St. Joseph of the Pines has earned the Service Excellence Award from LeadingAge North Carolina for its End of Life Care program that promotes a dignified death.

“The new program is an extension of one of our core values – Reverence, in which we honor the sacredness and dignity of every person,” said Lori Portfleet, president at St. Joseph of the Pines. “The program has been positively received, and we are truly humbled to be recognized by our peers.”

The award was presented May 16th at the LeadingAge North Carolina Spring Conference & Trade Show in Asheville.

The Service Excellence Award honors those in direct service, either as employees or volunteers, who demonstrate extraordinary talent, expertise, and dedication in provision of exceptional service to residents.

“The program returns decisions to residents and their families,” said Kimberly Morton, director of assisted living at St. Joseph of the Pines. “It also provides comfort and support, promotes a ‘good’ death, and celebrates life.”

Morton and Pastor Archie Stevens, who jointly developed the program, accepted the award on the nonprofits’ behalf.

“Training has enabled us to build team awareness to promote a dignified death,” Stevens said. “The positive feedback we have received is invaluable, because it will help us improve the end of life experience for our residents in the future.”

The awards are presented annually by LeadingAge, a statewide organization comprised of continuing care retirement communities, assisted living communities, skilled nursing facilities, and affordable housing providers.

The awards are intended to inspire forward thinking, to foster professional aspiration, and to encourage creativity and dedication that will be required to continue expanding the possibilities for aging in the future.

Portfleet was named to the LeadingAge North Carolina Board of Directors during the conference.

“Our industry faces a number of challenges as we prepare for the next generation of residents, particularly the baby boomers,” she said. “Working with my peers to tackle these issues can only benefit our residents in the long run. I am honored to serve.”

Ted Natt, community benefit and communications coordinator at St. Joseph of the Pines, graduated from the yearlong LeadingAge North Carolina Leadership Academy at the conference.

“The academy was a tremendous experience that enhanced my knowledge of the industry and sharpened my skill set,” Natt said. “I look forward to leveraging it for the benefit of my colleagues and the 1,500 older adults that we care for across six counties.”

St. Joseph of the Pines is an aging services network offering a full continuum of retirement housing, health care and community-based services for older adults as well as community outreach to those in need. It is a Trinity Health Senior Community continuing the legacy of the Sisters of Providence.

Feature Photo: Pastor Archie Stevens, St. Joseph of the Pines President Lori Portfleet and Kimberly Morton (left to right), director of assisted living at SJP, pose with the Service Excellence Award presented by LeadingAge North Carolina to SJP for its End of Life Care program.

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