AAPACN is dedicated to supporting post-acute care nurses provide quality care.

AAPACN 2023 Award Winners

Celebrating the AAPACN 2023 Award Winners

At the AAPACN 2023 Conference held in Las Vegas last week, AAPACN honored the work of five LTPAC professionals who embody the vision and values of AAPACN – integrity, innovation, inspiration, and influence – and who have made a lasting impact on post-acute care nursing. Let’s meet the AAPACN 2023 Award winners in this video and below.

Influence Award
Emily Anne Blaney, GNAS/Lead LNA
Genesis Exeter Center

The Influence Award is presented to a member whose actions and attitude encourage the highest level of performance from staff or peers in their jobs and the care of residents.

Emily is an LNA at Genesis Exeter Center in East Kingston, NH. Emily encourages her peers by helping them to realize the power within themselves. She leads by example, holding her peers accountable for the level of care she believes residents deserve.

Integrity Award
Mary Guillaume, RN, QCP
Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina

The Integrity Award is presented to a member whose actions and behaviors display the highest level of leadership and ethics in their work in post-acute care and who exhibits a firm adherence to a code of values and a history of modeling exemplary behavior to staff and peers.

Mary is the director of nursing at Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina – Summerville in Mount Pleasant, SC. In her nomination of Mary, administrator, Cindy Robbins wrote, “Humility, dedication, and attitude are what make great leaders. Mary exemplifies all of these attributes at Presbyterian Communities. Throughout the pandemic, and now as we transition back to “normalcy,” Mary has led by example. She has shown up on the hard days and been hands-on providing treatment to residents and support for her team.”

Innovation Award
Laurie A. Laxton, RN, BSN, CMAS, CCFA, RAC-CT, IP-BC, QCP

The Innovation Award is presented to a member whose actions and behaviors promote best practices and innovative solutions within their facility or the post-acute care profession.

Laurie is a principal clinical educator for Inovalon in Northport, AL. When describing Laurie, Inovalon’s Kimberly Smith said, “Laurie exemplifies what it means to be a change leader. She has a passion for helping others and a natural ability to synthesize large volumes of information into easy-to-consume action plans that positively impact patient care and resident quality of life.Her dedication to the nursing profession and the ever-changing landscape of healthcare is the embodiment of what it means to not only be a change leader but also an innovator.”

Inspiration Award
Sheryl A. Pugsley, LPN
Canyon West of Cascadia

The Inspiration Award is presented to a member who is a leader or aspiring leader and first-time conference attendee, who inspires success in others or aspires to be a leader who fosters the success of staff within the facility or the post-acute care field.

Sheryl is a Staff Development Coordinator and Infection Preventionist at Canyon West of Cascadia in Caldwell, Idaho. She discovered a love of teaching as an instructor for a local CNA program. In that role, Sheryl encourages the personal and professional growth of her students. By attending the AAPACN conference this year, she hopes to broaden her knowledge and return with information and resources of value to her and her team.

Impact Award
Dr. Shellie M. Sonnentag, DNP, AGPCNP, CD, NHA, RAC-CTA, WCC, QCP
Real Property Health Facilities

The Impact Award is presented to a member whose actions over the course of their career have positively affected the profession, the post-acute care field, or the association.

Shellie is the chief nursing officer for Real Property Health Facilities in Stanley, WI. In her 28-year long-term care career, Shellie has contributed to the field of long-term care nursing by serving as a current co-chair of the Quality Committee for the Wisconsin Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living and past co-chair of the Education and Convention Committee. She has served on the advisory board for the CHSRA Clinical Resource Center and is a current member of the Wisconsin DON Council. Shellie has been a member of AAPACN since the founding of its legacy association, AANAC, and was the AANAC Administrator of the year in 2001.

In her nomination for Shellie, Heather Boehlke wrote: “Shellie’s work ethic, optimism, and enthusiasm for long-term care has inspired many people to enter the profession or to obtain further education. She uplifts others and inspires them to grow and flourish.”

Congratulations to the AAPACN 2023 Award Winners! Learn more about the AAPACN Awards and meet more past winners.