VNA Homecare’s 3rd Annual Employee Recognition and Holiday Celebration was a huge success, with more than 300 employees, family members and community leaders in attendance.
Held at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino on Saturday, January 7, the event included a cocktail hour, formal dinner, dancing and gift basket raffles. The highlight of the evening, however, were the employee recognition awards presented to employees who made significant contributions to VNA Homecare throughout the course of the year. The 2016 honorees were:
Aide of the Year
Lona Jerome, Home Health Aide
In her 11 years with Home Aides of Central New York, a division of VNA Homecare, Lona has come to exemplify what a home health aide should be. She takes great pride in her work and holds herself to the highest standards of care. Lona’s compassion for her clients and their families is remarkable. She maintains a professional and courteous demeanor at all times, and her dedication and commitment to her clients and the agency make her a role model for her peers.
Alzheimer’s/Dementia Aide of the Year
Marilyn Kaleta, Home Health Aide
Marilyn’s calm, compassionate and reassuring nature make her the perfect candidate for caring for patients with Alzheimer’s disease/dementia. She strives to provide the physical and emotional support her patients need to maintain their independence, always treating them with the utmost dignity and respect. Marilyn also supports the system and other community initiatives by volunteering for fundraising events, including the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. She has worked for Home Aides of Central New York, a division of VNA Homecare, for eight years.
Hospice Aide Specialist of the Year
Benjaset Diamond, Home Health Aide
Benjaset is a dedicated, reliable and compassionate employee who is highly praised by her clients. She provides truly exceptional end-of-life care, and her calm, compassionate and nurturing nature brings comfort to her clients and their families. Benjaset is an advocate for her clients, going above and beyond to ensure they receive superior care. She has worked for Home Aides of Central New York, a division of VNA Homecare, for three years.
Rookie of the Year
Cindy Abair, Member Services Representative
In her first year with VNA Homecare Options, VNA Homecare’s Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) Plan, Cindy has consistently shown her dedication to her patients, her peers, and the system as a whole. She is always willing to assist her coworkers, offering constructive criticism to help them reach their full potential and better serve their patients. Cindy handles difficult and challenging situations with patience and professionalism, and her positive attitude and bright smile never falter.
Rookie Clinician of the Year
Jason Lojewski, Occupational Therapist
In his short time with VNA Homecare, Jason has proven to be a true asset to the system. He is a hardworking, dedicated employee who never hesitates to go above and beyond to develop positive relationships with his patients and coworkers. Jason is an honest and dependable team player who possesses excellent collaboration and communication skills and brings out the best in everyone he works with. He has worked for VNA Homecare for one year.
Clinician of the Year
Joan Brickner, Occupational Therapist
Joan is an innovative team player who encourages active and ongoing collaboration between clinicians as a means of better serving patients. A constant advocate for growth and improvement, she facilitated ongoing Occupational Therapist team meetings to address patient concerns and suggestions. Joan’s creative approach engages her patients in their therapy, and her passion for her career is evidenced by her hard work and dedication. She has worked for VNA Homecare for three years.
Care Manager of the Year
Sharon Cwikla, Care Manager
As a Care Manager for VNA Homecare Options, Sharon puts her members’ needs above all else. She is a team player who is always willing to assist when needed, even volunteering to help on weekends when the agency is understaffed. Sharon’s remarkable interpersonal communication skills, patience and professionalism are unparalleled. She has worked for VNA Homecare for 20 years.
Nurse of the Year
Shauna Delameter, Case Manager
Shauna handles cases in a particularly difficult area, working primarily with high-needs patients of low socioeconomic status. Her knowledge and familiarity with local community resources allows her to ensure these patients get the care they need to remain at home. Shauna’s patience and professionalism in handling challenging situations is commendable, and she serves as a role model for her peers. She takes great pride in her work, and her passion for helping others is obvious. Shauna has worked for VNA Homecare for five years.
Office Employee of the Year
Marinda Bonoffski, Customer Service Center Nurse
Marinda is an enthusiastic and dedicated employee who regularly steps up to offer support and guidance to her peers. Her leadership as Chair of VNA Homecare’s Care Council is proof of her value to the system. Marinda possesses excellent organizational and personal communication skills, and she consistently meets challenges head-on, offering ideas to assist with the growth of the customer service team. She has worked for VNA Homecare for 1 ½ years.
Outstanding Customer Service
Melissa Catalano, Customer Service Center Coordinator
Melissa has been an employee of VNA Homecare for more than 13 years. During this time, she has grown both personally and professionally, developing skills that have made her an asset to the customer service team. She is a true mentor for her peers, regularly offering support and guidance to new employees. Melissa is committed to her team’s success and embraces every opportunity for improvement or growth. Her passion for the organization and its mission is her driving force, and her positive attitude is infectious.
Ann Marie Green, Transportation Member Services Representative
Ann Marie provides superior customer service each and every day. Whether training new employees, assisting her peers, speaking on the phone or setting up transportation for MLTC members, she is always personable, patient and polite. Ann Marie is a dedicated and loyal employee whose positive attitude and bright smile has helped her develop an excellent rapport with both her coworkers and the members she serves. She has worked for VNA Homecare Options for one year.
Awards were also presented to employees who have achieved employment milestones with the system (e.g., 5, 10, 15 or 20 years of service).
“I extend my sincere gratitude to these outstanding employees for their service, dedication and commitment to VNA Homecare,” said Kate Rolf, president and chief executive officer. “Through their hard work and years of dedicated service, our system continues to grow and provide our patients with the highest quality care. I am honored to recognize each and every one of them for their excellence and exceptional performance.”