LANCASTER, Pa., May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Department of Aging Secretary Teresa Osborne today presented the PA Department of Aging's 8th annual Direct Care Worker of the Year award to Claudia Barich of Allegheny County during the Pennsylvania Home Care Association Annual Conference & Exposition.
The Pennsylvania Home Care Association Annual Conference & Exposition recognizes the important work conducted daily by over 100,000 direct care workers who provide assistance to older Pennsylvanians. At the event, Secretary Osborne spoke about the Wolf Administration's continued commitment to honor those who support seniors as they age in place in their homes with dignity and respect.
"Direct Care Workers, who render assistance and support in the home of an older adult, are key players in our commitment to ensure that seniors who choose to receive care at home are enabled and empowered to do so," said Secretary of Aging, Teresa Osborne. "This year's Direct Care Worker of the Year, Claudia Barich, joins the over 100,000 direct care workers throughout the commonwealth who are dedicated and embrace our shared desire to improve the quality of care and quality of life for older Pennsylvanians."
The PA Department of Aging, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, established the Direct Care Worker of the Year Award to recognize the outstanding work of home care aides who bring care home to thousands of older Pennsylvanians every day so that they can age in place. Each year, the department uses this opportunity to elevate the vital profession of direct care workers and to spotlight the value and rewards of becoming a professional caregiver.
This year, a record number of over 102 nominations from 72 Homecare Agencies were received. Nominations were received from 34 counties. The average length of time worked at the agency that nominated the Direct Care Worker was 7 years.
This year's winner, Claudia Barich, has been employed by Home Instead Senior Care in Bethel Park, Allegheny County for the past 11 years as a Direct Care Worker.
"Considering the high turnover rate of direct care workers, working 11 years at the same agency as a direct care worker affirms the quality of care being provided to older Allegheny County consumers by Claudia," said Secretary Osborne. "Her career reflects her passion and commitment for serving these individuals."
"Direct care workers provide a lifeline to the thousands of Pennsylvania seniors who want to remain independent at home. The number of nominees this year - 102 - is a wonderful tribute to these vital members of the healthcare team," said Vicki Hoak, PHA CEO. "PHA congratulates Claudia and commends her commitment to bringing care home."
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging