Elevating the Post-Acute and
Long Term Care Profession

Pioneer Award 2019 - Jim Unverferth

Pioneer awardsThe OHCA Pioneer Award is designed to recognize Ohioans influential in the development and advancement of long-term care programs, education, professionalism or ideals. The Awards honor the commitment of these individuals to excellence in long-term care services.

Jim Unverferth

Jim Unverferth was the owner and President of HCF Management Inc. until his passing in late 2018, with 22 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in OHCA membership. In addition to his involvement with OHCA, AHCA and other long term care groups, he was a leader in his community and served on the boards and in membership of a number of local organizations including the Kalida Schools Board and the Kalida Lions Club.

Jim's entry into long term care began in 1977 at the age of 22. He started as a nurse’s aide and worked his way through the ranks until becoming President of HCF Management in 1994.

Jim joined the OHCA Board of Directors as Chairman of District 3 in 1985, and was re-elected by the members in the District in every subsequent election. In his role he mentored numerous members who participated in a variety of Association committees and activities, and made sure that the needs of his constituents were well-represented.

The Educational Foundation of OHCA was established in 1989, and Jim was appointed to the EFOHCA Board of Directors in August of 1991. Jim founded the OHCA District 3 Golf Outing, which is now the largest single fundraising event supporting the Foundation. In 1995, proceeds from the outing resulted in the first OHCA District 3 scholarship created in memory of Elma Moss, a colleague and nursing facility owner who, like Jim, believed passionately in the importance of continuing education in long term care. Under Jim's leadership, District 3 has donated well over $800,000 to EFOHCA creating 24 named scholarships.

Jim’s philosophy of treating everyone as family was at the forefront of every interaction he had with individuals, and is what shaped the HCF culture today. Many of Jim's children and other family members are involved in long-term care and other health-care related professions, and continue his focus on providing exceptional services; recognition and support for the needs of caregivers and other health care workers; and a spotlight on continuing education as a primary contributor to excellence in long term care.

Jim passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Saturday, September 29, 2018 following an extended illness. His presence and legacy will be a part of the Association and its members, as well as within HCF and his community.

Members may download OHCA Pioneer Award nomination forms by clicking the following link: 

OHCA Pioneer Award Nomination Form 

See Other Pioneer Award Winners