Winston-Salem resident Tom Mylet on Saturday received the most prestigious award conferred by the governor of North Carolina to a civilian, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

“It’s a real surprise and a very proud moment,” said Mylet. “Advocating for people in need and helping keep them safe at home has been a calling, and I’m so thankful to have made a career out of it.”

Issued by Governor Pat McCrory, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the state, having made exceptional contributions to their communities.

The award was presented to Mylet at a retirement celebration after 33 years of service at BAYADA Home Health Care as a director of home care services and later overseeing the operation of scores of home care offices. Longtime colleagues presented him with accolades and awards, including two proclamations signed by President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and Speaker of the House Tim Moore. Recalling Mylet’s impact on the organization, BAYADA Founder and President Mark Baiada said, “Always with a big heart and always trying to do what’s best for our clients, Tom’s move from Philadelphia really made a big difference for us. He’s a dear friend whose leadership and integrity will be missed.”

Mylet opened BAYADA’s first North Carolina office in 1989. He started out with one nurse, a few nurse aides, and a handful of clients. BAYADA now employs more than 7,900 health care professionals, caring for nearly 10,000 clients of all ages from 56 offices throughout the state. Mylet has been a driving force of this explosive growth, recruiting and mentoring many of the company’s leaders, always with a focus on client advocacy.

“Tom led the way to start an advocacy effort that would change the way lawmakers and regulators think about home care,” said BAYADA Chief Government Affairs Officer Dave Totaro.

“As a steadfast advocate for those in need, Tom’s office became involved with the pilot for what would become the Medicaid Community Alternatives Program for Disabled Adults,“ said BAYADA Government Affairs Director Lee Dobson. “He went on to serve as the president of the Association for Home and Hospice Care of North Carolina, chair of their Medicaid Liaison Committee, trustee for the Foundation for Community Based Care, board member of BAYADA’s state political action committee, and a regular attendee at health care advocacy events throughout the state.”

Mylet retired on Wednesday with plans on making music and enjoying time with his family and new grandson.

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