This summer, LeadingAge Oklahoma, the state association of not-for-profit aging services organizations, will present its annual awards. The 2022 awards theme is “Celebrating the Extraordinary: From Crisis Came the Extraordinary”, and they aim to honor the people and initiatives that demonstrated excellence, perseverance, and innovation – even during the pandemic.
Each LeadingAge Oklahoma organization was invited to submit nominations for up to three of the eleven “Extraordinary” award categories, and Montereau submitted three. We recently learned that two of our three submissions were selected! The two awards earned are for Extraordinary Effort and Extraordinary Vision, and both include some very special people at Montereau.
The Extraordinary Effort Award goes to the Montereau Mask Makers for identifying a need at the beginning of the pandemic and collectively making face masks for our community. Early in the pandemic, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) touted masks as one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Following the announcement, several resident volunteers banded together to form the Montereau Mask Makers. It started as a network of neighbors who soon became friends in the process of doing good for our community. Although Montereau helped purchase materials to start the mass mask production, this effort was truly resident-led.
Headed by two very experienced seamstresses, the group quickly grew to include volunteers who could sew and even those who couldn’t, but who wanted to help. Marlys Dow, one of the group’s leaders, made sure to find jobs for anyone who wanted to pitch in; some volunteers traced and cut patterns, some did the sewing, and some helped with distribution. The group was so resourceful, too, creatively fashioning ear loops when elastic was out of stock, then fine-tuning their mask designs as they received feedback from those who wore them. More than 3,000 masks were made for our community! We are excited that this group will be honored with an award! Led by Marlys Dow and Nancy Stainer, the Montereau Mask Maker members include Virgilene Bellinger, Mary Jane Bittick, Billie Field, Cindy Gilbert, Diana Hepner, Jyoti Ladd, Trish Mace, Judy Neal, Carrol Peery, Cami Rothermel, Gloria Wehrenberg, and Lynn Wendelbo.
Another well-deserving individual to earn an award is Hannah Orth, Director of Home Care, for her Extraordinary Vision! Hannah earned this accolade because of her leadership in growing the Home Care department to better meet the needs of Montereau residents. When she started with the program eight years ago, ten employees logged 2,000 hours of care. The department, with her guidance, has grown and evolved with the health and wellness needs of Montereau residents and now has eighty employees who provide 13, 500 hours of care each month! It is through Hannah’s “Extraordinary Vision”, hard work, determination, and dedication that this program blossomed into one of Montereau’s most impactful service lines. Unquestionably, Hannah is a driving force behind the resounding success of the program.
Once a visionary, always a visionary: Hannah continues to look for ways to better serve and improve the lives of our residents. She recently implemented a 24/7 Concierge Physician service and replaced traditional medication sets with strip packaging, made possible through a unique and very beneficial partnership with Boomer Solutions in our Independent Living sector. Now, she’s looking to expand the entirety of the Home care program beyond Montereau’s walls.
Congratulations to the extraordinary winners of these awards! They will be honored at the Leading Age Oklahoma Annual Awards and Member Dinner in July at the Capitol View Event Center.
Monday, March 21, 2022
Is there a topic you’re interested in learning more about? Send us a message. We’d love to hear your suggestions.