Friendship Announces 2020 Employee Recognition Awards Winners and Milestone Anniversaries

Friendship, a local leader in senior living and rehabilitation, has selected the winners of its annual recognition awards for 2020. The winners were announced virtually to the organization’s employees on Wednesday, December 9, 2020.

“The pandemic has limited our in-person meetings,” said President and CEO Joe Hoff. “We made the decision to hold the celebration virtually as we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to recognize these very deserving team members.”  

Friendship annually distributes awards in the categories of leadership, achievement, community and clinical.  The 2020 recognition award winners are:

·      Friendship Achievement Award: Adam Miller, network administrator

·      Friendship Clinical Award: Emilio Zaga, wound care nurse at Friendship Health and Rehab Center and Brandy Hodges, unit manager at Friendship Health and Rehab Center South

·      Friendship Community Award: Jessica McGraw, social worker at Friendship Health and Rehab Center South

·      Friendship Leadership Award: Phabeanna Lawson, director of purchasing

The Friendship Achievement Award recognizes and honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to the success of Friendship. The award is given to an individual with multiple years of service to Friendship, who has made a significant impact for those served and is recognized by his or her manager or director and peers as being the best of the best at their vocation. Adam Miller always goes the extra mile to make sure the job is done right, even if that means longer hours and late nights.  He is very flexible and is always finding ways to overcome day-to-day challenges, all in the best interest of Friendship so we can continue to provide the best care to those we serve.

The Friendship Clinical Award is given to an individual who has made a significant positive clinical impact to his or her patients and residents, promoted and obtained higher quality standards, improved safety in the workplace, and demonstrated best practices.  This year, working in healthcare has been exceptionally challenging and all of our healthcare workers are heroes. We had several outstanding nominees and for the first time, we selected two deserving individuals for this award.  

Emilio Zaga was selected due to the great pride he has in his work, for paying close attention to detail, and for going above and beyond to ensure great clinical outcomes.  He has a positive attitude and is willing to help other team members, which boosts morale.

Brandy Hodges was also selected for this award, as she goes above and beyond to make sure the growing needs associated with the pandemic are met.  She’s always willing to help out, making sure others are educated and held accountable.

The Friendship Community Award was designed to recognize the extraordinary efforts of an individual who, in addition to making a significant positive impact in his or her department, provides significant volunteer work, personal time, and/or contributions to the betterment of our local community or represents themselves and Friendship in the community with distinction.  Jessica McGraw not only advocates for Friendship and those we serve, she helps others in the community by volunteering at local animal shelters, food drives, street clean-ups and the fitness for good program, helping the elderly get out and moving to prevent isolation. She goes above and beyond to help with the betterment of the community.

The Friendship Leadership Award recognizes and honors an individual for providing exemplary leadership consistent with the vision and mission of Friendship. The recipient positively engages those around them to promote quality of care and services, to improve resident experience and quality of life, to enhance resources and environment in support of our mission, and to communicate and educate by engaging partners and teammates, promoting successful strategies, and advocating for success of our goals. Phabeanna Lawson from the start of the pandemic, has gone above and beyond to make sure Friendship had the supplies needed to keep our residents and team members safe, following our mission of supporting friends by providing peace of mind. She has spent countless hours working with vendors to ensure supplies are received in a timely manner.  She is a team player, always willing to assist others.

Friendship also recognized staff celebrating milestones of 15 years or more of service with the organization.

“These long-serving team members are all valued among their colleagues and we thank you for your many years of service and dedication to Friendship,” said Angela Hughes, Friendship vice president of human resources and compliance.

Celebrating milestone anniversaries this year are:

·      15 years – Donna Bryant, Chung Vo

·      20 years – Tanya Evans, Karen Importico, Frank Knight, Pamela Hart, Cynthia Barnett

·      35 years – Steven Jenkins

·      45 years – Kathy St. Clair, who will be honored with a commemorative bench

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Friendship North Campus

367 Hershberger Road, Roanoke, VA 24012


Friendship South Campus

5647 Starkey Road, Roanoke, VA 24018


Friendship Salem Terrace

1851 Harrogate Dr, Salem, VA 24153