Our 2012 Heroes on the Home Front

About the program

Launched in the third quarter of 1999 and inspired by our Heroes on the Home Front television campaign, the BAYADA Hero Program is one of many programs devoted to recognizing and rewarding those employees who maintain the highest standards of safety and care in home health services.

The program was established to recognize our home health care professionals who consistently demonstrate the core values of The BAYADA Way. Their work epitomizes our mission of helping people have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity by providing the highest quality home health care services available.

We are proud to honor our 2012 Heroes of the Year:

John Robinson, PT

John Robinson’s reputation precedes him. Clinical Manager Anthony D’Alonzo of the Upper Bucks, PA Visits office believes, “Nothing can prepare you for the warm smile and bear hug you are likely to receive when you come upon this walking legend in the physical therapy field. ”He’s received the national Lucy Blair Service Award from the American Physical Therapy Association for outstanding contributions to the physical therapy profession, and boasts a lasting legacy at Arcadia University where the John Robinson award is presented annually to a student for contributions to the general morale of the graduating PT class. His compassion stems for the years he spent caring for his own son with disabilities and has never failed to do what is asked of him, for this and so many more reasons John Robinson is a BAYADA Home Health Care hero on the home front for 2012.

Maria Ortega de Rivera, CNA

“I have never had so much positive feedback for one employee. Maria is constantly being praised by all of her clients.” says BAYADA Client Services Manager Katie Hackett. CNA Maria Ortega de Rivera has cared for many clients since her start one year ago. Since last December, Maria has been caring for a combat-wounded veteran who has undergone numerous brain and eye surgeries and spent over a year in hospitals in the US and overseas and his mother attests, “Maria is the most professional, reliable, and caring CNA we have ever had the pleasure of working with. She always has a smile on her face, and my son looks forward to seeing her. She takes the time to talk with him despite his speech impairment, and listens closely when he responds so that she is sure of what he is saying.” Another veteran with quadriplegia enjoys Maria’s enthusiastic attitude and degree of patience. Maria is praised for many talents, such as quickly learning new equipment and procedures, and providing competent showering techniques. Katie concludes, “When the Tampa office thinks of a hero, it automatically thinks of Maria.”

Lorraine McMillan, LPN

Lorraine McMillan, LPN from the Reading, PA office, is affectionately known by her client of more than seven years and his family as “Nurse Lori.” Her tenure, along with her perceptive nature, is the perfect combination to enable effective communication with her nonverbal client. She also has an uncanny ability to pick up on subtle changes in health before it gets serious. The client’s mother attests, “Lori’s nursing skills are excellent. She knows immediately when my son might become ill and she will begin any treatment needed with ease so he does not become hospitalized.” Considered a member of the family, “Lori makes our days enjoyable.” Committed to continuous professional improvement, she has been independently reading and learning about tracheostomy and ventilator care. There is more to Lori’s effectiveness on this case than her clinical skills. Recruiting Manager Renee Gori explains that Lori’s care is “led by her heart.” She respects the family’s privacy, while still being part of all the happy, sad, funny, and emotional experiences the family faces.

Deirdre Dutka, RN

A 27-year-old client in the King of Prussia, PA (KOP) office is nonverbal, non-ambulatory, and has cerebral palsy. He requires 24-hour care. Since 2009, RN Deirdre Dutka has been helping provide his care with “heartfelt compassion, respect, dignity and support,” shares Deirdre’s Clinical Manager Cecilia Weber. From day one she was a “keeper”, and the client’s mother steadfastly agrees. Deirdre is beyond reliable, meeting the client and his mother in a parking lot on the way to the hospital when the client’s gastrojejunostomy (G/J) tube dislodged. Deirdre offered her skill and support to de-escalate the situation. The client’s mother admits, “As the parent of a disabled child, emotions can overwhelm me at times. Deirdre is just practical and optimistic about all situations. She allows my son to be part of the family without overwhelming the family. ” Deirdre arrives for work with a smile, and manages to impart one to her client, as well. Deirdre’s positive disposition is inspired by the client himself. Through his many medical struggles, Deirdre says her client “is such a fighter and tries so hard to smile through the discomfort. ” Cecilia offers, “Deirdre’s commitment to her clients is inspiring to all.”