Levittown resident named 2019 Direct Care Worker of the Year

El Hassania El Bedraoui was selected from 243 nominees in home-based care

The Times

(From L): Mia Haney, President, Pennsylvania Homecare Association; Robert Torres, Acting Secretary of Aging; 2019 Direct Care Worker of the Year El Hassania El Bedraoui; Vicki Hoak, CEO, Pennsylvania Homecare Association

El Hassania El Bedraoui, a home care aide with JEVS Care at Home in Philadelphia, was named 2019 Pennsylvania Direct Care Worker of the Year in Harrisburg. She was selected from 243 nominees from 50 counties across the commonwealth. The award, which is co-sponsored by the Department of Aging and the Pennsylvania Homecare Association, recognizes excellence in home-based care. El Bedraoui received a cash prize of $1,000 from PHA’s Foundation for Home Care and Hospice.

“Without the dedicated direct care workers we recognized today, the delivery of long-term care services and supports in a person’s home, where they want to be, would not be possible,” said Robert Torres, Acting Secretary of Aging, who presented the award to El Bedraoui. “Today’s event gives us the opportunity to thank these individuals for their commitment to providing our state’s seniors with the care they need to live independently.”

“The direct care workers we recognized today are the best of the best in Pennsylvania,” said PHA CEO Vicki Hoak. “They are the backbone of home-based care, and provide a lifeline for the tens of thousands of people who rely on them to be their caregivers, their cooks, their housekeepers, and most importantly, their friends.”

El Bedraoui immigrated to the United States from Morocco in 2004 with a degree in biology, speaking very little English. In her native country, she cared for her father and others in her neighborhood. In the six years that she has been with JEVS Care at Home, she has consistently demonstrated a level of compassion that goes beyond the expected for even the most seasoned caregiver, according to Ellen Shimberg, Marketing and Community Outreach Coordinator for JEVS, who nominated El Bedraoui for the award.

“Time after time, El Hassania has demonstrated an unwavering willingness to go above and beyond to ensure her client is healthy, safe, happy and as engaged in life as possible,” Shimberg wrote in the nomination. “With true understanding that she is her client’s main lifeline to the outside world, El Hassania has shared Thanksgiving dinner, made a fuss in celebrating her client’s birthday, and has been by her client’s side during so many other life events.”

Shimberg said that with her background in biology and ability to speak multiple languages, El Bedraoui is a valued member of the JEVS Care at Home team. She often uses this skill to translate documents or speak with clients in languages other than English, resulting in a high comfort level and sense of trust among clients.