AHCA Award Recipients Recognized at 73rd Convention

Awards and Recognition; AHCA/NCAL Convention

​​Recipients of the 2022 AHCA Awards were recognized during the 73rd AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in Nasville, Tennessee. The award program pays tribute to the best and brightest in long term and post-acute care. Award recipients from across the country included:​

Meera Riner
Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award

Meera Riner, chief operating officer of Nexion Health Management, Inc., based in Sykesville Maryland, is recognized for her outstanding contributions to quality in long term and post-acute care. Over the last several years, Riner has worked to bridge the gap between regulators and long term care facilities. She was instrumental in the development of the Texas Coalition for Long-Term Care and the criteria for the Texas Quality Incentive Payment Program (QIPP), a performance-based program that incentivizes nursing facilities to improve the quality and innovation of their services. As a result, since 2019, the QIPP program has positively impacted quality in Texas nursing facilities by improving resident outcomes, with antipsychotic usage down in long-stay residents by 33 percent and improvement in long-stay residents’ ability to move independently up by 10 percent.

She is a Baldrige Program Fellow, the first person in long term care to achieve the honor. In 2020, Riner was awarded the McKnight’s Woman of Distinction Hall of Honor, and in 2020 she was recognized by McKnight’s Senior Living with an Innovation in Technology Award for her work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

MyRon Zimmer, Bowdle Healthcare Center, Bowdle, SD
AHCA Volunteer of the Year Award

MyRon Zimmer has been a volunteer at Bowdle Nursing Home in Bowdle, SD, for many years, and has volunteered every day of the last four years. He can be described as the “textbook definition” of a passionate and caring health care volunteer. He interacts with every resident of Bowdle Nursing Home as if they are his own loved ones. His caring smile and outgoing personality bring joy to each and every resident he interacts with. Zimmer partners with Bowdle’s activities department for monthly “Painting with MyRon” sessions which residents enjoy and look forward to. As an extremely talented artist who loves to share that passion, Zimmer leads residents in painting free-hand creations that decorate the dining room and hallways at Bowdle.

Mario Whitt, Harris Hill Nursing Facility, Williamsville, NY
AHCA Noble Caregiver

Mario Whitt has been part of The McGuire Group’s Harris Hill Nursing Facility for over 20 years and currently Mario Whittchairs the Advisory Board Council. Whitt has been a beacon of inspiration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and as the sector moves forward. He continually contributes to the positive well-being of Harris Hill and displays leadership of the highest standards. Over the last year, Whitt has been instrumental in implementing of the State of New York vaccine mandate. He coordinated messaging to staff across McGuire Group’s facilities to help achieve some of the highest vaccination rates in the region. He served as a spokesman throughout the vaccine campaign and provided an in-depth overview of the vaccine, defining efficacy, best clinical practices, and debunking myths along the way.

Larry Slatky, Shaker Place Rehab Nursing Center, Albany, NY
AHCA Administrator of the Year Award

​Larry Slatky has been the Administrator at Shaker Place Rehab Nursing Center in Albany, NY, since 2014. Slatky creates a team approach to manage Shaker Place, keeps lines of communication open, provides staff with the tools necessary for every department to reach its goals of operation, and always maintains an open-door policy. Understanding the importance of community, Slatky has established partnerships with educational institutions including BOCES, Siena College, St. Mary’s College, University of Albany, and the College of St. Rose that use Shaker Place for their various nursing, therapy, and dietician programs. Slatky also permits low-income families to send their young adults and other relatives to receive training in the trades, such as food services, maintenance, environmental services, and security.

Longevity Fun Run, Forest Hills of DC, Washington, DC
AHCA Program of the Year Award

After an annual city-wide AARP luncheon to honor centenarians was canceled due to COVID in May 2021, Forest Hills of DC established its Longevity Fun Run. Born out of the need to celebrate health care heroes and honor their residents during COVID, this event brings together residents, families, staff, volunteers, and community representatives, including DC Department of Health (DOH) Council members. The event takes place every May during Older Americans Month and National Skilled Care Week in a fun, inclusive, community-bonding running event connecting assisted living and nursing homes across the District of Columbia.