Recognizing Excellence in Long Term Care

Every year the VHCA-VCAL Annual Awards Program celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, corporate staff, volunteers and others who help make Virginia long term care centers places of quality care for Virginia’s frailest citizens. The program also recognizes outstanding activity and event programs at Virginia’s nursing centers and assisted living communities.

We are so excited to announce our 2019 Recognition and Volunteer Award Recipients!

Award Categories

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Recognition Awards: Honoring lifetime achievement, administrators, director of nursing, and CNA of the year

  • James Dunton Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement: Tom May, Administrator of The Village at Gordon House, a pioneer in the field of assisted living and a stalwart supporter of VHCA-VCAL’s engagement on assisted living issues.
  • Nursing Facility Administrator of the Year: Keith Denson of Snyder Nursing Home, who puts his residents first, values his employees, and cares for the families of his residents.
  • Assisted Living Administrator of the Year: Lori Sholes of Shenandoah Nursing Home, who is recognized as resource to other administrators for the example she sets in running her own facility.
  • Director of Nursing of the Year: Mohamed Kanu of Burke Health and Rehab for his lifelong career in health care that has focused on the success of his patients, and his center, while giving back to his native Sierra Leone.
  • Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year: Vernell Barco of Autumn Care of Chesapeake for her love and passion for her residents that is always evident in her positive attitude.

Volunteer of the Year Awards: Honoring volunteers who selflessly serve residents in Virginia’s centers

  • Adult Volunteer of the Year: Patsy Rice, who volunteers every day at Sentara MeadowView Terrace and is an integral part of their daily activities and special events.
  • Teen Volunteers of the Year
    • Stephen Verosko, who earned his Eagle Scout Merit badge by planning, designing, and building a first-class bocce court for the residents at Willow Oaks Assisted Living at Birmingham Green.
    • Wyatt Wood, a teen volunteer at Cedars Health Care Center, who is always willing to help out with any task and is known for his big heart.
  • Group Volunteers of the Year: Fellowship with Bill and Friends, a group of individuals led by Bill Andrews from Rhoadesville Baptist Church who sing and praise with the residents of Dogwood Village of Orange County twice a month for most of the last decade.


D.A. “Woody” Brown Community Involvement Awards: Recognizing outstanding activity and event programs

For over 30 years, VHCA-VCAL has acknowledged the outstanding efforts of members, who use their activity programs to involve, entertain, educate and enrich not only their residents and families but the greater community. The D. A. “Woody” Brown Community Involvement Awards program was named in honor of Woody Brown, the first Director of Operations of Autumn Corporation, a Vietnam Veteran, and a dedicated, enthusiastic leader in long term care.

  • Year Round Public Relations Program: This award honors on-going programming including daily, weekly or regularly scheduled activities.
  • National Skilled Nursing Care Week or National Assisted Living Week Program: This category celebrates special events centers host during these annually themed weeks, which occur in May and September, respectively.
  • Special Event Program: The Special Event award is designed to recognize a one-time activity such as a holiday-specific open house or a fundraiser. The award is granted based on program design and its ability to unite residents and the community.
  • Facility Newsletter: This award recognizes excellence in facility newsletters. Newsletters are a special form of communication that is essential both inside and outside of your centers. Staff, residents, family members and the greater community all rely upon them. Judging is based on content, readability, creativity, special features, relevance, timeliness, and resident/employee involvement.

2019 Award Winners