Spirit of Caring Recognition Program


While many of the 2,000+ team members at Presbyterian SeniorCare Network in Pennsylvania were consistently exceeding the expectations of their customers – performing person-centered acts of kindness that extended well beyond the normal job description -- there was no formal way to recognize this outstanding performance at the Network level and at member organizations. Presbyterian SeniorCare Network includes a number of care organizations, such as life plan communities, nursing, affordable housing, etc., throughout the state.


In 2017, the Network Recognition Committee, in partnership with the Communications Department and with the support of the Executive leadership team, developed the Spirit of Caring Recognition Program. Winners of this award at the organizational level are surprised in their work area with a “Publisher’s Clearinghouse” style presentation, where they are given a certificate and a check for $250. Network-level awardees receive a special certificate and glass statuette from the CEO and VP of Human Resources.

Implementation Details:

The program has 4 categories of distinguished service:

  • Caregiver of the Year – Direct Care
  • Caregiver of the Year – Licensed
  • Team Member of the Year, and
  • Manager of the Year.

Awards at the Organizational Level

Nominations for one of these awards must originate from a specific organization. Staff members at any level may nominate a colleague using a paper or electronic nomination, below and email it to a designated email address.  You can find a copy of the nomination form here. 

Award criteria are the following:

  • Performs specific acts that enhance and enrich the lives of our residents and exemplifies our Person-Centered Approach
  • Demonstrates consistent commitment to go beyond expectations for our residents, family members, and co-workers
  • Mentors other team members to pursue excellence, innovation, and collaboration by building upon teamwork, caregiving, and other job skills

At the conclusion of the nomination period, completed nomination forms are distributed to the HR leader for each organization, who works with a Recognition committee member to determine the winner for each category.

Awards at the Network-Level

The next step is to determine the Network winner in each category. The HR leader and the Recognition committee member work with the award winner’s manager to secure 3 letters of recommendation. These letters, along with the original nomination form, are submitted to the Network Selection committee for review. The Network Selection committee selects a Network winner in each category based on the same criteria above.

LeadingAge PA Distinguished Service Awards

The Network VP of Human Resources submits all paperwork to LeadingAge PA, which is a simple process because so much information already has been collected. Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to the LeadingAge PA Conference to allow him or her to accept their award in person.

Factors for Success:

  • Establish a Recognition Committee consisting of members from each of your organizations
  • Hold monthly Recognition Committee phone calls to ensure successful communication about the program.
  • Obtain top-level buy-in.
  • Determine the value of prizes based on what your organization afford
  • Develop a strong communications plan for every step of the way.



  • In 2017, the Recognition committee, comprised of team members across Presbyterian SeniorCare Network, received 112 nominations for 94 different team members. In 2018, the Recognition committee received almost 130 nominations for over 100 different team members.
  • The program encourages staff members from all levels to focus on the amazing things that are done daily by their co-workers and provides a way to recognize that high level of commitment to commitment to our mission and values.
  • Research shows that those who are recognized for exemplary performance are more likely to continue to perform at that level; in addition, recognizing exemplary performance in front of others also encourages others to imitate that exemplary performance


Need more information?

Contact Tanya Ulrich, VP of Human Resources, or Jen Benson, HR Director.