Melissa Stiwinter of Four Seasons Compassion for Life, Flat Rock, has received the 2014 Georgia Crump Certified Nursing Assistant Recognition Award.
The award was conveyed in a Monday, Jan. 12, ceremony at the western office of Four Seasons, honoring Stiwinter’s contributions to the profession. Crump, Margaret Noel, M.D., and Chad Conaty, communications director, attended on behalf of MemoryCare via videoconference. Stiwinter was awarded a plaque and monetary gift during the ceremony.
Established by the non-profit, charitable organization, MemoryCare, in 2003, the competitive annual award recognizes the heroic daily efforts of nursing assistants in western North Carolina. It honors the example of Georgia Crump, a licensed practical nurse passionately dedicated to improving work conditions and educational opportunities for nursing assistants in the region.
Stiwinter has been employed by Four Seasons as a C.N.A. for the past four years, currently holding the designation of C.N.A. II. She exemplifies the spirit of the Crump Award, combining strong clinical skills with excellent patient-centered care, says Steve Mills, director of Four Seasons’ western office, Highlands.
“Melissa is a compassionate caregiver who is dedicated to providing holistic care,” he says. “She makes certain she understands the patients’ goals and concerns.” Additionally, Stiwinter has worked independently to increase her skills as a C.N.A., recently completing her Level II certification, and working toward the specialized Hospice C.N.A. Certification.
Recognized for her leadership role within the C.N.A. team, Stiwinter practices in the challenging rural, mountain setting in the western part of the state. She is respected by her team, but not only for her commitment to clinical excellence and willingness to master new skills. “She provides care to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families, making it a point to truly learn about the patient so she can meet the needs that are most important to them,” says Mills. “If those needs lie outside her scope of practice, she relies on her team members for support.”
Active in her church community, Stiwinter has also been instrumental in the creation of a volunteer ministry to support hospice through fundraising. The ministry provides for small personal needs for patients who lack necessary resources, and stocks nutritious snacks to support busy hospice team members as they meet the needs of their patients in the western region, including Highlands and surrounding areas.
MemoryCare provides care for older adults with memory disorders, as well as educating and supporting their caregivers and the community.