Caregiver of the Year

Congratulations Remedios (Med) Cabanatan

The Minnesota Homecare Association has rightfully determined that exceptional care cannot be accomplished without exceptional caregivers. It’s because of that philosophy that Med Cabanatan was honored as the 7th annual Minnesota State Caregiver of the Year.

From 1999-2010, Med worked two full-time jobs simultaneously. That’s 80 hours per week for 11 years straight. The author Malcolm Gladwell stated that the top performers in any field are those who devote numerous hours to what researchers call deliberate practice. He goes on to say that, as a rule of thumb, any person who devotes at least 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to a skill will become an expert. Over the last 11 years, working 80 hours per week, Med has put in 45,760 hours of deliberate practice in the art of caregiving. Therefore, we cannot consider Med anything less than an expert and a top performer in her field.

Med has honed her skills as an exemplary caregiver over her years of service to others. This has given her confidence, especially in emergency situations, that immediately puts residents and family members at ease. Although there have been many times when her acts have single-handedly changed the outcome of a situation that could have had dire consequences, I feel her strengths lie not in heroics, but in her day-to-day interactions with the residents she assists. I find it difficult to pin-point specific examples of how Med makes every resident feel like family because it is not just the result of a single act. It is her personality- her tireless dedication and her unfailingly good attitude- that makes her an exceptional caregiver.

In 2011 Med decided to resign from one of her full-time jobs. Since she gave so much to both jobs, we contacted her previous supervisor to inform him of her nomination. It was then that we learned that the loss of such an exceptional caregiver left a void that no one person could fill. He had to increase his staffing numbers and add two home health aides to fill her position.

These are just a few of the many reasons why this honor was rightfully bestowed upon Med.

Excerpt of recognition speech at Minnesota HomeCare Association annual conference Brainerd Minnesota 2011