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Bluegrass Care & Rehabilitation Center nurse Susie Tucker became one of only two clinical caregivers – among thousands employed by the company – to be honored when she was recently named Signature HealthCARE ‘Nurse of the Year’ for 2013.

The other honoree was José Matos, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Signature HealthCARE of Palm Beach, in Lake Worth, Fla., who was named ‘CNA of the Year.’

The process for the awards began in January, when facility Administrators and Nursing Directors were asked to nominate their top CNAs and nurses. A cross-departmental selection committee reviewed nominees, and a group of finalists representing each of Signature’s segments, or facility divisions, were asked to submit an essay about what their job meant to them.

The finalists were:

2013 CNA of the Year

  • José Matos, Post Acute, SHC of Palm Beach
  • Wanda Ortiz, Urban, Peninsula Care & Rehabilitation Center
  • Cenella Butts, Rural, Washington Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

2013 Nurse of the Year

  • Xanthea McKenzie, Post Acute, SHC of Buckhead
  • Susie Tucker, Urban, Bluegrass Care & Rehabilitation Center
  • Samantha Ward, Rural, Washington Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Finalists each received a special set of scrubs with a special badge identifying them as a winner for their segment. The two overall winners received a second set of special scrubs and $1,000 cash.

“Susie is always the first to volunteer to help anyone,” said Catina Harris, Assistant Director of Nursing at Bluegrass Care & Rehab. “She truly loves and enjoys every minute of care that she gets to provide to our residents. She has been a great nurse to work with over the years, and I am proud to have her on our team.”

The day was beautiful, the weather was perfect for our trip to The Kentucky Horse Park. The residents, staff and family members had a fun filled day from the Horse Shows to the Horse museum. Thank you for making our day enjoyable!!

S & S Tire hit a Grand Slam with Bluegrass residents by treating us to a Lexington Legends ballgame. We were truly treated as V.I.P.s with the use of their air conditioned suite, more than enough food, drink and snacks (also provided by S & S Tire) and genuine hospitality from the Legends staff. A personal visit from “Big L” and hand delivered foul balls made the day even more memorable! Bluegrass residents, staff and volunteers wish to express their sincere appreciation for this wonderful quality of life experience!!

Spring is here, and we couldn’t be happier! A beautiful day was enjoyed by all with a picnic lunch at McConnell Springs. We spent the day eating, resting, eating again, walking the trails down to the springs, and just relaxing in the sunshine and warm breeze! We all agreed that this is the way every day should be!!

Bluegrass celebrated National Nursing Home Week with “Wacky Tacky Tourist Week”. We traveled around the world, with two destinations intermingled each day: France/Caribbean, Greece/Egypt, American West/Hawaii, Africa/England, and China/Australia. Everyone was given a “Party Pass”, sunglasses, hats, and leis and accumulated assorted souvenirs and other accessories throughout the week. Fun, smiles and laughter were prevalant week long with activities and special events such as a Tour de France wheelchair race, Caribbean Cruise Party, Play Doh with Plato, Tut’s Treasure jewelry making, Hula Hoop contest, Cowboy Luau, Tea Party, Outback Snack-Attack, and much more! Staff members and residents dressed in their tackiest tourist clothing, or dressed to the theme of the day, and prizes were given for the best costumes. It was an awesome week, with many other extra special features (seen below).  Thanks goes out to all of our staff members, families and visitors for really getting into the spirit of this celebration for the enjoyment of our residents, and to Subway for providing some of the contest prizes for the week!