2018 Nurse Assessment Coordinator of the Year

Sarah Motta at AANAC Annual ConferenceSarah Motta, BSN, RN, RAC-CT Sarah is a clinical documentation/MDS coordinator at Seashore Point, working closely with the interdisciplinary team at the facility and in the community to establish a resident-directed plan of care that promotes the highest level of well being. She also leads the team in all aspects of the MDS process including working hand-in-hand with rehab, social service, and activity staff to promote well being. Jillian Martin, who nominated Sarah, says, “Sarah has the best combination of knowledge, heart, and critical thinking skills that are often lacking in long-term care staff members. She truly cares about the residents of the nursing center, the people that live in the independent housing, and how the overall community interacts with this population.” Sarah manages all aspects of nursing care and assessment process to make sure that staff understand the needs and goals of the resident and the best approaches to help the residents achieve those goals. She takes her time to get to know her residents to develop their plan of care in their own voice, involving loved ones and caregivers where appropriate.

2018 Best Practice of the Year

Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation Turlock Nursing and Rehabilitation implemented a SMART Stay system, an acronym for focusing on Safety, Medication Management, Assessment of Home Needs and Support, Rehospitalization Prevention, and Teach Back Techniques. This program has been incorporated into daily practices for each individual resident at Turlock, which addresses the continuum of care for residents starting from their discharge at the hospital to transitioning into a skilled care setting. This program involves all disciplines, the residents, and their families. Turlock’s mission in implementing this program was to promote the continuum of care and prevent rehospitalizations and missed opportunities to assist the resident in sustaining maximum functional independence. As Turlock writes in their application, “With the implementation of this best practice SMART Stay program, we have been able to reduce acute hospital readmissions, and primary care providers from the community have referred residents back to the facility rather than sending them to the ER, reducing costs for the residents and families.”

2018 AANAC Outstanding Contributor of the Year

Robin Hillier at AANAC Annual ConferenceRobin Hillier, CPA, STNA, LNHA, RAC-MT, Robin is a consultant with RLH Consulting and has dedicated her 32-year career to the long-term care profession and has established herself as a nationally recognized MDS specialist, especially as it relates to Medicare payment. She is a go-to-person for MDS questions and is able to help facilities develop and maintain solid clinical reimbursement systems. Robin has been an AANAC member and is a sought after RAC-CT Master Teacher for 13 years. Judi Kulus, Vice President of Curriculum Development for AANAC, shared in her nomination that Robin “truly has earned a spot with the elite as an AANAC contributor of the year by her distinguished service on the RAC-CT Expert Advisory Panel, service to the Board Nominations Committee, speaking at the AANAC annual conference, and contributing to AANAC comments to CMS proposed rules. Robin is a pleasure to work with as her passion and intensity is infectious when she shares her ideas, which are always valuable.”

2018 Cerner Nursing Assistant of the Year Scholarship

Caitlin Atkinson at AANAC ConferenceCaitlin Atkinson, CNA Caitlin has been working as a CNA with Maine Veteran’s Home for over a year now. In addition to working as a nursing assistant, she is a full time student and has pursued sign language and Spanish courses. In her nomination, Marcia Jackson says, “she goes above and beyond her regular work duties and this shows with her residents and their families’ satisfaction. She understands she is part of the team who are the eyes and ears for the residents and families and she does a good job advocating for the residents.” In addition to her regular CNA duties, Caitlin is willing to train new students in the CNA program, and is eager to help them learn by giving instructions, demos, and supports them while getting started. She also steps up to the plate when needed, including working extra hours and shifts, and cross-training to work in another department that needed additional staffing, even though it was decreased pay. When she’s not working or in school, she spends her free time at the facility volunteering with activities or visiting the residents.

2018 Carter-Elmblad Family Scholarship

Gina Faye Stevens, BSN, RN, RAC-CT Gina is an MDS coordinator and has worked in the long-term care field for 11 years. Her responsibilities include working as a member of the facility management, as well as timely scheduling and completion of MDSs, care plans, and coordination of care. When she’s not working, she’s in progress on earning her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in Health Systems Leadership from Shenandoah University, specifically focusing on long-term care and sustainable interventions to help improve the quality of care and life for geriatric residents. In earning this degree, she hopes to gain the knowledge and skillset to better serve the community and facility. Gina is a true believer in the Eden Alternative care model and strives to interact with her peers and residents as if they were her family. As a member of the leadership team, Gina says, “I strive to lead as a servant leader. My mindset remains as, “What can I do for you, to help make your experience here today better?”

2018 Rena R. Shephard Scholarship

Ginnette Wise at the AANAC Annual ConferenceGinnette Wise, PhD, RN Ginnette is the MDS coordinator/restorative manager and is responsible for the skilled nursing element of the facility, including the coordination, review, and transmission of the MDSs. She also obtains and reviews all CMS reports to enhance staff performance and resident care, and plans, implements, and evaluates the restorative program. Ginnette also works closely with the IDT to meet the needs of the residents, address family concerns, and ensure proper documentation and care. Because Ginnette’s company is a non-profit entity, they focus resources on the residents and Ginnette has not been able to attend the annual conference before. She says “the facility has a huge heart but limited funds.” She is eager to learn more about quality measures, restorative care, and reducing facility costs. She came from an acute care setting and is having to relearn how to complete the MDS 3.0. “I need to use my Master’s in education and my PhD in administration to help bring our team to a higher level. Our residents deserve a restorative program that works. They deserve the best possible care we can give them,” stated Ginnette in her application.

2018 Founder's Scholarship

Tracey Robinson at AANAC Annual ConferenceTracey Robinson, LPN, RAC-CT Tracey is a RAC-CT certified clinical reimbursement supervisor and has been working in clinical reimbursement for the last 12 years. Supervising eight resident assessment coordinators, Tracey ensures accurate completion of the MDS/CAA/Care Planning process. She also helps to provide ongoing education to her facility on QRP, VBP, all QM reports, 5 Star reporting, and QM reports at the state level. As Tracey wrote in her application, “I attended the conference last year and I found it to be amazing! With a staff of over 900, what I learned and was then able to disseminate to my coworkers and caregivers at both facilities was so helpful, more than I could ever put into words. One measurable result of the knowledge I gained was moving our quality scores on the 5 Star report from 3 stars to 5 stars for one of my facilities, which translates directly into giving better care to our residents.”

2018 President’s Scholarship

Stacy WillardStacy Willard, RN Stacy has been at Humboldt County Memorial Hospital for 11 and a half years, 9 years as a floor nurse, and 2 and a half years as the ADON/MDS coordinator. She works on the floor and as a back-up CNA, and also completes audits for peri-care, hand washing, and much more. Because Stacy has had to learn along the way, she wants to become MDS certified to feel competent in coding the MDS. In Stacy’s application, she explains that the RAC-CT certification program will allow her to further her education and provide the best care possible.



Previous Award Recipients (1999 – 2017)

Nurse Assessment Coordinator of the Year 

Aida Alvarez-Gruter, RN, RAC-CT
Deborah Kriegh, RN, RAC-CT, DNS-CT, WCC, CHPN, GRN
Lori Martin, LPN, RAC-CT
Tracy Holder, LPN, RAC-CT  
Virginia Hopkins, RN, BSN 
Sandra Reed-Bryant, RN, MSN, RAC-CT 
Jane Barbour, LPN, RAC-CT
Heather Hirons, RN
Sheryl Nelson, BSN, RAC-CT 
Katherine Sanders, RN, DNS-CT, RAC-CT 
Linda Chetley, RN, RAC-CT  
Wendy Brown, RN  
Jill Knight, BSN, RN
Holly Sox, RN 
Debbie Frias, LPN, RAC-CT  

Outstanding AANAC Contributor of the Year

Andrea Otis-Higgins, MBA, RN, CDONA, RAC-MT
Sandy Biggi, RN, BSN, SNT, RAC-MT, DNS-MT
Judy Wilhide Brandt, RN, RAC-MT, DNS-CT
Jennifer LaBay, RN, RAC-MT
Jennifer Pettis, RN, WCC, DNS-CT, RAC-CT
Rebecca LaBarge, RN, RAC-CT
Carol Job, RN, RAC-CT
Caralyn Davis
Carol Maher, RN-BC, RAC-CT
Ron Orth, RN, NHA, CPC
Judy Bagby, RN, LNHA, DNS-CT, RAC-CT
Darla K Watson, RN
Renay Smith
Roberta Reed, RN, MSN, LNHA, DNS-CT, RAC-CT
Chyris Glass, RN 

Nursing Home Administrator of the Year

David Simha
Richard Cornwell
Carol Gilbertson, RN, RAC-CT
Richard Cartney
Bill Pierce
Jalane White
Sara Dent
Jane Hull
Mivic Hirose
Tina Strimbu
Gene Williams
Ronald Graybeal
Nancy White
Shellie Ducommon, RN, NHA 

Director of Nursing of the Year

Kari Gawrych, RN, RAC-CT
Rhonda Hanan, MS, RN, DNS-CT, CDONA, GRN
Wendy Jobe, RN, MSH
Andrea Morgan
Patricia Long, RN, BSW, RAC-CT
Nancy Chila, RN
Susan McDonald, RN, BSN, RAC-CT
Amy Higgins, RN, RAC-CT 

Best Practice of the Year

Friendship Retirement Community
Ebenezer Ridges Campus
Pleasant View Home
Karen Scaturo, RN, RAC-CT 

Cerner Nursing Assistant of the Year

Amber Jasper
Amanda Jones
Terri Morris
Kendra Cooper 

Cheryl M. Thomas Scholarship

Stacey Poldervaart, RN, RAC-CT
Stacie Howe, RN, RAC-CT
LaCreesha Louis, RN, RAC-CT
Mindy Van Beek, RN
Lisa L. Chubb, RN, ASN 
Cheryl Druce, RN, RAC-CT 

Rena. R. Shephard Professional Development Grant

Rena. R. Shephard Professional Development Grant
Nancy Turner, RN, RAC-CT
Ann Brunzell, RN, RAC-CT
Priscilla "Penny" Gamblin, LPN
Lori Hand, RN, RAC-CT
Donna Browne-Atkins, RN, RAC-CT, DNS-CT

Founder's Professional Development Grant

Tracey Robinson, LPN, RAC-CT
Donna Browne-Atkins, RN, RAC-CT, DNS-CT
Christine Weisman, RN-RAC-CT
Stacy Grondel, RN, BSN, RAC-CT
Lisa Delano, RN, RAC-CT

President's Professional Development Grant

Angelika Dobkin, MPH, BSN, RN
Carol Stocker, LVN
Dawn Grathoff, RN
Chris Maddox, LPN, RAC-CT
Martha Eagar, LPN, RAC-CT