Marysville Care Center gives Team Spirit, Nursing Assistant of the Year awards

From left, Marysville Care Center Nursing Assistants of the Year Toni Thompson and Matthew Duhm, and Team Spirit Award-winner Zehra Salaka. Not pictured is Nursing Assistant of the Year Marie Hanley.   - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Marysville Care Center Nursing Assistants of the Year Toni Thompson and Matthew Duhm, and Team Spirit Award-winner Zehra Salaka. Not pictured is Nursing Assistant of the Year Marie Hanley.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Care Center honored three of its nursing assistants with Team Spirit and Nursing Assistant of the Year Awards July 7.

Matthew Duhm, Toni Thompson and Marie Hanley all received Nursing Assistant of the Year Awards, while Zehra Salaka received a Team Spirit Award.

Duhm has been an associate of Life Care since 1988, and was described by Marysville Care Center Nurse Manager Jeanette Boushey as “consistently committed” to providing assistance to all his residents and coworkers.

“His calm demeanor and gentle approach, with often challenging residents, results in quality resident care and happy residents,” Boushey said of Duhm. “His patience on a difficult unit is insurmountable and a blessing to those around him. He is a true example of a leader and a mentor to the aides that work with him, and has proven that doing what is right is our number one priority.”

Thompson has only slightly more than a year of service at the Marysville Care Center, but Nurse Manager Debbie Specht cited Thompson as proof that “no amount of time matters, compared to the kindness and love that one puts forth.” Specht credited Thompson’s mentorship, “faith in God, love for her residents and desire to always help” as key to her work in the long-term care unit.

“She presents every day with a smile and a hug for each resident and coworker, and truly finds the joy in every moment, even the tough ones,” Specht said of Thompson. “She is an associate that you can go to for support and a kind word. Toni is an example of someone who always does what is right and lives by those words.”

Hanley, an associate of Life Care since 2002, was not present for the awards ceremony, but in a written statement submitted to The Marysville Globe by Marysville Care Center Activity Director Julie Garreis, Hanley was noted for her ability to accomplish her tasks with “efficiency, compassion and commitment” to her residents. Hanley was described as a valuable team member, who takes ownership of her responsibilities and works to solve problems as they arise. Her most recent transition has been to shower aide, as part of “an extremely fast-paced” sub-acute unit.

“She has demonstrated that she is a motivating factor to our residents in need of a little encouragement to work hard and return to the community,” the statement read. “She continues to be a crucial component to a premier rehab center, and to the success of our individual residents.”

Laura Willingham, social services co-director for the Marysville Care Center, presented Salaka with her Team Spirit Award, citing “her never-ending enthusiasm to please, her optimism through adversity, her persistence toward excellence in everything she does, and her ongoing dedication to her fellow associates, to assist and support them in achieving success in every aspect of life.”

Willingham listed examples of Salaka’s support for both her fellow dietary team members and everyone else she meets at the Marysville Care Center, her focus on patient and resident care, her creative approaches to problem-solving and her “infectious” dedication, all of which Willingham believes makes Salaka “the iconic symbol of team spirit.”

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