Columbus – Thrive Alliance recently recognized 25 caregivers who were nominated for the agency’s annual Caregiver of the Year Award at a ceremony on November 5, in Columbus. Three finalist recipients received special recognition as chosen by a group of seven judges. The award recipients are:

  • Unpaid Family Caregiver: Gary Goshorn, Columbus, Indiana
  • Paid Family Caregiver: Karen Williams, Hope, employed as preferred caregiver through Structured Family Caregiving
  • Paid Professional Caregiver: Ray Vaughn, North Vernon, employed by Our Hospice of South Central Indiana

Christina Rajanayakam, Family Caregiver Services Coordinator at Thrive Alliance, said: “The judges were greatly impressed by all of the nominated caregivers. The final selections were very difficult to make, given how many great stories were shared by those who nominated the candidates.”

“These award winners personify the heart, compassion, dedication and patience required to be a caregiver. They truly represent the best of caregiving, and we are proud as an organization to have this opportunity to recognize them,” Rajanayakam added.

Each recipient was nominated by a friend, family member or co-worker familiar with their experiences. Gary Goshorn was nominated for his many years of caring for his wife, Carole, who has dementia. His nomination stated, “Gary has been a faithful and loving husband. He makes sacrifices daily, perhaps hourly, to make sure Carole is well cared for.”

Karen Williams was nominated for the many years of caring for her twin sister, Sherry, who was born with Down Syndrome and now suffers from dementia. Her nomination noted that Karen has put her studies for a nursing career on hold for the last two years to care for her sister around the clock: “She bathes her, feeds her, puts her to bed, makes sure she has her to church, and administers her medicines to prevent seizures. Karen is truly a saint.”

Ray Vaughn’s nomination cited his dedication to those for whom he administers hospice care, stating, “Ray has served his community for so many years that members of the community now ask for him to be their nurse when they seek hospice care because they had friends or family members for whom he has provided care and they want the same exceptional care.”

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Thrive Alliance serves the residents of Bartholomew, Brown, Decatur, Jackson, and Jennings counties.  Our services focus on helping older adults and individuals with disabilities remain safe and independent in their own home as long as possible. Our services also include providing safe and affordable housing for low income individuals and families.