Jamaican Woman Is the First CNA to Be Named “Champion of Caring” at HCR ManorCare

Lorna Downer - Jamaican Woman Is the First CNA to Be Named

Lorna Downer, who came to the United States from Jamaica in 1982, is the first Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to receive the HCR ManorCare Champion of Caring award. According to Steve Cavanaugh, the executive vice president and COO of ManorCare Health Services in New Providence, New Jersey, Lorna Downer was honored with the award for “exhibiting the true spirit of caring that defines our company.”

She is the oldest worker at her job, and she loves what she does. “
I t’s lots of fun with us. Each day when I come in to give care, we talk a lot and smile. That is the most beautiful thing for me,” Lorna says.

Downer has worked at ManorCare-New Providence for 34 years, coming to New Jersey after many years of caring for and supporting her siblings in Jamaica. She followed a calling to health care after coming to the US and trained to become a CNA.

During her long career at ManorCare, her dependability, energy and compassion were recognized by patients, family members, and co-workers alike. Even during periods of personal hardship, Lorna never waivered in her approach to caregiving. She is an excellent role model for younger workers beginning their health care careers who aspire to provide quality care

In talking about Lorna, a co-worker said, “When Lorna isn’t here at work, the family members and the patients are always asking ‘Where’s Lorna?’ They always are missing her because she provides them with a sense of security and comfort.”

“I’m always glad in the morning when they come to wake me up.” Said a patient. “I don’t like to be waked up, but when I see she’s there – and at night when she puts me to bed, I always feel secure.”

When asked what quality of Lorna’s she would like to “clone” into other employees, a co-worker cited “her ability to always have a positive energy. She always comes into work happy, every singly day, and I think that smile really goes a long way.”

Lorna Downer was selected to receive the award from among seven finalists, each of whom represented one of the HCR ManorCare operating divisions.

Photo Source: Manorcare

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Stephanie Korney