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. He served on the boards and in membership of several local organizations, including the Kalida Schools Board and the Kalida Lions Club.

Jim's entry into long-term care began in 1977 at 22. He started as a nurse’s aide and worked 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 of 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 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 continuing education in long-term care. Under Jim's leadership, District 3 has donated over $800,000 to EFOHCA, creating 24 named scholarships.

Jim’s philosophy of treating everyone as a 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 healthcare-related professions, and he continued his focus on providing exceptional services; recognizing and support for the needs of caregivers and other healthcare 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.

See Other Lifetime Achievement/Pioneer Award Winners 

With Support from OHCA Champion Partners