Each year United Methodist Homes provides a “Values in Action” award in recognition of employees who have demonstrated extraordinary behavior that exemplifies the organization’s core values of Respect, Spirituality, Excellence, Collaboration, and Stewardship. All employees are eligible to be nominated or to nominate any of their team members.

Staff are encouraged to nominate their co-workers who demonstrate any or all of the UMH core values. One individual from each of our communities is chosen to receive the award, which is presented at our annual Employee Recognition Celebration dinner in October. Award winners are recognized with a monetary award and a trophy and praised by their supervisors for their outstanding character and service. Congratulations to our 2014 winners!

Our Values in Action Award is presented to a staff member who exemplifies the following criteria:


We hold each individual in high esteem and treat all with dignity and respect.


We view each individual as a whole person and administer to spiritual concerns as well as physical needs.


We collaborate with staff, medical practitioners and community members in order to incorporate the creativity of all.


We are responsible for preserving those who have come before us and we are responsible to those who will come after us.


We improve quality by empowering our associates to continually improve our outcomes of service. We encourage innovation by seeking, listening and responding to new ideas.

Bishop Wicke Award Winners:

Zachary Taylor

Zach works as a Dining Aide at our Bishop Wicke Health & Rehabilitation Center. He is well known for the many ways he cares for our residents, attending to every little detail. Zach does a great job establishing relationships with residents and staff and is one who is often spoken about by our residents for his kindness and friendliness. He makes new staff feel welcome and shows them the way with our UMH core values of respect, spirituality, excellence, collaboration, and stewardship in mind. Though he works regularly in our dining room, for Zach, his work is always more about the resident than it ever is about food.

Zachary’s care and compassion has also been praised by our patients and residents, one of which was recently disgruntled and depressed for having to endure a rehab stay. Feeling a sense of despair and thinking she was approaching her last days of life, the patient could not thank Zach enough for his persistent kindness and attention, which “saved her.” Even when she would push her plate away, Zach smiled at her and asked her politely to “just eat that little piece for me.” It is those special connections with each individual that make Zach such an important part of our team. He is truly a hero committed to the recovery of our patients and dedicated to making life more meaningful for our residents. Zach is an inspiration to our team and we are so grateful to have him as part of our UMH family. Congratulations, Zach!

Teresa Gecaj

Teresa finds joy in everything she does and spreads that joy to everyone she comes in contact with. Her pleasant demeanor is known throughout the community. She never complains and takes time to build relationships with both staff and residents. This past year, when a staff member in her department passed away suddenly and unexpectedly, Teresa stepped up to offer additional support to the housekeeping department. Throughout the weeks that followed, staff joined together in grieving the loss of their co-worker and looked for ways to meet the new challenges that arose from that difficult situation. We are so grateful for Teresa and her willingness to offer time and assistance well beyond her job description. She truly reflects our UMH values of respect, spirituality, excellence, collaboration, and stewardship. Congratulations, Teresa!

Antoinette Rossi

Toni works as a CNA at our Bishop Wicke Health & Rehabilitation Center and is known as an “anchor” because of her consistent, dedicated care and respect for the health and well-being of the residents she serves. She delivers her care with gentle hands, kind words, and a wonderful sense of humor. Her residents adore her and her co-workers respect her. We have given her challenges and she has shined through them all. Her work is done thoroughly (daily!) and we are so grateful she is part of our team. Toni is a constant example of what it means to work together as a team and her work ethic truly reflects our UMH values of respect, spirituality, excellence, collaboration, and stewardship. Congratulations, Toni!

Learn more about Bishop Wicke

Middlewoods of Newington Award Winner:

Aida Colon

Aida Colon knows that at Middlewoods of Newington we believe that relationships are at the core of everything we do. She is clearly an expert at building solid relationships, bridging generation gaps and creating meaningful connections between people of different ages, backgrounds, and cultures. Aida can be found sitting on the floor painting a resident’s nails on her lunch break, taking the time to spike a resident’s hair in to the requested Mohawk, volunteering her time on the weekends to make activities fun and just recently, she offered to be the “date” of a 101 year old man at an ice cream social. He wasn’t going to attend; but with Aida by his side, he not only attended, he had a great time! And she did this after her shift was over – just to enhance his life.

She picks up extra shifts in both departments to help out, has given rides in her AWD vehicle so that other staff members could get to work during snow storms, is the “Johnny on the Spot” whenever help is needed, and does it all with a beautiful smile, ready laugh and hugs whenever needed. Aida gives so much of herself every day – she not only lovingly cares for the Residents’ home, but also provides consistent and compassionate care to the residents and builds meaningful relationships. Throughout each day, she continually reflects our UMH values of respect, excellence, spirituality, collaboration, and stewardship Aida reveals her passion for helping others and making a difference at every opportunity – by tirelessly dedicating herself to enhancing the life’s journey of each member of the Middlewoods family. Congratulations, Aida! 
Learn more about Middlewoods of Newington


Crosby Commons Award Winner:

Alyssa Resnik

Alyssa has been an integral part of the dining services department for several years and extends herself far beyond her job description on a regular basis. A member of our waitstaff team, she frequently “goes the extra mile” to assist our residents and fellow staff members and does so quietly, never expecting any favor in return. She comes to work and gives 200 percent everyday, never hesitating to help other team members. Alyssa is always willing to take on additional shifts as needed, filling in and working as a Serv Safe cook to help provide the best service for our residents. She has also taken on administrative responsibilities, helping with menus, ordering supplies, and assisting wherever she is needed. Alyssa has even been found coming into work with a grocery bag just to make sure that a resident’s particular preferences are taken care of. She is well respected by her team members, and admirably pitches in to make Crosby Commons a great place to live and work. She is an outstanding asset to our community and consistently exemplifies our UMH core values of respect, excellence, spirituality, collaboration, and stewardship. Congratulations, Alyssa!

Learn more about Crosby Commons


Middlewoods of Farmington Award Winner:

Nabil Ali

Nabil has worked for Middlewoods of Farmington since 2000. In 2009 he unfortunately had to leave his position due to an illness, returning in 2010. Despite this setback, he continues to come to work each day with a positive attitude and offer his best. Nabil is always in good spirits toward fellow co-workers, residents, and supervisors; with a smile always on his face. Even in the event of a scheduling error, when he is left as the only cook in the kitchen, he will complete any last minute request there might be to satisfy the residents, guests, or other departments.

Nabil is so resourceful and knowledgeable about the department, that he has saved hundreds of dollars in equipment and repair costs. If a baker’s rack is damaged because of a broken leg, Nabil has impressively grabbed a saw, cut the other three legs off the rack, and installed wheels to create a shorter baker’s rack, eliminating the need to buy something new. When inspecting the dish machine, he peeled off the moulding to prevent mold and asked the maintenance department to re-caulk the area. So much of what Nabil does each day is far beyond his job description. He consistently reflects our UMH values of respect, excellence, spirituality, collaboration, and stewardship and deserves to be acknowledged for his hard work and dedication. Congratulations, Nabil!
Learn more about Middlewoods of Farmington


Wesley Heights Award Winner:

Graciela Lopez

Graciela works as a CNA in our Lifestyle Transitions Memory Care neighborhood at our Wesley Heights community. She is the consummate professional: smart, calm, patient, caring, and encouraging; enabling each of our Lifestyle Transitions residents to maintain their independence and maximize their abilities. Our residents are calm and comfortable around Graciela. She treats everyone with respect and teaches all of us how we should treat others. Before working in our memory care neighborhood, she was also an exceptional member of our direct care staff at our Bishop Wicke Health and Rehabilitation Center. Graciela came to Wesley Heights with great recommendations from her co-workers that she would be a successful leader for our new memory care program – and she has truly gone beyond expectations in providing care and service to our residents. Graciela continually reflects our UMH values of respect, excellence, spirituality, collaboration, and stewardship and we are so very blessed to have her! Congratulations, Graciela!

Learn more about Wesley Heights

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