LeadingAge Employee of Distinction Award Recipient: Maria Formholtz

Maria Formholtz, GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center employee, has received the Employee of Distinction Award sponsored by LeadingAge New York. This award recognizes extraordinary dedication of direct service and indirect service staff. A total of 16 awards are presented to individuals throughout New York State with only two presented in Western New York.

Maria has been working with The GreenFields Continuing Care Community for 19 years. Her job as a Therapy Aide requires her to assist in care and transport of patients to and from their therapies.

Maria is known to assist with any request made by patients, always going the extra mile. She has been a recipient of “People First” cards which recognize staff for their many contributions, and has been included in compliments noted on Satisfaction Surveys over 100 times since 2011 (when tracking began) to present. Of the 100 occasions noted, 89 times were from residents and/or their families. The remaining 11 were from facility staff members. Compliments received have centered around her personality, positive attitude, excellence in service, dedication, humor, and joyful singing.

Maria has also received on multiple occasions the “Making A Difference” award by our facility. Making A Difference is a prestigious award given to one outstanding employee per year who are recognized by both “People First” cards and who maintain an above average performance evaluation completed by their supervisor. Maria has been voted Employee of the Month numerous times by her peers and has also received the Employee of the Year award.

Maria is a native of Puerto Rico and has many extended family members and friends residing there. During the last few years, Maria has actively sent supplies and made donations for relief to her family and the victims of Hurricane Maria.

From her co-workers:

Maria is an asset to our team. She always come to work with a smile and a song in her heart. You may even see her singing and dancing as she cares for her patients. She is a loving mother and grandmother who instills a strong work ethic.”

“Maria always gives 110% for everything she does. She always goes above and beyond when caring for her patients. Patients will return to rehab just to see her because of her uplifting personality. She can make you smile even on your worst day.”

“When I started here three years ago, I was amazed how welcoming everybody was… but there will always be a few people in my mind that stand out and always will. One of them is Maria, a physical therapy assistant who does way more than the title on her badge.
I remember sitting at my desk and hearing this woman sing (and I mean sing)… when I looked out the door, she was pushing residents in their wheelchairs singing them songs. Each of them had a smile on their face even when they were in pain. She finds a way of taking what can be a tough day for many residents, and brings joy to their lives.
She tells stories, she looks at patients in the eyes, she makes them laugh even when they want to cry. If a call light is on, she runs into the room. It doesn’t matter if they need their water filled or if they need to be taken to the bathroom, she honestly does whatever she can to make their stay more comfortable.
Most patients don’t want to come to a rehab facility or a nursing home, it’s safe to say that most of us want to go home, but many people don’t have that option. They need to come here so we can help them get better. So if you ever need someone to bring a little sunshine to your day, if you need someone to make the pain from your surgery feel a little better, make sure you ask for Maria and ask her to sing you a song. It will be just the beginning of your wonderful stay.”

About The GreenFields Continuing Care Community

The GreenFields Continuing Care Community provides for the physical, social, and spiritual needs of residents in a Christian environment. In addition to skilled nursingsubacute rehabilitation, and outpatient therapy at GreenField Health & Rehabilitation Center, The GreenFields offers a variety of living arrangements and support levels based on individual needs. This includes independent living apartments in GreenField Manor; assisted living apartments in GreenField Court; and memory care and enhanced assisted living in GreenField Terrace.

The GreenFields resident



5959 Broadway
Lancaster, NY 14086

The Niagara Lutheran Health System does not discriminate in the admittance of residents or the hiring of employees relative to age, race, creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, sexual preference gender, gender identity, blindness, handicap, sponsor, marital status, or religion.

Niagara Lutheran Health Foundation

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