Heroes on the home front

About the program

Launched in the third quarter of 1999 and inspired by our Heroes on the Home Front television campaign, the BAYADA Hero Program is one of many programs devoted to recognizing and rewarding those employees who maintain the highest standards of safety and care in home health services.

The program was established to recognize our home health care professionals who consistently demonstrate the core values of The BAYADA Way. Their work epitomizes our mission of helping people have a safe home life with comfort, independence, and dignity by providing the highest quality home health care services available.

We are proud to honor our 2014 Heroes of the Year:

Sherri Lorette, RNSherri Lorette, Registered Nurse (RN)

watch sherri's video here

In her three years with BAYADA, RN Sherri Lorette has cared for more than 200 clients. Her effectiveness as a hospice caregiver comes from practicing detached involvement and balancing sensitivity and nurturance with assertiveness and strength. Director Jessica DeGrechie believes, “Sherri’s work is truly selfless and life altering.”

Sherri touches the lives of all of her clients, bringing peace, comfort, and a sense of normalcy to families at a time in their lives when they need it the most. A former client’s wife explains, “Sherri became the nurse so I could step back and be the spouse. She made my family the priority.”

Sherri’s concern for this client extended beyond her normal duties as a nurse. Her client was in desperate need of a hospital bed, but delivery was delayed because the bridge to his home was washed out in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Sherri jumped into action and called the company that was supplying the bed, convincing them to bring it through the woods and set it up for her client.

“Sherri was the beacon of light that came in the door, the one who knew how to fix things and who to call,” remembers her client’s wife. “Sherri lit up the room—actually, our whole house. She came in with a smile and convinced me that whatever the concern or question, there was someone there to sooth my spirits and concerns.”

Sherri’s “light” shines brightly in all that she does. The many physicians, nurses, social workers, chaplains, home health aides, and volunteers who have been fortunate enough to work with her have all felt its warm glow. Dr. Jonna Goulding, director of palliative and spiritual care at Central Vermont Medical Center says, “Sherri can work with all types of people from farmers to tradesmen, artists, and intellectuals. Sherri’s calming presence, sense of humor, playfulness, and comforting nature puts her clients and their families at ease. Her clients consider her a hero, and so do I.”

Read Sherri Lorette's full bio

Kevin Shreckengast, LPNKevin Shreckengast, Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

watch kevin's video here

For the past two years, LPN Kevin Shreckengast has worked with the Williamsport, PA pediatrics office and provided care to a client with Angelman syndrome. The boy’s father explains, “He suffers from many different seizure types, is non-verbal, unable to alert us that he has to go to the bathroom, and has a sleep disorder and an excessive mouthing disorder.”

Once a very active little boy, in 2009, he unexpectedly lost his ability to walk and was in a wheelchair for 18 months, causing severe muscle atrophy. With a father who is 6’8” tall and a mother who is 6’ tall, the client grew too large for his regular nurse of four years to safely handle. That’s when Kevin entered the scene. At first, mom was concerned that he would not bring the same level of sensitivity or compassion as a female nurse. Later, she said, “I witnessed him trying to keep my son from getting hurt during a seizure and talking to him the whole time, trying to console him. He’s held my son’s hand when getting shots and stood up for him in situations where he could not.”

An experimental drug was introduced that helped Kevin’s client walk. Kevin took his client to therapy appointments and began to work on walking at home to build up his client’s leg muscles. The client took his first small walk with Kevin last summer, and he soon began walking the halls at school and the streets in his neighborhood.

Kevin surprised the family by sharing his goal of having his client walk 2.5 miles to school, which included a few huge hills. On May 31, Kevin and his client achieved their goal. The client’s father shares, “Both the middle and elementary school students and staff lined the streets as my son made his final trip before moving on to high school. My son inspires other children, faculty, and people throughout our community by his determination to be mobile. Most of that determination has been provoked by Kevin pushing him to succeed!” The client’s Life Skills teacher adds that it has been “encouraging witnessing someone so passionate” provide such “consistent, skillful, and compassionate”care to one of her students.

Read Kevin Shreckengast's full bio

Karen Richards-Monaghan, PTKaren Richards-Monaghan, Physical Therapist (PT)

watch karen's video here

MSPT Karen Richards-Monaghan primarily provides care to our Delaware County, PA Senior Living clients with intellectual disabilities. Area Director Kathleen McFadden comments, “This is a very unique population and it can be very challenging to provide goal-oriented treatments to some of the clients who are nonambulatory and dependent in all areas of self-care.”

Karen understands the needs of these clients well and helps coworkers identify goals to best serve our clients. Recently, Karen shared a special community service initiative with office staff. Divine Providence, a valuable referral source, was in need of prom dresses for residents with cognitive impairments. A variety of appropriate items were collected, and Karen delivered the donations. Thanks to her initiative, Kathleen says, “Divine Providence was overjoyed with the generosity, and a majority of their women were able to dress for the prom.” Karen is one of the few caregivers whose day does not end at 5:00 pm. Kathleen shares, “She will stay until the sun goes down to go above and beyond for any of those ladies.” Another example was the last day of an exercise group at the residence. The group’s CD player broke weeks before, which forced the group to simply walk outside or do laps indoors—without music. Kathleen shares, “Karen had everyone begin the walk outdoors, and they were thinking it was the same old boring walk. Karen had a surprise.

We walked to her van and little did we know, she had sorted through her kids’ stuff to find a CD with some upbeat tunes like Macarena, Cha Cha Slide, and YMCA to put in the player of her van. She blasted some great exercise songs for the group to enjoy.” This story is a perfect example of how Karen takes being a PT to a whole separate, meaningful level! She is truly an inspiration!

Karen Richards-Monaghan's full bio

Regina Derby, CHHARegina Derby, Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA)

Judy hero video

JCHHA Regina Derby began working at BAYADA about three years ago after she took a certified home health aide class offered by the Atlantic City, NJ adult nursing and assistive care office. “I knew as soon as I witnessed her assertive leadership qualities in the class that she would be a perfect fit for one client in particular. The client’s family is minimally involved in her emotional and physical care, and she needed a strong advocate in the home,” recalls Client Services Manager Sharon Disley.

The client is a middle-aged woman who is blind, has a traumatic brain injury, and has suffered amputations above the knee. The client’s team of aides work 12-hour shifts and are required to do everything from housekeeping, pet care, shopping, and arranging physician and physical therapy appointments. Due to a depression and lack of activity and interest in rehab, the client gained weight, causing her to no longer fit into her prosthetic legs. While a strong commitment from the team is necessary for this client’s care to be effective, what the team really needed was a leader to initiate and coordinate the client’s activities. That person turned out to be Regina.

Determined to get her client “back on track,” Regina decided the first thing her client needed was a special computer for the blind so she could join Weight Watchers and the whole team could track the client’s food and progress. Sharon adds, “Regina had to gather the whole team so everyone would be on the same page with shopping, cooking, and tracking progress.” Regina set a date for her client to walk, not wheel, herself into a Weight Watchers meeting. After much practice, determination in therapy, and a loss of 48 pounds, the day had come. In addition to her client’s Weight Watchers support group, Regina arranged for other regional Weight Watchers representatives, her BAYADA team of aides and her BAYADA office managers to attend. The whole room clapped when Regina’s client arrived.

The client shares, “Regina is determined to help me meet my goals. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without her. Now, I’m trying to be a better person.”

Read Regina Derby's full bio

Read about our
2013 heroes of the year