John Gilligan, RN, receives 2012 Joan Ann McHugh Award for Leadership in Long-term Care Nursing

The 2012 recipient of the LeadingAge Joan Ann McHugh Award for Leadership in Long-term Care Nursing is John Gilligan, RN, clinical nurse manager at Sunshine Gardens, a 60-bed memory impairment unit at Southampton Estates, a retirement community in Southampton, Pa., operated by ACTS Retirement-Life Communities.

Gilligan played a key role in the opening of the dementia unit and was an instrumental member of a committee that converted a storage room into a sensory stimulating environment, known as a Snoezelen room. The room is used to decrease anxiety levels and reliance upon psychotropic medications among dementia patients.

Gilligan led a culture change program in conjunction with the dietary department and has received the President’s Award from the ACTS Corporation. He serves as an active member of the Quality Assurance Committee, which strives to improve the quality of care in the dementia unit.

Gilligan is known for developing close relationships with the residents with whom he works. Certified Nursing Assistants at Sunshine Gardens report that most of these residents know Gilligan by name and regularly request to see him.

The award has recognized clinical excellence and leadership in the senior care field since 2006. Gilligan is the first Male nurse to receive the award.

 “John Gilligan exemplifies the level of commitment to quality that LeadingAge members should strive to cultivate in their employees,” says Larry Minnix, president and CEO of LeadingAge, in a press statement. “We are honored to bestow [the award] upon someone so qualified and deserving.”

Gilligan will receive $1,000 to be used for professional development and will receive recognition at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting next month in Denver.

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Clinical , Executive Leadership