2014 Finalists


Outstanding Physician - Specialist (back to top)

Cynthia Miller

Position: Medical Director

Organization: Country Villa Belmont Heights


Whether is its a patient in need or a skilled nursing community who is looking for a caring and passionate medical director for guidance. Dr. Miller has always been the nicest and most approachable doctor that really makes you feel at home. She is very inviting and really listens to her patients needs.

Dr. Kenneth Martinez

Position: Owner/Neurologist

Organization: Neurology and Movement Disorders Clinic



Gordon Glasgow

Position: Founding Medical Director

Organization: Hospice Care of California


An Admissions Nurse calls him “a man of wisdom” and other observations (from hospice staff) describe Dr. Gordon Glasgow “as a highly professional, incredibly competent, very approachable and available physician. When called for advice or orders at all hours of the day or night, Dr. Glasgow answers the phone to immediately assist in meeting the needs of the patient and/or family. He is described as a ‘caring educator’, always including both patient and family, taking time to explain the ...

Joseph M. Ruggio

Position: Founder and President of Pacific Cardiovascular Associates Medical Group; Cardiologist

Organization: Pacific Cardiovascular Associates Medical Group, Inc.


Dr. Ruggio and his colleagues have been responsible for the cardiovascular care of 3.0 million member lives over the past 29 years; PCA continues to innovate in the area of cardiovascular guidelines, outcome assessments, best practices and information systems. Dr. Ruggio has assembled an outstanding team of adult and pediatric cardiovascular specialists that manage all cardiovascular problems with great expertise.

He is evangelical about evidence based medicine and continues to be regarded as ...

R. William Buster

Position: Physician

Organization: St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group


Dr. Buster loves to practice medicine. He takes pride in getting to know the families he cares for, often multiple generations. He continues to care for his patients all through the adult years—through both their trials and triumphs. As a board certified internist, he cares for adult with chronic conditions, including diabetes high blood pressure, high cholesterol and arthritis.

Rakesh Bhola, MD

Position: Chief of Staff Elect

Organization: Anaheim Regional med center




Outstanding Physician - General Medicine (back to top)

Alec Hull

Position: Internist

Organization: CareMore


Besides being very charming, Dr. Hull takes the time to learn about the personal aspects of each of his nursing home patients. That's not something all physicians take the time to do with skilled nursing patients. He has a deep understanding of the impact family dynamics have on the health and healing of a patient, and gets to know the patient and his or her family members as well. He is very approachable and staff that work with him are quick to praise his easy manner with everyone.

Dung Trinh


Organization: Memorial Care Medical Group


Dr. Trinh volunteers time in Vietnam caring for patients with Alzheimer's and dementia.

Franklin Hanauer

Position: Internist

Organization: West Anaheim Regional Med Ctr


Dr. Hanauer has been not only a learned physician, but also a mentor to many of the physicians who came to this area after he was an established practitioner. As one of those physicians who counts Dr. Hanauer as a mentor and friend, I have often modeled some of my best patient practices after his model. He embodies the belief that the patient ALWAYS comes first.

John W. Wang, M.D.

Position: Doctor

Organization: Circlemed Healthcare


I am pleased to nominate John W. Wang, MD for the Senior Care Hero Award: Outstanding Physician – General Medicine.

“OC Hospice is very proud to have such an outstanding doctor serving as our Medical Director“, states Lyn Kennedy, CEO and Administrator of OC Hospice. “He has a stellar reputation and thoroughly deserves it!”

John Gutierrez, VP/Business Development at OC Hospice explains, “Dr. John Wang has a big heart, truly cares about his patients and he goes above and beyond for ...

Roopa Rajgopal

Position: Staff Physician, Internal Medicine

Organization: AltaMed Health Services Corporation


Dr. Rajgopal lives by AltaMed’s mission of providing quality care without exceptions to all of her patients. As a physician she makes it her mission to familiarize herself with her patients’ history, needs and preferences. Often seniors have unique needs because they usually have more than one diagnosis that must be managed. Dr. Rajgopal is focused on treating the whole person, not just their combination of medical conditions and her patients appreciate it her for that. Patients have seen im ...

Thomas D. Kim

Position: Hospitalist

Organization: St. Joseph Hospital


Dr. Kim habitually seeks to improve patient care both inside and outside of the hospital. He has been instrumental in getting a Transition Medical Clinic up and running, pushing for 45-60 minute appointments with patients recently discharged from the acute care setting to review discharge instructions, medications, and follow up appointments with primary care physicians and specialists. Patients are learning how to better manage their own health during these educational appointments.

It soon b ...


Outstanding Nurse - Home Care / Hospice (back to top)

Barbara Knapp Colston

Position: Registered Nurse Practioner

Organization: Unsure, works with house call doctors specializing in seniors


Barbara Knapp Colston provided outstanding medical care to my senior mother for just over 4 years. Barbara made routine visits to my mother. She was kind, compassionate, respectful and comforting at all times. Barbara fully appreciated the miracle of my mother's recovery from a motor vehicle accident. She was followed the wishes of my mother and the family in providing palliative care. Barbara left clear notes and instructions after each visit. She was readily available by phone. The v ...

Christina Le

Position: hospice nurse

Organization: Kaiser Permanente


She is loved by her patients. I worked with her in the field caring for hospice patients, and found her to be caring and compassionate, and at the same time focussed and thorough. I loved working with her because she took such good care of our patients.

Jasper Banes

Position: Registered nurse

Organization: OC Hospice


Lyn Kennedy, Administrator and CEO of OC Hospice appreciates that, “He is unfailingly willing to work 5 days a week and then weekends to provide our patients with any extra help they need. His flexibility is truly appreciated! He is willing to take on everything he is asked to do and he never says, ‘no’.”

She also believes, “Jasper has been an enormous part of the success of OC Hospice. As part of the founding team, he took charge and carried the weight of building the clinical team ...

Jennifer Ostronic

Position: CARE Connect Health Advocate

Organization: St Joseph Health System


Jenni goes above and beyond to coordinate care for our high risk senior population. The patients truly appreciate how she makes their lives so much easier by responding to their needs quickly, dissipating their fears, and helping them live healthy and active lives. She shows dignity and compassion to all she encounters.

Rose Cato

Position: Hospice Nurse

Organization: Kaiser Permanente


Rose has compassion and caring that surpass most. She takes excellent care of her patients, and working as part of her team, I always felt assured that the patient was well-cared for. I would choose her to care for my family.

Thomas Pataca

Position: Health Advocate

Organization: CARE Connect


Thomas is passionate about his role and helping senior's. Spend just a few minutes talking with him and this becomes evident. He has an ability to connect with seniors and provides a calming presence. He also is an invaluable team player. I have observed him provide a sacred encounter with a frustrated, angry short-term memory challenged male and his family. At the end of the encounter the man was thankful and shook Thomas' hand.


Outstanding Nurse - Hospital / Facility (back to top)

Carra Cullinan

Position: Health Advocate CARE Connect

Organization: St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare


Carra goes out of her way to help patients navigate difficult issues. In one case the co-pay of chemo was very high for a patient and Carra went above and beyond to ensure the pt did not have to pay his co-pay (she called the drug company, insurance company and the physician office). She also attended the appt. with the oncologist so she could help explain to the pt the plan of care.

Carrie Domene

Position: Staff RN

Organization: Anaheim Regional Medical Center


The average age of the patients that Carrie takes care of is 72.She has defined the "Art of Listening". I observe her sitting on the side of the bed of the elderly holding thier hand, and truly hearing what they are telling her. She designs her day to meet their needs, not just what the MD has ordered, and delivering nursing care, but what does the individual need from her. She ensures safety understanding their need for independance and to feel respected. I see her making her senio ...

Debbie Rivett

Position: Director of Case Management

Organization: Los Alamitos Hospital


Los Alamitos Medical Center (LAMC) is pleased to announce that Case Management Director Debbie Rivet has been recognized as a Readmission Innovator by the National Readmission Prevention Collaborative. “This prestigious award was earned by Debbie’s tenacious efforts to decrease patient readmissions by working with skilled nursing facilities, home health providers, and other local agencies,” said LAMC’s Collaborative Care Director Karen Games.

The National Readmission Prevention Collabor ...

Diane Martinez

Position: Case Manager

Organization: HealthCare Partners


I believe this person is a hero because of her compassion and passion in regards to assuring her patients receive all the care they are entitled to. I often see Diane going above and beyond her duties to assist our seniors and their families with difficult situations that often other people would simply ignore. I love to watch her work for her patients well being and even more so her most difficult patients, she is able to develop a trusting relationship and she then assists with all aspects of ...

Joyce Brown

Position: Nurse Practitioner

Organization: CareMore Touch


Joyce is the 6th child out of 7, and has said that she learned how to take care of people just by watching her family; in other words, you care for someone as if they were a member of your own family. She has said her greatest joy is to be able to walk into a room, spend time with one of her patients, give them a hug and a kiss good-bye, say, "I love you" and have the patient KNOW she means it. She also mentioned how she feels it is a privilege to be with her patients in every phase of ...

Katherine Tillotson

Position: Case Manager

Organization: CareMore


Katherine's co-workers speak very highly of her, but even better, so do the staff at the skilled nursing facility, Mirada Hills. Vic Garcialepe, the Admissions Director told a story about a particular patient. This woman had an acute illness that took her from home to the hospital, and then to Mirada Hills, Once the patient had been through rehabilitation, she could no longer return to her home, but needed assisted living care. The problem was, financially, the patient had no savings and ha ...

Pam Coleman

Position: Case Manager

Organization: Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro Hospital


Pamela Coleman is an extraordinary nurse that I am lucky to know and work with. She came to work as the case manager in our Emergency Room twenty months ago.

Pam has brightened our E.R. with her compassion and love of people. She gives 100% in all that she does. Pam cares for the patient, the family and our staff with the same energy.

Homeless persons are very common in our E.R. and Pam will bath the patient and find clean clothing for them. She makes sure that they have a meal. If she ...


Compassionate Caregiver - Home Care / Hospice (back to top)

Amada Quilaneta

Position: caregiver

Organization: Capistrano Nursing Registry


I am nominating Amada Quilaneta, certified nursing assistant, to be recognized for her extraordinary service as a caregiver. Amada was a caregiver for my mother from April 2008 through November 2012. Amada came to us as my 83 year old mother recovered from a motor vehicle accident that resulted in multiple injuries. After a short time at home, my mother had to be placed in both hospital and skilled nursing facilities due to a MRSA infection. Amada was with my mother daily in these settings, ...

Barbara Bachman

Position: Caregiver

Organization: BrightStar Care


Barbara has a passionate caring heart. She worked with a client that has dementia and completely changed her life. This client did not allow anyone on the home or anyone to touch her until Barbara started working with her. She has been a light in the woman's life and we need more people like her.


Position: Personal Care Attendant

Organization: Amada Senior Care


Boniface has seen the horror stories that come up in the news about seniors not getting the proper care. Instead of sitting idly by, Boniface has taken matters into his own hands. He feels that by doing this we will be one step closer to making this world a better place. His motto for every shift " I act like the caregiver I would want taking care of me when I am a senior."

Lucille Oriel Diolata

Position: in-home caregiver

Organization: Capistrano Nursing Registry


I am nominating Lucille Oriel Diolata as a Senior Care Hero. From March 2011 through November 2012 Lucille was caregiver for my 87 year old mother who suffered from dementia and physical limitations due to a 2008 motor vehicle accident. Lucille provided live in services from two to five days per week. Lucille and my mother bonded immediately. Lucille was caring and compassionate without being condescending. She kept my mother engaged socially and cognitively. Lucille made sure that my mothe ...

Megan Jimenez

Position: Caregiver

Organization: Oasis In-Home Care


The word “Hero” defines someone who “in the face of adversity or from a position of weakness, displays courage and the will for self-sacrifice—that is, heroism”. While all Oasis caregivers consistently and compassionately engage with their senior clients, Megan Jimenez embodies this ethic at an entirely different level.
Megan’s selflessness has been clearly demonstrated in her willingness to self-sacrifice for the sake of her clients. Of the many examples that speak to her dedication ...

Roman Pardo

Position: Home Caregiver

Organization: Attentive Home Care


​Roman is a great caregiver! I first met Roman about four years ago when he was assigned a very difficult case. The family was concerned their father would not accept care so when I went to the client’s home to review the care plan I had the idea I was going to have to persuade the client to get the help he needed. After meeting the client it was obvious to me that all was going well when the client said, “I will let you just talk to Roman, he is my right hand man and has everything under ...

Sharon Brown

Position: Personal Attendant

Organization: Silverado At Home


Sharon says that seeing the clients happy and doing better and knowing the family members are happy is her reward.

Here is a recent story about Sharon:

For most people a trip to Disneyland holds the possibility of excitment and adventure, an opportunity to relive the magic of your childhood. And this was no exception for my client.

I was provided with an opportunity to take her to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. I thought this trip would be a positive, stimulating activity for ...


Compassionate Caregiver - Hospital / Facility (back to top)

Ana Iyeke

Position: Program Aide

Organization: Alzheimer's Family Services Center


Ana defines what it means to be a compassionate caregiver. When families drop their loved ones off in the morning, they are always greeted by Ana’s bright smile and warm heart. She knows more than just our participants’ names – Ana can tell you all about their past professions, memorable vacations, favorite pets, even childhood sweethearts! Whether she is helping to feed someone who has lost motor function or assisting with balance and mobility exercises in the health room, Ana attends to ...

Carina Romero

Position: PCA

Organization: Anaheim Regional Medical Center


An elderly gentleman staying with our homeless population was brought in to our emergency room and was admitted. Once the patient was stabilized he denied a supervised living situation and requested to return to the streets. Carina had taken care of this patient on several occasions including the day of discharge. Our facility cares for many of our homeless population so this appeared to be a routine discharge but Carina felt differently. She insisted that there was more to this gentleman� ...

Diane Irvine

Position: Caregiver

Organization: VA Hospital, Long Beach, CA


Ms. Irvine should be nominated because she often does not realize the impact that she has on the lives that she touches in the community. Her presence often makes the difference between patients' level of comfort/ depression. She takes the extra time for those elderly patients living alone and always make them feel that they are special with a special purpose for being here. She does not like to be praised and feels that she is only doing her job. She goes above and beyond what is expected ...

Jeanne Nestor

Position: HealthConnect Representative

Organization: St. Jude Heritage and Medical Center


Recently I had occasion to work with Jeanne Nestor, who as a call center health care representative, had gotten information about one of our senior patients who had had a procedure done and had been sent to a SNF for rehabilitation prior to returning home. This senior patient is disabled and on Medi-Cal and Medicare and due to his high health care bills, was unable to pay his $25 per day co-pay at the SNF and was seriously considering leaving against medical advice so as not to accrue even high ...






Paola Valencia

Position: Lead Care Giver

Organization: Anaheim Residential Care


Paola has worked for me for 10 years. She is well loved by our past and present families. Paola cares so much for the ladies and goes out of her way to make sure they are comfortable and safe. Many times she will stay on her own time and come in on her days off to make sure things are ok if she is not there. During hospice time for our ladies, she has been known to even spend the night staying with one of our ladies just to make sure they will be comfortable. Paola is so caring and compassionate ...


Outstanding Social Worker - Home Care / Hospice (back to top)

Joanna Novak

Position: Social Worker- hospice

Organization: Kaiser Permanente


I worked closely with Joanna in caring for hospice patients. I loved the ability to "team" with her, because she was able to really understand a family dynamic and work to solve difficult issues. She goes the extra mile to ensure that her patients have every option available.

Lauren Anderson MSG

Position: Social Worker

Organization: Age Well Senior Services


Lauren is knowledgeable and compassionate, and always encourages her clients to be informed and to be smart caregivers. She is a dedicated professional

Lizbeth Salazar

Position: Lead Care Transition Navigation

Organization: SeniorServ


Liz has a great personality and her humble attitude causes people to be drawn to her. She always thinks about what is the best way to provide excellent service to her clients as a case manager and her patients as a lead navigator. Liz constantly assists her co-workers in order to serve the most neediest seniors. It has been my pleasure to get to know her. She is the most caring, considerate, and kind social worker. Liz always goes above and beyond to serve seniors and represent SeniorServ in the ...

Mary Nguyen

Position: Social Worker

Organization: Seasons Hospice


Mary is an amazing champion of patients leaving a legacy for their loved ones, as well as working endlessly to make final wishes come true. She recently was able to fulfil a dream for one of her patients in attending a Dodgers game. She was able to procure tickets, transport to the game, and went with to ensure the patient and the family had a fabulous time.
Mary has the most compassionate heart and goes above and beyond to make sure patient's last days are special.

Sara Pashaee, MSG

Position: Lead Care Navagator

Organization: SeniorServ Care Transitions


Sara has an hero eminence within her – embodying compassion & commitment in going above and beyond in reaching out to elderly hospital patients to address their needs in this fast paced 21st century - where the majority of elderly & impaired patients’ family members are not home or available due to hours of time spent at work, where some elderly patients are living alone & are in lack of support system to assist them with maintaining their medical conditions, and where most commu ...

Susan Paulsin

Position: Social Worker

Organization: St. Joseph Heritage Healthcare


Susan has been instrumental in helping our senior population. She has been a resource to her paitients as well as to our staff. She goes above and beyond the call of duty to help her patients or co-workers. Susan helped find family for one of our confused patients that lived alone, was no longer able to drive. He was widowed, and had no children. She was able to locate his next of kin in Canada. She was able to communicate with this family member, and help coordinate the care this patient ne ...


Outstanding Social Worker - Hospital / Facility (back to top)

Gail Aspittle

Position: Care Manager

Organization: Alzheimer's Family Services Center


Gail has a genuine, compassionate approach to interacting with our participants and their families. Her warm smile and infectious laugh bring immediate peace to participants who are often agitated, confused, or anxious. Gail creates an environment where the participant feels socially engaged, connected to the center, and welcomed with open arms. An example of Gail’s steadfast dedication to her participants is that she will never miss someone’s first day at the center – even if that means c ...

Geraldine (Geri) Jones-Johnson

Position: Supervisory Program Manager Community Based Services

Organization: Long Beach VA Healthcare System


Geri is one of the most caring individuals that I have ever met. Everything she does is to help others.
She started helping others at a very young age, then became an active member of the Civil Rights Movement. She received a Bachelor of science in Social Work at Talladega College, Talladega, Alabama. She received a Master’s in Social Work from “The Jane Adams School of Social Work”, University of Illinois Champaign Urbana, Illinois.

This is her Story:

I was born in Alabama to the mos ...

Grenda Lee

Position: Social Worker

Organization: St. Joseph Health System


Grenda should be nominated as a hero, because she not only does a superb job, she does it with heart & compassion. She truly aims to make a difference for those she serves. She often gets referred the most complex cases that many programs does know how to assist. Oftentimes, these patients may not have the best or friendly demeanor, but Grenda has this ability to put all the rude behaviors, piles of soiled incontinence supplies and rodents, and she will get the quality of life improved fo ...

Jan Brook, MSW

Position: Department of Social Work Supervisor

Organization: Acacia Adult Day Services


Jan Brooks obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work at UCLA, and has been working with the geriatrics population ever since. She has been working with the elderly over 15 years, particularly with seniors with cognitive and physical impairments. She is the Supervisor of the Social Work Department at Acacia Adult Day Services, an Adult Day Health Care and Adult Day Care located in Garden Grove, but this is just her official job title because Jan does so much more. She’s usually the first to ...

Sheila Brady

Position: Social Services Director

Organization: Atlantic Memorial Healthcare Center



Tina Roth

Position: Mission Services Project Mgr

Organization: St Jude Heritage Healthcare


Tina is our Advance Planning/End of Life advocate and champion. Her strong held beliefs regarding supporting persons by respecting their choices at life’s end and upholding their dignity is undeniable. She participates on a number of coalitions and work groups within Orange County as well as within our own Heritage system. She is the major supplier of Advance Directives and Polst forms in the medical group, and will always expend endless time and energy to educate and share any updates with ...


Outstanding Therapist (OT, PT, ST) (back to top)

Carol Maiolfi

Position: Physical Therapist

Organization: Self Employed


Carol has a unique talent in that she uses her sense of humor to help motivate her patients to focus on therapy,and eventually wins them over so that they will complete their exercises without complaint, and laugh while they are exercising. One patient told me that all she does is "come over and visit with me", because he remembered that she was at his house, and that she was considerate enough to spend time with her.

She is so inspirational that her daughter decided to be a therapis ...

Karin Lampman

Position: Director, Physical Therapy

Organization: New Orange Hills


Karin is compassionate with all who she cares for. She is able to put the needs of the patient in the forefront, and has a huge heart. Because of her true interest and caring, she is able to more fully help the patients advance. Her skills are excellent, and combined with the person she is, this makes her a role model in her field.

Lori Hokama

Position: Director of Rehabilitation

Organization: Lake Forest Rehabilitation Hospital


Lori provides support and education to her staff, and challenges them to learn more, and try innovative ways to provide therapy to the clients, and help them improve quality of life for every client on their caseload. Lori is a tireless advocate for the residents and her staff.

Mario Burciaga

Position: Occupational Therapist

Organization: Providence Little Company of Mary San Pedro Rehab Center



Robert Salvaggio

Position: Physical Therapist

Organization: Pinnacle Physical Therapy


Robert Salvaggio provided in-home physical therapy to my senior mother following a motor vehicle accident. Periodically, he provided additional therapy to assist with other needs. Robert trained the family and caregivers to follow through with exercises and to provide proper assistance to my mother. He had endless patience with my mother, the family and the caregivers. He answered questions, gave guidance and provided encouragement. He was gentle, trustworthy and ethical. Robert Salvaggio ...


Outstanding Advocate, Gerontologist, Educator (back to top)

Christine Chow

Position: Advocacy/General Manager

Organization: Alzheimer's Association/OCASC


Christine dedicates so much of her time and energy to championing senior causes, functioning in a unique dual-role with the Alzheimer's Association and the Orange County Aging Services Collaborative (OCASC).

She has succeeded in greatly surpassing our advocacy goals yearly, due to her compassion,dedication and high-level ability. Christine has advocated on behalf of seniors everywhere in front of Congress, the California State Assembly and the California State Senate, passionately pushing ...

Geoff Scott

Position: Senior Advocate

Organization: The Senior Body Guard


Geoff Scott is a recognized national expert on senior scams, elder abuse, aging in place and safety in the home. He is an educator and an advocate who offers protection and knowledge to baby boomers and senior citizens.

As a young man, he entered the US Army as a Paratrooper and quickly advanced to expanded responsibilities in Washington D.C. Geoff became a member of the Elite Presidential Honor Guard, under President H.W. Bush, where he performed many duties at The White House, The Pentago ...

Guy Navarro

Position: Executive Director

Organization: RTH Stroke Foundation


Before he got involved with senior issues, Guy was very successful in the corporate world, first with AT&T Wireless, then Samsung and finally Verizon Wireless. The work was stimulating and the compensation satisfying, but he felt there was a piece missing. So he decided to find an organization where he could become a senior advocate and provider. That organization was ResCare HomeCare.
From there he went to RTH Stroke Foundation, a unique organization which literally has no peer. When Guy ...

Julie Schoen

Position: Legal Counsel

Organization: Council on Aging - Orange County


There are many reasons people become attorneys. Some, admittedly in the extremes, practice law to generate personal wealth, while others truly hope to make a difference and advocate for people in need. Julie and I find ourselves in this latter category. I am very fortunate to be able to say I worked with Julie when I was at Council on Aging and continue to work with her on some occasions as we consult on difficult cases. One case that particularly exemplifies the passion that Julie brings to ...

Katie Barraza

Position: Director of Senior Services

Organization: The LGBT Center OC


Katie Barraza is a tireless advocate for seniors, especially for the needs of LGBT seniors in the greater Orange County area. As director of the senior group at the Center OC on Spurgeon Street in Santa Ana, Katie convenes weekly senior socials, organizes regular outings and activities for the seniors in her group, keeps us informed on many issues of importance to seniors. She has made a big difference in the lives of at least 150 seniors registered in her group.

Marilyn Ditty

Position: CEO

Organization: Age well Senior Services


Dr. Marilyn Ditty is widely acknowledged as a distinguished expert in the field of gerontology and devoted advocate for senior citizens on the local, state, federal and international levels. Dr. Ditty is the founder and CEO of Age Well Senior Services, (formerly South County Senior Services), a nonprofit, charitable organization that has been providing vital services to seniors, primarily those who are low-income and homebound, in South Orange County since 1978. Age Well Senior Services (AWSS) i ...

Wanda Crow

Position: President

Organization: Horizon Support Services


It's a little-known fact that the Senior Care Hero Awards annual event was started in 2011 by a small local collaborative association called "Answers", with Wanda Crow as one of the leaders. Wanda's leadership and guidance enabled this worthy cause to finally become a reality. She believed so strongly in the vision of honoring the unsung heroes of senior care, that she volunteered her own funds to reserve the Nixon Library as the venue for the first years' event.

Wanda ...


Outstanding Administrator or Executive Director of a Facility (back to top)

Claudia Estrada

Position: Center Manager

Organization: AltaMed Health Services Corporation


Claudia Estrada is an inspiring advocate and administrator of senior services. Claudia has spent her entire life working with the senior and disable populations. She is inspire every day by seeing the change that occurs at the PACE center with the participants. Claudia enjoys working with the families of the participants and helping them relieve the stress that comes with having an aging loved one.
Through courage, patience and persistence, Claudia has helped seniors find empowerment, enrichmen ...

Deborah Webber

Position: Chief Operating Officer

Organization: AHMC Anaheim Regional Medical Center


From the onset of the CTI program at SeniorServ Anaheim Regional Medical Center, under Debbie's leadership, has been integral in preventing hundreds of seniors from being readmitted to the hospital. Ms. Webber demonstrated a true partnership with SeniorServ by inviting the SeniorServ VP of Home and Care Services to be an active team partner with Anaheim Regional by participating in the readmission task force, the Healthy Community Board care management team meetings, executive briefings and ...

Denise J. Likar

Position: Vice President

Organization: Independence at Home, a Division of SCAN Health Plan


“Denise is definitely a Hero in our eyes. She has been a strong advocate for seniors both on a professional and personal level. Professionally, she has confidently and competently climbed the ladder of success from line staff up to vice-president of our division. Denise portrays a vision to her staff to work together as a team and provide the best possible care for our frail elderly population. She also maintains her vision beyond our doors by creating and nurturing strong relationships th ...

Luis Pages

Position: Executive Campus Director

Organization: Alamitos West Heathcare Center & Katella Senior Living Community


As a Professional Licensed Nursing Home & Assisted Living (RCFE) Administrator, I have served the Senior Community for over 24 years in various capacities. My career in Healthcare stems over a period of 24 years not counting the years I assisted my mother in running a six bed Board & Care from our home in El Paso, Texas, while a full-time Criminal Justice student at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Working with my mother inspired me to work with the elderly and offered the ca ...

Rebecca Forrest

Position: Executive Director/Administrator at Advanced Rehab Center Tustin

Organization: Advanced Rehab Center of Tustin


Rebecca has always been a caring and loving individual she doesn’t like to be in the spotlight and instead prefers to give the honors to others. When Rebecca walks into her Skilled Nursing Facility for the first time she always begins the task of insuring that both her staff and residents thrive in this environment. This requires her to give both physically and emotionally of herself. The selfless acts she does, when no one is around is what makes her a Hero in our eyes.
In Rebecca’s book ...

Ron Simpson, PhD

Position: Administrator

Organization: Granny's Place


In 1995, Dr. Simpson helped to found and has served as President of a group called RCRN(Residential Care Resource Network),Inc. This is a network of board and care owners in South Orange County, with the goal of combining forces to provide quality training for their staff, to share ideas for improving services, and to provide regular group outings for residents. These outings are fun for all and greatly add to the enjoyment and quality of life for the residents.

In July 2014, Dr. Simpson becam ...

Wanda Reynolds

Position: Executive Director

Organization: Emeritus @ Valley View - A Brookdale Community


How do you describe Wanda? As I said before she has been the business of helping seniors for over 40 years (she must have been only 8 or 10 when she started). Wanda is one of the most compassionate persons I know. Wanda is selfless, in the time that is needed in our community. She thinks about others before thinking about herself to insure that our residents well being and family's needs are met. Her priority exceeds all expectations for residents and continues to go above and beyond to m ...


Outstanding Senior Care Professional (back to top)

Ann Koshy

Position: Founder

Organization: Bellagio Manor


In the beginning of her career Ann choose to be a registered nurse. The good news for all of her patients was that she was born to be one! After many years of service, she bought an assisted living facility; but you would never know she is the owner. Example: I asked for her bio for “an article” and she told me no; “I try not to let anyone know I am in charge.” I want everyone to be comfortable around me.

So, why is Ann Koshy a senior care hero? Well, let me tell you…
If there is a n ...

Anwar M. Saeed

Position: Executive Director, RCFE Administrator

Organization: Alicia Care


Dr. Jason Abney, D.O. recipient of the 2013 SCHA Outstanding Physician award says “He (Dr. Saeed) and I have been working together for seven years. He is professional, articulate and most important immensely CARING. His residents benefit from his knowledge both as RCFE administrator and an outstanding Clinician. He makes my job so much easier as he has a great understanding of the geriatric population that he serves. I can’t recall if I ever had a need to send his resident to ER or hospital. ...

Bea Aguirre


Organization: Kaiser Permanente


Bea's care and compassion extend beyond her professional life. It is well known in her family and in her community that if there is a need to assist and support the needs o the critically ill and dying, when called upon, Bea is there. There is also a silent pay it forward side of Bea's life that few will ever know.

Bea will never forget a statement made by her first oncology charge nurse at St. Jude Hospital who said to her, "I never cared how much you knew until I knew how m ...

Darlene Shafer

Position: Friendship Club Activity Coordinator

Organization: Alzheimer's Family Services Center


Darlene has committed the better part of her career to serving seniors and providing a better quality of life for individuals suffering from dementia. Each day, she strives to create a stimulating environment where participants are both well cared for and actively engaged. Even after 25 years of service, Darlene continues to bring a high level of energy to our innovative programming, which encourages participation and sparks creativity. The time she spent caregiving for her mother with Alzheimer ...

David Boyle

Position: Chaplain, Spiritual Care Coordinator

Organization: Hospice Care of the West


Death doesn’t wear a watch. This arrogant intruder will show up at any time of the day or night. And so does Dave. He ministered spiritually to my best friend’s mother for the last 18 months of her life. Eve was 93 years old and lived as long as she wanted. To quote Dave: Stubborn in life, stubborn in death. Eve had stopped eating and drinking five days prior, obviously intent on leaving this world on her own terms. While Dave wasn’t there when she passed, he was there the day prior sittin ...

Lahoma Snyder

Position: Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Organization: Council on Aging - Orange County


Her years of dedication and commitment to this population are outstanding, especially considering her age. She is 80 years old and still works about 40 hours a week protecting & listening to her residents. She had a resident, Sandra, who lived in a facility and desperately wanted to return to her home. Sandra worked very hard to regain her strength and health so that she could return home. She had full mental capacity, so she had a right to make this decision. However, the facility and he ...

Randall Williams

Position: Supervisor Night Operations

Organization: Diagnostic Labs & Radiology


Randy was told by his grandmother that you can win more people with humor than brow beat them. Randy is the evening supervisor to regions 1-4 in Southern California and helps to lead 92 technologists from all walks of life. His gentle, soft spoken approach quickly wins the hearts and minds of everyone he comes into contact with. Randy’s dedication to the health and welfare has been demonstrated many times. Last winter Vicky Hillstead his supervisor at the time got an emergency request for a s ...

Vic Garcialepe

Position: Director of Admissions

Organization: Mirada Hills Rehabilitation & Nursing Center


The first thing you notice about Vic is his complete attention to the matter at hand. He never makes a family or resident feel like he's in too much of a hurry to really stop and listen, and lend a helping hand. He has enormous respect for his elders, something that was instilled in him at an early age. His first memory was of sneaking into his Grandmother's restaurant in Mexico and asking for a taco de queso. 50 years later, his grandmother now in her 80s, still runs the restaurant.