Award Recipients - 2012

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Lifetime Achievement Award

Sheldon S. Zinberg, M.D.

Position: Founder, CareMore and Founder, Nifty After Fifty

Organization: Nifty after Fifty


In 1993, Dr. Zinberg founded CareMore Medical Group. As the Chairman, he led CareMore in developing numerous innovative programs that dramatically improved the delivery of healthcare services for almost 100,000 members including 20,000 seniors. As the founder of Nifty after Fifty (The Most Effective Centers for Wellness and Lasting Independence), Dr. Zinberg has continued to publish his views on improving delivery systems for the healthcare industry. In 2003 he authored a book on better aging and fitness called "Win In the Second Half" (Saddleback Publishing, Inc.). His second book, "Nifty after Fifty" (Saddleback Publishing) was released in May 2008. Dr. Zinberg has served as a Clinical Professor of Medicine at two universities: The University of California at Irvine, College of Medicine and at the COMP division of The Western University of Health Sciences. During his academic career, he has been the recipient of many awards and honors and has co-authored textbook chapters and numerous scientific papers.

Outstanding Physicians - Specialist

Brian Boyd

Position: Medical Director Palliative Care Program

Organization: St. Joseph Hospital


Dr. Boyd is the ultimate patient advocate. He works with a multidisciplinary care team to support the patient choice and works to provide the best quality of life. Dr. Boyd works tirelessly with these elderly patients and their families to connect them with the appropriate support services for optimal transition back to the community. Dr. Boyd treats them each with dignity and respect, as if they were his own family. We are blessed to have him as part of our care team!

Outstanding Physicians - General Medicine

Jack Fraser

Position: Volunteer Physician

Organization: St. Jude Medical Center


Dr. Fraser has volunteered as a physician every week for the past fifteen years for St. Jude Community Clinics. He has treated thousands of patients free of charge in this role. In addition, for the past ten years he has served on the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Committee to raise funds for our clinics. He is truly an inspiration to us all.

Outstanding Nurse - Home or Hospice

Julie Keen

Position: Supervisor - High Risk Touch

Organization: Monarch HealthCare


Julie’s role since joining the Monarch Clinical Team has been focused towards supporting our frail and elderly populations. She was part of Monarch’s initial Senior Touch Team where patient’s coming out of the hospital were seen in a local clinic type setting by a physician, RNP and/or SW. The goal was to improve the transition of patients discharging out of acute and sub acute facilities and supporting the discharge plan, medication reconciliation as patients went back to their primary c ...

Outstanding Nurse - Hospital or facility setting

Allison Hoekstra

Position: Registered Nurse

Organization: Anaheim Regional Medical Center


Allison frequently shares her senior stories with me (since I work in the industry as well), and how she understands their needs, and calls me from time to time to ask me how she may further assist some special needs seniors when they leave.
I truly admire her commitment to her patients and how she never hesitates to go above and beyond helping them. She always refers to them as "hers".
I have never known a nurse to be so concerned with the level of care they are providing like Alliso ...

Compassionate Caregiver - Home Care

Ruth Sare

Position: Caregiver

Organization: Horizon Support Services, Inc.


As President of Horizon Support Services, I speak on a personal level regarding Ruth. Ruth provided care for both my parents for a year, until their death both a year apart. My Mom was a very stubborn and independent person and would not allow any help either for her or my Dad until Ruth came to care for them. My Mom quickly accepted Ruth and looked forward the days she would be with them. After my Mom passed away, Ruth cared for my Father and was there in his final days on Hospice. Ruth was ...

Compassionate Caregiver - Hospital / Hospice / or Facility Setting

Lutgardo Ronquillo

Position: Program Aide

Organization: Alzheimer's Family Services Center


Guardo is a compassionate, expert caregiver who is truly deserving of this recognition. He has worked tirelessly over the past 17 years to support people living with dementia, bringing them joy and kindness. His expertise is evident in his ability to adjust his caregiving style and interactions to match the needs of the person. He greets everyone with a smile - participants, families, staff and visitors alike - and is always prepared to serve. Whether toileting a participant, leading an activ ...

Outstanding Social Worker - Home/Skilled facility

Art Martinez

Position: Director of Social Services

Organization: La Habra Convalescent


Art is the "happiest guy in the world" - yes, I've heard family and visitors say that about him because no matter how his day is going there is always a smile on his face and a kind word for anyone he comes into contact with. I know he must have a clearly written job description, but I doubt he even knows it because he seems to be helping everyone in every situation, from a confused resident who thinks he's their son to a concerned family member worried about a safe transitio ...

Outstanding Social Worker - Hospital or Specialty

Kathy Wammack

Position: Caring Neighbors Coordinator

Organization: St. Jude Medical Center / Senior Services


Kathy should win this award because she dedicates herself to markedly improving and uplifting the lives of the seniors that she works with. She is not only a cheerful Caring Neighbor herself (many times over), but she works to perfectly match each senior with just the right volunteer for them. She not only carefully scrutinizes and screens each volunteer, but she also takes into account the personal preferences of her seniors ~ making their wishes a top priority. Safety is a huge concern for Ka ...

Outstanding Therapist (OT, PT, ST)

Raja Marji

Position: Occupational Therapist

Organization: La Habra Convalescent Hospital


Raja is very compassionate and loves the residents as if they were her own parents. She cares so deeply about the residents that she makes sure their follow up appointments are made, prior to leaving the facility.

Raja is very patient and makes the tasks of therapy enjoyable for the residents. She adjusts her instructions and the activity level to ensure that each resident succeeds at tasks during the therapy sessions. Raja makes occupational therapy the "act of getting ready and get mo ...

Outstanding Advocate, Gerontologist, Educator

Di Patterson

Position: President/CEO

Organization: Gero, Inc.


Di is nominated for Outstanding Gerontologist for three unique features in her practice.

First, in her selfless delivery of information to a unique customer. Who is the customer? According to Di, those who need to practice, be enriched by and live Success in Aging principles include you, me – everyone – regardless of present adult age. In this theory, “aging” is no longer a bad word; it is an art and a science. By unraveling the stigma of these concepts, individuals are coming to k ...

Administrator or Executive Director of a Facility

Debbie Robson

Position: Executive Director

Organization: Hospice Care of the West


Debbie Robson, Executive Director, has created a hospice that is a beacon for all other hospices and health care professionals on how we can change this stage of life for seniors into a time when families and communities can come together to celebrate their lives, wisdom and legacies. Click here to see what makes Hospice Care of the West exceptional:
Within the hospice, we have launched Reminiscing Corners that bring together members of the hospice team to share their ...

Senior Care Hero at Large

Edward Schrum

Position: Owner/Vice President of Market Development

Organization: St. Micheal Hospice and Sonnet Home Health


Words cannot express what a wonderful man Mr. Edward Schrum is and I can only speak from my personal experience but I know many share this same feeling. I first met Ed when I was working for ARV assisted living 14 years ago, and we ended up at the same Marti Gras party. We were both wearing leather pants and were instantly connected. We developed a professional relationship that grew over the years. Before I knew it I was working for him at Vitas hospice. He opened up an new road for me and ...

Volunteer of the Year - People's Choice!

Cheryl O'Neel

Position: Senior Volunteer

Organization: Yorba Linda Senior Center


Cheryl O'Neel is a caring, conscientious and tireless volunteer for the Yorba Linda Senior Lunch Program, Senior Dances, Tea and Fashion Show, Food Distribution and she is also a member of the SeniorServ Advisory Council. In the last 7 years Cheryl has not slowed down, volunteering 5-6 days a week for an average of 90+ hours of unpaid service per month. Her versatality is invaluable. Cheryl is comfortable making coffee in the kitchen one minute, then greeting each lunch participant by name ...

Family Member Hero - People's Choice!

Anh-Dung Tran


Organization: Caregiver Resource Center


Mr. Anh-Dung Tran, age 66 a married Vietnamese-American man who is the caregiver for his mother, age 95 with Alzheimer and other medical issues who needs total care and assistance at this time.
Mr. Tran had no choice but to retire early to care for his mother full-time. He devoted his life to care for his elderly and frail parents at home for the past 14 years instead of sending them to a facility.
Mr. Tran has been struggling with many issues as a caregiver for his loved ones since he was ...