Santé Hospice Licensed Nurse Aide Receives Tech Foresight Award

The healthcare industry has been challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition to the spike in cases throughout Arizona and the greater Maricopa County this summer, the staff at Santé have done a heroic effort in providing care for their patients.

“Our staff has been responding remarkably to the coronavirus pandemic, and our preparation and training have been consistent with CDC and the State of Arizona guidelines. This includes daily testing, proper PPE usage and safety protocols as Santé is taking every precaution to prevent the spread of this virus,” said Mark Hunt, Chief Operating Officer.  “COVID-19 has affected us all and forced us to change the way we approach our day to day lives at work, and in our personal lives.  Our amazing staff continues to rise to the occasion every day, and we’re all very proud of the care and services we provide in our community.”

This organizational pride and the exceptional example set by its individuals has also been acknowledged by the Ceca Foundation, which recognizes outstanding caregivers in the community with the Ceca Award Program –– using proven recognition techniques and innovative technology to celebrate high-touch acts of care. This Program also positively impacts patients and builds staff engagement.

As a participant of the Ceca Award Program, Santé Hospice nominated Natalie Pena, LNA for her efforts and going above and beyond during the pandemic to raise the morale of staff and her patients:


Natalie contracted a virus in late February while on her wedding trip.  She was quite sick and out of work for 3 weeks.  Natalie is such a positive employee that staff donated PTO days to her so that she was covered the entire time she was off.  While she was sick, she kept begging to come back to work because her patients needed her.  Once back on the job, Natalie has taken on the nursing assistant duties for all of our COVID-19 positive patients and been an outstanding spokesperson for proper Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) use.  She takes extra time with each of her patients since so many of them live in places that will not accept family visitors.  In this time of lock down, Natalie has become their family so that our patients are not alone at the end of their life. * 


It was announced Thursday, August 13th 2020 that Natalie Pena received the Tech Foresight Award –– recognizing senior living employees who have gone above and beyond to raise staff and resident morale during the coronavirus pandemic. An independent panel of judges selects three award recipients based on nominations, and the awards presented in August 2020 were designed by the Ceca Foundation to recognize and celebrate healthcare heroes.

“This is the first Tech Foresight Award for Santé Hospice, and we couldn’t be prouder of Natalie for her earning this recognition,” said Jenn Alig, Administrator, Santé Hospice.  “We have so many staff members going above and beyond during these trying times, and we nominated some key members of our team that have earned some extra recognition.  Natalie was one of those staff members that stood out to everyone that knows her.”

The practice of Hospice medicine involves the patient and their family and loved ones.  As care is provided to patients at the end of life, it can be a sensitive time for everyone.  Hospice care providers that maintain a loving and compassionate outlook on life while they provide these essential services are a blessing to us all.

Find out more about Santé Hospice here.


*Excerpt from Natalie Pena’s nomination shared with her permission. 

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