Home Care Hero Awards

Nominate a Peer for Home Care Employee of the Year!

OAHC is now accepting nominations for its annual Hope Runnels and Home Care Employee of the Year Awards. Nominate those who demonstrate outstanding service in home care. Recognize and honor your peers for all the wonderful work they do on behalf of home care. Awards will be presented during the awards luncheon on June 2nd at the Annual Conference in Redmond, Oregon. Nominations are due May 12, 2023. 

Nomination Submissions Closed!


 2019 Award Winners  |  Award Categories

 2019 Hope Runnel's Award

Alicia Beymer, MBA

Excellence in Patient Care
Alicia embodies the philosophy of ministering to the whole person - body, mind and spirit while empowering her staff in caring for patients in the comfort of their homes. On many occasions I have heard Alicia say "Yes, but what is best for the patient?"  She always has the patient and their family foremost in conversations regarding the best course of action in meeting patient's needs.

Excellence in Teamwork
Alicia focuses on increasing patient satisfaction and quality scores, growing market shares and revenues while saving money, and aligning organizational purpose with immediate and future community needs.  Her calling is to serve as a healthcare leader, and as an advocate for her community and homecare patients and staff to which she exemplifies every day. She has been attending and independently studying PDGM and how that will affect the work and patient care provided by all involved I the agencies.

Excellence in Supporting Their Organization
Alicia has worked at PeaceHealth for 12 years. During that time she has held the roles of Interim Chief Administrative Officer; Risk Management; Human Protections Administrator, PeaceHealth Institutional Review Board; Oregon West Network Regulatory & Accreditation Consultant; and her current position as Director of Home Care Services. Alicia is in the process of merging both Sacred Heart Home Care and Peace Harbor Home Care.  This will provide the ability for both agencies to combine resources and ultimately provide exceptional patient care through shared collaboration and utilizing highly skilled professionals to support both programs. Alicia is committed to helping her staff to obtain personal and professional growth, allowing staff to attend educational conference like OAHC. The one thing that struck me the most in terms of teamwork is that during one of our staff meetings she took the time to explain her background to the staff, how and why she has such a passion for Home Care and the patients we serve. That level of transparency is not always comfortable or expected, but she did it so that our team could understand her philosophy and why she advocates so hard for Home Care. 

Excellence in Dedication to Their Profession
In Alicia's spare time she volunteers on the Planning Commission in her home town where she employs her skills to improve quality of life in her community. She also advocates for and has testified on behalf of PeaceHealth's Emergency Department, Senate Bill 140 - Emergency Department Boarding Prevention Pilot Funding and Taskforce.  In June of 2017 Alicia convened a multi-agency summit in Lane County to address the lack of appropriate placement options.

Congratulations to our 2019 Award Recipients!

President's Award - Holli Holland, MBA
St. Charles Home Health Services

Holli has been with St. Charles in Bend OR for 29 years and with home health division for 26 of those years. She has served as a Systems Analyst, Financial and Support Services Supervisor, and Business Operations Manager.  Her current role is as Director of St Charles Home Health and St Charles Wound & Ostomy Services.

Her work has included EMR integration, budget and business oversight, management and leadership, merger integration and process improvement through LEAN methodology

Holli was elected to the OAHC Board in 2015. And she assumed the President-Elect role that same year. She served as president from 2016 through 2017. Past President in 2018. Has been the RLAC chair since 2018. She also stepped in as secretary for a few meetings in 2018/2019 while that position was empty.

Nurse of the Year - Tonya McKeen, RN
Sky Lakes Home Health

"Tonya is a real go getter, she works extremely hard for her patients, no matter how hard or how easy their care is. We should all have a Tonya on our team"

Therapist of the Year - Laurel Wolf, PT
Sky Lakes Home Health

"Laurel has a depth of knowledge with all rehab and HH services. She is very efficient and effective and always able to identify the patient needs quickly. She has a holistic approach to caring for her patients. 

Laurel is a pillar in our agency. She is as reliable as she is relied on."

Support Staff of the Year - Linda Kowing
Blue Mountain Home Health & Hospice

"Linda ensures that we thrive as a team. Billing, patient care, OASIS, denials, patient visits, deaths to name a few, but also sewing outfits for our kids, sharing her family with us, taking time to make sure we are ok as a team. Without Linda we don’t know what to do. She sets us up for success every day and sets the bar high for performance and work ethic. Linda, although very humble and would never say it, is in fact our team captain, our champion, and the reason we thrive as a team"

Home Health Aide of the Year - Angela Hernandez
Sacred Heart Hospice

"Angela goes out of her way every time, with every patient to make them feel important to her.  She allows our patients to maintain their dignity and modesty.  There have been many times when she has stayed longer to be there to give extra attention to a patient who is in need.  "

Hospice Coordinator of the Year - Catherine "Kit" Thienes, RN, BSN, CHPN
Sacred Heart Hospice

"Kit believes in our organization, she also asks questions of everyone and listens to where changes need to be made.  She has created new staffing plans to ease some of the load from the nurses.  She has a vision of where to go to make more improvements to hospice."

Volunteer of the Year - Joyce Love
Providence Medford Home Care & Hospice

"And bless her heart, even though her main Volunteer role with us is in the office now, if the volunteer coordinator has a patient in a facility and no other volunteers are available to go out, Joyce will go to meet the needs of the client.  And Joyce remains part of the vigil volunteer team as well."

2018 Award Recipients
Hope Runnel's Award - Sonia Rai, Signature Home Health
President's Award - Shaune Mattsson, RN, MBA, Providence Home Health
Nurse of the Year - Sheila Schnieder-Mullins, RN, Providence Home Care - Medford
Therapist of the Year - Debbie Gallagher, PT, St. Charles Home Health
Support Staff of the Year - Sandy Walz, CNA, Sacred Heart Home Health
Physician of the Year - Dr. Christina Kemper, Signature Hospice Portland
Chaplain of the Year - Matt Smith, Signature Hospice Portland
MSW of the Year - Deb Welker, MSW, Sacred Heart Hospice
Home Health Aide of the Year - Marian Aldstadt, Three Rivers Home Care
Volunteer of the Year - Charles King III, Signature Hospice
Hospice Coordinator of the Year - Michele Fuchs, Signature Hospice

2017 Award Recipients
Hope Runnel's Award - Johanna Mather, PT, Sacred Heart Home Care Services
President's Award - Judy Falkowski, RN, BC, Bay Area Hospital Home Health
Nurse of the Year - Julie Thomas, RN, Sacred Heart Hospice
Therapist of the Year - Paul Keller, PT, Sacred Heart Home Health
Support Staff of the Year - Jennifer Condley, Peace Harbor Home Health & Hospice
Physician of the Year - Molly Gramley, MD, Providence Hospice - Medford
Chaplain of the Year - Eddie Harrod, Sacred Heart Hospice
MSW of the Year - Norma Wood, LCSW, Peace Harbor Home Health & Hospice
Home Health Aide of the Year - Matthew Austin, HHA, Visiting Health Services

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.