Outstanding Caregiver(back to top)

Elena Bor

Position: Primary Caregiver

Organization: Amazing Grace & Care


Elena felt her calling for seniors while she was working her first job in the United States. As she put it, “I just knew I must help; I have to help them in their last years.” She loves communicating with seniors and doesn’t want anyone to be alone or neglected. She is totally hands-on when it comes to caring for her residents.

In 2014, Elena was called to assess a woman with Alzheimer’s disease. This woman is my wife, Joan. She was no longer able to walk, talk or care for herself. Joan ...


Outstanding Social Worker(back to top)

Dereck Cretz

Position: Director of Social Services

Organization: Alamitos Belmont Rehabilitation Hospital



Dereck Cretz has been the Social Worker at Alamitos Belmont Rehab Hospital since 2003. The role of the Social Worker in a skilled nursing setting is to be a patient advocate and to do whatever it takes to ensure that the resident’s needs are being met.

Dereck has gone above and beyond helping all residents in the facility but he really goes out of his way to help our residents that have no family. One resident had no family and Dereck brought in some extra clothes because the resident had none. The resident was so grateful because it was winter and he needed more than a hospital gown. Another resident who is still in the facility faced the same issues and had very little help from his family. This particular resident needed to vacate his senior living apartment and needed to move his things into a storage unit. Dereck was able to get a truck and a friend to help move this resident. Dereck did this on his own time and used his own expenses. This was not the first time that Dereck helped move a resident. Dereck also uses his own money to buy sodas and cereal for another long-term resident that is limited on funds and lacks family support.


Outstanding Nurse (back to top)

Marylyn Hagerty

Position: Nurse Practitioner

Organization: CareMore Touch


By teaching and training facility staff and precepting students in the art of caring for the frail elderly, Marylyn displays , every day, the passion she has for the elderly and their families. Recently she had a relatively young woman diagnosed with cancer, already with extensive metastasis. This woman had a daughter, an only child, who could not believe this diagnosis could be true. Marylyn spent hours going over scans, and blood test results, calling specialist, arranging second opinions, et ..


Outstanding Physician (back to top)

John Geiss

Position: Doctor

Organization: Geiss Med


Majority of the doctors are aware that once they clock out of their daily jobs they no longer have the obligations of being concerned about a patient but being a house call doctor is different. Dr. Geiss has given and continues to give his personal contact information to not only healthcare professionals but also to family members and patients. He has given them that opportunity to reach him at any point of a day or night without any hesitations. Throughout the time that I have known him not o ...


Outstanding Executive Director (back to top)

Sonia Patricia Francia Garcia

Position: Executive Director

Organization: Guardian Angels Homes


Sonia is an advocate of the senior care industry, she is the silent volunteer behind scenes, always helping and always making a difference. If you want to help some one and want it done, reach out to Sonia, she will find a way or will guide you on the right direction. She always goes above and beyond any other person I know. Her bilingual skills are priceless specially when she focus on helping the Orange County Hispanic community understand aging and specially educating the community about Alz ...


Outstanding Senior Care Professional (back to top)

Jennifer Funez

Position: Healthcare Outreach Specialist

Organization: Alzheimer's Orange County


There are so many caring individuals in the Senior Care Industry who really care about seniors and there is this young lady. Not many of us go back to our previous place of employment and spent our days off with our past clients. Well, she does. She goes back to Alamitos Belmont Rehab and spends her days off and weekends visiting her seniors, many of whom she's cared/known for close to 8 years.
I interview some of them and they all had amazing things to say about her, but there was one la ...


Veteran Hero - People's Choice

Leon Anstead

Position: 1st Class Petty Officer

Organization: Former US Navy


Leon has lived a very full life for 94 years! He's survived many attacks in the South Pacific as a crewman aboard the USS Anzio, supporting battles in the Marshall Islands, Gilbert Island, Saipan, Okinawa and many others. He even survived the 1944 Cobra or "Halsey's" Typhoon, with 100 mph winds, very high seas and torrential rain. Three destroyers capsized and sank, and 790 lives were lost. Nine other warships were damaged, and over 100 aircraft were wrecked or washed overboa ...

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Volunteer Hero - People's Choice

Carol Driscoll

Position: Gift Shop Volunteer

Organization: St. Jude Medical Center


>Barbara Myers is an exemplary volunteer leader--one who leads with humility transparency and innovation. Barbara has used these skills and worked diligently to improve all aspects of our Gift Shop. She has led several team building sessions, which enhanced and improved communication and engagement between her co-workers. She has also managed several initiatives focused on providing the best possible service in our Gift Shop by creating a warm and inviting environment to all who enter. Guests can always expect smile, exceptional service as well as a helping hand. Thank you, Barbara for all you do. Our St. Jude family greatly appreciates your contributions to our hospital and community!

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Family Member Hero - People's Choice

Carol Driscoll

Position: Mother/Daughter/Caregiver

Organization: N/A


Carol continuously made sure that her mother, Beverly, was loved and cared for. Beverly suffered from Dementia and Carol insisted on attending every doctor’s appointment with her mother in order to provide support and remain informed of any changes in condition. Carol would drop everything at a moment’s notice to drive to Beverly’s house and calm her anxiety. She would spend countless late nights researching every treatments under the sun for Dementia, and even dedicated her life to ensuring that Beverly would comfortably age in place in her own home for the duration of her life.

Carol was not only committed to providing for her mother’s mental and physical well-being, but was undeniably dedicated to ensuring that Beverly actually enjoyed the remainder of her life. Carol devoted her own life to allowing her mother to participate in all of her favorite activities, such as visiting her 23 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren, engaging in long talks about World War II and "how life used to be", celebrating every holiday to the fullest, and indulging in all of Beverly’s favorite foods as she was known to be an excellent baker and loved her sweets.

Beverly passed away on June 12, 2017 at peace in her own home surrounded by her loving family. It is comforting for her family to know that she enjoyed every minute of her life and a huge part of that is because of Carol’s unconditional love and dedication to her mother.

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Innovator Award

Loren Shook

Position: President, CEO & COB

Organization: Silverado Senior Living


Loren Shook's innovative career in health care began early on, on the grounds of Fairfax Hospital in Kirkland Washington. Fairfax was a psychiatric hospital which also provided dementia care to the most challenging patients that the nursing homes could not manage. The care provided was way ahead of the times, with passionate leaders giving the patients many areas of freedom and control over their lives. There were pets, children, and expansive grounds, rolling lawns, exotic plants and birds and other amenities for the patients to enjoy. Shook's parents worked there along with many other relatives, and Loren worked in all non-licensed positions from 15 years of age through his undergraduate program in business at the University of Washington.

He pursued a career in hospital administration, operating a chain of psychiatric hospitals for 20 years. After 20 years at Community Psychiatric Centers, he discovered Assisted Living and felt compelled to focus on serving the memory impaired. He came up with a model to incorporate the best of Assisted Living's social model with state-of-the-art health care expertise. This model included licensed nurses, medical directors, and MSWs surrounded by a holistic environment using pets, intergenerational programming, and inviting outdoor areas. Through university teaching research affiliations, he found his co-founders, Jim Smith and Steve Winner. The vision of the company is to "give life" and to change the world in which the way dementia is treated.

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  W. Major Chance

Position: Founder and Executive Chairman

Organization: ActivCare Living


W. Major Chance' s story of innovation began nearly 25 years ago when he observed patients with Alzheimer's and dementia physically or chemically restrained due to their tendency to wander. In his view, this was an unacceptable way for a person to spend his or her life. The existing nursing home regulations did not allow for special treatment of these individuals, so Chance vowed to make a difference.

Determined to create change, he spent the next five years working with the Governor's office and officials in Sacramento to develop a program that meets the special needs of those with memory loss. The result was ActivCare, a residential memory care program which incorporates a custom-designed activity schedule for those with memory loss, administered by trained caregivers in specially designed residential communities. The ActivCare program of structured activities is designed to maintain the highest functioning level of each resident while enhancing self-esteem.

ActivCare residential memory care has served more than 4,000 residents since its inception in 1988. Chance's company, originally called Health CareGroup, recently announced its name change to ActivCare Living, reflecting its shift to solely focus on residential memory loss care. Their newest community that recently opened in Carlsbad, California represents the newest generation in memory care communities activity schedule to restore feelings of usefulness and socialization and much more.

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Humanitarian Award

Carol Driscoll

Position: Vice Chair

Organization: Board of Directors, SeniorServ


Lynn Daucher is the past Director of the California Department of Aging and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of SeniorServ, a leading non-profit in Orange County that provides programs and services for older adults. She also is a member of the board of the Archstone Foundation. Ms. Daucher has a deep history of public service starting in 1980 when she was elected to serve on the school board for Brea Olinda School District. She was also elected to the Brea City Council and served member of the California State Assembly from 2000-2006. She was appointed to the position of Director of the California Department of Aging by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and was responsible for administering programs serving older adults, adults with disabilities, family caregivers, and residents in long-term care facilities throughout the state.

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