Krista Corner Havre Daily News email@example.com
Northern Montana Care Center residents, staff and volunteers gathered in the Ponderosa Dining Room at the care center Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. in honor of two of their own as Director of Nursing Lori Henderson presented awards of behalf of the Montana Health Care Association. "Every year Montana Health Care Association presents awards to outstanding facilities and individuals who go above and beyond to ensure quality of life for residents," Henderson said. Pastor John Chapman has been volunteering for almost a decade at NMCC, she said. His commitment and dedication to the residents earned him a letter nominating him as a recipient of the award by Ila McClenahan, director of pastoral services and activities director for Northern Montana Health Care. "Pastor John Chapman helps us conduct a number of ceremonies and events," Henderson read from the nomination letter. "He began volunteering in the summer of 1998 and since that time has initiated a time for regular services." Chapman offers regular worship services for residents twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays, a monthly memorial service to honor residents who have passed away, and a special day every year to honor the center's armed forces veterans, McClenahan's letter said. "He champions the elderly to feel good about themselves," Henderson said. "We are really honored to have Pastor John." McClenahan and Henderson presented Chapman with two plaques one from the NMHC staff and one from the Montana Health Care Association and a blue, jean jacket bag with a gift inside. "Now this is a Montana bag," he said with a laugh. "I like it." Inside Chapman found a blue pullover jacket with the NMHC logo on it. "Now you'll really feel like part of us," McClenahan said as she hugged him. McClenahan was also honored and presented with the 2008 Commitment to Caring Award. Henderson read the nomination letter sent in by Dave Henry, administrator for NMHC. "If ever you meet Ila, there's two phrases you are likely to hear," Henderson read. "'You may be looking for a job, but the best job in town is already taken by me,' or 'I have the best job in town.' This is what she tells visitors and new hires." Henderson said the dedication with which McClenahan performs her job is what earned her the award, among other attributes. "You will find her here at all hours of the day and night," she said, adding that McClenahan brings community spirit into the care center and the activities she plans, which ensures "you're home here is as close to home as we can make it. This is an award that is well-deserved and long awaited," she said. McClenahan tearfully thanked her co-workers for being part of a winning team. "This isn't all mine," she said. "If I could cut it up and share it, there would be many people that got a piece." McClenahan said some of those people who deserved a chunk of her award were Henderson, Carol Johnson, Nancy Crownin, Pat Inot, Nonna Cass and Lacey Horn. In closing McClenahan quoted the pastor of her church. "We stand on the shoulders of those who go before us," she said. "But we have a responsibility because we can see clearer and farther than what they were able to."