National Assisted Living Winners Announced

Assisted Living : National Assisted Living Winners Announced

As part of its celebration of National Assisted Living Week September 13-19, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) recently announced the 2009 recipients of the Administrator of the Year, Noble Caregiver in Assisted Living, and the National Assisted Living Week Programming awards. These winners represent the best in the nation in the assisted living profession. The winners are:

NCAL Administrator of the Year: Karen Vorse is the administrator for The Village at Regional West, Scottsbluff, Neb. Out of a passionate commitment to residents, she obtained Medicaid certification for the Village so that a long time resident didn’t have to move out when his financial resources were depleted. She feels each day of work is “more like attending a family reunion rather than a job.” When she started the Tai Chi Easy activity program, she had the staff trained by the Tai Chi master so that they could facilitate the exercise classes for the residents. The program was so well-received by the residents, it was opened to the general public. Under her supervision, The Village at Regional West was the 2007 recipient of NCAL’s National Assisted Living Week Programming Award. She has been the administrator for the past six years.


Noble Caregiver in Assisted Living: Darlene Vorrius is a licensed practical nurse at The Chelsea at Tinton Falls, Tinton Falls, N.J. She treats residents like her own mother, who passed away two years ago. She knows each resident well. Family members flock to her for guidance and are always comforted by her advice. She is patient, respectful, and compassionate with residents, their family members, and co-workers. She is an active resident advocate and participant in The Chelsea at Tinton Falls’ quality improvement and safety teams. She has worked at The Chelsea at Tinton Falls for the past 10 years and is pursuing a registered nursing degree.

National Assisted Living Week Programming Award: Traditionally, National Assisted Living Week starts on the first Sunday after Labor Day. However, in Sioux City Iowa, Northern Hills began festivities a day early and filled the week with activities focused on the 2008 theme, “Filling Life With Love.” Northern Hills’ kick off event was attended by 500 families, friends, neighbors and residents. The local high school cheerleading squad and pep band infused the celebration with “homecoming spirit.” There was a coronation of Northern Hills’ own King and Queen, a tailgate party, and door prizes. When the official week began Sunday, Sept. 7, every day had activities designed around “The Love of…dance and music, nature, varied cultures and food, animals and taking time for ourselves.” A hay ride, a picnic, a girl’s pajama party as well as trips to the Sioux City Orchestra Pops concert and the Clay County Fair were part of the festivities.

These award winners were selected from applications submitted from NCAL member facilities nationwide. The winners will be recognized on NCAL Day, October 4, as part of the 60th Annual AHCA/NCAL Convention & Exposition to be held in Chicago, Oct. 4-7, 2009.


The NALW has produced an wonderful planning guide catalog of activities and ideas to help families and staff celebrate National Assisted Living Week. Check out their colorful catalog, "Traditions of the Heart.