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Celebrating Skilled Nursing

Centers across the state celebrated National Skilled Nursing Care Week with fun, festivities and food.

Vista Park welcomed special guests from Chick fil a during Skilled Nursing Care Week

 The Nursing staff at Sparta Health & Rehab wore pink to mark the occasion

Lee County Health & Rehab associates celebrated Skilled Nursing Week with a new theme each day, including “hat day”


Honoring Fallen Heroes

Three tough associates recently travelled to Boston for the "10th Anniversary Tough Ruck Nation." Steve Sheets, Division VP for Skilled Nursing, Michael Barry, Administrator of Taylor County Health & Rehab and George Hunt, Executive Director of the Community Health Foundation, came together to complete in the 26.2 mile ruck march to honor fallen service members, police, firefighters and EMS. Thank you, Steve, Michael and George, for your inspiring compassion and commitment to honoring those who have made great sacrifices for our nation!

Big Wins at the Winter Convention

The Georgia Health Care Association (GHCA) recently hosted their 2032 Winter Convention & Expo. The Stars in Long Term Care Awards Ceremony was opened by Governor Brian Kemp. Congratulations to the following Ethica winners:

LPN of the Year: Benetta Battle, Lynn Haven Health and Rehabilitation Center

CNA of the Year : Gloriasteen Mercer, Autumn Lane Health & Rehabilitation

Social Service Professional of the Year : Melissa Clifton, Gordon Health & Rehabilitation

Engineering & Environmental Services Champion of Long Term Care: Glenn Curtis, Ethica

Leadership Excellence Award Winner: Keitta Evans, Ethica

Celebrating Accreditation

Congratulations to all 54 Ethica client centers for achieving successful accreditation through The Joint Commission. This elite accreditation is awarded to centers who demonstrate continuous compliance with strict performance standards. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a health care organization’s commitment to providing safe and quality patient care.


The Joint Commission logo


      Celebrating a Half-Century of Service

      Portrait of former Administrator Johnnie Brooks

      Friends and coworkers recently gathered to honor Johnnie Brooks, Administrator of Treutlen County Health & Rehabilitation, as she announced her retirement after 50 years of service to the Soperton community.

      Johnnie began her career in long-term care in 1972, as a secretary at Treutlen County Health & Rehabilitation. Over the course of her impressive half-century long career, Johnnie has served in various position in the nursing center, spending the majority of her tenure leading as the center’s Administrator.


      “She is loved greatly and will be so very missed every single day. We only wish for her to have the very best retirement that is filled with love, joy, plenty of rest and tons of laughter!! We love you Johnnie Brooks and thank you with all our hearts for your incredible Legacy!”

      Jane Martin, Administrator-Treutlen County Health & Rehabilitation


      Among her colleagues in the long-term care industry, Johnnie’s name has become synonymous with excellence, leadership and poise. As Administrator of Treutlen County Health & Rehabilitation, Brooks has led her team through incredible achievements, including Facility of the Year awards, 5-star ratings, Joint Commission Accreditation and even a Gold Quality award, as well as major challenge
      s, like the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Johnnie has been named an Ethica Administrator of the Year twice  and was even named one of McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction. Her dedication to the patients and associates of the center are indicative of what can only be described as true servant leadership.

      Jane Martin, formerly Treutlen’s Director of Nursing will be assuming the role of Administrator. Jane says “I have had the absolute greatest honor to work with and more importantly learn from Johnnie Brooks for the past 17 years. She is so very special to me and I cannot put into words the impact that she has had on my life both professionally and personally. She is an amazing mentor and a very special friend for all time! I am humbled and excited for the opportunity to continue her legacy as Administrator and pray that I will be able to make her proud of the way we proceed at Treutlen Health and Rehab! She left massive shoes for us to fill, but she also gave all of us the tools to go forward and succeed.”

      In addition to the retirement celebration held for Johnnie earlier this month, Brooks was also asked to serve as Grand Marshal for the Treutlen County Christmas Parade, a testament to the incredible impact she has made on patients and families over the course of her career.

      Please join us in thanking Johnnie for her many years of service, dedication and leadership. We wish her a happy retirement, enjoying time with her husband, Kenny, sons, Jason and Luke, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

      Treutlen County Health & Rehabilitation is a Joint Commission Accredited skilled nursing center. For more information about Treutlen County Health & Rehab, visit

       Group photo of new Treutlen County Administrator Jane Martin, former Administrator Johnnie Brooks, and CHSGa President/ CEO Ronnie Rollins


      Banner celebrating Johnnie Brooks for 50 years of service  Johnnie Brooks in a parade car celebrating her status as Grand Marshall for the Treutlen County Christmas Parade


      Pictured Above (Left to Right):
      Treutlen County Administrator, Jane Martin, Johnnie Brooks, andCHSGa President/CEO, Ronnie Rollins


      Johnnie Brooks serves as Grand Marshal for the Treutlen County Christmas Parade. 

      GHCA Announces 2022 Award Winners 

      Each year, the Georgia Health Care Association (GHCA) presents prestigious awards to clinical professionals at the GHCA Annual Affiliate Meeting and Quality Summit. Among the awards presented are “The Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) of the Year,” “The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) of the Year,” and “The Social Services Professional of the Year.”  This year, each of these awards were presented to associates from Ethica client centers.

      Congratulations to the following individuals for their outstanding work:

      2022 GHCA CNA of the Year:


      Gloriasteen Mercer, Autumn Lane Health & Rehabilitation

      Picture of Gloriasteen Mercer with her GHCA CNA award

      Gloriasteen began her career at Autumn Lane (formerly Gray Health & Rehab) 37 years ago and continues to touch the lives of patients and her fellow associates through what she considers more her ministry, than her job.

      Over the course of her nearly four-decade career, Gloriasteen has lead, trained and mentored countless CNA’s. She is known for her energy, stamina and dedication.

      Joanne Braswell, Social Services Coordinator at Autumn Lane, says “Miss Gloriasteen just recently lost her husband. But even during her time of bereavement, she was concerned about Autumn Lane and her residents. She called to let us know she’s be back to work a couple of days after the funeral and to check on her residents. Gloriasteen is so kind and compassionate. Although her children would love it if she would retire, Gloriasteen has no plans to do so. We are blessed to have her as part of our family.”

      Gloriasteen is known for her excellent bedside manner and her ability to make personal connections with her patients. Her positive attitude and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty are among the many qualities which set Gloriasteen apart. She is truly an outstanding caregiver and a blessing to everyone who has the privilege of meeting her. 


      2022 GHCA LPN of the Year:


      Benetta Battle, Lynn Haven Health & Rehabilitation

      Picture of Benetta Battle with her GHCA LPN award

      Benetta began her career as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2005 and has been a dedicated clinician and leader ever since. Benetta’s dedication and enthusiasm for her work shine through in everything she does, from patient care, to outreach, to clinical assessments and quality improvement.

      Benetta takes an active and hands on role in caring for her patients and takes a sincere interest in their medical history, clinical needs and personal preferences and goals. She spends time with her patients and invests in getting to know each one personally.

      To her peers, Benetta is a capable and trustworthy leader and mentor who leads by example. Leslie Coleman, Administrator at Lynn Haven, says “Benetta is a skilled nurse and is able to consistently hone in and deliver what is needed for her patients through her own actions, by teaching and guiding other caregivers, or through collaboration with our physicians and the consulting care team. Benetta is the ultimate patient advocate.”

      Committed to providing the best care possible, Benetta is always seeking new opportunities to learn, grow and serve. She is a certified Train the Trainer for the CNA program at Lynn Haven as well as a certified Dementia Practitioner. She is actively involved in the quality assurance program at Lynn Haven, as well as various educational initiatives at the center.

      Benetta Battle is honest, caring and consistent and a shining example of what it means to be a servant leader and well deserving of the title “LPN of the Year.”


      2022 GHCA Social Service Professional of the Year:


      Melissa Clifton, Gordon Health & Rehabilitation

      Picture of Melissa Clifton with her GHCA Social Service Professional of the Year award

      While completing her Nursing degree in 2006, Melissa accepted a position in Social Services at a skilled nursing center. Through this position, Melissa found that she truly loved social services and has worked in the field ever since.

      To her colleagues, Melissa is known as a thoughtful and dependable teammate. She stays a step ahead in planning events like Nurse’s Week, CNA Week and other opportunities to recognize associates. A true servant leader, Melissa takes great initiative to get the job done. Maxic Burger, Gordon Administrator, says “During COVID we were short staffed in several departments.  Melissa went to the dietary department and asked to be trained to cook.  She started coming in one weekend a month to cook and a couple mornings a week so that the dietary manager had time off.”

      To her patients, Melissa is a passionate advocate and dutiful caregiver who goes beyond the call of duty. She actively seeks opportunities to enhance her skills and provide the best care possible for her patients. In addition to becoming a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a licensed Clinical Social Worker, Melissa also acquired TNA certification in order to assist with patient care.

      “I have worked in Long Term Care for twenty-three years.  I have been fortunate to have worked with some wonderful people along the way.  However, of all the people I have had the privilege to work with, Melissa stands out among them all.  She comes to the center every day as if she is on a mission… Melissa loves people.  People love Melissa,” states Maxic Burger, Administrator.


      Congratulations to these outstanding long-term care professionals. It is a true honor and privilege to have you on the Ethica team!

      Long-term Care Organization Introduces Georgia Grown Meats to its Menus

      Macon – Ethica, a Georgia non-profit healthcare organization, is bringing pork raised by Georgia farmers and processed by Georgia Premium Meats of Colquitt, Georgia, to the tables of its long-term care facilities.

      In 2019, the Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation, Hometown Health, and several healthcare and food service visionaries created the Georgia Rural Hospital Collaborative to create a direct connection between Georgia farmers and rural healthcare facilities.  It started with fruits and vegetables.  With success under its belt, the Collaborative operates Georgia Premium Meats, providing Georgia Grown meat to healthcare facilities.

      Ethica joins an ever-growing community of Georgia agricultural producers, manufacturers, and retailers committed to connecting their products to Georgia consumers.  With this action, Ethica is demonstrating its commitment to Georgia’s agriculture industry and the Georgia Grown program by bringing Georgia-raised and processed pork to its residents via a collaboration between Ethica and Georgia Premium Meats, a non-profit arm of the Georgia Rural Hospital Food Collaborative. 

      “This is where we live and serve, and it is great to be able to invest back into our local communities,” stated Brandon Poole, Executive Vice President of Operations. "Ethica has been working on this collaboration with Georgia Grown for over two years. “It is exciting to see it finally coming together,” he continued.

      To introduce the Georgia Grown program, residents participated in taste tests at several centers including Wynfield Park Health & Rehabilitation located in Albany, Joe-Anne Burgin Health & Rehabilitation in Cuthbert and Taylor County Health & Rehabilitation in Butler.  “We were pleased with the results of the tastings and are excited to introduce Georgia Grown meats in our Spring/Summer menu,” commented Alisa Vallbracht, MPH, RD, LDN, Director of Dining Services for Ethica. 

      “Shorter supply chains are good for everyone. They are reliable and provide new markets for local farmers and workers who process the food. They get food more quickly and reliably to the consumer, keep money in the local economy, and save consumers money,” said David Bridges, Director of Georgia’s Center for Rural Prosperity and Innovation (

      Ethica and Georgia Premium Meats have aligned with Gordon Food Service to bring Georgia Grown protein to Georgia skilled nursing facility residents.  Fruits and vegetables from local farms will be next.

      Georgia Grown logo    Georgia Premium Meats logo  image of the dietary team serving locally sourced pork sausage at Taylor County Health and Rehabilitation 
      Image 3: The dietary team serves locally sourced pork sausage at Taylor County Health & Rehabilitation.


      Servant Leader Spotlight

      James Brawner

      Environmental Services Supervisor, Brown Health & Rehabilitation

      "I would like to nominate James Brawner, Environmental Supervisor, for the Servant Leader spotlight. James absolutely meets the criteria of a Servant Leader. He puts the needs of his team, his co-workers, residents and families above his needs all the time. He will come early, stay late and work in any and every department to help to make sure everyone’s needs are met. He never asks his team to do anything he is not willing to do. When we have a project he jumps on the task with a smile and a great attitude. He works to grow his team in their abilities and knowledge. He is a blessing to Brown Health and Rehabilitation and Ethica. He has made my time as interim at Brown a great experience. Thank you so much for all you do for our team!"

      Nomination submitted by Brandi Meadows, Interim Administrator of Brown Health & Rehab

      Thank you, James, for everything you do for our organization and our patients and thank you, Brandi, for submitting this nomination!

      Client Centers Unveil Virtual Tours

      We all know how difficult the Pandemic has made things, especially for our long-term care patients and their families. While we are hopeful for brighter days ahead and more open doors for everyone, we are realistic about that fact that there are some situations where a patient or their family may be unable to visit a center before choosing to transition there. Through our new virtual tours, patients and their families will have the opportunity to visit an Ethica client center from their computer or mobile device. Each virtual tour has been professionally filmed and edited to showcase the center's unique personality, amenities and culture. 


      Congratulations to Ethica Nurse Aide Training Coordinator, Shannah Martin on completing her Master of Science in Nursing–Nurse Leadership from Walden University.

      Photo of Shannah Martin 

      Shannah says: 
      "I chose to get my Master's degree so that I could help those around me. God, my husband, and my children play a tremendous role in any choice I make. I am blessed to have the opportunity to learn and grow with their support along the way. I won't say the journey was easy, but I will say it was worth it. I started back to school right before the COVID pandemic hit. I was a DON in a center and thought I would drop the classes due to working extended hours. My family pushed me, and with their help, I was able to make it through. For me, it is never about myself, but now I can enhance the lives of those I serve. I love to learn, and I love to teach what I've learned. I love to see the face of someone when I can help them learn something and, even better, understand it. I plan to take what I've learned and give back to those I serve."
      Thank you, Shannah, for your dedicated service to our patients and congratulations on this outstanding achievement!

      Servant Leader Spotlight

      Rachel Parker

      Administrator, Meadows Park Health & Rehab

      Photo of Rachel Parker

      "She is an exceptional Administrator she goes above and beyond for everyone staff and residents at all times. She always has a smile on her face, even when times are tough. Mrs. Parker always knows what to do and makes the right decisions. We have had many challenges staffing and COVID, but she always jumps in and knows what to do."

      Nominated by Danniqua Robertson, Business Office Manager

      Thank you, Rachel, for all you do and thank you, Danniqua, for submitting this nomination!


      Congratulations to Vice President of Clinical Practice, Keitta Evans! A champion for clinical excellence, Keitta has played an integral role in helping Ethica navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, while still finding time to achieve her goal of obtaining her DNP. Keitta celebrated this achievement on her birthday and says:

      "With the support of my husband, parents, kids, sisters, and other family members, I'm happy to say that the goal is complete!!! Besides the gift of life, this was the best birthday present ever."

      Congratulations, Keitta and thank you for all you do for our organization and our patients!