NHI Care Awards 2018 Finalists


Please note that finalists are listed in no particular order and have been sorted alphabetically by surname.

Nursing Home Director of Nursing/Person in Charge Award

Yvonne McCarthy
Haven Bay Care Centre, Co. Cork

Yvonne joined Haven Bay Care Centre as Director of Care in 2010 after filling this role in a number of other nursing homes. Yvonne is an inspirational leader. Down to earth, open and approachable, she adopts a ‘can do’ team based approach with the resident at the centre.

The ideas and innovations which Yvonne has brought to Haven Bay have changed the lives of those in her care and those in her charge. Yvonne has promoted ‘Continuous Learning and Training’ as a way of life for staff at Haven Bay. By promoting education and development she moves the team forward to deliver care at the highest standard. All staff are encouraged to be better than they ever believed they could be.

Yvonne’s relationships with wider multidisciplinary team has enabled Haven Bay become involved in pilot programmes that have resulted in improvements in resident care. One of these was ‘Let me Decide’ programme on Advanced Care Directives resulting in residents making their wishes around end of life known. She has also represented nurses on NHI nursing committee and is now a member of National Multidisciplinary advisory group on ‘The Clinical Guideline Development for Appropriate Antipsychotic Prescribing in People with Dementia’

Yvonne’s door is always open to staff, residents and families and she gives of herself far beyond her working hours. Each residents journey begins and ends with Yvonne and is a safer, happier and more satisfying journey because of her care and dedication.

Gillian McDonald
CareChoice – Trim Nursing Home, Co. Meath

Gillian McDonald is DON/PIC at CareChoice Trim Since 2011.  She is qualified 15 years as a Registered General Nurse, B.Sc. Degree in Nursing UCD, Higher Diploma in Older Persons Care and also holds a certificate in training from NUI Maynooth. She has 117 residents including frail elderly, young persons, dementia, respite and palliative.  Her ethos has always been person centred, she encourages her residents to continue to DREAM, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE. Gillian’s team of 150 employees radiate an aura that is commented on by everyone who enters the home, this transpires that she is not only a good manager…she is a good leader… TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE

Norma Sheehan
St Joseph’s Centre Shankill, Co. Dublin

Norma Sheehan has nearly 40 years of general nursing experience mainly in the acute sector having worked in both ICU and the Liver Transplant Unit in Saint Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH).
She managed the Acute Care of the Elderly Unit in SVUH for 3 years and was Assistant Director of Nursing/ Medical Nurse Manager in Wexford General Hospital for 6 years.

In 2012, because of her special interest in elderly care, Norma became the Director of Nursing, Person in Charge, in Saint Joseph’s Shankill, a residential home for 60 people living with dementia also offering Day Care and respite for people living with dementia. Since her arrival, Saint Joseph’s has undergone a major transformation both culturally and environmentally. Inspired by David Sheard at a conference, she convinced the board that we should adopt the Butterfly Model of care and become a Butterfly Home.

It was a long journey of change with many hiccoughs along the way. But Norma championed the cause and took Winston Churchill’s advice ‘when you’re going through hell, keep going’. And that’s what happened under her stewardship. At the end of this the change process we were awarded a level one Butterfly award in January 2018.

Norma wanted to ensure person centred care at the end of life, as dementia is a terminal illness with no cure, she knew that we needed to be palliative in our care approach from the beginning. She invited the Irish Hospice Foundation to take us on a journey through the Compassionate End of Life Care Programme (CEOL).

Staff are privileged to work in residents homes ensuring that they know they truly matter.

Nursing Home Registered Nurse of the Year Award

Christina Aberilla
The Fern Dean Nursing Home, Co. Dublin

Christina Aberilla is a  registered nurse  with over  18 years of experience in the care of the older person. She  completed Bachelor of Science in Nursing  in  the Philippines  in the year 1995.  Christina  has three  grown up children and two of them have followed in her footsteps and are now Registered Nurses.
At present, Christina is  the  Unit Nurse Manager of  Garden Lodge in Fern Dean Nursing Home .

With her role, she has established a resident led unit through motivation amongst the staff committed to facilitating the individuality of each resident. Christina’s  work ethic is to promote a genuine compassionate care through leading  a team that will enable and support residents to continue to live with pride and  dignity . Christina  fosters empathy , friendship, kindness  and humour at work.

Barth Flynn
Mowlam Healthcare – Killarney Nursing Home, Co.Kerry

In 2008 Barth applied to study Nursing in the Institute of Tralee. In 2010, he began working as a Healthcare Assistant in Killarney Nursing Home. In 2012, he qualified with a First-Class Honours in Mental Health Nursing. For the past six years he has worked as a Staff Nurse, Senior Staff Nurse, Clinical Nurse Manager and Assistant Director of Nursing in Killarney Nursing Home. He took the role of Interim Director of Nursing in 2016 when the Director of Nursing stepped down and is currently fulfilling this role again since the departure of the Director of Nursing in September.


Mel Uy
Hamilton Park Care Facility, Co. Dublin

Mel commenced working in Hamilton Park as ADoN and Clinical Auditor in 2017. Mel qualified in 1993 from the Philippines before settling in St James Hospital as a CNM2 and completed his Gerontological and Specialist Qualification in Trinity College Dublin and management qualification. He developed the 3 tier Quality Monitoring system in clinical auditing to ensure the effectiveness and continuity of best care delivery. Mel is very focused on person-centred care approach and would come in during off hours if his clinical assessment and skill is needed to avoid residents being transferred to an acute care setting and provide the residents with the best quality of life. Mel is also the designated Data Protection and Safeguarding Officer of the facility.

Nursing Home Carer of the Year Award

Pauline Conlon
Sunhill Nursing Home, Co. Louth

Pauline Conlon is A Team Lead in Sunhill Nursing Home on Baltray Unit which opened in January 2018. Sunhill is located in the village of Termonfeckin.
Coming from a large rural family and losing both parents at a very young age, Pauline took on the role of carer within her family and this has come naturally to her ever since. Pauline commenced work in Sunhill in 2015, having worked in the Community as a health Care assistant and wanted a change. In 2018, she was then appointed to the role of Team Lead of the new extension were she has developed this unit were the residents and their families are the centre of the Unit.

In the Baltray unit, the care to the residents is evident on a daily basis. The life improvement to residents who have suffered from strokes and other issues is made possible by the one to one interations between the care staff and residents. Families visiting Baltray can feel the special sense of care when they come to Sunhill.

A caring word, a helping hand, even a smile are the simple things but can make a big difference in a residents day. This is something that Pauline has instilled in all her staff that she has trained on the unit. By showing a sense of care, our own lives can alos be setter.

Marie Moynihan
Mowlam Healthcare – Killarney Nursing Home, Co. Kerry

Marie Moynihan began working as a Care Assistant in Killarney Nursing Home in 2012, and has since been promoted to Senior Carer. She previously trained and worked in the United Kingdom as a State Enrolled Nurse where she gained valuable experience in both Hospitals and Nursing Homes. Marie is passionate about the holistic care of people with dementia and she promotes patient centred care at all times. She is a big advocator for all things that benefit the daily lives of the residents. Marie has gained the respect and trust of both the residents and her colleagues.

Lindai Verma
Silverstream Healthcare – Dunlavin Nursing Home, Co. Wicklow

Lindai Verma is a truly unique carer who’ wears her heart on her sleeve’.

Since joining the care team at Dunlavin Nursing Home Lindai has been instrumental in delivering person centred care and is a key advocate for residents promoting their individuality, personality and dignity.

Lindai not only cares for residents but also embraces their families ensuring their care journey is a pleasant and memorable one.

Perhaps one of Lindai’s most admirable qualities is her modesty in her role as she goes about caring for residents …most notably when delivering exceptional care to residents with dementia and those residents at their End of Life journey.

Nursing Home Social & Recreational Programme Award

Sinead Gilligan & Gordon Glynn
Kiltormer Nursing Home, Co. Galway

Sinead is employed with Kiltormer Nursing Home for the past 3 years and has 8 years’ experience as a Care Assistant. Sinead is the Activities Co Ordinator in the Nursing Home and is qualified as a Sonas Practitioner which she practise twice a week in the home. Sinead is also qualified as the Manual/Patient Handling Instructor since 2015 and also a fire safety trainer. Sinead is very passionate about her job and loves to encourage all her Residents to get involved on a daily basis as she sees what a positive affect these activities have on the residents.

Gordon is the manager/owner of the family run Centre for the last 12 years. Gordon previously worked in banking for 10 years and finished up to help run the family business with his brother Derek. Gordon is very involved in the local community and encourages as much involvement as possible. Gordon is very hands on in the centre with the residents and activities. Gordon has opened a new mini pet-farm in the centre as an attraction to the residents/ families and the locals when they visit.

Rois McDonagh
Central Park Nursing Home, Co. Galway

Rois moved to Ireland 20 years ago and recently became an Irish Citizen, she comes from a rich cultural background of Anglo Spanish and was raised in Cyprus, Germany and UK.
Rois is a caring and keen observer of life with a background of working with persons living with dementia. Her “Road to Damascus” came after her mother was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia, this led her to study CBT, NLP, SLP, Diplomas: Dementia Awareness, Counselling Skills Advanced, Activity Cert, and she continues to study all aspects of healthcare.

Rois worked with a Charity Organisation prior to taking up a post of Activity Co Coordinator with Central Park in 2014 where she was promoted to Recreation Director in 2018. Rois leads a team of dedicated Activity Co Coordinators delivering group, individual and meaningful programs.


Rizalyn Silacan & Aoife Houlihan
The Fern Dean Nursing Home, Co. Dublin

The Fern Dean opened its doors just over 5 years ago with Director of Care Rizalyn Silacan at the helm and her vision clear: The Fern Dean would be a place where people come to live and enjoy life to the fullest, irrespective of their physical and cognitive ability.

Aoife Houlihan took on a new role of Social Care Manager three and a half year ago, playing an integral part on an organisational and implementational level.

Combined with the help of the Fern Dean Creative Arts Society, Rizalyn and Aoife have carefully planned each of the 30 events on the yearly calendar, ranging from intergenerational Kid’s Club Events, bi-annual charity fund-raisers and talent competitions, Cultural Variety Shows, seasonal and themed celebrations, Art Exhibitions, memory box displays, Olympic Games Tournaments, 12 Days of Christmas events and much more. Their latest innovation, ‘Chapter Two’, a Fine Dining pop-up- restaurant which is currently running on a bi-monthly basis and is a one of its kind in Ireland has received much attention for its innovation. With new and exciting ventures already planned for the future, The Fern Dean will continue to strive for excellence in care.


Nursing Home Excellence in Dining and Nutrition

Catering Team
Haven Bay Care Centre, Co. Cork

The catering team is lead by our Swiss Chef Par together with his Polish Chef colleague Marek. Support is provided by brothers Greg and Michel, together the foursome have 28 years combined service in Haven Bay’s kitchen.

Par leads a team who believe in a “Food First “approach. The catering team work closely with our Nutrition Committee inventing innovate new approaches to meeting the complex needs of residents. Par’s permutations include some genius high calorie snacks as well as nutritious nibbles. Par believes in meeting with residents and families and planning his menu to include old favourites. In 2018, Haven Bay published its first recipe book and the catering team and residents regularly cook up a storm with group cooking demonstrations. Par’s collaborative and supportive approach has resulted in a marked decline in the amount of nutrition supplements used and medications needed to treat constipation.

Grey Makoni
Carrigoran House, Co. Clare

Born in Zimbabwe, Grey joined Carrigoran House in 2000 and was promoted to Catering Manager in 2010.He has demonstrated a strong commitment to providing a dietary and nutritional service to all the residents and staff.Grey holds a Diploma in Professional Cookery from Limerick Institute of Technology, and Bachelor of Arts in Culinary Arts from Galway Mayo Institute of Technology and has worked in some top restaurants in Clare.Grey is continually updating his menu and preparing and serving high standard meals with great emphasis placed on individual choice, variety and seasonality.

Paul Murray
Castleturvin House Nursing Home, Co. Galway

Paul Murray, Chef-Manager in Castleturvin House Nursing Home, began his career working in kitchens across Europe in large hotels, and fine dining restaurants, after graduating with a Degree in Culinary Arts at 27. Paul is now focused on bringing his passion for food to the residents so that their dining experience is special and enjoyable. Paul works with the team to ensure that each meal is tailored for the resident to provide the best nutritional value in a way that is appetizing and modified to suit the need of the residents.  Paul is dedicated to constant quality improvement to ensure the menus are as nutritionally complete as possible.

Nursing Home Ancillary Worker Award

Brian Fisher
Sonas Nursing Home Tullow , Co. Carlow

Brian started working in our home from grass roots stage in 2006. He had huge responsibility from the very start of his career and embraced his role in making our home to the State of the Art facility it is today. Brian used his knowledge of carpentry and building experience to transform the home to the highest of specification. In the twelve years of working with Sonas (formerly Glendale) Nursing Home Brian has always ensured that the Health and Safety of our residents came first.

Linda McPhillips
CareChoice – Malahide Rd Nursing Home, Co. Dublin

Linda joined the CareChoice Group in 2016, following the opening of the state of art, 165 bed home at CareChoice Malahide Rd. Linda brings a wealth of experience from her previous roles in hospitality and Residential services to her role as General Manager with CareChoice Malahide Rd.
During her time in CareChoice Linda has developed a particular interest in creating and enhancing interior concepts and design, most notably her recent conversion of the living room areas into nostalgic reminiscence rooms. Linda is an integral part of the CareChoice Group working not only with the team in Malahide Rd but also the wider CareChoice Group of homes nationwide.

Linda holds a Honours degree in Business Studies from ITB.

Maura Stewart
Clarenbridge Nursing Home, Co. Galway

Maura Stewart joined the Windmill Nursing Group in 2014 and is located at reception in the Clarenbridge Nursing Home. She is the welcoming face of the nursing home where she meets and greets people. She is passionate about her work and is a strong advocate on behalf of the residents hearing their concerns and addressing them appropriately. Maura is central to the daily running of the home and ensures that all aspects of the residents’ wellbeing is addressed. Just getting the emotion right’ is a unique quality of Maura’s and she is known for this. She has introduced resident initiatives which have improved the quality of life of the residents. Her approach is both holistic, imaginative and interesting and she truly deserves this award for all she has done for and with the residents.

Nursing Home Community Initiative Award

Clara Hutchinson
Signature Care Killerig, Co.Carlow

Clara is employed as Activities Co-Ordinator with Signature Care Killerig since 2017. Having obtained a MA in Music Therapy from the University of Limerick, Clara believes in the power of music in bringing people together. Clara set up a weekly community choir for residents of the nursing home, children from the local primary school and members of the wider community. Clara approaches her work with creativity and enthusiasm and has been teaching and lecturing in the uses of music in healthcare for many years. Clara is currently developing a performance space within the nursing home for community events and concerts.

Rois McDonagh
Central Park Nursing Home, Co. Galway

Rois worked with a Charity Organisation prior to taking up a post of Activity Co Coordinator with Central Park in 2014 where she was promoted to Recreation Director in 2018.
Rois has studied CBT, NLP, SLP, Diplomas: Dementia Awareness, Counselling Skills Advanced, Activity Cert, and she continues to study all aspects of healthcare.

Rois strongly believes that a nursing home is central to the community and promotes the core values of family and unity. Rois encourages residents to maintain their sense of belonging by contributing to the local community and to the wider international community with fundraising projects and events. Central Park Residents were highlighted for an NHI/IFI initiative and interviewed by Teresa Mannion for RTE News.

Rois worked with the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life to have resident’s contributions of Memory Cards submitted for display as part of the museums exhibits and to be published at the end of the year.

Deirdre Mullins
Haven Bay Care Centre , Co. Cork

Residents remaining an integral part of broader community, is the belief that drives Deirdre and the activity team to constantly explore and maintain links within the district of Kinsale. Deirdre’s passion for her people, both at Haven Bay and within her locale, has culminated in Haven Bay Care Centre residents being involved in a myriad of events. Community fundraisers, Positive Ageing Week and links with Primary, Secondary and Third Level schools and colleges. Events are both hosted and attended by Residents. Making our presence felt within the community, integrating and contributing, brings huge satisfaction to both the residents of Haven Bay and Kinsale at large.

Nursing Home Excellence in Dementia Care

Caroline O’Brien
Haven Bay Care Centre, Co. Cork

Caroline qualified from UCC in 2012 as a Registered Nurse Intellectual Disability. Caroline worked as a healthcare assistant in a nursing home during her training and discovered her passion for care of the elderly.  In 2013 Caroline joined Haven Bay Care Centre as a Staff Nurse, progressing to Senior Staff Nurse.

Caroline has pioneered a dementia focused change in Haven Bay. Caroline has changed the culture of supporting those with dementia and has garnered the respect and appreciation of residents, colleagues and families for her insight into dementia focused communication.

Caroline is committed to understanding responsive behaviours and exploring non pharmacological, creative interventions.

Denisa Santo
Trinity Care – Gormanston Wood Nursing Home, Co. Meath

Denisa Santo qualified with a Degree in Nursing from the University of Perugia Italy in 2014.

Currently she is a Clinical Nurse Manager in Trinity Care’s Gormanston Wood Nursing Home. Denisa’s professional interests focus on Dementia. She furthered her education by successfully completing the Dublin City University’s Person-Centered Dementia Champions Dementia Elevator programme facilitated by Trinity Care. Her “Change Project” on “How the Environment and the Levels of Noise Affect the Wellbeing of Residents” with Dementia has been well received. This ongoing project aims to raise awareness. Denisa is the lead Nurse on Dementia in Gormanston Wood Nursing Home.

Norma Sheehan
St Joseph’s Centre Shankill, Co. Dublin

Saint Joseph’s Shankill, a residential home for 60 people living with dementia also offering Day Care and respite for people living with dementia.
Over the last 5 years Saint Joseph’s has undergone a major transformation both culturally and environmentally. The cultural change was inspired by David Sheard, who was speaking at a conference that Director of Nursing; Norma Sheehan attended, and she knew that in order to deliver real person centred care to our residents living with dementia we had to adopt the Butterfly Model of care and become a Butterfly Home.

The majority of nursing homes in Ireland care for people using a medical model of care and up to fairly recently so did Saint Joseph’s Shankill. A medical model of care focuses mainly on physical care which can be excellent but by its nature is very task orientated so that people tend to fit into schedules and what suits the running of the home rather than what suits the person best.

The team at Saint Joseph’s Shankill led by Norma Sheehan, Director of Nursing are all very proud of what has been attained; A Level One Butterfly Quality of Life award from Dementia Care Matters and changing the end of life care through the Irish Hospice Foundations CEOL Programme. These two programmes work hand in hand as dementia is terminal illness and we now can allow people to live and to die in the best person centred way possible. Residents no longer just exist waiting to die, they know they still matter and feel loved and cherished right until the very end.

It was a long journey of change with many hiccoughs along the way. But the team believed in their vision and now would never return to the old way!

Every moment matters at Saint Joseph’s Shankill.

Nursing Home End of Life Care Award

Sinead Beirne & Care Team
Silverstream Healthcare – Dunlavin Nursing Home, Co. Wicklow

Led by Sinead Beirne, Director of Nursing the Care Team at Dunlavin Nursing Home believe that End of Life Care is perhaps the most significient aspect of a residents Care Journey.

Staff are mindful that memories made at End of Life are the lasting memories we will hold of loved ones and therefore there is no room for error or compromises in care.

Each department including nursing, housekeeping, laundry, catering, activities, admin and maintenance have a pivotal role in End of Life Care with each staff member contributing in their own way to the residents End of Life Journey.

Care does not end with the death of a resident and continues beyond the death of a resident with comfort ,counselling and support offered to loved ones left behind.

The care teams mantra is simple “no one should die alone, scared or in pain but rather surrounded by much love and loved ones”.

Compassionate End of LifeGroup
Mowlam Healthcare – Caherass Nursing Home, Co. Limerick

The Compassionate End of Life Group in Caherass commenced in 2015 by participating in a pilot programme called “A Journey of Change” with the Irish Hospice Foundation. Since then the group has developed and grown into a consistently performing team, passionate about improving end of life care standards. The CEOL group is comprised of ten members of staff across all disciplines within Caherass. The CEOL groups’ philosophy and ethos is to facilitate an environment of openness around end of life so that staff can deliver individualised end of life care as decided by the resident.

Aldo De Guzman
St Joseph’s Centre Shankill, Co. Dublin

A native of the Philippines, Arnaldo de Guzman (Aldo to his friends) has been a part of Saint Joseph’s family for the last 11 years, and works in Glendalough Lodge, this lodge is home to residents of Late Stage Dementia.

Aldo creates an atmosphere that is calm and relaxing and he ensures that the senses of each of his residents are gently stimulated. He also manages the relationships with the families at this often difficult time very considerately and with great empathy. He has played a vital role in the Irish Hospice Foundation CEOL (Compassionate End of Life) Programme and is the driving force of the on the ground.

One of the wonderful things that Aldo does after someone has died is ‘dressing’ the bed. For one lady it was her love of reading and good coffee that was remembered, when the bed was set with a tray of cups and fresh coffee with milk and sugar at the ready, a pile of books and her notepad, surrounded by photographs of her family.

WINNER – Nursing Home Resident Achievement Award 2018

Collette Kennedy
Esker Lodge Nursing Home, Co. Cavan

Collette Kennedy, originally from Dublin, is currently a resident of Esker Lodge in Cavan. Collette has lived in Esker Lodge since May 2014.

Collette has conquered many obstacles in her life, to overcome a plethora of medical conditions and physical challenges. With grit and a determination to overcome her challenges, she has flourished. Collette aspired to continue her passion for hairdressing and is a fantastic support to our weekly hairdresser. Collette’s contributions extends to supporting other residents, gardening, social coordinator … the list is endless. Collette is the life and soul of Esker Lodge events. She has overcome many hurdles because of her admirable resilience. Collette is friend to everyone within our Esker Lodge community.



Kindly Sponsored by: