PHA CEO Vicki Hoak, BAYADA HHA Anne Pannone, PA Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne

BAYADA Home Health Aide Olivanne “Anne” Pannone, from Philadelphia, has been named the 2017 Pennsylvania Direct Care Worker of the year by the Pennsylvania Homecare Association (PHA). Pannone was recognized last week among nearly 200 of her peers at the first Direct Care Worker Forum in Harrisburg, organized by PHA and the Department of Aging. Pannone has been an aide with BAYADA for more than seven years.

According to her supervisor Gaynelle Webster, who nominated her for the award, Pannone loves what she does and it shows--going above and beyond to serve her clients in their homes. “During both the Papal visit in 2015 and the blizzard of 2016, Anne walked to her clients' homes because Philadelphia’s transportation system was essentially shut down. She was willing to care for consumers in addition to her regular caseload, and location was not a concern. She stated, ‘Just send me where I am most needed.’ During the height of the storm, Anne saw four clients and walked 6.6 miles from start to finish that day.”

Pannone was selected from a record 164 nominees this year--all of whom were invited to the Forum last week for an all-expenses-paid lunch, training, and the presentation of the award by PA Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne.

“Direct care workers are the backbone of our long-term services and supports system,” Osborne said. “Every day, direct care workers provide critical services to the older Pennsylvanians entrusted to their care, yet they rarely receive the recognition they deserve. This event provided an opportunity for the Wolf Administration to express our gratitude for their work which enables our seniors to age in place in their homes and communities.”

“This Forum was all about caring for the caregivers,” said PHA CEO Vicki Hoak. “Direct care workers are the unsung heroes of home-based care, who provide vital lifelines to the seniors they serve. They are the eyes and ears who get to know their clients well and can recognize a change in condition and help to prevent avoidable hospitalizations. With all of the rules, regulations and business operations providers focus on every day, it is important to take this time to recognize our direct care workers.”

Click here to view photos from the event. Pannone will also be recognized during PHA’s annual conference at Kalahari in the Poconos on May 4. 

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