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Swansea woman, four others are state caregiver honorees


SPRINGFIELD – A Swansea woman and four others are recipients of the 2017 Outstanding Caregiver Awards, the Illinois Department on Aging has announced.

Shirley Ferrell was recognized in the category of Community Care Program services. She works for Help at Home at Southwestern Illinois Visiting Nurse Association and is described as “a worker patients look forward to having in their home, knowing they will receive excellent care.” She once helped a patient afflicted with serious medical issues go to the doctor and undergo extensive treatment, potentially saving his life in the process.

Each year, the department recognizes a caregiver for exceptional work in the categories of nursing facility, housing facility, home health services, Older American Act services and Community Care Program services.

“Each year we receive an outpouring of nominees from the community highlighting many remarkable caregivers across the state. It’s never an easy task determining eventual winners, but I believe these five individuals truly deserve honor and recognition for the work they do,” commented Department of Aging Director Jean Bohnhoff. “Their exceptional work not only demonstrates their dedication, devotion, and commitment to helping others, but has also touched and continues to touch, the lives of countless residents across the state.”

The other 2017 Outstanding Caregiver Award recipients are:

– Mary Sensenig of Amboy, recognized in the category of Nursing Facility. She became a Certified Nursing Assistant at Aperion Care Amboy in 1975 and has served in the facility for 41 years.
– Sherry Roper of Pekin, recognized in the category of Housing Facility. She is a housekeeper at John Evans Supporting Living Community.
– Cheri Stoneburner of McHenry, for Home Health Services. She has been a nurse for over 44 years and has worked for more than 28 years in the McHenry County community, 22 of which have been at Centegra Home Health.
– Michael Welch of Chicago, for Older American Act services. He has been serving as a Title IIIB Chore Housekeeping Employee at Catholic Charities Northwest Services since 2013.

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