The MHA Caregiver of the Year Award is presented annually by the Maine Hospital Association to recognize a caregiver from a member institution who, on a daily basis, demonstrates extraordinary commitment to the delivery of care to patients and their families.

Any caregiver from a member institution may be nominated. The winner must be able to attend the award ceremony the evening of Wednesday, June 21 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine.

Nominees should demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • exemplify extraordinary commitment to patients on a daily basis;
  • show compassion, empathy and respect in the delivery of care to patients and their families;
  • acknowledge and meet the unique physical, emotional and practical needs of patients and their families; and
  • promote an environment of cooperation and collaboration in which the expertise and experience of all healthcare professionals are available to patients.
Key Dates
April 28: Deadline for Nominations
May 26: Winner Selected
June 21: Award Presented at MHA's Summer Forum at the Samoset Resort in Rockport

Nominations for the 2023 Caregiver of the Year are now open.  Any caregiver from a member institution may be nominated. The deadline for nominations is April 28.  The winner must be able to attend the award ceremony the evening of Wednesday, June 21 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine.

Nominations for the MHA Caregiver of the Year can be by completing the Nomination Form online.

Q. How do I submit a nomination?

A. Submit a nomination by completing this online form.

Q, What are the key dates for the nomination process?

A. Nominations must be received by Friday, April 28, 2023.  The award recipient will be selected by Friday, May 26.  The awards ceremony will be held Wednesday, June 21 at the Samoset Resort.

Q. What is required of the nomination process?

A. Your name and contact information, the name of your nominee, and an essay of 500 words or less to explain why your nominee meets the criteria, as well as at least two, and up to three, examples of how your nominee has gone above and beyond the call of duty in demonstrating an extraordinary commitment to patient care.  You may also upload any supporting documentation, awards, articles, letters etc.

Q. Who may nominate someone to be Caregiver of the Year?

A. Anyone may nominate an employee of an MHA-member hospital to be the MHA Caregiver of the Year.  However, the nomination requires at least two or up to three examples of going above and beyond the call of duty.  The people who would know of such examples are typically the nominee's co-workers.  If you are a patient who would like to nominate one of your caregivers, but don't have enough information to complete the nomination, we suggest conferring with that caregiver's co-workers. 

Q. Can I nominate someone from a practice or nursing home that is affliliated with an MHA member hospital?

A. Yes, if the practice or organization is owned or affiliated with an MHA member, any caregivers there may be nominated. 

Q. I know the perfect person to nominate. However, I’m hesitant about my writing skills. What advice can you give? What are the judges looking for in a winning entry?

A. Having professional writing skills is not essential for writing a good entry. After giving a brief, but thorough, background on the nominee, remember to provide specific examples of why that person deserves the award. Does she go out of her way to help patients? Give an example. Does he always show his co-workers how special they are? Give an example. Is there one heroic or meaningful event that stands out in your mind? Be as descriptive as possible. Does your nominee participate in good works outside the hospital and her job? Tell us about them.  Remember, the judges don’t know your nominee as well as you do – that’s why an essay and examples are required. The entries that stand out above the others are those that describe the various reasons you and/or other co-workers believe the nominee is an extraordinary caregiver.

Q. Must the nominee be a doctor or a nurse?

A. No, but successful Caregiver of the Year nominees do have direct contact with patients and their families.  Over the years, the award has gone to social workers, a rehabilitation therapist and a director of volunteer services in addition to doctors and nurses. 

Q. May I submit a posthumous nomination?

A. No.  The awardee must be available to attend the opening banquet of MHA's Summer Forum on Wednesday, June 21 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. 

Q. How is the winner selected?

A.  MHA staff will narrow nominations to one from each hospital.  The final decision will be made by a committee.  The winner will be selected by May 26, 2023. 

Q. What does the winner receive?

A. The MHA Caregiver of the Year is honored at the Opening Banquet of the MHA Summer Forum on Wednesday, June 21 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport.  An award is presented and the awardee is given the opportunity to speak to MHA members.  The awardee will be invited to attend the rest of the conference, which ends on Friday, June 23.

For more information, contact Carol Sinclair at MHA


Year  Name Hospital
 2002   Suzanne Laliberte, RN  Goodall Hospital
 2003  Stephanie Schmermund, RN, BSN  St. Joseph Hospital
 2004  Dorothy Petersen, LCSW  Miles Memorial Hospital
 2005  Diane Frechette, RN, BSN, CNOR  Southern Maine Medical Center
 2006  Gregory Leach, MD  Southern Maine Medical Center
 2007  Francis Moore, Director of Rehabilitation Services  Mayo Regional Hospital
 2008  Janice Wood, RN  Miles Memorial Hospital
 2009  Mark Publicker, MD, Medical Director, Mercy Recovery Center  Mercy Hospital
 2010  William Legere, RN, ARNP  Central Maine Medical Center
 2011  Betty Walker, Director of Volunteer Services  Cary Medical Center
 2012  75th Anniversary Celebration, no award given  
 2013  Margaret “Miki” MacDonald, FNP  St. Joseph Hospital
 2014  Charles Hendricks, MD  Mount Desert Island Hospital
 2015  Clayton Bell, MD  Rumford Hospital
 2016  Kelly Hughes Wheeler, RN  Redington-Fairview General  Hospital
 2017  Lois Latour, LCSW  Eastern Maine Medical Center
2018 Jennifer Cavalari, DO  Houlton Regional Hospital
2019 Karen Rumo Spring Harbor Hospital
  No awards were given in 2020 or 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In 2022, Maine Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Director Dr. Nirav Shah was honored.