Gulf Pointe Village (GPV) Director of Nurses Linda Russell was awarded the first ever Charlie Marshall Coastal Bend Caregiver of the Year award Thursday, Oct. 24 at Charlie Marshall Funeral Home (CMFH) in Rockport.
Russell was chosen by committee to receive the award out of 19 nominees. Nominees ranged from numerous hospice professionals such as physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers, certified nursing assistants, and healthcare administrators.
The award was created by CMFH in an effort to recognize those dedicated individuals for their selfless devotion and generosity in being a caregiver.
“We as a funeral home wanted to honor the caregivers in this area because we know how difficult it is,” said CMFH Manager Norman Gonzalez.
Rockport Mayor Pat Rios was present at the ceremony and announced Russell as the award recipient.
Rios said it was a personal pleasure to announce the award winner.
“Having gone through issues with own my family, my mom and dad when they were elderly, my mother in-law, they all lived with us at one time and it got to the point where it had to go to a care facility,” said Rios.
Russell had no idea she’d be getting the award before the ceremony. She was honored to be chosen for it.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” said Russell. “I’ve been doing this for 23 years. I love what I do. It’s my life. I want to go to work to make sure my patients are taken care of. Even if I have something else to do at home, I want to go take care of my patients.”
GPV Administrator Yvonne Perez, Russell’s supervisor, spoke volumes of her.
“She’s the backbone of the building,” said Perez. “I may say I’m the boss, but I’m really not without Linda. She knows every diagnosis, every medical condition, everyone’s needs, their likes or dislikes. She’s my right hand.”
Russell received a $250 gift card as a prize from CMFH. GPV also received a matching donation.
CMFH plans to make this event an annual tradition and expects there to be even more competition for next year’s Caregiver of the Year.