We’re proud to recognize our team members for providing outstanding service that exemplifies our mission. We deliver exceptional personalized healthcare services wherever you call home.
The Elara Caring Hero Award program honors team members who have gone above and beyond to serve our patients where they live. These awards are presented to our heroes who keep the patients at the center of everything we do. Below are the most recent winners of our Hero Awards:
Team Quality Award – Q3 2021
The PCS NJ Coordination Team won the 2021 Q3 Elara Team Quality Award for navigating changes and getting results. The COVID vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in NJ was expected to be satisfied by September 8. The PCS team worked closely to make sure we complied with the mandate. Our clinical educator and team leads worked on outreach and data entry. The RNs in each branch distributed daily testing for our caregivers. The coordinators scheduled testing in outside sites for caregivers or in the office. The coordination team tracked aides who needed weekly testing and provided coverage to the patients in need effected by this. PCS worked to make sure services were not interrupted and impacted as little as possible while complying with the mandate.
Outstanding Service Award – Q3 2021
Phil S.,RN, won 2021 Q3 the Elara Outstanding Service Award for Behavioral Health for going beyond the call of duty to assist two patients impacted by a house fire. Receiving a call late at night, Phil responded and arrived at the scene to find his patients stranded with nowhere to go. He collaborated with local police and the fire department to contact the Salvation Army for assistance. Phil waited with his patients until help arrived and continued to help by coordinating their stay at a local motel while locating resources to help replace personal belongings and clothing. His work continued into the next day as he collaborated with the treatment team at a local facility to secure housing and medication replacements.
Tabitha B., LPN, won the Elara Outstanding Service Award for Home Health for her excellence in community outreach that extend beyond home care. After a patient requiring multiple services was released from the hospital with no family, food, transportation or funds, the local branch leader reached out to Tabitha who knew the area well and might be aware of resources. However, despite it being late on a Friday afternoon, Tabitha exceeded all expectations by seeking assistance from community programs to secure five large boxes of food, donations from local farmers of eggs, fruit and vegetables and shopping store gift cards all within just an hour… and she had a few more places lined up to pick up additional supplies. When Tabitha arrived at the patient’s home, she filled her pantry, refrigerator, and toiletries with enough to last a month or more. She also stopped at the town’s social services office to obtain applications for programs to help and assisted the patient in filling them out.
Yadira C., Hospice Aide, won the 2021 Q3 Elara Outstanding Service Award for Hospice for working tirelessly to support her team and patients. Amidst staffing issues to cover an employee on leave with orientation of another employee ongoing, Yadira consistently saw 8 to 10 patients per day, covering the entire territory by herself. Yadira would get home late each night and start extra early each morning putting the patient needs first. She never complained, displaying a smile and compassion for our patients and their families. Her dedication allowed us time to get our team in place and continue to provide exceptional service to our patients.
Marisa J., Aide, won the 2021 Q3 Elara Outstanding Service Award for Personal Care Services. As hurricane Nicholas rolled in, team members headed home to check on their families, schools gave notice of closure and everyone hoped for the best. While many looked to manage their own changing world, Marissa looked to care for those in her assigned community and stayed behind. She reassured her clients all would be ok; they would not be alone in the storm. She slept when and where she could and got up to check in on residents. No one went without their medication, everyone had the support needed, thanks to Marissa. She stepped up when others might have easily stepped away.
Support Award – Q3 2021
Lacey M., LPN Clinical Coordinator, won the 2021 Q3 Support Award for putting the patient at the center of her day, even though her shift had ended. When a patient transferred to hospice services, Lacey wasn’t scheduled to see him, but was in the area and decided to check on him. He had not transitioned to hospice yet, but upon arrival, Lacey met a friend of the patient, crying because they felt the patient was ready to pass. He asked Lacey to stay with him until the hospice nurse arrived and was telling Lacey how he had outlived majority of his family and that he was ready to go be with his loved ones. He didn’t want to die alone even though he had a friend there, he said he needed Lacey, as well. Lacey rearranged her schedule and never left the patient’s side until long after the hospice nurse arrived and took over patient care. Lacey continued to check on the patient even after he was discharged from our services.
Exceptional Service Award – Q3 2021
Sherrie H., Medical Social Worker, won the Exceptional Service Award for providing outstanding service and keeping her patients at the center of everything she does. She was nominated with a memorable story from her manager, “An assisted living patient had two cats that were very special to her. Unfortunately, the resident was unable to care for the animals as required in the pet policy of the facility. Sherrie took every possible step possible to assist the resident in caring for her pets without overstepping boundaries of hospice care. She worked very closely with family in getting additional cleaning in the room and pet caretakers. However, it just wasn’t meant to be for the resident to continue living in that location with the cats. Sherrie got to serious work! She reached out to a multitude of people in hopes of finding a new home. She contacted shelters, consulted with family to explain why the cats had to be removed. She even took pictures of the cats and had a personalized blanket made for the patient! She coordinated with the facility staff and agreed to see the patient daily for grief support for a minimum of one week. Sherrie Hanson goes above and beyond in everything she does, but I will never forget what she did for this patient and her beloved pets.”
Integrity Award – Q3 2021
Jennifer S., Eligibility Specialist, won the Integrity Award for showing sound moral judgment, striving to do the right thing, and being fair, honest, and respectful of others. The nomination story from her peer included the following, “Jennifer shows great integrity each day she is at work. She never rushes to just push a case off the workflow, but instead calls to find missing information, goes out of her way to make sure ALL referral information is correct and up to date. Jennifer also takes on the much harder cases so others can process the easy ones. She takes those additional steps to get them done timely but correctly. She is always willing to do whatever it takes to make sure the client comes first!”
Teamwork Award – Q3 2021
Danielle S., Heather B. and Michele T.
Three team members won the 2021 Q3 Teamwork Award for demonstrating collaborative efforts with her their team to reach goals. The winners were Danielle S., Clinical Coordinator & Heather B., Benefits Analyst & Michele T., Payroll Coordinator. “Danielle is the best scheduler I have ever had the honor to work alongside. She has the intelligence to be able to figure out the complexities and logistics of scheduling visits while keeping clinicians within territories, keeping up with PTO and sick calls, and maximizing productivity. She also possesses the ability to be able to work with diverse personalities (some difficult) and negotiate with them to get visits covered. The field staff absolutely love her, and I know she is the reason many of them stay with us. She is respectful and courteous, and her excellent common sense reflects a wisdom beyond her years,” said Danielle’s nomination story. A leader said the following about Heather, “She works long hours daily and also on the weekends, ensuring that we meet our project milestones and that our employees’ daily benefits needs are addressed. She ensures that the vendor bills are paid on time, that the call center’s questions are answered, and that our implementation of our new vendors for 2022 are kept on track. I am beyond proud to have her on my team and tell her often that she’s a rock star and the ultimate team player because she will help anyone at any time.” Multiple coworkers sent in nominations for Michelle. A few highlights from these stories include, “She is always going above and beyond to help our team and works great with other employees. She has a positive attitude every day. Michele is always available whenever any needs time with a question. She works many hours making sure all home health aides are paid what they should be. Michelle has been with the company for many years, she has always been a team player, her wiliness to always help is amazing. you know you can always count with her specially when it comes to solve problems to assist her team.”
Results Award – Q3 2021
Ada M., RN
Ada M., Registered Nurse, won the Results Award for continuous improvement and growth toward providing the best patient experience with quantifiable results.
“When our state revived the COVID vaccine mandate, Ada stepped up as a true team player and provided results. Ada provided testing for our three branches and even drove out to client’s homes to test the aides and make it easy on them. Ada worked late nights reaching out to aides and entering data in our system. She worked closely with the local team to help us test and enter data of vaccines for over 600 direct care workers. The team is lucky to have her. She is an exceptional employee who demonstrated initiative a positive attitude and hard work and helped us reach goals in less than a month,” read Ada’s nomination story.
Team Quality Award – Q2 2021
The Q2 2021 Elara Team Quality Award went to the Cleburne, Texas Hospice Branch. They were nominated with the following story, “Earlier in the year, this branch was short staffed and had a lot of leadership turnover. However, with the encouragement and support of area and corporate leadership, the teamwork and positivity of the office staff, the dedicated sales team, help from other branches nearby, and from the travel Clinical Manager, this team got RESULTS!! Now Cleburne is continuing to grow and expand their territory. This team got results despite all of the challenges in their path!”
Outstanding Service Award – Q2 2021
Sarlah B. won the Q2 2021 Elara Outstanding Service Award for Behavioral Health with the following nomination story, “Sarlah was new to the branch this quarter and was trying to find a way to energize, excite and connect with her field staff, who had become burnt out from the volume of admissions and overall workload assigned while attempting recruit more staff. She decided the best approach was to ‘join’ them, she planned to spend a day with each nurse seeing their clients, listening to their concerns and jointly creating ways to intervene and accomplish the goals designed. She had lunch with them, demonstrated her sincere desire to help understand and ‘shoulder’ some of their stress. This connection and time spent has created a stronger bond, a new lens with working with each of the clients and a true sense of support. This support has led to less stress, innovative treatment planning and care delivery and greater satisfaction within her team.”
The 2021 Q2 Elara Outstanding Service Award for Home Health was awarded to Crystal A. with the following nomination story, “Crystal is a strong member of our team. She manages her patients as if they were members of her own family. She is dedicated to their care and improving their quality of life at home. Recently a frustrated patient’s family member said that Crystal was knowledgeable and very competent. She, ‘felt relieved that she had someone like Crystal to count on’. Her first visit went exceptionally well. Crystal followed through on her promises and consistently met this family’s needs. This is just one example of how Crystal is able to care for her patients and meet their needs each time.”
Beck S. won the Q2 2021 Elara Outstanding Service Award for Hospice with the following nomination story, “Chaplain Beck took extra time to get to know a patient during their time on service. When the patient was no longer verbal, she read and studied journals the patient had written about her life as a child. Because of the deep connection that she had formed with this patient and the family, they wanted her to perform the funeral services for their loved one. Chaplain Beck took on that responsibility and coordinated the service, arranged for a pianist, and created the memorial service bulletins. Chaplain Beck went above and beyond to get to know a patient and the family.”
The 2021 Q2 Elara Outstanding Service Award winner for PCS was Eduardo C., who received this honor based on the following, “Eduardo covered for a nurse to do an out of hospital visit for a client and treated them with utmost respect and kindness as he does with all his clients. Client stated Eduardo made him feel comfortable and was very thorough with his assessment. Eduardo is a people person, and his personality makes it easy for his peers to approach him and asks for any favor within his reach. He hardly says no to doing a visit even if it’s outside his working radius. He always asks questions to make sure all are on the same page especially if it pertains to his client. He acknowledges all emails and confirms receipt to make sure the communication is clear. He is determined in accomplishing goals he sets for himself. Having direct contact with his clients gives him an opportunity to communicate clients’ needs and revise and/or create a new Plan of Care for the client.”
Support Award – Q2 2021
Cindy took home the Q2 2021 Support Award based on the following nomination, “Cindy oversees day to day operations and provides education to her team with focus on improving quality of care to our patients while allowing herself to be available to the staff if they need her guidance 24/7. She goes above and beyond to serve our patients. Cindy has been in the clinical manager role for 2 years. She was out in the field for 12 years. She has transitioned very well from the field clinician to a field supervisor. She has strong work ethic, is dependable, responsible, a great educator and has been an incredible leader to our field clinicians. If her field clinicians have a busy schedule or a nurse may call in, she will be the first in the office to volunteer to go out and see patients for them. If she finds a teaching moment, she acts on it immediately by having the team member come to the office for a face-to-face meeting with her. Cindy is always thinking of ways to improve our compliance ratings, which in return improves patient care and patient satisfaction.”
Exceptional Service Award – Q2 2021
Lawanda A., LPN
Lawanda won the Exceptional Service Award for providing outstanding service and keeping the patient at the center of everything she does. She was nominated by several peers who shared the following, “She loves her patients, and they all say, ‘we just don’t know what we would do without Lawanda because she is always available to help us when we need her.’ Lawanda went out this past winter in inclement weather, finding a driver to take her when no one else was able to see patients. She attended a death visit while she was out, and the family reported that they don’t know what they would have done had she not made it to them.”
Integrity Award – Q2 2021
Lana S., Clinical Coordinator
Lana won the Integrity Award for showing sound moral judgment, striving to do the right thing, and has been fair, honest and respectful of others. The nomination story from her peer included the following, “Lana follows policy and procedure, she consistently speaks up and is able to answer everyone’s questions. Lana is the go-to person for new staff members to join the team and get up and running. She wants everyone to feel comfortable asking questions, so they can all do the right thing. Lana has taken on a new workflow and picked up quickly on how to do it.”
Teamwork Award – Q2 2021
Stephanie J., Training and Education Specialist
Stephanie won the Teamwork Award for working well with others and demonstrating collaborative efforts with her team to reach a goal effectively. Her peer said, “I would like to nominate Stephanie for the teamwork award for several reasons. The first being: she came up with the idea to put all the mentor information in a binder for each mentor that was being trained in her office, and then shared her idea with all the branch directors and the training team. The second being: she has been working overtime for the office assisting with scheduling, going out and filling in where needed to get the clients covered in her area, and making sure that clients and aides are having direct communication with office personnel–knowing the what’s, when’s and times for service for the area. The third and most recent being: Stephanie was in an area where one of the caregivers was working, and it was raining. So, to make sure the aide wasn’t walking out in the rain, Stephanie picked her up and then picked up the caregiver’s daughter, took both ladies to the store to get them some essentials, and then proceeded to take them home.”
Results Award – Q2 2021
Kathy J., Clinical Administrator
Kathy won the Results Award for continuous improvement and growth toward providing the best patient experience with quantifiable results. The nomination story from her peer included the following, “Kathy joined Elara as the Clinical Administrator for Home Health. One day after Kathy joined, one of her two Clinical Technical Managers went out on a Leave of Absence. When Kathy joined, morale was low, and turnover was very high. She put in long hours over the last 5 months, but in that time, she has been able to improve her team’s retention and engagement. Kathy did this by listening to her employees, sales team, and patients. She used her knowledge in Clinical Administration and implemented practices that helped her employees improve care and documentation for their patients. She has implemented mini-training programs that help support development of clinical skills for her staff. This helps the team know they are providing the appropriate care for their patients. ”
Innovation Award – Q2 2021
Lisbeth S., Timesheet Verifier
Lisbeth won the Innovation Award for improving what we do or creating something that may reinvent home care. Her peer shared the following with us, “Lisbeth is a strong key component to the success in our team. She is very innovative and thinks outside the box to help improve processes and when new information is rolled out, she finds the most effective way to communicate it. Lisbeth created a how-to video available to all or direct care workers in multiple languages to reach a compliance goal. This was very effective during the pandemic. Lisbeth also created a how-to work sheet for the most common issues our caregivers experience in our HR system in multiple languages. This worksheet is distributed at the time of orientation and has helped to minimize the problems direct care workers experience when using our system daily.”
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