Manila Nursing Center staff Regina Hatch, director of nursing, and Debbie Vassar, certified nursing assistant, were named top DON and CNA of the year by the Arkansas Health Care Foundation. They received their plaques and cash awards at the awards banquet held at the Embassy Suites in Little Rock.
Regina Hatch, 2010 DON of the Year
Regina Hatch has served as director of nursing at Manila Nursing Center for six years. She graduated from Arkansas State University in May of 1981 and has worked in all areas of nursing. Her favorites are labor and delivery and geriatrics.
"I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was a child," Hatch said. "My grandmother was in a car wreck when I was eight years old. I stayed with her in the hospital and I watched the nurses and I knew I wanted to go into the medical field."
She started to college in pre-med but decided to get married and go to nursing school. It was the right career decision for her and said she has never been sorry.
"Nursing has been very rewarding," she said. "I am proud of our nursing home. I am happy to be part of the Manila Nursing Center. I could not have won this award if it were not for every one here. It is a tribute to them."
Her husband, the late Tom Hatch, was also a nurse.
"I received the award on the seventh anniversary of his death," Mrs. Hatch said. "I like to think he was smiling down on me."
Debbie Vassar, 2010 CNA of the Year
Debbie Vassar said she cannot imagine doing anything other than working at the Manila Nursing Center. She has been part of the caregivers at MNC for 32 years. She has been a certified nursing assistant through the moves and the expansions and loves the residents and her co-workers.
"I was shocked when I heard I was in the top three for the award and I feel honored to have been chosen for the award," she said. "It was the first time I have received a state honor and it was special."
She was raised in Manila and came from a big family. She said the nursing center residents and co-workers are like a big family.
She has one daughter, Kaylee Amber Vassar.
Vassar went to work in the special care unit about seven years ago. She has worked all shifts but presently works the 2-10 shift. She has always been willing to help where she is needed.
She said she was glad to share the special event with several of her co-workers and family members who were able to attend the awards banquet.
"I felt like a queen," she said. "The only thing I needed was a crown."
Shari Doty, MNC Administrator, said she, the staff, and the residents are very proud of both of them.
"They received recognition for what we already knew," Doty said.