Just in time for the holidays, Schoellkopf Health Center employees today received cash bonuses recognizing the high quality of care they provide their residents.

The center, which enjoys a five-star national quality rating, recently received a performance award from the New York State Nursing Home Quality Initiative for maintaining the highest standards of quality care for its residents. The board of directors and administration at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, which operates the Schoellkopf facility, decided to share the award directly with Schoellkopf employees – the people who earned it, said Memorial President & CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo.

“Caring for our seniors is perhaps the greatest responsibility we have,” Ruffolo said. “Those who have walked before us have given so much, and made possible the life we all enjoy today. What distinguishes our Schoellkopf team of caregivers from the rest is, to paraphrase Mother Teresa, not how much they do but how much love they put in the doing, not how much they give but how much love they put in the giving.”

Today’s awards ceremony is believed to be the first time in the state that such an award was shared directly with the employees who earned it. Employee incentive payments in recognition of their hard work range from $100 for newer employees to $4,000 for full-time employees with more than 40 years of service. Schoellkopf’s administration worked closely with 1199SEIU, the union that represents the majority of the staff, on the details.

“It’s all about the team effort,” Schoellkopf Administrator John Durno said. “Our team of social workers, dietitians, nurses, certified nursing assistants and countless other caring individuals work together every day to give our residents the care they deserve in a homelike setting they love.”

Cutline information: Sheri L. Pugh, RN, behind the podium, and Linda Duke, LPN, address fellow employees and residents of the Schoellkopf Health Center upon receiving employee incentive payments recognizing their years of hard work. Pugh has worked at Schoellkopf for 29 years; Duke for 41 years. Looking on are Schoellkopf Social Worker Corinne Tighe and Administrator John Durno.