LINCOLN, Neb. (MADONNA)--Rich and Bill Claussen of Lincoln fondly remember the excellent care their mother received at Madonna following a stroke in 1998. To honor those who helped their mother rebuild her life, the Claussen brothers established The Georgann Claussen Memorial Award of Excellence. The award, which comes with a $250 stipend, is presented each year in grateful appreciation to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals employees for their compassion and excellence in helping children and adults with disabilities rebuild their lives.
This year’s recipient is therapy aide Zachary LaPuma. Zach was nominated by Erin Reier, occupational therapist, and nine other members of the outpatient pediatric team.
“Zach has the ability to support the therapist’s activities while maintaining a fun environment for the child,” Erin said. “He is able to play with children, but still make it therapeutic. Our families and children recognize and request to work with Zach due to his caring nature. He truly embodies the spirit of the Georgann Claussen Award,” she added.
The first award was given in 2001. Since that time, the Georgann Claussen Award has been presented to nurses, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, a physical therapist, a recreation therapist, a respiratory therapist, and a social worker – all critical members of the patient care team.