity calendar to help residents remember when and where to go to activities. Nick has learned to recognize the different moods that elderly individuals have and he knows how to make adjustments in his activities to accommodate these moods. Nick not only is at the Health Care Center on his self-appointed days, but he also shows up when asked to accompany a resident who needs to go to a medical appointment or on a field trip or to help drive a cancer patient to Madison for a chemotherapy treatment.

Volunteer Service AwardRegion IIIDorothy HansonPine View Care CenterBlack River Falls

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Fifty years ago, Dorothy Hanson began volunteering at Pine View Care Center. She has initiated many programs and recruited many volunteers, but her special accomplishment has been her organization of the “Tuesday Helpers.” Every month for the past nineteen years, Dorothy and her Tuesday Helpers have coordinated and tended to every detail for a group birthday party for the residents. Dorothy and her husband even provide transportation to those Helpers who are unable to drive. Dorothy is always on the lookout for new recruits, and throughout the years there have been more than 30 dedicated Tuesday Helpers. Dorothy’s Tuesday Helpers do not limit their volunteering to just one day a week. As a matter of fact, residents are so familiar with Dorothy that they recognize her footsteps. Her singing and dancing bring tears of joy to residents and their families. Withdrawn residents come to life and sing and dance with her.Dorothy once stated, “My giving is not for my own personal gratification, but for what my giving has given to others.”

Volunteer Service AwardRegion IVScott JonesBarron Medical CenterMayo Health SystemsBarron Nursing HomeBarron

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In 1992, Scott Jones called the Barron Nursing Home and asked if he could be of any service to the activity program. He said he would be available one evening per week and he was willing to help in any way. He started his service by playing “500” with a small group of residents every Monday evening. When he started, he knew nothing about the nursing home setting, nor about the facility’s residents and staff, nor about the game he had just been asked to supervise.He quickly learned the rules of the game, the names of the residents, the locations of their rooms, and the names of the facility employees. Under his caring touch, the Monday evening “500” game has become a weekly activity of enjoyment and competition. Scott keeps a record of average scores and the residents with the top averages are given first chance to be on the facility’s team in tournament competition with other local facilities.Scott is a very dedicated, dependable volunteer, providing a consistent activity for the residents to look forward to each week.

Volunteer Service AwardRegion VLuella OllmannGood Shepherd HomeSeymour

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As the activity director for the Good Shepherd Home was preparing the final sentences of Luella Ollmann’s nomination, Luella passed away. To the Good Shepherd Home, its employees and residents, Luella will be dearly missed. Although she has passed on, her memory has not.Luella Ollmann began volunteering at Good Shepherd Home before the facility opened in May, 1981. Luella completed 18 years of service following her 90th birthday when her health status declined significantly and she was admitted to Good Shepherd Home as a resident. Luella was engaged in a variety of regular volunteer activities. She helped with bingo EVERY Tuesday afternoon, almost without fail, for 18 years. She played the piano for devotions every Wednesday afternoon, even when her failing eyesight made it difficult for her to read the music. She played the organ regularly for resident memorial services and for Sunday chapel services.

She conducted the resident sing-a-long twice each month for approximately ten years and compiled a special sing-a-long book of favorite songs for resident use. She assisted with resident outings, parties, games and special events. In addition, Luella served on various volunteer committees, the nominating and auditing committees, and the Valentine party-planning project. Luella also donated her time and materials for approximately 200 sets of hand-embroidered dishtowels each year to the facility Gift Shop. She guessed that she probably had embroidered over 3,000 dishtowels during her term of service as a volunteer. Monies gained from the sale of her “labor of love” were used for the purchase of nursing home resident equipment.Luella’s resident volunteer service – not counting her work with committees or her embroidery work – totals over 3500 hours.

Volunteer Service AwardStateDaryl E. FonstadThe Lutheran HomeWauwatosa

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Daryl Fonstad began volunteering at The Lutheran Home in January of 1990. He believed the residents of The Lutheran Home needed a new bus. In fact, in his dogged determination, he wanted more than a new bus; he wanted a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art motor coach, especially designed to meet the needs of frail older adults. He would settle for nothing less than air-suspension, full-perimeter heating and cooling, sceni-cruiser windows, and a lift that would allow residents to feel more safe and secure. The seats must offer full cushion comfort for the ambulatory residents yet be removable to allow places for 10 wheelchairs. A seven-point safety restraint system would have to be designed to avoid long delays when boarding and exiting.Daryl organized a team of researchers to check with bus companies, travel agents, truck and bus manufacturers, and nursing homes to find out who could make a bus to meet his high standards of comfort, convenience and utility. Time after time, his team was told there was no such bus.Determined to find answers where there were none, Daryl traveled throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana to find his own suppliers – people who could make the parts he needed or would adapt others to fit.

For example, Daryl found a seat belt manufacturer who made the kind of seven-point safety restraint he needed but success became disappointment when he learned it would take five minutes to properly secure each wheelchair. Daryl’s solution was to find the company that makes the seatbelt retracting device for floors of minivans and get them together with the people who make seats for buses to create a more workable solution. In a very real sense, Daryl helped design and engineer this specially built bus. He guided the manufacturers through his exacting specifications. He worked with engineers at Cummins Diesel, Carrier Air Conditioning, Braun Manufacturing, A-Straint, and more to integrate exactly the right equipment into the bus design.  For Daryl, it wasn’t enough to be the contractor. Visiting churches and individual donors he took the leadership role in raising the funds to pay for this motor coach – more than $150,000! The bus was delivered to The Lutheran Home earlier this spring. Daryl demonstrates the unquenchable thirst for quality that is so prevalent among the not-for-profit long term care professionals in Wisconsin. With his success in securing this one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art motor coach, Daryl has reminded us that nothing is impossible when quality is our goal.

2000DistinguishedService Award

Distinguished Service AwardStateDr. Richard ChambersLutheran Homes of OconomowocOconomowoc

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WAHSA selected Dr. Richard Chambers to receive this award in recognition of the gift of time he shares to make a worldly difference in human kind, one person at a time. The primary beneficiaries of the time he shares are the residents of Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc. “I used to belong to a lot of boards,” this retired Hartland physician said. “But now my time can be better spent with the people who most need me.” Volunteer with RSVP, guardian for a 90 year old gentleman suffering dementia, volunteer assistant to a woman suffering from traumatic brain injury, and visitor to a double amputee, Dr. Chambers said he easily gave up the meetings to “advocate the rights of all seniors and disabled individuals.”A physician for 44 years and founder of the Hartland Clinic, Dr. Chambers served as medical director at Shorehaven Health Center in Oconomowoc and as chief of staff for the Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital. He founded the Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc Health Services Clinic and now serves as chairman of the development committee for the Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital Foundation. Chambers also serves on the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups, as an RSVP elder peer support person, and soon will take his seat on the Lutheran Homes of Oconomowoc Board of Directors.But the real caring for his community comes in personal investment.

One to one…that’s the difference Dr. Chambers wants to make. He once said, “There are many persons who are elderly and disabled who are on the periphery of human activity. They are more than lonely. In many ways they feel deserted.”Dr. Chambers continued, “I always encourage healthy seniors to commit themselves to invest time in these people. An extended period of time makes a real difference in their lives, and can be truly rewarding for the volunteer.”So as his peers boast of travels abroad, high profile events and networking with the movers and shakers, Dr. Chambers said he is exactly where he wants to be. “If you really want to be a mover and shaker be a person first, not just an entity,” says Dr. Chambers. “There are people who need you. Just be open, and they’ll find you.”Dr. Chambers is the type of individual who epitomizes what quality long term care is all about. He is distinguishing himself by helping people – one person at a time. That is the type of individualized care WAHSA takes great pride in within the long term care profession.

Distinguished Servicein Elder Advocacy AwardState SenatorCarol RoesslerPark View Health Care CenterWinnebago

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WAHSA selected Senator Roessler to receive the 2000 Distinguished Service in Elder Advocacy Award in recognition of her personal commitment to serve and improve the quality of life for older adults and disabled persons. Senator Roessler has dedicated her life to public service. Currently she is active on several committees advocating for the needs of older adults and disabled persons. Her history of service in these areas speaks to her commitment to serving the needs of individuals served by the long term care profession. Senator Roessler is a leading advocate for Family Care, the state’s proposed redesign of the long term care system. With the backing of elected officials such as Senator Roessler, the wage pass-through for CNAs became a reality for Wisconsin’s long term care facilities. Senator Roessler supported additional funding for Medical Assistance to allow for a five percent wage pass-through to increase wages for CNAs.Last session, Senator Roessler authored Wisconsin’s Managed Care Patient Protection Act. The new law provides more protection and options for people enrolled in managed care plans. The rules will soon go into effect to define managed care plans to give participants more protection, including more access to specialists, more grievance rights and more treatment options.

 In addition to many other initiatives designed to directly benefit older adults and disabled persons, Senator Roessler worked to get more funding for specialized transportation programs and to provide additional funding for Alzheimer’s training and education. But of all her efforts on behalf of the elderly and disabled, Senator Roessler is best known for her support of and advocacy for the Community Options Program or COP. It is no coincidence that Senator Roessler is known to many as the “Queen of COP. No legislator has fought longer and harder in support of the Community Options Program than Carol Roessler.”In honoring Senator Roessler with the 2000 Distinguished Service in Elder Advocacy Award, WAHSA recognizes that she exemplifies the type of local support long term care profession needs to assure quality of life for the elderly individuals entrusted to those who provide service throughout the spectrum of care.

2000OutstandingService Award

Outstanding Service AwardStateMary KirkThe Lutheran HomeWauwatosa

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There couldn’t be a better way of celebrating the Year 2000 as the Year of the Long Term Care worker than to recognize Mary Ella Kirk as WAHSA’s winner of the Outstanding Service Award. Mary is a role model; she is the hallmark of this profession.  Mary has been a CNA at The Lutheran Home since July of 1976. She has devoted her life to caring for others.  Mary provides personal care to a group of residents within The Lutheran Home; however, residents, families and staff state that she goes above and beyond to make sure that her residents’ needs are met. Her residents state, “She makes me feel special. She is always there to anticipate what I need and to make sure that I feel safe and secure. When she is off, I miss her very much.” Families state, “She makes me feel comfortable that my mother is well taken care of. She is a blessing.”The unit nurse at The Lutheran Home said, “Mary is the most gentle and kind person I have ever worked with. She gives me a sense of confidence that the residents in her group are emotionally and physically content.”

Staff members indicate that Mary is always there for her residents. Her residents call lights are never on as she is there to anticipate their needs. She is a team player and she is there to help her fellow CNAs. She is a good listener and she spends time with her residents talking about the things that are important to them. Mary makes life more special for the elderly in her care not simply by doing only the basic things, but by going beyond the ordinary to do all the little extras that mean so much to the residents. She will find out the resident’s favorite food and then, within their dietary restrictions, make sure the resident has some. She often will buy the items herself just to make the resident feel better. If a resident likes a particular lotion or powder, Mary often will purchase the item just to bring a smile to the resident’s face. Mary is an advocate for residents’ rights and she has a great deal of respect for the individuality of every resident.  “Mary does her job with a sense of compassion and caring that is truly unique,” said Peg Skocir, director of nursing at The Lutheran Home. “She exemplifies the role of caregiver and personifies caring.”

WAHSACongratulatesour Year 2000Award Winners

Author: Janice Mashak


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