Published 12:00 am Friday, January 4, 2008

Betty Desimone, assistant resident care director for Carillon Assisted Living of Salisbury, was recently chosen by the North Carolina Assisted Living Association as the 2007 Caregiver of the Year for North Carolina.
Desimone has been employed by Carillon Assisted Living for eight years, serving as a caregiver, med tech, supervisor and assistant resident care director in Harrisburg and Salisbury. She also assisted with training in several other Carillon communities.
Carillon Executive Director Wendy Livengood said, “Betty is honest, straightforward, and loyal ó these attributes combined with her genuine love for people and her wonderful sense of humor, make her a favorite among staff and residents alike.
“Betty has been giving her heart to Carillon and its residents for many years. … Betty’s heart makes her a special angel to those who are around her.”
Desimone was among 41 applications from throughout North Carolina.
NCALA is a nonprofit trade association that supports assisted living communities in North Carolina. Its more than 180 members provide housing and services for individuals with compromised health and safety needs. NCALA members serve more than 14,000 residents throughout the state. It provides support to the assisted living industry, including assisted living providers (residences, facilities) and vendors that supply materials and services to the assisted living industry.
Jerry Cooper, president of NCALA, said “During our annual fall conference, the North Carolina Assisted Living Association spotlights the people who make a positive difference each day in the care of our residents. It is these dedicated caregivers that truly display the mission of selfless care to the residents.”
Crisis services honor
The PBH Daymark Recovery program was recently recognized with a 2007 Programs of Excellence Award for Crisis Services.
The award was presented by the N.C. Council of Community Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Programs at its annual conference in Pinehurst.
Daymark Recovery Services and PBH emergency services system of care has collaborated for four years with Daymark Recovery Services, five hospitals in five counties, 13 law enforcement agencies, five magistrate offices and five jails to provide effective crisis services. Advanced access is a service located in five counties, including Rowan, and is open weekdays from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. No appointment is required, and staff can handle any psychiatric emergency.
During the last fiscal year, 6,480 consumers were served in the clinic setting instead of a hospital emergency room. Only 194, or 3 percent, were sent to the emergency room due to other medical conditions. More than 25 involuntary commitments per month were diverted and the crisis was resolved in this setting with no negative outcomes.
The program also includes a mobile crisis unit and a 16-bed community crisis facility.
Winners of the award are selected by a committee that includes directors and board members of area authorities for mental health, developmental disabilities and substance abuse services.
Staff service honorsComfort Keepers, which provides in-home care for aging, recently recognized and honored staff for their years of of helping seniors remain at home.
Honorees include:
Five years: Toni Bolt, Brandy Harris and Victoria Grier.
Four years: Lynn Brittain, Sheila Gagean, Patrice Gordon, Robert Oakley and Beverly Patterson.
Three years: Jennifer Cole, Lois Finger, Jennifer Lyons, Betty Moten, Kay Stokes, Denise Torrence, Sarah Vanhoy and Vonda Warren.
Two years: Peggy Allen, Lynda Butler, Crystal Craige, Francine Craige, Theresa Davis, Alice Fields, Ardena Kight, Lynn Kilbourn, Toni McDaniel, Michael Overcash, Tanita Pegese and Deborah Stokes.
One year: Vernocia Allison, Cynthia Blackwell, Telesha Chambers, Sarah Cureton, Princess Dimera, Cynthia Douglas, Alice Dunne, Jessica Fisher, Freddia Ford, Holly Hawkins, Gloria Inabinet, Stephanie Jordon, Cheryl Kondek, Pam Lipe, Elke Nuemann, Helen Paden, Sheena Painter, Mary Phifer, Hattie Polk, Crystal Rainey, Carolyn Reid, Mavis Spratt, Susan Stinnett, Cheryl Trammell, Amber Webb and Jason Webb.
“Comfort Keepers is very fortunate to have such an experienced and committed group of caregivers,” said Lori Eberly, local owner. “In an industry that typically experiences a high employee turnover rate, I am proud of the fact that more than half of my caregivers have been with us for more than a year.”
Comfort Keepers has been in this area since 2001.