The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

June 6, 2013

Cartmell Home for Aged administrator receives state honor

Staff Reports
Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — Cartmell Home for Aged’s Administrator Debbie Harrison was recently honored for her outstanding service to the Cartmell residents, receiving a statewide Administrator of the Year award.

Harrison received the award during the recent LeadingAge Texas 54th Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Austin. LeadingAge Texas is a trade association that represents over 200 not-for-profit organizations in the state who provide care and services to the elderly.

“Debbie is one of a kind and Cartmell Home is very fortunate to have had her on our team for the past 16 years,” said Cartmell CEO Tim Kozik. “She always works above the call of duty and puts our residents first with every decision. A more dedicated leader you will not find. We are so proud of her for receiving this award.”

Harrison has led her team to achieve zero deficiencies on their annual survey for the last two years in a row. As a healthcare professional, she distinguishes herself among peers by having 30 years of experience as a registered nurse, in addition to being a licensed nursing facility administrator.  

Harrison has recently plowed through the challenges of operating one of the largest nursing facilities in the state while enduring a two-year long construction project which added 40,000 square feet and 60 private rooms to the Cartmell campus.  

“Debbie has been very inspirational to our recent growth and future plans for expansion,” Kozik said. “She is quite the motivator!”

When asked if she likes her job, Harrison says she loves it.

“I began my journey in long-term care in 1989, in nursing administration and did not discover the not-for-profit aspect of providing care to the elderly until arriving at Cartmell Home several years later,” Harrison said. “To be selected as the LeadingAge Texas Administrator of the Year is definitely a highlight in my career, just when I thought it couldn't possibly get any better.”

Cartmell Home for Aged is a not-for-profit organization chartered in 1953. Cartmell Home began serving the Palestine community in 1956 when it opened its original 44-bed home. Today, Cartmell Home has grown to be a community of five distinct neighborhoods with a total of 199 licensed nursing beds, including a certified Alzheimer's unit. Under the guidance of a local volunteer board of directors and professional staff, the nursing home has gained recognition as one of the top eldercare facilities in Texas.