Congratulations to the contest winners! Read their winning stories below
Stories are how humans share and create wisdom. Stories are memorable. Stories draw on the heart as well as the mind. Stories motivate us to tackle tough problems and try to change the world.
The conventional story regarding care of older adults is that it is a waste of time, hard, sad, underpaid, under (or un) appreciated. We asked you for counter-stories, for heroic stories that convey how a person with geriatric expertise (in any profession and discipline) can save the day when those without couldn't get the job done.
Our Heroes of Geriatric Care Story Contest closed on April 15th and we received 92 entries, mostly in written format with a few bravely submitted videos. We had several nominations for "Geriatric Heroes" (or "Goddesses," as seen right) -- physicians, nurses, and social workers, as well as music and art therapists, home health aides, and family members who provide amazing care to older adults, in an all-too-often fragmented and uncoordinated health care system.
It was difficult to choose, but our criteria were clear. We looked for stories featuring health care professionals with specific geriatrics expertise or training, exemplification of excellent geriatric care, and a compelling, well-constructed story that captured our imaginations and hearts.
We are very, very pleased to announce the winners of the contest below. Read their stories, along with the other finalists’ entries. And read more about what we learned from the contest on Health AGEnda. Perhaps you will find the outlines of a story that can be useful in your next presentation. Perhaps they will encourage you to think about the stories that bring the core messages about your work fully to life.
First Prize Winner ($3,000):
“Geriatrics Saved his Life!”
by William Dale
William’s story is a tribute to geriatric care hero, Erica Riley, LPN, (pictured right) a “secret weapon” who helps an older, homeless cancer patient survive a Windy City winter against the odds. Read the story here.
About William Dale:
William Dale, MD, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and the Section Chief of Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine at the University of Chicago, with a secondary appointment in Hematology/Oncology. He is board-certified in internal medicine, geriatrics, and palliative medicine with a PhD in health policy. A Beeson Scholar (2005), he serves as the Co-Director of the John A Hartford Center of Excellence in Geriatrics at Chicago. Dr. Dale has devoted his career to the care of older adults, especially those with a cancer diagnosis. In 2006, he established, and now directs the Specialized Oncology Care & Research in the Elderly (SOCARE) Clinic at the University of Chicago.
Second Prize Winner ($1,000):
“Where the Truth Lies”
by Elizabeth Parker Garcia
This story is a beautiful recognition of the profound lessons the author has learned from the expert, geriatric nurses who are making the difference in the care of her 82-year-old father and others at the skilled nursing facility where he lives. Her examples vividly describe how geriatrics skill intersects with improvisation to create high quality dementia care. Read the full story here.
About Elizabeth Parker Garcia:
Elizabeth Parker Garcia is a lecturer for the Department of Communication at the University of Texas- Pan American. When she is not teaching, she enjoys writing for children. Elizabeth's father was 52 years old when she was born, so she is a member of the "sandwich generation" helping an aging parent while also raising her own small child (pictured right). You can read more about Elizabeth at elizabethparkergarcia.com.
Third Prize Winner ($500):
“Man’s Best Friend”
by Chandelle Martel
Chandelle’s story is a shaggy dog tale (of the best kind) describing a social worker’s heartwarming and extraordinary efforts to help an 88-year-old man return home from skilled rehab and live independently with his beloved Yorkshire Terrier by his side (or, to be more precise, on his lap - see photo below). Read the full story here.
About Chandelle Martel:
Chandelle Martell is a certified geriatric care manager at Bethesda Health Group where she coordinates care and resources for the company’s senior living residents at times of medical transition and provides comprehensive assessments, counseling and resource connections for residents and their families that support senior independence. She lectures in the community, sits on several boards and always tries to promote care management as a way to empower seniors with options and provide quality care. Chandelle received her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis, where she was part of the Hartford-sponsored social work practicum program, called the Hartford GENIUS Program.
“To Be A Gero Hero? A Story of Finding SENSE and Simple Triumph”
by Mary Brodland
A detective tale of geriatrics expertise that helps an older woman regain her desire to eat. Mary participated in the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Read the full story here.
by Alice Bingert
by Vicki Bauer
by Jean Cannon
"Geriatric Hero: Achieving Independence"
by Aaron Cobb, RN
"Exceeding All Expectations"
by Patricia Cox, RN, BSN on b/o Dominican Sisters Home Health Agency of Denver
by Carmy Jerome
"Is there a doctor in the house?"
by Susan C. Lynch
by Sally M. Lyne on b/o Jewish Family Services of Milwaukee
"One Moment at a Time"
by Maria Mursch
"Geriatric Care Management: A Story"
by Sue Murphy
"A Geriatrician's Gifts"
by Joseph Ouslander
by Hiren R. Patel, MD
by Tziona Regev, LCSW
by Gail Rothrock, ACSW, LCSW, NCG on b/o Families First Indiana, Inc.
Video: "New Models of Care/Non-Institutional Alternatives to Long-Term Care"
by Kenneth Shay, DDS, MS on b/o Veterans Administration
"Mrs. D CAPABLE Story"
by Sarah L. Szanton, PhD, CRNP on b/o CAPABLE
by Dana Territo
by Raymond Vickers, MD
Judges and Winners Selection:
Intellectual Property Rights:
Disclaimer and Liability: