Kim Zertuchy, housekeeping lead at Payson Care Center in Payson, Arizona, received Life Care Centers of America’s Southwest Division Whatever It Takes And Then Some Award on Aug. 28, 2019, for her dedication to customer service.
Executives from Life Care awarded Zertuchy a cash prize during an awards ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee. She was chosen from among thousands of associates in the Southwest Division and was one of only eight associates from Life Care’s more than 200 facilities nationwide to receive the award.
Zertuchy was praised for several particular acts of caring in 2018.
One time, when a resident was having difficulty reading instructions for a task she was trying to do, Zertuchy took the instructions and had them enlarged so the resident could read them. Another time, she made wood cutouts for a resident who was painting them and wanted more. And when a resident needed a guitar stand, Zertuchy searched secondhand stores and found one for him.
A resident who was making beaded bracelets for her family member for Christmas ran out of beads, so Zertuchy bought more beads for her and then helped her finish the bracelets so that they would all be done in time for the holiday.
Zertuchy even cleaned a patient’s home when the patient’s husband fell and broke his ankle two days before she was scheduled to return home.
“I’ve been in customer service all my life,” said Zertuchy. “I really do enjoy the people. I was raised to respect my elders. I like to see their progress. It’s always hard the first couple of days when they’re in a new place. Some are experiencing dementia. Some have just broken a bone for the first time. It’s funny how they communicate with me. They love my bright, color-coordinating bandanas. They look for them, and if that brightens their day, more power to them. I like to see where they advance from, and then they go home, and I love that.”
Life Care Centers of America’s Whatever It Takes And Then Some program rewards associates for extraordinary acts of kindness. Monthly awards are presented in Life Care facilities nationwide based on nominations from fellow associates, family members, residents and guests. Each facility then chooses an annual winner, from which the divisional winners are selected.
“Dedicated caregivers routinely go far above and beyond their job descriptions, and Kim Zertuchy certainly demonstrates by her example their professionalism and compassion for the residents they serve,” said Beecher Hunter, Life Care president. “We are proud of Kim and the thousands she represents in their selfless approach to the needs of others.”