Our 2015 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 2015 Heroes of the Year:

David Birnbaum, Licensed Practical Nurse (3Q’14)

LPN has been a valued member of the East Stroudsburg, PA Pediatrics office for nearly two years. He has made quite an impression on the entire interdisciplinary team. Client Services Manager says, “His warm presence is felt whenever he comes into the office. He treats his clients, coworkers, and office staff with respect.” David primarily cares for one client at home and school, and often escorts him on field trips.

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David and his clinical manager helped bring the dream of going to prom to life for his client. Jenna shares that without David’s initiative, “the client would not have attended since his family does not have any transportation. David wanted to ensure that his client was able to experience his prom like all of his friends.” The client’s teacher adds, “Both David’s client and my classroom are better because of his work. He is extremely knowledgeable about his craft and the needs of his client. He comes to work every day with a light, loving heart and a bright spirit that have helped his client flourish and grow.” Colleague RN Joan Pirot similarly comments, “I enjoy the interaction I see between Dave and his client.”

Clinical Associate Katelyn McDermott feels that David’s initiative to find creative ways of making every moment fun is why he has such a strong relationship with his client. “He often takes his client on long walks outside and encourages him to interact with others, use tools to fix things, and enjoy music,” says Katelyn. “He also acts as an advocate for his client by clarifying medical terminology and explaining to the family what others have said.” David orients new nurses to his client’s care to ensure everyone understands the client’s and family’s needs.

In all, Jenna feels, “David has consistently shown a very special relationship and bond with his client that demonstrates what an exceptional person and nurse he is.”

Kenneth Gebhardt, Registered Nurse (1Q’14)

Since 2009, RN has cared for many pediatric clients from the Downingtown, PA Pediatrics office. Ken’s kind, pleasant, and calming demeanor, combined with his clinical knowledge and competence, make him the one to call for our staffing needs, attests Client Services Manager . “Ken has the qualities that our clients and their families admire most. When his clients receive a new diagnosis, medication, or procedure, Ken will always research and seek out the latest information to benefit them.”

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One mother shares, “I can’t begin to express how impressed I am with the care Ken bestows to my almost 16-year-old son who suffers from uncontrolled seizures. He is absolutely amazing and understands how stressful it can be for me as a parent to be in such a difficult situation. I can go to sleep peacefully knowing that my son is under Ken’s care.”

For over three years, Ken has also cared for a 10-year-old girl who is medically fragile and dependent on a trach and vent. When initially placed on her ventilator five years ago, doctors believed this client was at the end stages of her life. Having a trained and reliable nurse like Ken has been a “tremendous relief” to the family and has been integral to this client “surpassing everyone’s expectations.”

The mother of this client expressed, “I am also thankful Ken recognizes that my daughter, while nonverbal, does understand. He always treats her with respect and has been known to bring movies and music he feels she might appreciate. He also shows strong concern for her comfort.”

Director Joni Coleman adds, “I have had the privilege of working with Ken for over 12 years as a fellow field nurse, clinical manager, and now director. I know him very well and he surpasses all standards for nursing. He is a great asset to BAYADA.

David HillDavid Hill, Physical Therapist (2Q’14)

PT has provided care to clients at the Cabarrrus, NC Home Health office since 2012. Despite days busied by a full-time caseload, Associate Director asserts, “David puts his clients first and will go the extra step to provide exceptional care to both his clients and the office staff. He always has a smile on his face. He is always respectful and shows kindness to others.” David’s work is also driven by results. Laura continues, “He has great clinical outcomes, never gives up on a client, and keeps families informed on progress and how they can help the client.”

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David had been providing therapy for weeks to a client who had a stroke. “He came into the office so excited because the client had been able to finally take a few steps,” Laura recalls. The client’s husband even called the office stating, “I’m sure my wife would never have walked if it wasn’t for David! He even got her a brace.”

Coworkers have also noted David’s remarkable impact on his clients. PT Tracy Robbins states, “David is working on boosting the confidence of another client to help him walk again. This is common for David, he has an ability to make his clients feel positive, teach at various levels, and still make them feel important. He takes his time with visits, not making them cookie-cutter or rushed. He is very good about getting my input and always willing to work with a team.” David’s client agrees, indicating he is a “great motivator.”

Clinical Manager Deb Wilson noticed David’s ability to connect with clients during an evaluation. “Even though the client had advanced Alzheimer’s disease and screamed during most of the session, David was able to establish a good rapport and do a thorough evaluation. ” Clinical Manager Lisa Buck notes, “David is a hard worker and will go the extra mile for his clients. He advocates for them to get the help and equipment they need to be successful.”

Tracey Read, Certified Nursing Assistant (3Q’14)

CNA joined the Shelby, NC Assistive Care State Programs team in June 2013. To Clinical Manager , she is a unique CNA. “Tracey never fails to have a smile on her face and is respectful to everyone she meets. She ministers disenfranchised members of our community and has opened her home and her heart to many people in crisis.”

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Client Services Manager Gabrielle Tubbs shares, “Tracey has the ability to see past deplorable living situations, impossible hours, demanding caregivers, and exhausting personalities. Her passion for meeting the needs of others is why she has bloomed in her role.”

One client recently and unexpectedly lost his wife. Trish explains, “He had not been dealing very well with this loss and demonstrated anger and frustration with the aides who staffed his case. His living situation is very challenging, as the house is cluttered and home to many mice. ” After many failed attempts to permanently staff the case, Tracy agreed to fill in, and then volunteered to add the case to her regular schedule, citing the client’s need for consistency. Gabrielle offers, “Tracey does nothing half way.”

Another one of Tracey’s clients is regularly in and out of the hospital due to major health concerns. To keep on top of any problems, Tracey diligently communicates status updates and unusual behaviors to the office. Another client exhibits noncompliance with family members, but will readily perform daily living activities for Tracey. The client’s daughter states, “I appreciate feeling confident that when Tracey is there, everything will be all right.”

A client from another agency testifies, “I know that Tracey always wants what is best for me, and that is why I decided to keep taking my medication even though I didn’t want to. She was encouraging and helped me see that it needed to be done. I am switching to BAYADA because I love my Tracey!