The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) named the recipients for the 2019 AHCA/NCAL Awards program. They were pleased to announce the 2019 Group Volunteer of the Year award recipient is the Friends of Good Samaritan Society- Scotland, South Dakota.

The award recognizes an organization which has served for more than a year and has made a positive contribution to residents and staff of a Long Term Care Center. It is awarded to only one group in the nation each year.

“It is a great honor for this award to be given to the Good Samaritan Society in Scotland,” said Mark B. Deak, Executive Director of the South Dakota Health Care Association. “The work this group has done is truly commendable. Their dedication to improving the lives of residents has made a big impact, and they are very much deserving of this recognition.”

The Friends of Good Samaritan Society in Scotland host many activities throughout the Center for the residents. The group is always willing to lend a helping hand. When there is a need, no matter how big or small, the group is available to take on the challenge any way they need to. Their compassion, caring and willingness to lend their hearts and talents goes above and beyond making the residents’ lives brighter.

Julie Ramey, Good Samaritan Society – Scotland’s Administrator adds, “Although this group may not know it, the Friends have branched out to being friends and support to all of us; including the staff. We appreciate their time and what it allows us to do with busy schedules and deadlines that often take us away from fulfilling the needs of the residents. They help lift us up and offer assistance and encouragement.”

The 2019 AHCA/NCAL Awards recipients are:

• Hero of the Year- Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Barbara Smith, Valley Village, Winnetka, California

• Not for Profit Program of the Year: Good Samaritan Society- Ambassador, New Hope, Minnesota

• Not for Profit Trustee Award: Dave Gessel, Mission Health Services, West Valley City, Utah

• Adult Volunteer of the Year: Richard Cole, LACOBA Homes, Inc., Monett, Missouri

• Group Volunteer of the Year: Friends of Good Samaritan Society- Scotland, South Dakota

• Young Adult Volunteer of the Year: Railey Connor, Crestview Health & Rehabilitation, Crestview, Florida

The Friends of Good Samaritan Society- Scotland was honored at the South Dakota Health Care Association Annual Fall Convention in September in Sioux Falls, SD and then at the AHCA/NCAL 70th Convention in Orlando, FL in October.

Nationally, South Dakota has been known for its dedicated volunteers in long term care. Previous AHCA/NCAL national winners include:

• 2016 Young Adult Volunteer of the Year: Zach Severson, Good Samaritan Society – Canton, SD

• 2017 Group Volunteer of the Year: Parkview Care Center Auxiliary, Bryant, SD

• 2018 Group Volunteer of the Year: Tieszen Memorial Home Auxiliary, Marion, SD