Penney Retirement Center earns another Gold Seal

Pavilion for Health Care honored for excellence in long-term care


PENNEY FARMS – The Pavilion for Health Care at the Penney Retirement Community has done it again. By receiving yet another Gold Seal skilled nursing home award, it continued to re-establish its excellence in the field of long-term care of the elderly.

During the ceremony of about 35 minutes last Friday, representatives from the state capitol as well as Wendell Chindra, the president of the Clay County Chamber of Commerce, Green Cove Springs Vice Mayor Van Royal, council member Connie Butler, senior residents of the facility and about 100 others were on hand for the award.

One of the distinguished guests was Greg Ungru, the Deputy Secretary and Chief of Staff at the Florida Department of Elder Affairs.

“Florida has 5.5 million senior residents,” said Ungru. “We outnumber the senior population of 20 other states.”

With the largest population in the country of people older than 85, the need for quality elderly care is paramount.

The award was presented by Elliot Palevsky, CEO Emeritus of River Garden Senior Services in Jacksonville. He is a Gold Seal Panelist and was instrumental in its creation.

“Penney is excellent not because you follow the regulations,” Palevsky said, “excellent because you nurture a culture of care and mutual respect and mutual giving. Excellence that is ongoing and evolving. My father used to say, ‘there is no such thing as good; it’s only a byproduct of trying to get better.’ That has been the motto of Penney and this pavilion. Gold Seals come and go. There are almost 700 nursing homes in the state of Florida. Maybe 40 of them have ever had the Gold Seal. Maybe 20 some-odd have one right now, and only two have had the Gold Seal each time it was available. Penney is one.”

“I am just so proud of the work that my field nurses and CNAs (Certified Nursing Assistants) and the great support from the chain of command,” said Ariel Aranzaso, R.N., head of nursing. This award is the first Gold Seal under his watch. “They’ve always been supportive of me and of the work that I do here.”

“I’ve been here two years,” said Jamie Standley, Nursing Health Administrator. “This community has had the award for the last 21 years. Caring is what we do and as an administrator, it’s something that we strive for in our careers. The fact that it can continue after so many years speaks volumes for the community and the residents.”

“As a member of this community, and certainly in the healthcare field as well, I am so impressed with the work that’s being done here are Penney Farm,” said Lisa Valentine, “To earn this achievement, to be one of only two in the entire state of Florida to earn this achievement each year that it’s been available, is just an exceptional, exceptional commendation, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this team.”


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