Friendship Wins Statewide Awards for Excellence in Resident Programming

Friendship, a local leader in senior living and rehabilitation, has been selected for both first and second place recognitions in the 2023 D. A. “Woody” Brown Community Involvement Awards for the categories of “Facility Newsletter” (first place for Friendship Health and Rehab Center South) and “Special Event” (second place for Friendship Health and Rehab Center North). For over 30 years, the Virginia Health Care Association - Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VHCA-VCAL) has acknowledged the outstanding activity programs that involve, entertain, educate and enrich the individuals in their care.

The Special Event Program award recognizes a one-time activity or single on-going activity, such as a holiday specific open house or program held between May 2022 and May 2023. Friendship Health and Rehab Center North’s winning program involved a four-day outdoor event last fall called Camp Friendship. Highlights of the week included a visit to Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center for a picnic and fishing, listening to live music and making s’mores over a campfire, and watching an outdoor movie one evening with popcorn and ice cream.  

Newsletters are a special form of communication that is essential both inside long-term care communities and beyond. Centers must submit three different issues of their newsletter published between May 2022 and May 2023. Judging is based on content, readability, creativity, special features, relevance, timeliness and resident/employee involvement. Friendship Health and Rehab Center South publishes a monthly newsletter for residents that includes a letter from a leader in the organization; articles about an “Employee of the Month”, “Notable Events”, resident activities and birthdays, and volunteer appreciation; and even a “Comic of the month”.

“Activity programing enriches the lives of residents and promotes person-centered care. We are very proud of the creative efforts VHCA-VCAL members like Friendship make to engage their residents and patients every day,” said Keith Hare, President and CEO of VHCA-VCAL.

“Residents of health and rehabilitation organizations trust the facilities in which they live to provide the best possible care and attention,” said Friendship President and CEO Joe Hoff. “Our efforts to successfully provide not only that but also engaging communication and programming to those we serve at Friendship is a testament to the hard work, innovation and commitment from our team of dedicated professionals.”

The 2023 D.A. “Woody” Brown Community Involvement Award recipients will be recognized at the annual VHCA-VCAL Awards Banquet, held this year in Roanoke on September 13. The award program was named in honor of Mr. D. A. “Woody” Brown, the first Director of Operations of Autumn Corporation, a Vietnam Veteran, and a dedicated, enthusiastic leader in long term care. Awards were given in three categories: National Skilled Nursing Care Week or National Assisted Living Week Program; Special Event Program; and Facility Newsletter.

About Friendship

Friendship offers diverse senior living accommodations, award-winning care, new and innovative services, as well as specialized rehab and therapy. The community opened its first building in 1966 and has grown to offer the full continuum of healthcare, including an adult day care center, home care services and Bistro ’66, its dining venue that is open seven days a week. The needs of seniors are met within a caring community that inspires purpose in life. Visit for more information.

Residents and team members enjoying a picnic
Movie night for “Camp Friendship” week
Friendship team members during “Camp Friendship” week
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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