Ceca Foundation Announces Special Award Honorees

May 14, 2020

Recognizing the Extraordinary Service of Frontline Healthcare Workers Fighting Coronavirus

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Ceca Foundation is pleased to honor 11 exceptional health caregivers with its new Special Award. The Special Awards are designed specifically to recognize exceptional acts of care from those healthcare workers on the frontlines and behind the scenes, who are working tirelessly every day to protect our most vulnerable populations from the coronavirus.

“Every employee throughout our network of hospitals, skilled nursing, and integrated care communities has stepped-up to protect patients, senior residents, and each other from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Nate Hamme, President of Ceca Foundation. “From receptionists who are screening everyone coming through the door, supply chain workers who are procuring protective gear and equipment, staff who are making facemasks to share, IT workers who are connecting the elderly to their families though video, to the medical staff who are jeopardizing their own health and private lives to care for those who need special protection and care–all of these employees deserve our thanks. We are pleased to honor them with our Special Award.”

The following caregivers are being honored with the first round of Special Awards:

  • Talisha Arneaud, Admissions Director at Stoddard Baptist Nursing Home in Washington, D.C., volunteered to sit on the front lines and take the temperature of everyone entering the building to protect residents and staff from transported illness.
  • Rachael Beadle, Receptionist at Genesis Glade Valley in Walkersville, MD, has assumed the additional responsibility for screening visitors and vendors, and putting people at ease with her calm demeanor and simple explanations of procedures.
  • Jennifer Bennett, Events Communications Coordinator at Goodwin House Alexandria, VA, has been helping staff and residents navigate technical issues while streaming information and activities to residents’ apartments—keeping them engaged, connected, entertained and informed during these difficult times.
  • Dawn Crothers, a Registered Nurse at Psychiatric Institute of Washington in Washington, D.C., sewed washable, reversible facemasks with fun and unique designs for staff, so everyone would be protected.
  • Ayo Clementine Grant, Certified Nursing Assistant at Army Distaff Center at Knollwood in Washington, DC, has been thrust into the role of gatekeeper and coronavirus screener, often waiting in the cold to check visitors for symptoms before they enter her LifeSpan community, in addition to enforcing protocols for the safety of all residents and staff.
  • Shane Grinder, Admissions Director at Genesis Gettysburg Center in Gettysburg, PA, has been putting together meals, treats and goodie bags to make all of her staff feel greatly appreciated during these difficult times.
  • Carla Nieves, Business Office Manager at Genesis Franklin Woods Center in Baltimore, MD, has been making sure that the front desk is staffed 24/7 and ensures everyone working the front desk is well educated about new COVID-19 changes in policies and procedures surrounding screening and visitation.
  • Bob Royer, Board Member at Army Distaff Center at Knollwood in Washington, D.C., anticipated a PPE shortage very early on in the crisis and stopped at a medical supply store to procure masks, goggles, and other protective equipment for the caregivers at Knollwood.
  • Mary Ann Terway, a Resident Life Associate (CNA) at Providence Place in Pottsville, PA, has made over 100 masks and washable gowns for co-workers, who are interacting with patients and residents. She also pampers her residents with special foods and toiletries to make them look and feel their best during these distressing times.
  • Lisa Wallace, Corporate Director of Supply Chain at Goodwin House in Alexandria, VA, anticipated that PPE would be harder to get for long-term care facilities and went well beyond her normal role to plan and coordinate the funding, procurement, and distribution of over 1.3 million face masks for staff at Goodwin House and over 50 other long-term care organizations in the area dedicated to serving the needs of aging adults and people with disabilities.
  • Lucille Williams, a Patient Care Technician at Doctors Community Hospital in Lanham, MD, used compassion and humor in treating a potential COVID-19 patient, reassuring them and allowing them to relax during a very scary time.

Each of these Honorees receives a monetary award of $250, and all are celebrated by their fellow staff members, patients, families, and the Ceca team at their respective healthcare communities.

“If there was ever a time to show our appreciation to caregivers, it is now. These are very extraordinary people, and these are extraordinary times,” said Matthew Lawlor, Founder and Executive Chair,

Ceca Foundation, established in 2013 to celebrate caregiver excellence and promote quality patient care, introduced these Special Awards to honor frontline workers and support staff—all defined as caregivers —in the fight against COVID-19 within healthcare communities. The Lawlor family increased its funding and invited outside donors to help underwrite the new series of Special Awards that go beyond the regular Ceca Awards giving regularly within partner facilities.

“While we are honoring caregivers with these supplemental awards, it’s also an opportunity for all of us in the community to salute those who are fighting the coronavirus,” Hamme added. “The Special Awards provide a small, but sorely needed, financial boost to our Honorees. At the same time, they offer a vehicle for all of us to express a very loud, collective ‘thank you!’”

Ceca Foundation (derived from “Celebrating caregivers”) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Washington, DC, which partners with hospitals, nursing, aging care and other healthcare communities to recognize their exceptional caregivers. Founded by Matthew and Rosemary Lawlor, Ceca seeks to improve the patient experience by publicly recognizing caregivers through its innovative technology platforms (including its software and CecaTV network), support services, and monetary awards.

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