Our 2016 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 2016 Heroes of the Year:

Michael Morrone, PT, Anne Arundel County, MD home health office

As a physical therapist, Michael understands that hope is at the core of healing. His firm, gentle encouragement and clear instructions have helped his clients surpass their expectations for progress time and again. Michael takes a global, communicative approach to physical therapy that inspires confidence and perseverance. His calm, patient demeanor provides a stable foundation for those he treats, ensuring that his clients go as far as they can without pushing past their limits. Michael is clearly an expert both in physical therapy and in the human psyche.

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Michael Morrone has been part of the BAYADA team since 2006. Clinical Associate Amy McKenna knows Mike as a senior therapist and preceptor who is “very reliable and consistently receives positive comments on client satisfaction surveys.” She adds, “He is someone who demands quality from both himself and those he orients”—an attitude that extends beyond those he trains. His gentle, encouraging approach to therapy leaves clients smiling and requesting him for future episodes of care.

One 80-year-old client had little faith that her broken left arm would heal. She attests, “Boy was I wrong! Michael knew my limitations as much as I did He always made me feel that I wanted to do more because I was progressing so well. My doctor was surprised at how much we had accomplished in such a short time. ” Another client testifies, “Mike’s personality, and the way he explained everything that I would be doing, really helped me get started on my road back to full recovery. Time working with him just moved so fast. He put me through a very hard workout, but I felt great when he left.”

Another client, Margaret V., shares, “The best service he provided was showing me what not to do instead of just telling me. I have been extremely happy with his service and support since my total hip replacement.” Mike’s team approach to client care ensures nurses are involved with any changes in condition so that every need is met.

Luz Sanchez, CHHA, Atlantic City, NJ adult nursing and assistive care office

During her career at BAYADA, Luz has clearly established that her work is more than simply a job—it’s a calling. Her intrinsic kindness, stability, and zealous care show in everything that she does. She possesses an innate understanding of her clients that she uses to build connections and trust. Luz doesn’t view going above and beyond as such—she feels it is part of what she should be doing for her clients. She embodies the heart of caregiving, and this shows daily in her enthusiasm to return to work and provide excellent care.

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Luz Sanchez has been a hallmark of stability and kindness in her nine years caring for clients with BAYADA. Client Services Manager Sharon Disley shares, “She always goes the extra mile.” So that one client would not have difficulty dressing on days off, Luz totally color-coded her wardrobe. Another client’s daughter agrees, saying, “She goes above and beyond always.”

Sharon feels Luz’s personality allows her to become part of a client’s family while maintaining discretion and boundaries, keeping any problems of her own to herself, and always putting her clients first. One client’s daughter, Dena W., described this quality perfectly, sharing, “Luz takes the entire family’s concerns and needs into consideration always. She is effective and efficient without being rigid. She is a caring and loving soul.”

Luz is also the model of reliability. Sharon has cited only three callouts since her start. However, Dena says, “Luz has never missed a day of work at our household. She’s always early and never rushes to leave at the end of her shift. She plans her work before arriving for her shift and works her plan.”

Another part of Luz’s appeal is her commitment to communication and her compassion. Dena shares, “We are never at a loss as to what will be completed next and when. Luz is always educating us to be better caregivers, but more importantly, better people. Her compassion is imbued throughout our home and makes us all want to follow her lead and example.”

Teresa “Tess” Lambeth, LPN, Monroe, NC Pediatrics office

When it comes to her clients, Tess truly embodies the heart of selflessness and love. She instinctively puts others first, and ceaselessly looks for ways to make her clients’ lives safer, easier, and happier. With humility and determination, she provides care in a way that inspires her colleagues to do the same. Tess is also a survivor who refused to let her client go unattended, even as she was battling a debilitating disease. In combination, these qualities make Tess not only an exceptional nurse, but also an exceptional person.

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LPN Teresa “Tess” Lambeth joined BAYADA in 2005 with 20 years of nursing experience already under her belt. She was part of the team assigned to care for one little girl who had had two strokes at birth, and came home from the hospital with a tracheostomy and a feeding tube. The client’s mother recalls, “Tess immersed herself in getting to know my daughter. She learned everything there was to know about her physical and mental abilities.” As a result, says the client’s mom, “My daughter has thrived under Tess’s love and care. She has become her home school teacher, caregiver, and second mom.” With Tess’s guidance, her client became proficient in using her orthotic devices, and learned to communicate, though she cannot speak. To help her client stand, Tess built parallel bars. To help her client float in the pool, Tess created a floatation device. “We don’t ask her to do these things,” says mom. “Tess does them because of her unconditional love of a special little girl who needs her.”

There has not been a moment when Tess put herself before the needs of her client, even when she struggled with her own personal health issues in tandem with her client’s mom, who required an unexpected hospitalization. Knowing this single mom was overwhelmed by the prospect of leaving her two daughters and the family dog alone, Director Kristen Lattner shares, “Tess raised her hand to help, and rallied the other nurses on the case to support the family. For almost two weeks, Tess volunteered to fill in every gap of coverage...allowing the mom to recover in peace.” Kristen concludes, “She is a unique, selfless, and strong individual who keeps all of us bonded together.”

Kelly Bivins, RN, Shelby, NC adult nursing office

Kelly’s name means “warrior,” which is exactly what she is for her clients. Kelly consciously chooses “difficult” cases because she understands that everyone is entitled to care—no matter their home situation. She plunges through obstacles as if they don’t exist, never viewing any situation as too difficult or complex. If her clients require a skill she doesn’t have, she simply learns it. Kelly’s greatest asset may be that she doesn’t see problems—she sees only solutions and opportunities

Read Kelly Bivins's full bio

The impact RN Kelly Bivins has had on her clients is greater than her tenure might suggest. Since her start in August 2014, she quickly earned a Remarkable Rookie Award and then became an Office and Division Hero.

Kelly’s 19 years of prior nursing experience helped her quickly become most clients’ “nurse of choice.” However, her own choice was not an obvious one—Kelly decided to care for a 35-year-old male with coronary disease and a seizure disorder, who used a tracheostomy and was ventilated at night. This man lived at home with his sister and young niece in very unfortunate conditions. The family had little financial resources, and had an infestation of critters. Client Services Manager Amber Mitchell comments, “Kelly saw the need at this home and requested hours with this man. She went above and beyond for his family, not only with her nursing skills, but she brought food, toiletry items, and many other necessities they often went without.”

Kelly currently cares for a married, educated man with two teenaged girls, who ran a successful real estate business. After a diagnosis of ALS, he and his family struggled as he slowly began to lose control of his body and life. Kelly is patient in her care, taking the time to understand this now-nonverbal client’s needs, and assists him in communicating through his computer. The client’s wife, Sharon W., expressed, “Enthusiasm and smiles are contagious when Kelly’s around. My husband is relaxed and appreciates the little extras she does to make him more comfortable.”

Coworker Vickie Deyton , RN, feels, “Kelly is the epitome of what a nurse should be. She is compassionate and caring. She is a problem-solver and a go-getter. Kelly will examine a situation and peel back the layers until she discovers a solution. She is empathetic when the situation calls for it and tough when toughness is required of her.”