Focus on Fostoria - Nov_30_03

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Fostoria Focus - November 30, 2003

Good Shepherd's Cindy Swartz Earns
State's Activity Award
By Leonard Skonecki
- Click for related picture -

Activity – the state or quality of being active; the quality of acting vigorously.

Cindy Swartz knows all about being active. She's active and on the move all the time.

She has to be. She's the Activity Director at Good Shepherd Home.

Cindy is very good at her job. So good, in fact, that on October 16, she was presented with the Facility Relationship Award by Resident Activity Personnel in Ohio (RAP), a statewide organization of activity professionals serving the elderly.

The Facility Relationship Award is presented to the RAP member who has best promoted the formation of lasting relationships among residents, staff, communities and families. The award recognizes that interactions with others enhance the lives of nursing home residents.

Activity assistant Cathy Theis nominated Cindy for the award.

"Cindy is a very dedicated activity director," Cathy said. "She is always thinking of her residents. She's always planning activities inside and outside the home. She likes to see the residents enjoying themselves and doing things they like to do.

"She's also very concerned about getting the community involved with our residents and getting residents out into the community," she said. "She always makes the residents' families welcome at Good Shepherd Home."

Cindy has a quote in her office. It says, "Find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life."

"That's how I feel about my job as activity director at Good Shepherd Home," she said. "The residents and the people I work with make my job so rewarding and enjoyable."

Good Shepherd Home knows it has a keeper when it comes to their activity director.

"We're very excited that Cindy was honored for her dedication to our residents," GHS Administrator Chris Widman said. "Over the years, Cindy has certainly displayed an attitude of caring and compassion and we're very fortunate to have her at Good Shepherd Home."

Residents think so, too.

Clara Creeger, 101, was well acquainted with Cindy's family long before Cindy was born. She knew Cindy's great grandparents, Alert and Emmie Loeffler, and Cindy's grandmother, Mildred.

"Oh, yes! I know a lot about her background," Clara said. "She's okay in my book."

Millie McGarry feels Cindy is very okay, too.

"I love her. Her job is very hard," she said. "She's so nice to everyone. I've never seen her mad. She's my special friend"

Doris Bolen said, "Oh, she deserves an award. She works so hard."

So what sort of hard work did Cindy do to get her award? She has been Good Shepherd's activity director since September 7, 1993. Prior to that , she was activity director at St. Catherine's Care Center and was a nursing assistant and activity assistant at Autumnwood in Tiffin.

She chairs Good Shepherd's centennial committee which is organizing the celebration of the home's 100th anniversary in 2004.

She has held several offices in the Tiffin Area Activities Coordinators which provides continuing education for activity personnel in the Fostoria-Tiffin area.

She is Ways and Means chair for the Good Shepherd Home Auxiliary and assists in organizing the annual Auxiliary Bazaar.

Cindy is the home's volunteer coordinator. Good Shepherd has a vibrant volunteer program involving over 200 persons who regularly play music, give programs, bring pets, help on outings and activities, assist with worship services or visit residents.

Cindy is also an ambassador for Good Shepherd Home in the community. She has been an organizer of Good Shepherd's Relay For Life team since 1999 and in 2003 won the Relay award for the most money raised by an individual.

She belongs to the Fostoria Optimist Club and serves on the board of the Fostoria Area Historical Society. She completed the year-long Leadership Seneca County program.

Cindy received her award at the Resident Activity Personnel in Ohio annual convention in Columbus.

"I've been coming to RAP for many years. I want to thank everyone. This is so exciting. It means so much to me," she said.

RAP was established in 1975 to foster the exchange of ideas and resources among members; to maintain standards for certification; promote professional growth; develop ethical standards; and help maintain standards for activity and social service personnel.

Membership is open to long term care facility personnel employed in activity and social service programming. RAP is divided into 12 regions in Ohio similar to the districts of Ohio-s area offices on aging.

Other annual RAP awards include the Award of Excellence, Innovation Award, Advancement Award, Community Public Relations Award, Volunteer Award and RAP's highest award, the Charles W. Peckham Award named for the man who was instrumental in the founding of the organization and still serves as its executive director.

Now that she's won an award, does Cindy plan to take it a little easy, be a little less active?


She plans to keep on running a very active Activity Department.

I have met so many wonderful people. I've learned a lot over the years fro the residents and hope I have touched their lives in some way," she said.

"I feel lucky to be able to share in some of the joys and life's experiences of the residents," she said.