Friday, November 15, 2019

Local Caregivers Recognized At The Golden Care Awards

Since 2013, we have hosted the Golden Care Awards with the help of local sponsors. This event is an opportunity for caregivers in Wood County to be recognized for their dedication to caring for others. Caregivers are first nominated by friends, family or coworkers. Those nominations are given to the Wood County Commissioners, who read through each nomination and choose a winner from each of three categories: agency support staff, medical staff, and community caregivers. 

This year's event was held on Thursday, November 7th at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Bowling Green, with 33 nominations in total (16 agency support staff, 10 medical staff, and 7 community caregivers). Bowling Green Mayor Dick Edwards was the MC for the evening, and all nominated caregivers in attendance were presented with a certificate by Wood County Commissioner Dr. Theodore Bowlus. 

Event committee sponsors included: Bowling Green Care Center, Bowling Green Manor, Briar Hill Health Care Campus, Bridge Home Health and Hospice, Brookdale of Bowling Green, Kingston of Perrysburg, and Perrysburg Commons. 

Other county-wide participating companies included: Bowling Green Family Physicians, Golden Care Partners, Heartland of Perrysburg, Heritage Corner Health Care Campus, Laurus Home Care, and Wood Haven Health Care.


Cheryl Kinder
 Cheryl's time as a caregiver began when she was 16 years old after her sister was involved in a car accident. Due to her injuries, Cheryl's sister required an immense amount of care so Cheryl stepped up to the plate and became her sister's primary caregiver for the next five years. Cheryl decided care giving was the work she needed to be doing and became a nursing assistant. Since then, Cheryl has remained a caregiver for her patients, her children and now her husband. 

Cheryl's nomination is included here: 
"This community caregiver goes above and beyond for the clients she serves. She delivers over 25 home delivered meals to clients throughout part of the county in a quick efficient manner Monday thru Friday; while still taking time to visit with her home bound clients and ensure their safety. But the reason she is being nominated for this award is because of the care she gives to her husband daily. Her husband receives home delivered meals, as well. He is frail and has a number of health issues. There are times when this caregiver may be up throughout the night comforting her husband as his disease progresses but still arrives to work in the morning with a smile and positive attitude. She schedules his appointments and if she can't get him there, due to work commitments, she ensures he has a ride with another family member. She has sat with him for numerous hours at the hospital after a fall or other health concern. She is his primary caregiver; she ensures his safety and well-being as he is fortunate enough to continue aging at home with his lovely wife by his side."

 Thank you for all you do, Cheryl! 

Anna Anderson - Bridge Home Health and Hospice

Anna first spent time at Bridge Home Health & Hospice with her grandmother who was suffering from pancreatic cancer. She always knew that's what she wanted to do, with the ultimate goal to end up at Hospice. "There's a little piece of my grandma in everyone I get to serve" Anna said. She enjoys that she gets to go into people's homes. She feels that she can get to know her clients and their families, and can give more personalized care this way.

Anna's nomination is included here:

"This medical staff member is the perfect candidate for the Golden Care Awards. She has been a hospice nurse with our company since 2015. She has exceeded our expectations for a hospice nurse since day one. She case managed in the Bowling Green area for the first couple years and has been a visit nurse in the area for the last 2 years. This individual has a great rapport with the facilities in the Wood County area from when she was a case manager; in fact, often when we have meetings with them, they tell us how much they miss her being the main provider coming in. They go on to explain that she has a presence about her that makes patients and families feel comforted. They know when she is visiting, that the patient and family will be looked at as a whole, and any and all needs will be addressed. Her follow-through is impeccable; if she is given a task or need, you know that she will take care of it as fast as possible. She is extremely flexible in her day, always willing to change her schedule to accommodate for a patient need, call, or visit. She is a great educator as well. She is able to teach patients and caregivers about their disease progression, medications, how to care for loved ones as they decline, and what to expect with their disease/dying process. If she doesn't know an answer to a question, she is not afraid to ask to make sure all questions do get answered. She communicates very well with her fellow co-workers, families, caregivers, and facilities to provide a holistic approach to patient care. I receive many compliments on her caregiving through obituaries, cards sent to our office, and our hospice surveys. Here are a few comments that I have received from families in the Wood County area about her care: "appreciative of the care and compassion, truly blessed to have her," "She was always there for every question, encouraged the family, guided us in every single step, compassionate, sensitive, skilled, loving, respectful, forever indebted." These are prime examples of how her interactions with patients touch their lives in such a positive way and it takes a special type a person to be able to accomplish that. She genuinely cares about each and every person that she interacts with and that shows in her work and reputation. I am not only proud that she is a part of our team, but also to nominate her for this award." 

Thank you for all you do, Anna!

Sheila Sizemore - Briar Hill Health Care
Sheila never expected to end up as a caregiver. When a friend told her Briar Hill was hiring, she figured it wouldn't hurt to try something new. She was nervous at first, but fell in love with caring for her residents and has since worked at Briar Hill for 18 years. She enjoys interacting with residents and their families, and because of those interactions, she learns to see her residents with a whole new perspective. 

Sheila's nomination is included here:

"One of the biggest testaments to a person's value is understanding how much of a loss it would be for that person to be gone. This support staff caregiver is an extremely valued member of our team and we cannot imagine not having her as part of our staff. Her value at our facility does not come from just how hard she works or how she is consistently on time and ready for her job. It comes from the ways she goes above and beyond for those that she cares for. She treats her residents as her family members and always has a smile on her face. It is not an easy job to be a caregiver, but she does it with optimism and respect for her resident family. She has been with our company for 18 years and STILL goes above and beyond! When times get hard for her residents, she is the first to be there. Whether it is sitting with someone and calming them down when they are missing a lost loved one or coming in on her day off to read out of the bible to a resident actively passing. She will notice someone has a tear in their pants and will take it home and sew it or stay after her shift to sew up a favorite shirt that was torn. She is constantly bringing in birthday gifts for her residents and celebrating with them and their families. She even has brought in special hypoallergenic soap for a resident when she noticed his skin was very sensitive. Only the family was aware as she didn't do it for the attention! Being at the facility for so long, many people become like her own family and when a resident was scared of dying, this staff member stayed with her and cradled her until her last breath. We are so lucky to have her and even more lucky that she has this opportunity to be recognized for all she does. It is the basic things that are so often overlooked: getting perfect attendance, always supporting her fellow caregivers without complaining, anticipating the needs of her residents by getting to know them well and demonstrating her care and compassion for the residents AND their families. Even for the families that have extremely high expectations for their care at our facility, this individual is celebrated and appreciated because she exceeds those expectations! She always takes the time to make sure that hearing aides are in, glasses are on, and hair is combed nicely. She even takes the time to notice if someone's clothes are stained and changes them so they are always presentable. These seemingly small and insignificant actions are what make family members love her and her attention to detail. Even when the resident themselves does not know whether they look nice or not the families certainly notice. As you can tell, we cannot say enough about her because we truly recognize how lucky we are to have her and we know how much she deserves this recognition and this award! She is exemplary and the gold standard for a facility caregiver because she is more than an employee at our building, she is a family member for every resident she cares for."
Thank you for all you do, Sheila!

Nominees were pinned with a beautiful corsage as they entered the event.

Mayor Edwards speaking before dinner.

Thank you to Jake Pilewski for entertaining us during the event!

Brookdale Senior Living prepared a delicious meal! 
Delicious desserts provided by Perrysburg Commons and
 Bridge Home Health and Hospice .

All of the attending caregivers were presented with a certificate and 
had their picture taken with Commissioner Bowlus:

 Community Caregiver Melinda Amos

 Community Caregiver Sue Glass

Community Caregiver Mike Keller
 Community Caregiver Cheryl Kinder
 Community Caregiver Victor Reynolds
Community Caregiver Jessica Sinning
 Community Caregiver LaDora Woods
 Medical Professional Anna Anderson, Bridge Home Health & Hospice

Medical Professional Linda Davis, Heartland of Perrysburg
Medical Professional Donna Heflin, Brookdale of Bowling Green
Medical Professional Ryan Heney, Brookdale of Bowling Green
Medical Professional Stacy Irvin, Brookdale of Bowling Green
Medical Professional Danielle Oman, Bridge Home Health & Hospice
Support Staff Member Cindy Below, Bridge Home Health & Hospice
Support Staff Member Shannon Dawson, Brookdale of Bowling Green
Support Staff Member Bettie Dean, Perrysburg Commons
Support Staff Member Kris Jankowski, Perrysburg Commons
Support Staff Member Pam Kominek, Wood Haven Health Care 
Support Staff Member Cherie Modlinski, Laurus Home Care
Support Staff Member Cassandra Parrish, Heritage Corner Health Care Campus
Support Staff Member Ester Polan, Bridge Home Health & Hospice
Support Staff Member Sheila Sizemore, Briar Hill Health Campus
Support Staff Member Valerie Wambo, Laurus Home Care
Support Staff Member Linda Wilkins, Bridge Home Health and Hospice

Medical Professionals: 
Christine Matere, Anthony Onyekelu, 
and Dr. Thomas Wojciechowski
Support Staff: 
Noland Covington, Ron Gargasz, Ashley Gonyer, 
Don Neifer, and Lynn Zachrich


On behalf of the Wood County Committee on Aging, we would like to thank our 
sponsors and supporters for making this event a success. This event is a wonderful opportunity to recognize caregivers in our County. Most importantly, THANK YOU to all of the caregivers who go above and beyond to make sure those they serve are receiving the 
care they need to not only survive, but to thrive. 
Your devotion does not go unnoticed. 


If you would like to be involved in this great event next year by purchasing a table for your company, or by making a nomination, please contact the Programs Department at
 (419) 353-5661 or (800) 367-4935 or email 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

A Battle Among Great Chef’s “The Wood County Throwdown” Awards it’s Champion!

Wood County Throwdown 2019 
Chef Marshall Goldstein, Heritage Corner Health Care Campus - Peoples Choice Awards for their Appetizers Throwdown Champions 2019 

Wood Haven Health Care  - Peoples Choice Award for their Entree  

Brookdale of Bowling Green - Peoples Choice Award for their Dessert 

Perrysburg, Ohio (September 28, 2019) –

On Saturday, September 28, at Penta Career Center, three amazing chefs battled it out for the title of “Wood County Throwdown Champion.” The Wood County Committee on Aging along with Penta Career Center designed the event to raise awareness of the culinary skills of food service personnel who prepare meals for older adults in Wood County. Guests sampled various appetizers, entrees and desserts prepared by local chefs. Competing chefs included; Mindie Farley; Brookdale of Bowling Green, Sue Smith; Wood Haven Health Care, Marshall Goldstein, Heritage Corner Health Care Campus.   Each guest voted for their favorite dishes. People’s Choice Award for the appetizers was awarded to Heritage Corner Health Care Campus for their Reuben Wonton Cups; the entrĂ©e to Wood Haven Health Care for their Stuffed Vegetable/Mozzarella Meatloaf and Loaded Red Potato Casserole; and the dessert winner was Brookdale of Bowling Green for their dish “Our best cheesecake”.

The celebrity judges included Ron Matter, Superintendent of Penta Career Center; Dawn Anderson, Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Services, Food and Nutrition Graduate Coordinator; and Lieutenant Colonel Mark Anderson, Retired Professor of Military Science BGSU. After tasting all three appetizers, entrees and desserts the judges unanimously chose the overall champion. An engraved plate and title of “Throwdown Champion” went to Marshall Goldstein of Heritage Corner Health Care Campus. “It was great to be at an event surrounded by other chefs that you have known through your years of working. At the end of the day we all are winners because we work hard daily to present our best work to our residents,” said Marshall.  “It was like fireworks setting off when we won! Very exciting!  The event was fun, we truly enjoyed the camaraderie between colleagues, the networking with other chefs and community members and we left with a sense of pride for the work we do for our community.” said, Marshall Goldstein, Executive Chef and Director of the Culinary Department.

The community members thoroughly enjoyed sampling the food, visiting the vendors, and listening to the entertainment. The entertainment featured James Adkins a traveling singer and song writer with performing roots in Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana. Participant Jack Klein stated that he has attended the Throwdown since its inception in 2012. He enjoys sampling the various dishes and socializing. He looks forwards to next year’s competition.   

Congratulations to the all of the chefs for setting a high standard on food quality for the older adults in Wood County. If you would like to taste the winning “Throwdown Champions” dishes you will have the opportunity to do so. The Heritage Corner Health Care Campus will host a tasting for the community to enjoy the entire Throwdown meal prepared by Marshall.

The Wood County Committee on Aging plans and develops programs and services that will allow adults over 60 to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Services include; medical assistance, homebound assistance, exercise classes and other engaging programs and services for older adults throughout Wood County.

For more information about the Wood County Committee on Aging, visit or call 419.353.5661 or 1.800.367.4935  

Peoples Choice Award for Appetizer 

Peoples Choice Awards for Best Dessert 

Peoples Choice Awards for Best Entree 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Skilled Nursing Facilities In Wood County…Your Care Close To Home

Imagine this…you are laying in a hospital bed after surgery and your doctor just recommended that you should go to a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. You are unfamiliar with the whole process of being transferred from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility. In fact, this was not a part of your plan at all.

After your doctor leaves your room, the hospital discharge planner enters and introduces themself. They state to you that they will work on getting you transferred to a skilled nursing facility which happens to be in Toledo, even though you live close to Bowling Green. This again catches you off guard as you were not prepared for that recommendation.
The discharge planner leaves your room and reenters it fifteen minutes later. They explain to you that they have you all set up to go to ABC Skilled Nursing Center in Toledo. You know nothing about this place and you really don’t want to go to a facility in Toledo.  Instead of saying anything to the discharge planner, you trust that they know what they are doing and you just go with it.
That same day, you leave the hospital and are admitted to ABC Skilled Nursing Center for rehabilitation. 

Stories like the one above do occur from time-to-time.  You may be thinking that you will never end up in this situation and that this article doesn’t pertain to you. However, even if you and your doctor planned for you to go home after surgery, your recovery may be slower than expected. As a result, you may need to be transferred to a skilled nursing facility. How much say do you have in choosing what skilled nursing facility to be transferred to? The answer is…100%.

When you are in a hospital and the discharge planner at the hospital speaks with you about being discharged to a skilled nursing facility, you can tell them that you want to go to whatever facility you want to go to, and the hospital’s discharge planner should oblige.    

It is important for you to choose the location you want and not the hospital. For instance, you want to choose a facility that provides the care you will need, is located where it makes sense for you and your family and one that accepts your insurance.  So how do you choose a facility? By doing research, asking around, or maybe scheduling a tour.  You may also contact the WCCOA for a list of Wood County facilities.

Remember that you always have a choice when it comes to your care. 

This article was written by Brooke Harrison, Administrator at Bowling Green Manor, and Jeff Orlowski, Administrator at Wood Haven Health Care

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Summer Concert at Friendship Park

Due to the extreme heat advisory the Summer Concert that was to be held on Friday, July 19 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at 27975 Cummings Rd., Millbury, Ohio 43447 will be cancelled. Stay Cool!

Ultraviolet Awareness

Summer is a time for beautiful days, vacations, and outdoor activities.  In addition to the fun, the season also brings an increased risk of dehydration, and extreme heat.  Ultraviolet rays are a type of radiation invisible to the eye.  They can cause sunburns, and potentially harm your vision.  It is important to take steps to prevent potential skin and eye issues caused by UV rays.  The following is an article from Prevent Blindness. 
Ultraviolet rays pose a danger to more than just your skin.  In fact, cumulative UV damage has been linked to the development of macular degeneration, cataract and cancer. It can also cause immediate injury, such as a corneal sunburn (photokeratitis) that occurs from extended exposure to rays reflected off water, snow or concrete.   
An eye care professional can offer recommendations on the best types of sunglasses for everyone in the family, including those that may need prescription lenses.
 Everyone should wear a brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect the eyes when outdoors. Always choose sunglasses that:
  • reduce glare
  • filter out 100% of UV rays
  • protect your eyes
  • are comfortable to wear
  • do not distort colors
            According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, polarized lenses cut reflected glare, (sunlight that bounces off smooth surfaces like pavement, car windows, chromed surfaces or water). However, polarization has nothing to do with UV light absorption, but many polarized lenses are now combined with a UV-blocking substance. The group advises to check the label to make sure the lenses provide maximum UV protection.
            Prevent Blindness also recommends consulting with an eye care professional on eye protection that both blocks UV as well as protects eyes from injury.  Eye protection glasses and goggles with UV coating may be found for almost any sport or outdoor activity, including yard work, etc.  As the weather starts to warm and we spend more time outdoors, it’s important to remember never to leave the house without UV protection for the eyes.
            Sources: Prevent Blindness