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November Hero - Penny Walker

eisele-200-280 Heroes of Long Term Care

OHCA's Heroes of Long Term Care program honors individual long-term care employees for their service to residents, the facility, and to their community. Heroes are nominated from long-term care facilities throughout Ohio.

Canton Manager Named October, 2018 Long-Term Care “Hero”

The state’s largest organization representing long-term care facilities has honored a Canton, Ohio long-term care department head as its October 2018 “Hero of Long-Term Care.”

Penny Walker, Dietary Manager/Housekeeping & Laundry Supervisor, Astoria Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, Canton, has been selected by the Ohio Health Care Association (OHCA) as its Hero of Long-Term Care for November 2018. OHCA honors one long-term care employee each month for their service to long-term caregivers, residents and the community.

Walker will be featured on the OHCA website ( during the month of November, and will be recognized at the Association’s 2019 Annual Convention in Columbus, Ohio.

Beth Jones, Licensed Administrator at Astoria, says that Walker is passionate about serving the facility’s residents and the community.

"Penny's major accomplishment is her dedication to her employees and to the residents," said Jones. "She works tirelessly to ensure that each resident enjoys their meals, and the building shines thanks to her direction over the housekeeping staff," she added. 

Walker has been part of the Astoria family since just after it opened in 2010. According to the staff you can feel the pride behind the housekeeping team, as the building shines like it is still brand new. And at meal time, the attentive and friendly staff serve meals to two full dining rooms.

"Penny puts her blood, sweat and tears into her work daily, and wouldn't have it any other way," said Jones. "Her compassion to the needs of the residents and to the community we serve is unmatched . . .  her staff is like her family and a true reflection of her character -- always cheery and willing to lend a helping hand." 

In addition to her regular duties, she makes sure her staff is able to get to work, frequently providing rides; she picks up shifts when there is a need; keeps residents happy with a freuiently changing menu; and hosts a monthly "cooking with Penny" activity for residents. She also prepares snacks, appetizers or sweets with the activities program.

"She was nominated for her endless dedication," said Jones; "Penny Walker is our Hero!"

Astoria Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation provides 24-hour skilled nursing care, rehabilitation services including IV therapy, pain management, wound care, respiratory services, dialysis,  palliative care coordination, and assistance with daily personal care. The center also provides dementia and Alzheimer's care, including the nationally recognized Music and Memory program. The facility is located at 3537 12th Street NW, Canton, OH 44708; Phone 330-455-5500. Additional information is available online at

The Ohio Health Care Association is a non-profit association of more than 900 skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, and providers serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, representing nearly 90,000 individuals. Many OHCA members also provide a variety of home and community-based services.  OHCA is the largest long-term care association in the state, and the only chartered Ohio affiliate of the American Health Care Association, representing more than 12,000 long-term care facilities nationwide.