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Marilen Pennington Receives Wolff Care Giving Award

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Caregivers in a long-term care setting often win the affection and appreciation of the senior adults and family members for whom they do so much. But when a caregiver receives equally glowing admiration from her supervisors, it is evident she has a special gift for her work.

Such is the case with Marilen (“Marie”) Pennington, a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in Village Shalom’s Health Center 2, who was chosen to receive the organization’s 14th Joseph and Eleanor Wolff Excellence in Care Giving Award. She was selected for the honor from a field of 17 Village Shalom nominees, whose names were entered into eligibility for the semi-annual award by residents, families and co-workers.

Marilen Pennington (right), accepts the Wolff Care Giving Award presented by Tami Middleton, Director of Human Resources for Village Shalom.

Tami Middleton, Director of Human Resources, made the presentation at a gather­ing of staff and residents, thanking the Wolff family for making the award possible. “Eleanor Wolff was a very special lady who was cared for in the skilled-nursing areas of Village Shalom for six years,” she explained. “Eleanor passed away in December 2006, but her sons were so pleased with the extraordinary kindness and wonderful care their mother had received at Village Shalom, they established this award as a way of recognizing and thanking the employees – specifically those who directly care for the residents in our skilled nursing areas.”

The award is to be presented twice annually for a total of 25 years.

Marilen joined Village Shalom in September 2009. She began her career as a CNA in the Shalom Suites memory-care area, and transferred to Village Shalom’s Health Center 2 rehabilitation/short-term care area in June 2010.

She was recommended for the Wolff Care Giving Award by a husband and wife who, between them, have had three parents residing at Village Shalom. “Of all the wonderful caregivers, Marie stands a head above, despite her petite size,” they remarked. “She always has a smile for everyone, knows what to say and do, and is always one step ahead of any request.”

Marilen also received nominations from two of her supervisors, who understand the many facets of caring for Village Shalom residents as well as providing comfort and counsel for their families.

Walter Mochama, RN, Health Center 2 charge nurse, said “Marie always puts the needs of residents first, and never says ‘no’ to any assignment. Words cannot explain how much of a team player she is. She communicates professionally with residents, family members and staff, and always has a positive attitude.”

“Marilen makes the residents feel comfortable, and she respects and honors their choices,” commented Nazira Hussaini, LPN, Health Center 2 charge nurse. “She is reliable, patient, cooperative and she shows a commitment to learning and improving. She has a calming approach about her. The residents and their families enjoy having her as their aide, and they ask for her when she isn’t here.”

Marilen said she was “really surprised, and very honored and thankful” to receive the Wolff Care Giving Award. “I want to dedicate this award to all the Village Shalom employees – and to everyone who believes in me.”

As a Wolff Award honoree, Marilen received a monetary gift of $750 and an engraved acrylic plaque. Her name will be added to a permanent display of Wolff Excellence in Care Giving Award recipients.