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Margaret Spies Awards recognize United Helpers employees who make a difference


The Society of the United Helpers recently awarded the Margaret R. Spies Awards.

The Margaret R. Spies Awards recognize exceptional members of the United Helpers direct care team. Certified nurse aides, community resident aides, home health aides, and personal care attendants are among those considered for recognition.

This year’s recipients were Angel M. Sharlow, RiverLedge; Larita K. Flanagan, Maplewood; and Gloria A. Bezio, Mosaic.

In December of 2000, Ann Spies made a generous gift to the Society of the United Helpers, creating an endowment in memory of her mother, Margaret R. Spies, former resident of RiverLedge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center and longtime Hammond school teacher. Margaret Spies appreciated hard work and the ability to give from the heart.

Each year, one person is selected to receive the award from the RiverLedge Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, Maplewood Health Care and Rehabilitation and Mosaic. Candidates are evaluated on several criteria, including: flexibility, attendance, willingness and ability to teach and mentor others, attitude, and a host of other qualities. To earn the Margret R. Spies Awards, candidates are nominated by their administrative team and their peers.

Ms. Sharlow, a certified nurse aide for the RiverLedge Campus, is noted for her upbeat personality, her positive attitude, and always having a smile on her face. She received 60-plus comments from her peers for the award and is cited for her willingness to lighten a coworkers’ load, being a team player, educating staff members, and her helpfulness in the therapy department. She has been with the United Helpers organization since 2009.

Ms. Flanagan, a CNA for the Maplewood Campus, is recognized for her excellent quality of care, for being a dependable leader, her devotion, and her willingness to always help out. Her peers cited that Flanagan takes new employees under her wing and will work extra shifts if needed.

Her peers also noted that she celebrates every resident’s birthday and that you can always count on her. Ms. Flanagan has worked for the United Helpers organization since 1979.

Ms. Bezio, a habilitation coordinator for Mosaic, is noted for her devotion, hard work and team spirit. She was strongly recommended by her peers who cited that she makes a big difference with residents and staff. Her peers also noted that she has more patience than anybody that they know. Ms. Bezio has worked for the United Helpers Organization since 1974.

“You are heroes,” said Ann Spies. “The work you do each day is so very important to your residents and their families. I cannot express that enough. My mother was a special lady. In addition to being an exceptional wife and mother, she was a dedicated teacher and very passionate about her community. She appreciated hard work and the ability to give from the heart. I present these awards in honor of my mother and I honor you all for the work that you do.”

United Helpers Inc. employs more than 390 CNAs, community resident aides and personal care attendants and provides free CNA training courses to more than a hundred individuals each year.

For more information regarding the United Helpers-sponsored certified nurse aide courses or for a complete listing of available positions, visit

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