Baltimore woman receives national caregiver award for devoted service

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— Baltimore— Patient, compassionate and resilient are three words that exemplify one Baltimore woman who has dedicated her life to caring for others. For the past six years, Kathy Carter, a caregiver with BrightStar Care of Baltimore, has taken on more than just her licensed role of CNA and Med Tech, but rather the role of best friend to those she works with. Her devotion was recognized this week when BrightStar Care, one of the nation’s leading provider of in-home care, named her as its 2016 National Caregiver of the Year.

The Caregiver of the Year Award honors the hard work, person-centered care and dedication of a star caregiver within the BrightStar Care system, a franchise that provides both medical and non-medical in-home care and medical staffing and whose franchisees employ nearly 14,000 nurses and caregivers. Each year, hundreds of families across the country nominate their BrightStar Care caregiver by providing a testimonial about the outstanding and devoted services delivered to their loved one, and this year Kathy’s two heartfelt nominations contributed to her being named the winner.

“Kathy’s nomination letters describe her as a compassionate, person-centered, attentive, fun, and professional caregiver— all the attributes that make her an outstanding BrightStar Care caregiver,” said Sharon Roth Maguire, MS, RN, GNP-BC, BrightStar Care Chief Clinical Quality Officer. “I am so proud of the way Kathy mentors fellow caregivers and shares her wisdom with families so that her clients receive the very best care. It is clear why her clients love her so much, and we are honored to select her as our 2016 National Caregiver of the Year.”

One nomination came from a paraplegic client who compliments Carter on her attention to detail and doing things the way he likes as well as her optimistic attitude. “Kathy picks up on my mood and does her best to get me out of my ‘funk.’ She is a good listener and talks with me about my problems, not so much offering advice but encouraging me to think through alternatives and to be glad for what I do have in my life. She is the kind of caregiver that you would love to have, the kind you would picture for yourself. Having her brings a smile to my face every day.”

The second nomination letter was from the daughter of one of Kathy’s clients, who describes how she helped alleviate some of her own personal stress by becoming a caregiver for her mother. She adds that Kathy served as a role model for other caregivers who support her mother.

“Kathy goes above and beyond the call of duty. She can get my mother to eat when she doesn’t want to and she is the only one that can get her to swallow her large pills,” wrote the daughter. “Kathy genuinely cares for my mother, for her this is more than just a job it’ a calling.”

Kathy was first selected as the Northeast Regional finalist and was invited to join the three other regional finalists in Chicago at the BrightStar Care annual franchisee conference September 22, 2016, where BrightStar Care CEO and co-founder Shelly Sun announced Kathy as the company’s 2016 National Caregiver of the Year.

Early last month, Kathy was presented a regional award at a surprise event hosted by the owner of the Baltimore BrightStar Care, Lynn Berberich. During the reveal event, Kathy was given a trophy and a sash to celebrate her award and was surrounded by family, friends and coworkers.

“When I walked through this door it was amazing,” said Carter. “Words just can’t describe how I felt, I was just overwhelmed. People like to be touched, they like someone to listen to them, and at BrightStar Care, that’s what I do for all my clients.”

To meet Kathy and to watch a video of her reveal event, which includes heartfelt comments from two of her clients, visit: www.brightstarcare.com/blog/2016-caregiver-of-the-year-kathy-carter/. For more information about BrightStar Care of Baltimore, call 443.275.2796 or visit www.brightstarcare.com/baltimore-citycounty/.