ERS Announces Winners of the 2017 Trish Martindell Awards

ERS Announces Winners of the 2017 Trish Martindell Awards

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ERS caregivers don’t expect gratitude. But it’s always nice when we find out, after the fact, just how much our words, actions, and kind gestures mean to our senior residents and their families.

And one of the ways we find out is through the annual Trish Martindell Award program, which allows residents and their family caregivers to recognize excellence in care.

Episcopal Retirement Services is proud to announce the winners of its Trish Martindell Award for 2017: Chad Ballard, Life Enrichment Specialist at Louisville’s Episcopal Church Home (ECH), and Maria Elias, Service Coordinator for our Cincinnati Affordable Living (AL) by ERS communities.

What is the Martindell Award?

It’s a special, annual honor (including a $1,000 stipend) given to deserving, non-management ERS team members who exemplify excellence in caregiving and who strive to care for our residents in special and meaningful ways.

The Martindell is named for former ERS Board Chair Patricia “Trish” Martindell, who established it as a legacy to her father, John Wahlberg. She was originally inspired to create the award when she witnessed the devotion of her father’s caregivers.

Wahlberg had resided at Deupree Health Center (now, Deupree House) in Hyde Park. The dignity and compassion with which the staff members there treated her father made a lasting impression on her.

Martindell served as chair of Deupree Health Center’s family council during her father’s residency and later, in 2001, joined our board. She served as the chair of the ERS Board from 2010 to 2011. She also served as a long-time volunteer and board member for the Ohio Valley chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Martindell unexpectedly passed away in late 2016. It was a tremendous loss not only for her loved ones, but all of us here at ERS. Today, the award that bears her name serves as a daily reminder — for our staff members, or Board and our residents — that we share her values.

Like Trish Martindell, we believe that seniors and their families have a right to person-centered, dignified care. So, each year since 2012, we’ve honored that belief by recognizing deserving ERS staff members who live it. In so doing, we keep Martindell’s story and vision fresh in our organization’s consciousness.

A Record Number of Recognitions

This year, we received an astounding 200 nominations from ERS residents, their family members and friends.

As you might imagine, that made it a very, very difficult job indeed for Jack and Kim Martindell — Trish’s husband and stepdaughter, the co-administrators of the award — to pick one winner from so many deserving team members.

So, they didn’t. For the first time in the Martindell Award’s history, they picked two. And we’d like to tell you a little bit about the winners.

Chad Ballard

Ballard has been an ECH team member for 13 years. He’s a dedicated servant to the residents there, planning fun, engaging activities for them throughout the year, helping us to achieve our goal of allowing seniors to continue leading rewarding, fulfilling lives well into the future.

"Chad is unfailingly cheerful, positive and helpful,” one nominating family caregiver wrote. “He goes out of his way to make my aunt feel cherished and important."

Another resident’s daughter agreed:

"Chad Ballard always has a smile on his face. His gentle demeanor is welcomed by all residents and families. I see how he is with residents and it makes me know I chose the right facility for my dear mother to live in."

We’re proud of him, and moreover, we’re proud of the way he reassures our residents and their family members that the care they’re receiving at ECH truly is among the best elder care available in Kentuckiana.

Maria Elias

Elias has been an Affordable Living team member for the past five years. She helps senior residents of low-to-moderate financial means receive the quality, dignified care that they, like all elders, deserve.

“She is around every day, and we all love her, just like family,” one Cincinnati AL resident wrote.

“Maria takes the time to speak, listen and return calls as needed in a timely manner, always,” a resident at Avondale’s Forest Square said, adding that Elias is, “generous with her time, resourceful, courteous, polite, while always being professional. These qualities are hard to find in this fast-paced world, where people are preoccupied and overworked.”

We congratulate her, and her Louisville colleague Ballard, for their success in making positive differences in our residents’ lives. Both were presented their awards, and the $1,000 bonus stipends that go with them, by Jack and Kim Martindell and ERS leaders in special, surprise recognition ceremonies.

Who should win the 2018 Martindell? Tell us!

We love to hear how ERS staff members have made a positive difference in residents’ and families’ lives. If you’re a resident, or a family caregiver, we hope you’ll consider taking a moment to recognize the people who have provided you and your family truly excellent care.

Nominations for the 2018 Trish Martindell Award will open next summer. Keep following this blog, our ERS Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages, to find out when next year’s nomination form is posted!

Who will the honoree(s) be next year? Maybe the ERS team member you nominate!

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Kristin Davenport
November 01, 2017
Kristin Davenport is the Director of Communications for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Kristin leads ERS’s efforts to share stories that delight and inspire through social media, online content, annual reports, magazines, newsletters, public relations, and events. Kristin earned her BFA in graphic design from Wittenberg University. She joined ERS in 2014 after a 25-year career as a visual journalist and creative director with American City Business Journals. Her role at ERS has ignited her passion for making Cincinnati a dementia-inclusive city, and she spends time with residents as a SAIDO® Learning lead supporter. Kristin is the executive producer and co-host of the Linkage Podcast for ERS. Kristin and her husband Alex live in Lebanon, Ohio, with their two daughters. She also serves as a Trustee and the President of the Lebanon Food Pantry and is a board member for ArtScape Lebanon, where she teaches painting and has an art studio, Indium Art.

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