Health Care

Woodlands Health Care Receives Kovach Award

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Woodlands at Austinwoods Health Care Center won the Joan Kovach Safety Leadership Award Wednesday as an emotional Claudia Kovach presented the award to its administrator, Sally Demidovich, at the Maronite Center.

Claudia Kovach presented the honor named in her mother’s memory to conclude the annual Mahoning Valley Safety Council safety awards luncheon, which this year recognized the efforts of 131 public and private entities in the Mahoning Valley that fostered safety in the workplace.

Four companies received all four awards — achievement, group, 100% and special — the B.J. Alan Co., EDM Management, Farmers National Bank and Home Savings Bank.

The achievement award is given to each company that decreases its incident rate by 25% or more. The group award is presented to the company with the lowest incident rate in each Bureau of Workers Compensation category.

The 100% award goes to each company that ended 2016 without a lost-time injury and the special award goes to each company that accumulates at least 500,000 man-hours and at least six months without a lost-time injury.

Eighteen entities earned a special award. In addition to B.J. Alan, EDM and the two banks, Karen Stacey recognized Banner Supply Co., Blakeman’s Valley Office Equipment Inc., Boardman Local Schools, Columbiana Foods, Comprehensive Logistics, Gasser Chair Co. Inc., Kirila Contractors Inc., New Leaf Residential Services Inc., Patella Carpet & Tile, PsyCare Inc., Simco Management, Taylor Steel, VEC Inc. and Zekelman Industries.

Stacey is the executive director of the leadership and safety programs at the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber.

In accepting the Joan Kovach Award, Demidovich told how much the honor meant, in part because Woodlands had been a finalist in 2015 and again last year.

She credited co-owner Kathy Prassad for her efforts in making Woodlands a safe workplace. “You need an owner who supports safety,” she said, noting that in her 16 years at the skilled nursing center, “It has been fully dedicated to safety.”

In an interview afterward, Demidovich said one component is a safety committee made up of both staff and management that sustains an environment where everyone buys into a safe workplace.

It’s hard work lifting patients with little or no mobility to and from their beds, she noted, and easy for caretakers to tax their bodies and incur back injuries. Those who work in the kitchen also can put too much stress on their bodies in cooking and preparing food.

So doing things right and not cutting corners is emphasized, Demidovich said.

The other three finalists this year, all of whom earned honorable mention, were Berk Enterprises, Canfield Schools and Gasser Chair. All compiled sparkling records in 2016, Stacey said, and “This year was one of the toughest to decide.”

Pictured: Sally Demidovich, corporate administrator at Woodlands at AustinWoods, and
Kathy Prasad, CEO, received the Joan Kovach Safety Leadership Award.

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Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.