The activities director at Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone, Rice cherishes the time she spends with residents at the senior living community and considers herself fortunate to work with such kind and caring individuals.
“Being with these seniors, they really do more for me than I do for them,” Rice said. “It’s my passion. It’s my love. In a community as tight as ours, you have to absolutely respect the residents and their beliefs and what they need.”
Rice has accomplished such goals and more at Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone. In fact, the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA) named Rice a 2014 Hero Award recipient during ALFA’s 2014 Conference and Expo in Phoenix, Ariz. The ALFA Hero Awards honor extraordinary individuals throughout the country who serve older adults in senior living communities.
Rice was among five ALFA Hero Award recipients this year, with the others coming from Florida, Illinois, Michigan and Texas.
“I was with my grandparents probably 90 percent of the time (growing up),” Rice said during an interview that was aired during the ALFA Conference and Expo this week. “They taught me how to love and care and give of myself. What I do every day is a tribute to my grandparents. I know that they would be thankful that if they’re not here, at least I was able to give back to someone else’s grandparents and let them know how remarkable they are.”
Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone is one of Wexford-based IntegraCare’
“Vienna is definitely a mentor and an example of what we look for -- a true desire to want to be good at what you do,” said Michael Cherry, IntegraCare director of talent acquisition, relations and development. “To be patient. To be respectful. To be honorable of others. To be selfless in everything that you do. Not a lot of people have that quality, and Vienna definitely is the poster child for all of those things.”
The 2014 ALFA Hero Award winners are:
· Donell (DJ) Akers of Horizon Bay, a Brookdale Senior Living community located in Plano, Texas.
· Beth Dreas of Heritage Woods of Centralia, a BMA Management community located in Centralia, Illinois.
· Vienna Rice of Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone, an IntegraCare community located in Tyrone, Pennsylvania.
· Cory Roberts of the Inn at Cass Lake, a Holiday Retirement community located in Waterford, Michigan.
· Rosario Spires of Windsor of Lakewood Ranch, a Legend Senior Living community located in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.
“The 2014 ALFA Hero Award winners are exemplars of the great work done every day in senior living communities across the nation,” ALFA President and CEO Richard Grimes said. “Their dedication and passion for serving seniors are the reasons more older adults choose to call senior living communities their home.”
Rice is eager to share the honor with team members and residents at Colonial Courtyard at Tyrone.
“This is huge,” Rice said. “I was really taken aback. I couldn’t believe it. What I do isn’t any different than any other activities director or any other staff. Now that I’ve had time to let it sink in a little bit, I think it’s pretty awesome.”