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VOYCE Honors Exceptional Caregiving

St. Louis, MO – December 8, 2015 – VOYCE honored exceptional individuals in the field of caregiving at the Caregiver Awards Luncheon last Thursday with over 550 people in attendance. During this annual event, VOYCE (formerly the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program) recognized staff and volunteers who demonstrate excellence in person-centered care. A total of 18 local people were honored who embody the voice of compassion by doing an outstanding job caring for and respecting the rights of those receiving long-term care. In addition, 2 individuals were honored for lifetime achievement.

Award recipients were chosen from more than 300 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, Executive Director of VOYCE. “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”.

 Today, as many as 22,000 individuals reside in long-term care communities in Greater St. Louis and northeast Missouri. One of the staggering facts that speaks to why we exist is more than 50 percent of these individuals never receive a visitor and therefore have no one to advocate on their behalf. For more than 35 years VOYCE has strived toward a high quality of life for those living in the long-term care continuum by providing advocacy and support.

 “In the future, it is estimated that 70 percent of those 65 and older will need long-term care and 43 percent will spend some time in a long-term care community,” says Donovan. “VOYCE will continue to recognize those caregivers that go above and beyond to advocate for and provide the very best care to those requiring long-term care. It is very touching to see not only how these honorees impact lives but how deeply their lives are also impacted.”

The 2015 Annual Caregiver Awards Recipients are:

  • Laverne Devine, CNA, Friendship Village - Chesterfield (PICTURED LEFT)
  • Sahar Ammari, Server, Friendship Village - Chesterfield (PICTURED CENTER)
  • Elizabeth Evers, CMT, Friendship Village - Sunset Hills (PICTURED RIGHT)


VOyce winner 1voyce winner 2




  • Robert Beller, Veteran Volunteer, Alternative Hospice
  • Artrisha Coleman, Charge Nurse, Barathaven
  • Lisa O'Brien, Housekeeper, Barathaven
  • Flora Chakhalova, Caregiver, Bi-Lingual In-Home Assistant Services
  • Dezsrey Williams, Prep Cook, Brentmoor Retirement Community
  • Augusta Bell, CMT, CNA, Christian Care Home
  • Tamara Brady, CNA, Resident Assistant , Creve Coeur Assisted Living and Memory Care
  • Kimberly Bowers, CMT, Delmar Gardens of Creve Coeur
  • Daphne Garrard, Caregiver, Home Care Assistance of St. Louis
  • Dawn Frankenbach, Clinical Nurse Educator, Lutheran Senior Serivces - Meramec Bluffs
  • Sarah Beaman, Hospice Volunteer, Mercy Hospice
  • Nathan Vattes, Activity Specialist, Parc Provence
  • Jim Fultz, Activity Assistant, Concierge, Driver, Provision Living at St. Louis Hills
  • Michael Webb, Caregiver and Caregiver Mentor, Right at Home of St. Louis
  • Dottie Schonlau, Hospice Nurse, Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis


20-Year Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

  • Dana Lavette Brison, Physical Therapist Assistant, The Cedars of Town & Country
  • Gwendolyn Johnson, LPN, Oak Knoll Nursing and Rehabilitation

 For additional information on VOYCE, the 2015 Caregivers Awards Luncheon, photographs, interviews with the winners or the Executive Director, Mary Lynn Faunda Donovan, please call 314-919-2410 or email

VOYCE services 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.

A United Way agency, VOYCE is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides free assistance to families and individuals seeking long-term care for loved ones, as well as advocacy for those currently living in long-term care settings. VOYCE offers advocacy services to the 22,000 individuals who reside in more than 300 skilled nursing, assisted living and residential care communities in Greater St. Louis and northeast Missouri. More than 50% of these individuals have no one to advocate on their behalf. Last year, VOYCE helped over 600 individuals find long-term care and resolved over 3,500 complaints in long-term care settings.