Care Dimensions, the largest hospice and palliative care provider in Massachusetts, congratulates Senior Hospice Aide Assumptah “Summie” Mwai, CHPNA, who is one of six award recipients in the United States to win the 2023 National Compassionate Caregivers of the Year® (NCCY) Award from The Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare.
The award recognizes extraordinary health care professionals who embody the characteristics of compassionate care and whose professional achievements have helped to create healing health care environments for patients, families, colleagues, and communities.
Mwai, along with four health care professionals and one health care team, were honored on November 9, 2023, at the 28th Annual Kenneth B. Schwartz Compassionate Healthcare Dinner in Boston.
A Certified Hospice and Palliative Nursing Assistant, Mwai provides care to hospice patients in their homes and at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers, Mass. She also mentors new hospice aides. She has 25 years of health care experience, including the past eight with Care Dimensions.
In nominating Mwai for the NCCY Award, co-worker Noelle Hawkins, LPN, wrote: “Summie is one of the kindest and most caring aides that I have ever had the pleasure of working with in my 30 years as a nurse. She is so patient with everyone she cares for. She plays music for them and always goes the extra mile when providing care. She takes care of people in some of their hardest times and is always so kind and caring.”
“Working with patients at the end of their lives is not easy,” Mwai wrote in her award application. “It requires one to have a lot of compassion, respect, realization, kindness, empathy, resilience, and patience. But it's very rewarding, humbling, fulfilling and educational. I am taking care of patients with a limited time frame, so my priority is to learn as much as possible about the patient’s life, gain their trust, and create a relationship. That helps me identify how to best meet the needs of my patients and their loved ones. I respect, listen, and show love, kindness, and compassion to my patients and always thank them for welcoming me in their lives and for allowing me to help them. That way they feel respected and in charge of their lives.”
“Summie’s ability to win over a patient’s trust is magical,” said Clinical Manager Sydney Dolat, RN, CHPN. “The families often tell me they don’t know what they would do without Summie there to help. Caring for a loved one 24/7 is exhausting; having a home health aide you can trust is not only priceless, but it allows the families time to breathe, have a break, or take a walk.”
In recommending Mwai for the NCCY Award, the husband of one of her patients wrote:
“She connected with my wife in ways that others could not while battling this terrible disease (dementia). Each day, Summie carefully transported her from bed, to wheelchair, to shower, dressing her up in fancy outfits that she hadn’t worn in many years, accompanied by her costume jewelry and hair accessories. Although my wife couldn’t express herself fully in words, her beautiful smile and beaming blue eyes expressed how special she felt all dressed up and ready for the day . . . You are an angel and a true hero.”
“She is dedicated, caring, and understands and respects the impact she makes on those she cares for,” added Kaplan Family Hospice House Director Jennifer Sawyer, RN, CHPN. “If I were to need hospice care one day, she is the aide I would want to care for me.”
“I love my job and do it with a passion!” exclaimed Mwai. “I am humbled to have been chosen amongst all the other contenders for this award and am very grateful and appreciative. I want to thank God for my life, my nurse colleague Noelle Hawkins for nominating me, and my clinical managers for writing recommendation letters. I dedicate my award to every Care Dimensions hospice aide. My win represents who we all are and the compassionate care we provide to our patients and their loved ones.”
Watch Summie's video interview, which was shown at The Schwartz Center's awards dinner:
Since 1978, Care Dimensions, formerly Hospice of the North Shore, has provided comprehensive and compassionate care for individuals and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. As the non-profit leader in advanced illness care, we offer services in over 100 communities in Massachusetts.