Shellie Horan, habilitation technician (hab tech) for the BAYADA Habilitation office in Pittsburgh, PA, has been named Habilitation Technician National Hero of the Year by BAYADA Home Health Care, a leading provider of in-home care services. From among thousands of nominees, Horan was selected as a Hero for her exceptional work performance and dedication that continue to make a remarkable difference in the life of her client, Kristen, age 36.

Horan accepted the prestigious award for exemplifying the highest standards of care before nearly 2,600 employees at the company’s annual awards event, held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 20. The award was presented by BAYADA CEO David Baiada. 

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Due to a subarachnoid (brain) hemorrhage at birth, Shellie’s client Kristen acquired cerebral palsy, coritical blindness, and developmental disabilities. Her parents Helen and Jim refused physicians’ advice to place her in a long-term care facility and have lovingly cared for Kristen at home, with only occasional professional help. Now that they have engaged BAYADA Habilitation services, Kristen receives regular help with her activities of daily living—and so much more. She is gaining more autonomy and independence and making purposeful choices about how to spend her days with her fun companion and hab tech, Shellie.

“Our aim in habilitation is to help clients with that sense of independence and purpose. And for Kristen, her goals include engaging in every aspect of her day, and having a happy life,” said BAYADA Habilitation Manager Anne Outly. “With Shellie’s support, we have seen such improvement!”

Indeed, Kristen’s therapists and family members marvel that in just one year of working one-on-one with Shellie, Kristen’s developmental age more than doubled, and they continue to notice remarkable changes in her cognition and behavior.

Kristen’s loved ones are thrilled with her progress and feel relieved to be able to trust Shellie like part of the family. “Our quality of life has gotten better because we’re relaxed,” said Kristen’s mother Helen. “Kristen loves her, and we love Shellie. I cannot tell you how much she means to us. On a scale from one to ten, she’s a twenty! We hope she’ll be with us forever, really.”


“I’m not going anywhere!” said Shellie. “I love helping Kristen, and I love my job. It’s definitely rewarding and makes you feel good to be helping out other people.”


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BAYADA CEO David Baiada said, “I want to congratulate all of our outstanding National Heroes. The Hero Program has always been at the heart of BAYADA’s culture of recognition. I’m incredibly proud that, with the difficulties of the global pandemic over the past year, our teams across the country remained deeply committed to making our clinicians feel appreciated every single day for the incredible work they do to keep our clients safe in the comfort of home.”

“Thank you everyone for your kind words and your appreciation—it feels great,” said Horan. “Kristen makes my heart shine. She’s a wonderful person and helps me be a wonderful person, too.”


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About the Author

Founded in 1975 by Founder and Chairman Mark Baiada, BAYADA has become a trusted leader in providing a full range of clinical care and support services at home for children and adults of all ages. BAYADA remains true to Mark’s commitment to purpose by finding, training, and supporting employees who take pride and find joy in healing and helping.

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