Kelisen Gaither-Carino, Pacific, director of nursing at Marymount Manor, was honored at the 25th anniversary VOYCE Caregiver Awards Luncheon Dec. 5, she received a Lifetime Achievement award for caregiving.

VOYCE honored exceptional individuals in the field of caregiving at the luncheon with 500 people in attendance and 84 caregivers nominated for awards.

During this annual event, VOYCE (formerly the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program) recognized staff and volunteers who demonstrate excellence in person-centered care.

Of those awarded, 18 individuals were given awards for embodying the voice of compassion and delivering excellence in care and respect of resident rights, and two individuals were given awards for lifetime achievement in long-term care settings.

Award recipients were chosen from long-term care communities, as well as home care providers, hospice agencies and adult day programs, in a 21-county service area.

All award recipients represent service in areas such as nursing, certified nursing assistants, social services, certified medical technicians, therapy, activities, housekeeping, food service and volunteers.

“It is inspiring to honor these people who give of themselves and make a difference in the lives of those they care for in long-term care,” said Mary Lynn Faunda Donovan, outgoing executive director. “It is so important to us to recognize these individuals making such a positive difference by what they do. Each of the nominees knows all too well treating those in their care with dignity, respect and compassion does more than provide good service; it nourishes the soul and uplifts the spirit.”

VOYCE serves the city of St. Louis and its surrounding Missouri counties of St. Louis, Jefferson, Franklin and St. Charles, as well as 16 counties in northeast Missouri, including Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Montgomery, Pike, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Ralls, Randolph and Warren.