2019 SCHA Awards
Outstanding Social Worker

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Alma Miller-Perry Alma Miller-Perry

Alma Miller-Perry

Position: Social Worker

Organization: Optimal Hospice


List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
Alma has been a social worker for over 34 years, she grew up in Los Angeles, CA as a young girl she took care of and looked after the older people in her neighborhood, she use to volunteer at the elementary school in the classroom of special education at the school her mother worked at. She was always helping someone with special needs or social issues, she graduated high school back in 1975 and went over to junior college finish there only to stop for a while and later went back to complete her B>A and later her Masters in Social worker, Alma has worked as a trainer doing care plans for special need adults, worked for LAUSD as special education teachers assistance, worked at a multi-handicapped school and got many honors and great recommendations, She also worker for LA county, Kern County and the state of Texas doing what she loves caring for people and taking care of their social needs,, she was always and advocate for the less unfortunate, she worked in child protected services as well as the prisons in doing care plans she was always getting some type of certicate or award for going over and beyond for her clients. Alma worked for hospice the last 11 years, 8 of those years was in Bakersfield where she first asked by a nurse have you ever worked hospice. Of course she said no that was not her career choice but after learning about hospice and the philosophy she fell in love and so did her patients and families all loved her and had good things to say about her The said part but not really sad 3 years after working for Optimal hospice she lost her mother who was placed on hospice and just about 2 years ago her dad was referred to our hospice and he passed away as well. So not only does she have years of experience if working people and children she now has personal experience with hospice.

Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
Everyone that knows Alma knows she is a caring loving and very funny, reliable and trustworthy woman. Alma has always been there for her patients but also very supportive of her co-workers. There is not a single job her co-workers ask of her that she says no to. Alma is full of compassion and she will go above and beyond for everyone she works with as well as her patients and families. Alma has sat with many of her patients at the bedside during their passing, offering emotional support to the families. Optimal has received numerous outstanding reports from her families and through that she has been able to educate people of different cultures on the benefits of hospice. Alma has many great stories to share but one, in particular, that comes to mind, on a day Alma was off work, something told her to go by and check on this family because they had lots of questions and were struggling with letting go. Once Alma arrived, she noticed the family was emotional and the patient was actively dying. The hospice nurse was contacted immediately due to the patient showing some agitation and restlessness. Afterward, Alma educated the family about the signs of end of life and they were feeling better but still, a little emotional so Alma wanted to do something to make them laugh and brighten the situation. It was very hot, So Alma pulled her wig off and everyone fell to the floor laughing! the family needed that and they were so grateful for all the time she spent with them, by the end of the visit the patient was resting comfortably and she passed away the next morning, with family by the bedside. The daughter called Alma to thank her for her compassion and being their in such a time of need.