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Zabeth Cordero named Hero in Long Term Care for 2013

WHEATON, Ill. – The Health Care Council of Illinois, Illinois Health Care Association and the Illinois Council on Long Term Care recently announced their 2013 selection of Heroes in Long Term Care at nursing facilities throughout the state. Zabeth Cordero, LPN, has been honored as a Hero in Long Term Care for her dedication to providing the highest quality of life for nursing home residents at Wheaton Care Center.

The annual program highlights the hard work of nursing home staff in Illinois, such as nurses, administrators, building maintenance workers, laundry attendants and activity staff, as well as the contributions of facility residents and volunteers.

“From the minute residents wake up to when they go to bed at night, nursing home staff work to make their days brighter,” Pat Comstock, executive director of Health Care Council of Illinois, said. “Many residents aren’t able to get out in the community, so staff becomes a part of the resident’s family.”

Cordero enjoys caring for the residents at Wheaton Care Center. “Ms. Cordero takes extra time with residents to make sure they are comfortable and have everything they need before leaving the room,” stated Wheaton’s Administrator Stephanie Rucker.

"The residents’ quality of life is her main focus; many times she works after her shift until the job is done, even if the task was not her responsibility. Ms. Cordero takes responsibility for training new employees in the nursing department and makes sure they follow our care standards."

Cordero establishes relationships with the residents and their families and gets to know each one as a friend. She is a mentor to many of her peers and always wears a smile, no matter how challenging the day has been.

“Nursing home staff truly represent the heart and soul of long term care in Illinois,” David Voepel, executive director of the Illinois Health Care Association, said. “Heroes in Long Term Care are people who go above and beyond to make sure nursing home residents have the best possible quality of life.”

Nursing home professionals work in a unique environment that demands technical skills along with incredible amounts of compassion. They care for frail, vulnerable and elderly citizens who not only need around-the-clock medical care, but also a place to call home.

“These individuals are committed to optimizing the health, outlook and well-being of the residents we serve,” Susan Duda-Gardiner, interim director of the Illinois Council on Long Term Care, said. “For that, we’re deeply grateful and hopeful their communities will celebrate their dedication.”

The Health Care Council of Illinois (HCCI) is a professional association of more than 500 skilled nursing facilities committed to quality residential health care in Illinois through a productive and responsible partnership between the private and public sectors. HCCI represents nursing homes serving more than 80,000 residents. HCCI serves as the political and media relations arm of both the Illinois Health Care Association and the Illinois Council on Long Term Care.

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