Home Care Hero Awards

Nominate a Peer for Clinician of the Year

OAHC is now accepting nominations for 2018 Hope Runnels Award and Home Care Employee of the Year Awards. Nominate those who demonstrate outstanding service in home care. Awards will be presented at the 2018 OAHC Conference on April 13th. Submissions are due March 9th. Please note that you may submit one nomination for each award category per agency. We recommend you coordinate with your agency to avoid multiple submissions for one award category. 

Online Submission  |  Download Form

 2017 Hope Runnel's Award

Johanna Mather, PT
Sacred Heart Home Care Services

Johanna has been with Sacred Heart Home Health for 37 years.  During most of that period she has served as a Therapy Manager.  Johanna is the "wind beneath the wings" of the team she serves.  She has an unassuming nature yet, she exhibits strength in her convictions when it comes to adhering to regulations and providing excellent care to our patients by eliminating barriers for the members of her team.  Johanna promotes the success of her team and personal growth by nurturing their creativity, personal and professional growth, listening, and by being available to their questions throughout the day.  As a result of Johanna's leadership of the Clinical Effectiveness Team, the Home Health team has developed engaging training tools and sessions to successfully increase patient satisfaction and quality scores.  Sacred Heart patients and caregivers are blessed by the many contributions and talents Johanna has imbued over her many years of service.  

Johanna is able to handle all the questions, emergency situations, scheduling issues, and all the other things that come her way with grace and good humor.  She knows the rules, regulations, and the patients for all of the clinicians working under her.  She is a joy to have as a supervisor.

 2017 Award Winners  |  2016 Award Winners  |  Award Categories

Congratulations to our 2017 Award Recipients!


President's Award - Judy Falkowski, RN, BC
Bay Area Hospital Home Health


"I would like to present the President’s award to Judy Falkowski from Bay Area Hospital Home Health for her commitment to the home care industry over the last 35 years. Judy’s passion for health care and patient care is truly evident by her impressive nursing career spanning over 40 years."

Nurse of the Year - Julie Thomas, RN
Sacred Heart Hospice

"Julie has been a Hospice RN for over 30 years. She has touched many with her beautiful heart, caring ways and going the extra mile each and every day for her patients and their loved ones. She consistently provides high level support in a difficult time, with kind supportive words, a warm hug, picking up and delivering medications after hours and meeting people where they are at fine tuning her support in a nonjudgemental loving manner."

Therapist of the Year - Paul Keller, PT
Sacred Heart Home Health

"Paul goes above and beyond patient care by involving himself in the quality outcomes and financial status of our agency. He works diligently with our Clinical Effectiveness team to problem solve areas that we need to educate on such as OASIS questions that we may not be grasping the intent/interpretation of the question or outcomes that we are not meeting. He helps the team to come up with creative ways to educate staff members on a level that they can understand and remember. "

Support Staff of the Year - Jennifer Condley
Peace Harbor Home Health 

"Jennifer is the definition of “calm”.  In an extremely busy, fast paced office environment she handles the needs of many clinicians and assures patient’s needs are priority every day.   She quietly supports our field staff throughout the day and assists with other support tasks when other team members are overwhelmed.  Jennifer is always willing to do anything that is needed in the office.  Because she has had many support roles over the years, she knows how to perform most all of our office functions.  She is one of the most supportive team members I have ever worked with and is always looking to see if she can assist other caregivers who have a heavy load."

Physician of the Year - Molly Gramley, MD
Providence Hospice - Medford

"Molly has been our medical director for several years, but recently joined us in a higher capacity by availing more time to our team, our patients, and the amazing work we do every day.

Here in Southern Oregon we have dedicated ourselves to making our Palliative Care program more beneficial to our patients and our staff, by making sure patients are receiving the right guidance and information from those who can help educate them in consultations, support and care.  Without the consistent and knowledgeable support of Molly we wouldn’t be the team we are today."

Chaplain of the Year - Eddie Harrod
Sacred Heart Hospice

"I believe that Eddie represents the ideal hospice chaplain.  He is so skilled in his role as hospice chaplain, with a deep and intuitive understanding of the end of life journey.  He is able to "be with" our patients wherever they are spiritually and emotionally.  His generous compassion and love for people is so apparent in his interactions and he many times goes beyond the expected to meet his people's individual needs.  Eddie's strong faith is evident in his work, but is expressed in an open and welcoming way that reaches out and encompasses the patients and families with understanding and support.  In addition our staff and families appreciate his wonderful sense of humor that is such a part of his ministry.  Another special gift of Eddie's is his ministry to our staff.  He is consistently attentive to staff needs and concerns and many times without anyone else being aware, he is providing his caring support to staff and their families.  We are blessed to have Eddie a part of our team and our ministry at Sacred Heart."

MSW of the Year - Norma Wood, LCSW
Peace Harbor Home Health & Hospice

"Norma is one of the most persistent patient advocates that I have ever worked with.   It seems like the social problems facing our patients are getting more severe all the time.  This means that the majority of our patients need a social worker.  Norma is faced with the task of triaging these patients’ needs, and making sure they are met on a timely basis.   Norma is willing to do whatever is necessary for patients. 

Her co-workers have great respect for Norma:  “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Norma without a smile” even if I am guessing she’s frustrated by something, there’s always a cheerful demeanor and a warm smile."


Home Health Aide of the Year
 - Matthew Austin, HHA
Visiting Health Services

"He has maintained his certification In Oregon and Washington and serves  a large rural area in the Columbia Gorge Region in both states. He often drives well over 100 miles in day to see his patients. I am nominating him because this winter was a particularly difficult winter for our region. We had snow on the ground from late November to February with multiple road closures, ice storms and on and on, very different for our area. Matt was tenacious in seeing his patient regardless of the weather. Beyond that he chopped wood for a patient who had a wood stove and could not get out. He made sure many of patients had their mail and groceries that they could not get to or their families could not get to. He checked on many patients in the outlying areas to make sure they were ok.  He stood fast through the weather and provided excellent patient care, volunteering his own time to assure that people were surviving the everlasting winter storm."


2016 Award Recipients

Hope Runnel's Award - Lisa Fischer, RN, BSN, Tuality Home Health

President's Award - Sarah Myers, CAE

Legislative Award - Sarah Myers, CAE

Nurse of the Year - Robanai Disque, RN, Pioneer Memorial Home Health & Hospice

Therapist of the Year - Trinity Deibert, SLP, Providence Home Services

Support Staff of the Year - Nenita Pauley, Providence Home Services

Physician of the Year - Dr. T Rey Patterson, Sacred Heart Hospice

Chaplain of the Year - Marti Free, Peace Harbor Home Health

MSW of the YearTrevecca Winters, MSW, Signature Home Care/Home Health/Hospice

Hospice Coordinator of the YearDebbie Hunt, LCSW, MSW, Peace Harbor Home Health

Annual Award Categories

Home Care Employees

Nurse of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to the registered nurse or licensed practical nurse whose direct patient care service is exemplary.

Therapist of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to an occupational therapist, speech therapist, physical therapist or a medical social worker that provides direct patient care service in an outstanding manner. Other therapy categories may also be included.

Home Health Aide of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to the home health aide whose direct patient care service is exemplary.

Support Staff of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to a support staff person, such as medical records or health information personnel, receptionist, customer service staff or an assistant who stands out beyond all others.

Volunteer of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to a volunteer who gives unconditionally of him or herself.

MSW of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to a medical social worker that provides direct patient care services in an outstanding manner.

Physician of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to a physician whose direct patient care service is exemplary.

Chaplain of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to a chaplain in the hospice field whose direct patient and family service is exemplary.

Hospice Coordinator of the Year:
This award shall be open to all membership for nomination and shall be given to a hospice coordinator person, such as volunteer coordinator or bereavement coordinator, who stands out beyond all others.

Leadership Awards

Hope Runnels Award:
The Hope Runnels award was created in 1980 in honor of Faith “Hope” Runnels. Hope devoted much of her life to building the home health care industry in Oregon and was a co-founder of OAHC. Hope was one of 57,000 nurses to be awarded a Bronze Star for valor in combat during World War II. She was the 14-year executive director of the Visiting Nurse Association and was instrumental in the development of Portland’s first hospice program. Hope Runnels passed away in July of 2001, but her lasting legacy as a powerful force in home care will forever live in the embodiment of this award. 

This award shall be open to the OAHC membership for the nomination of an individual in a management role who demonstrates outstanding leadership, service and achievement as a pioneer in furthering the scope of home health services in Oregon.

President's Award:
This award is given to an individual for outstanding contribution to the home care community and the Oregon Association for Home Care.

Legislative Award:
The purpose of this award is to recognize effective advocacy and leadership in furthering the interests of home care and hospice in the legislative arena (either state or federal).

Any work that either introduces, supports or educates legislative bodies on the needs/interests of the home care and hospice industry (I.e. Introduction of legislation; legislation co-sponsorship; serve on a committee that affects the outcomes of bills / legislative activities; lobby elected officials to support legislation related to home care).

Eligible awardees may be:
*State or Federal elected officials such as Representatives, Senators, Mayors, Governors, etc.
*Employees working in the home care field,
*Volunteers, patients and / or families who utilize and support home care services.