Renee Carter

January 2012

Renee Carter, Certified Nursing Assistant I at the Missouri Veterans Home – Warrensburg

Renee has been selected for her efforts as an outstanding role model for all MVH employees at the Warrensburg Veterans Home. During a period several months ago, the Warrensburg home was experiencing a high turnover of CNAs on the night shift. Renee volunteered to leave her day shift position to work nights to help train and monitor the new CNAs. Since then, Nursing Management has noticed a decrease in night shift turnover rates and better morale among CNAs on that shift.

Another example of Renee’s attitude and ethic is on a particularly busy day, she was pulled off of her home unit to assist two other units as well as transport a Veteran to a medical appointment. Through it all, Renee maintained a great attitude and smile.

Renee will be honored at a ceremony at the Missouri Veterans Home – Warrensburg on January 23, 2012 at 9 am.

Kelly Stanford

February 2012

Kelly Stanford, Custodial Worker I at the Missouri Veterans Home – Mexico

Kelly has been selected for being an outstanding and dedicated employee and an example of caring for others at the Missouri Veterans Home - Mexico.

Kelly exhibits this caring attitude by spending his breaks playing the guitar and singing with the residents. He has also helped organize a talent show for the Mexico Home Anniversary Week, entertained residents and families on family day and provided a charity concert free of charge with his band to support the special care unit.

Of special note is the occasion when a resident Veteran had been taken to the VA medical center in Columbia for palliative care due to a diagnosis of a very progressive cancer. Through discussions between mutual acquaintances of both the Veteran and Kelly, Kelly was asked and was willing to go to the hospital and sing a few songs for the Veteran, making his last days happier.

This extra effort to show the Veteran special concern and Kelly’s sincere expression of sorrow at the Veteran’s passing truly exemplifies the caring attitude set forth at our Veterans Homes.

Kelly will be honored at a ceremony at the Missouri Veterans Home – Mexico on February 24, 2012 at 2 pm.

Anastasia 'Staci' Wilson

March 2012

Anastasia "Staci" Wilson, Administrative Assistant for the Missouri Veterans Cemetery – Fort Leonard Wood

Staci has been selected for being a hard worker, very honest, and willing to help in any way to make things happen at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery – Fort Leonard Wood, using her skills and abilities in every aspect of service at the cemetery.

Staci’s communication skills are one of her greatest assets. Feedback from the community, Veteran clients, and their families is always positive and tells of how she made them feel comfortable when talking and meeting with them. In addition when a funeral home contacts the cemetery for a service, Staci maintains contact with the home and ensures that all of their needs are met. She then keeps the cemetery staff fully informed of individual burial details including the status of the funeral process and the estimated time of arrival at the cemetery gates.

Staci always puts the Veterans first in helping them to pre-certify, and their families first as well, in ordering grave markers, arranging for burial services, or just to welcome them for a visit and a cup of coffee. She lets the Veterans and families know that we will be here for them not just for the burial, but in the days ahead.

Staci will be honored at a ceremony at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery – Fort Leonard Wood on March 15, 2012 at 1:30 pm.

Alfredia Williams

April 2012

Alfredia Williams, Veterans Service Officer for the Southeast Region

Alfredia has been selected for her dedication to the Veterans she serves in Pulaski and Texas Counties.

Alfredia spends as much time as necessary talking with Veterans and gaining their trust to obtain the help they might need. She makes a profound difference in the lives of those Veterans, listening to their needs and filing claims that enable them to receive the compensation, pension, aid and attendance needed for their well-being.

Of particular note is Alfredia’s coordination of a medals ceremony for Texas County Veterans. Alfredia met with and encouraged Veterans to complete the forms for WWII, Korea, and Vietnam medals, communicated with the Adjutant General’s Office to ensure accuracy of each recipient’s medal, met with the local school administrator to plan the event, and contacted all participants who were involved in the pinning and presenting of coins and flowers to the Veterans and their spouses. Alfredia spent hours of personal time travelling to Houston to ensure everything was in proper order.

Alfredia will be honored at a ceremony at the VSO Regional Meeting on May 24, 1 pm at the Missouri Veterans Home – Cape Girardeau.

Matthew Applewhite

May 2012

Matthew Applewhite, Custodial Worker I for the Missouri Veterans Home – St. Louis

Matthew has been selected for his dependability as Custodial Worker and his dedication to that job as well as to the Veterans at the Missouri Veterans Home – St. Louis.

Matthew is known for his willingness to help out in any department and for recognizing when something needs to be done, then stepping in and doing the job to meet that need.

Matthew recently demonstrated that characteristic when he discovered a vending machine in the facility had been vandalized with the plexiglass front shoved in, leaving the items exposed. Taking initiative, Matthew used his own tools and repaired the vending machine, eliminating the need to call the vending machine company and preventing the loss of profit on the vending machine items that go towards the Assistance League and the Veterans in the home.

Matthew is appreciated by his co-workers and supervisors for his cooperativeness and willing to help out, from washing dishes in the kitchen when the Dietary department is short-staffed to assisting Veterans in other tasks.

Matthew will be honored at a ceremony on May 3, 2012 at 10:00 am at the Missouri Veterans Home – St. Louis.

Victoria (Tori) McCampbell

June 2012

Victoria "Tori" McCampbell, Health Information Technician II for the Missouri Veterans Home - Cameron

Tori has been selected for his dependability as Custodial Worker and his dedication to that job as well as to the Veterans at the Missouri Veterans Home – St. Louis.

Tori was selected for her exemplary actions as team leader in her position as Health Information Technician.

Tori is always willing to assist in any area where help is needed when one of the staff members is gone. She has been happy to assist with Recreational Therapy outings, taking Veterans on walks around the Home, or simply having conversations with the Veterans, making them her “number one” priority. Tori indeed exemplifies "One Team, One Goal, Serving Veterans".

Tori will be honored at a 11 am ceremony on June 1 at the Missouri Veterans Home - Cameron.

Erin Blackwell

July 2012

Erin Blackwell, Admissions Coordinator for the Missouri Veterans Home – Warrensburg

Erin has been selected for her willingness to go above and beyond to help Veterans and their families

Erin’s dedication and compassion to Veterans extends outside the Warrensburg facility as evidenced when she assisted the family of a Veteran on the waiting list with finding another facility with a Special Care Unit and connected them with a Veterans Service Officer who would assist them in applying for benefits.

Erin has also helped other departments at the Warrensburg home with special projects involving Excel and Powerpoint. She is involved with community outreach such as the Clinton VFW Veteran Outreach Fair and the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce’s Get out the Red annual event.

Erin is appreciated by her co-workers and the residents for her artistic talents and decorating abilities as shown by her painting of “Scout” for the Warrensburg “Dogs Unleashed” contest and for her work in decorating the bathing rooms to be more homelike.

Erin will be honored at a ceremony on August 2, 2012 at 9:45 am at the Missouri Veterans Home – Warrensburg.

Janna Blackburn

August 2012

Janna Blackburn, Shift Supervisor at the Missouri Veterans Home – Mexico

Janna was selected for her outstanding public relations skills towards all Veterans.

This skill was demonstrated recently when a homeless Veteran came into the home seeking help. The Veteran came in asking to stay for a few days because his car, which he had been living in, had broken down. He had managed to get the car fixed, but had no more money.

Janna provided him with something to eat and drink and kindly explained that he could not stay at the home and why. She then made some calls and contacted the local VFW Commander who arrived shortly. The VFW Commander then took the Veteran with him and arranged lodging and resources.

Janna’s handling of the situation took care of the Veteran’s immediate need and showed him the concern, compassion, and respect he deserved as a Veteran.

Janna will be honored at a ceremony on August 17, 2012 at 10:00 am at the Missouri Veterans Home – Mexico.

Lisa Mullin

September 2012

Lisa Mullin, Veterans Service Officer for the Southeast Region

Lisa was selected for her proficiency in her submissions of Fully Developed Claims (FDC) for her Veterans and their dependents in the Southeast Region.

FDCs allow the Veterans and their dependents get their entitled benefits faster, which means Lisa has to track these claims along with all the extra effort that goes into compiling and completing these claims.

Lisa is a credit to her peers and coworkers for her dedication towards Veterans and their dependents. Sikeston area Veterans are blessed to have such an outstanding VSO in their county.

Lisa will be honored at a ceremony on September 20, 2012, following the retirement luncheon for Joe Dailey in Rolla, Missouri.

Jamie Reed

October 2012

Jamie Reed, Outreach Specialist for the Missouri Veterans Commission

Jamie was selected for the excellent manner in which she coordinates outreach efforts to serve our Veterans and for her professional and positive attitude.

Jamie is being recognized for her outstanding job in planning, organizing, and displaying the Missouri Veterans Commission booth at the State Fair. Her instructions made it easy for those participating to show Veterans the excellent customer service they deserve.

Jamie provides organized and friendly outreach through the Yellow Ribbon events enabling returning Veterans to understand the benefits and services available to them and through her assistance to our Veterans Service Officers and our Women, Minority, and Incarcerated Veterans programs.

Jamie’s expertise in graphic design, creating items such as the Missouri Women Veterans license plate and the Women Veterans Conference flyer, is appreciated and exhibits a deserved focus on our Veterans.

Jamie will be honored on October 15, 2012 at 8:45 am at a ceremony held at the MVC Central Office in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Catherine James

November 2012

Catherine James, Certified Nursing Assistant for the Missouri Veterans Home – Mt. Vernon

Catherine was selected for the sincere and compassionate manner in which she serves the Veterans at the Missouri Veterans Home in Mt Vernon.

Catherine was observed on numerous occasions going above and beyond her assigned work duties, extending acts of kindness to those in her care. She is known for her beautiful singing voice, sharing her talent with the Veterans and staff by singing the National Anthem at the Home's July 4'" celebration. She is also known to hum and sing during her care duties, bringing soothing comfort and calm, especially to the dementia and Alzheimer's residents.

On one particular occasion, Catherine’s compassion and care was particularly noted when she took it upon herself to procure a donated recliner for a Veteran who was suffering a great deal of pain. She took the extra time to make sure it was put in the Veteran's room to help ease his pain with positioning, ensuring that this Veteran was pain free. Shortly after, the Veteran's blood pressure had dropped and he was sleeping comfortably.

Catherine’s co-workers attest to her always being in a happy mood and a pleasure to work with. Her genuine love for the Veterans we serve is always evident in the way she helps provide for their comfort, happiness and well-being.

Catherine will be honored on November 8, 2012 at 11:00 am at a ceremony held at the Missouri Veterans Home – Mt. Vernon in Mt. Vernon, Missouri.

Katherine Wessel

December 2012

Katherine Wessel, Laundry Worker I for the Missouri Veterans Home – St. Louis

Katherine was selected for her dedication to our Veterans, and the trustworthy manner in which she attended to her duties as Laundry Worker I at the Missouri Veterans Home in St. Louis.

Katherine is considered to be an outstanding, honest and hard-working employee by her co-workers. Her honesty was especially exhibited on two separate occasions.

The first incident was her discovery of a Veteran's wallet containing $792.00 in a pants pocket while she was placing clothing in the dryer. She dried out the money and took it to the proper Supervisor to return to the Veteran. Her timely and honest actions were understandably appreciated very much by the Veteran.

On another occasion she found a co-worker's wallet in a restroom and promptly returned it to her. Since the wallet contained her co-worker’s entire cashed paycheck, it represented her ability to pay her bills. Again, Katherine’s honest action was extremely appreciated.

Katherine is to be commended for acting swiftly and honestly in these situations. In the words of her co-worker, "We need more people like her".

Katherine will be honored on December 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm at a ceremony held at the Missouri Veterans Home – St. Louis in St. Louis, Missouri.