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Shining Stars

Shining Star Award Winners

Quality long term care is provided by thousands of dedicated and honorable caregivers in Wisconsin's nursing homes. These individuals range from  the direct care staff to those who impact residents' lives behind the scenes. The Wisconsin Health Care Association's Shining Star Awards are recognition of those individuals from throughout the provider community who have been nominated and selected as worthy of special recognition.

While thousands are worthy, the following individuals have distinguished themselves as "Shining Stars" within Wisconsin's long term care provider community.

The Wisconsin Health Care Association presents the Shining Star Awards in several categories each year. We are fortunate to have two recipients who are members of the Colfax Health & Rehabilitation Team:

Nurse of the Year: Jean Fox, Colfax Health & Rehabilitation

Jean FoxThe Nurse of the Year Shining Star is presented to an RN or LPN who has had a significant impact on the long term care community through her hard work, dedication and clinical expertise in serving residents of a member facility.

When asked to explain why Jean Fox is deserving of this award, her nominator and Colfax social worker, Laurie Craft, said this: " So much can be said … it is almost overwhelming to know where to begin. A Registered Nurse for the last 56 years, Jean formerly served as Colfax's Director of Nursing for more that two decades and continued her work at the facility for an additional 12 years after that. "I love my work. I love to work, and I'm 77," said Fox. And others love working with her. Millie Windsor, Fox's DON successor, considers Jean the best possible mentor, and an even better friend. Craft calls her "simply a gift to all who know her or come to know her," and residents anxiously await her arrival at the facility. From her vast knowledge of the nursing profession, to initiating in-services for staff in order to improve quality of care, Jean Fox epitomizes the very best qualities for a long term care nursing professional.

For her dedication and compassionate service to the residents and staff of Colfax Health & Rehabilitation, WCHA is pleased to honor Jean Fox with the 2008 Nurse of the Year Shining Star Award.

Direct Caregiver of the Year: Penny Streifel, Colfax Health & Rehabilitation

Penny StreifelThe Direct Caregiver award this year recognizes one out of the many deserving individuals who provide direct care to the residents of Wisconsin's long term care community. We applaud the contributions made by those who provide hands-on care and have a positive impact daily on residents through hard work, dedication and commitment to improving the lives of those they serve.
Penny Streifel has been a member the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation family for seven years. After one of her family members spent time at CHRC, Penny obtained her CNA certification and started work in the facility's Alzheimer's unit. From there Penny went on to work in the activity department and in the last two years has been a cornerstone in Colfax's Restorative Nursing Program.

However, like other Shining Star honorees, it is not merely the time has spent job that set her apart. Penny is a believer in person-centered care, and uses creativity along with the resident's personal interests to design activities and programs that challenge their bodies, minds, and spirits. For example, she has thrown a "Gall Bladder Going Away Party" for a resident needing gall bladder surgery, started a Wednesday night volleyball league, helped residents create a Restorative Exercise Newsletter, and implemented the practice of giving residents a massage after each of their sessions.

Last winter Penny broke her hip and became a resident at the facility after her surgery. Her experience served as a learning opportunity for all at CHRC: it made the staff more keenly aware of the responsibility to provide a happy, safe and personalized home to residents, and it gave Penny yet another view of the facility and greater knowledge about it with which to serve her residents.

Resident Services Director at CHRC, Laurie Craft, had this to say in nominating Penny: "Our facility offers a small town, homelike appeal. It is difficult to explain how you achieve such an atmosphere but it always seems to come down to the people within the organization. We are fortunate to have a great team with many individuals that help to create this atmosphere. But when you start to pinpoint qualities you want to seek out in new team member, there is always one person who comes to mind, and that is Penny Streifel.

For her energy, devotion and commitment to the residents of Colfax Health and Rehabilitation, WHCA/WICAL is pleased to recognize Penny Streifel as the Direct Caregiver of the Year.