We are proud to present our award winning in home caregivers serving Bridgeville, PA and surrounding areas
Comfort Keepers holds an annual ceremony to celebrate those in home caregivers who truly go above and beyond. Comfort Keepers of Pittsburgh is proud to present our amazing caregivers who have been recognized nationally as embodying what it takes to truly be a Comfort Keeper.
National Caregiver of the Year Award Winners
2017 National Caregiver of the Year Semi-Finalist - Juanita Martini
Client engagement and interaction are tools Juanita utilizes to enter her client’s world. She enjoys engaging clients through picture books that stimulate conversation and reminiscing. Recently, a family spoke with gratitude regarding Juanita's comforting voice of advocacy. “Please extend a special thank you to Juanita who was truly exceptional in recognizing Dad's needs. She noticed small irritants and advocated for him while he was in the hospital. She soothed and sang to him, and tended to his physical needs. Her empathy was evident to all the family.”
When asked what is her secret to being an exceptional caregiver, she responded genuinely, “Can you imagine what it feels like being a stranger, entering a client’s home for the first time? First impressions are vital to build their trust and that happens within the first few minutes. It’s at that time they know I can be trusted to take care of their loved ones. I meet the clients and we instantly bond. The Spirit in me allows a client to feel safe and know my compassion for them is real. The clients become family even if it’s only for a short while.”
One of her tricks of the trade is keeping her clients smiling. Juanita told us that laughter is the best medicine for our clients and she strives to brighten their day with laughter while providing excellent care. Recently a client’s spouse shared his gratitude for outstanding care provided by Juanita. “My wife and I and our family would like to thank you for the outstanding care your staff is providing for my wife. All of your staff have been great but we would like to particularly comment on Juanita who has established a bond with Patty and has helped her begin to climb out of extreme depression. Beyond the cooking (which is superb) and housekeeping Juanita extends the hand of friendship which is so important to Patty and the family. Again, Thank you”.
Carol Kravice - 2016 Caregiver of the Year
Our agency is proud to announce that one of our in home caregivers has received the National Caregiver of the Year Award. Carol Kravice was selected as one of six care providers from across the country for this award out of a pool of one hundred (100) applicants. The two step process was initiated by the franchisor selecting 24 semi-finalists from the original applicants. The seven hundred (700) franchised territories voted for the six (6) national finalists.
The most appropriate way to describe Carol is through comments shared by her clients and/or their families. Carol brings the best she can offer to each assignment, she is full of energy, ideas and compassion. Clients have jokingly said “calm down Carol” because of her high energy and excitement over the little things.
Feedback from a client’s son, Ed P: “Carol is reliable, fun to be around, intelligent. Favorite memory of Carol is when she brought pool noodles and balloons in as an exercise activity for my Mom. She had music playing on the iPad. I hadn’t seen my Mom laugh like that in a long time. I don’t know who had more fun, Carol or my Mom. Carol would sometimes bring her iPad in to play oldies music, her and Mom would sing silly songs and dance around the house! Carol truly would do whatever it takes to make my Mom happy”.
Feedback from a client, Bobbie T: “Carol makes suggestions and follows through. She’s good hearted and goes above and beyond. She’ll do anything that she’s asked to do. She’s not a spring chicken either, but she still tries to help in whatever way. She just came from that environment, she’s like a member of my family.”
In the office it’s not uncommon to hear, “Call Carol”… “Did you try calling Carol?” Who is Carol? you might ask. She is a dream come true for our scheduling due to her flexibility. Although Pittsburgh winter weather can be most challenging to our schedulers, Carol makes it on time and safely to her clients. Carol has worked for our agency since March of 2014. Before her senior home care services career with us, Carol lived in Saudia Arabia for 22 years and was a teacher and tutor to school aged children. Carol has been a key player on our caregiving staff because of her commitment and loyalty to our clients. She was honored in May 2015 as being selected our Caregiver of the Month. When Carol goes into a job, she goes in with her full heart and soul. Her clients describe her as being “fun to be around” as she sheds a positive light and vibe into any situation. Carol represents the best in our industry of in home caregivers and she is proud to be called a Comfort Keeper!
Margaret Battle - 2013 Caregiver of the Year
Marge has been an employee of the local office for the past three years. She has touched the lives of many clients and their families, and although each relationship has been uniquely different, Marge has embraced each with determination, compassion and integrity. Marge’s goal to “make people happy” has been actualized and the expectations of her clients’ have been exceeded.
Marge’s most remarkable example of exceeding expectations as a caregiver was in the service she provided to Robert. At 101 years old, Robert needed help with homemaking services and enjoyed the companionship at meal times. One day he expressed an interest in writing his memoirs. On Marge’s next visit she brought along a tape recorder and thus began the story telling of a boy from the south that arrived in Pittsburgh, via train, at the age of 19 and the 82 years that followed.
Marge is a woman of integrity and humility, qualities that are inherent in this prestigious award. She is most deserving of this national recognition. She truly is a Comfort Keeper in mind, body and spirit! Watch Margaret's Story Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF94fcgshNY
Peggy Antosh - 2012 Caregiver of the Year
Peggy has been an employee of the local Comfort Keepers office for the past seven years. She is very proud of her affiliation with Comfort Keepers and has been a wonderful ambassador in this community. As a model team player, Peggy approaches each of her clients with enthusiasm. She has mastered the concept of “doing with” rather than “doing for” and has built her reputation on being an interactive care provider.
Peggy is a role model for in home caregivers universally, a one of a kind class act and we are very fortunate and proud to call her a Comfort Keeper! Watch Peggy's Story Here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIFxIl8hTpo
Caregiver of the Year Nominees
Julie Dong - 2014 Caregiver of the Year Nominee
Julie is tiny in stature but mighty in character. This Karate Black Belt certified, single mother of two children has found the energy, integrity and focus to provide exemplary care to the most demanding client on our service without missing a beat even in the smallest measure.
Julie has an electric personality. When she enters the room, her spirit embraces you and you are immediately energized by her presence. Her warm smile, her twinkling eyes, her compassion, her laughter and empathy are qualities uniquely hers. Julie shared a memorable moment with a client with dementia who repeatedly told Julie she wanted to return to her home. Julie was not successful redirecting the client so she bundled her up and took her outside for a short walk. Upon their return, Julie told the client she had arrived home. The client was delighted and grateful.
Julie is not boastful and will often blush when compliments are paid. The following excerpt from a note written by the daughter of a client who passed away best exemplified the gift that Julie has for caregiving and how she so perfectly executes the mission of Comfort Keepers. “I want you to know that you are never far from my heart and so often on my mind...You gave my mom such peace and respect during the last few months of her life. You helped make the job my Dad and I had taken on so much better. You actually made it possible to keep my mom home. It was such a great gift! I hope you know how special you are and how loved you are in this house.”
Jennifer Richardson - 2015 Caregiver of the Year Nominee
Jennifer’s clients for the past 5 years have been a couple, married for 60+ years and both suffering from different forms of dementia. Barbie was 3 years into a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and struggling to her maintain dignity and mobility. Jim, her husband, had lost the ability to care for her and was rapidly developing vascular dementia. The connection with this couple and their family was immediate. Jennifer’s day-to-day tasks supported this couple and their passionate desire to remain together in their own home. She scheduled outings with old college and neighborhood friends, “helped” prepare meals from Barbie & Jim’s favorite family recipes, guided Barbie through the homemaking tasks she wanted to do but had forgotten how, and most importantly helped her to maintain dignity through the various stages of a horrible disease. When Barbie eventually lost verbal communication, Jen’s familiarity with her needs and habit patterns allowed her to continue to meet Barbie’s needs. Sometimes that need was to just sit quietly, hand in hand, on the front porch of the house, a simple way to dispel Barbie’s fear or apprehension of the confusion she faced on a daily basis. Jennifer also found a way to help Jim, not only with his short term memory loss but to quiet his fears about dealing with his wife who didn’t seem like his wife anymore. While Barbie succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease a couple of years ago, Jennifer continues today to guide Jim through his now advanced dementia with as much grace and interactive caregiving as she did with Barbie. Jen even honored Barbie with a beautiful poem, written for her departed, but not forgotten friend. She is remarkable and her client is the benefactor of this unique quality.
Top Workplaces of 2014 Award
Our agency is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as one of Pittsburgh’s Top Workplaces. We received an Honor of Excellence Award for the “Direction” in which the company is moving and was ranked #2 overall in the mid-size company category.
The Top Workplaces are determined solely on employee feedback. The survey is conducted by Workplace Dynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement. Employees were asked to evaluate our agency on the basis of work environment, fair pay, their confidence in leadership, work-life balance, and other factors.
“We are so blessed to have such wonderful care providers and office staff,” said Mary Jean Donohue, RN and Franchise co-owner. “Their hard work, tenacity and commitment to our clients deserves to be recognized and applauded. Our employees demonstrate that their heart is truly in their work by the respect and dignity they give to our clients.”
Tom Donohue, a Certified Senior Advisor and Franchise co-owner said, “Care aides are the heartbeat of our business. Receipt of this award indicates that our agency is successful in building a strong employer/employee relationship and the significant growth of our business indicates that our care providers are building strong bonds with our clients.”