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Lutheran Life Villages' Director of Nursing Jamey Walker wins the prestigious 2019 McHugh Lead

Wednesday, November 6, 2019  
Posted by: LeadingAge Indiana
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Jamey Walker, director of nursing and clinical informatics at Lutheran Life Villages' The Village at Kendallville was recently selected as recipient of the 2019 Joan Ann McHugh Award. Sponsored by LeadingAge, the McHugh Award recognizes the achievements of aspiring nurse leaders working in the field of long-term services and supports. LeadingAge is a nationwide, 6,000-member association of not-for-profit, senior services providers and partners.

"I feel so grateful to work for an organization that has allowed me to learn and grow and have the opportunity to be involved in so many new initiatives," said Ms. Walker. "It made me realize how many great things we have accomplished."

The award will be presented at the LeadingAge Annual Meeting in San Diego in October. Ms. Walker will also receive a $1,000 stipend for professional development, which she says she'll use to earn certification in gerontological nursing.

For Ms. Walker, the recognition is well deserved, said Alex Kiefer, President and CEO of Fort Wayne-based Lutheran Life Villages, a not-for-profit provider of senior living and care services in northeast Indiana. "Jamey understands that every employee is a valuable team member," he said. "She leads the nursing team with an engaging, "involve-me" mentality. She has earned the respect of both her employees and peers."

A graduate of Purdue University Calumet with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, Ms. Walker joined Lutheran Life Villages in 2015. As director of nursing at The Village at Kendallville, a 99-bed skilled nursing care and rehabilitation community, Ms. Walker has raised the nursing staff's job satisfaction, significantly reduced employee turnover, and helped implement innovative training initiatives, including the Memory Care neighborhood's new "Positive Approach to Care" program.

"Jamey has in incredible work ethic, leading with an outgoing style that inspires others to become engaged," said Kelly L. Borror, Vice President of Clinical Operations at Lutheran Life Villages.

One of the people Ms. Walker has inspired is Briana Jackson, who was still in high school when Ms. Walker hired her. "Jamey has the ability to see the best in people, even though they don't see it themselves," said Ms. Jackson, who is now a Lutheran Life Villages certified nursing assistant and a college student. "If it wasn't for everything she has done for me, I would not have come this far."



About the McHugh Award

The McHugh Award was established in memory of Joan Anne McHugh. During her career as a registered nurse, nurse manager, and nursing consultant, McHugh earned a well-deserved reputation for compassion, knowledge, and professionalism, and made a lasting impact on the geriatric health care profession. She died in 2003 at the age of 47.

The McHugh Award recognizes aspiring nurse leaders who provide excellent clinical care to their residents while demonstrating leadership in long-term services-and-supports nursing and a commitment to the profession. The McHugh Long-Term Care Nursing Academy first presented the McHugh Award in 2006. The LeadingAge Center for Applied Research established the academy in 2005 to support quality nurse managers in long-term-care settings.


About Lutheran Life Villages

Lutheran Life Villages is a faith-based, not-for-profit organization providing high-quality living options and care to older adults in northeast Indiana since 1931. It currently operates three communities in the Fort Wayne area: The Village at Anthony Boulevard, The Village at Kendallville and The Village at Pine Valley. A fourth community - Piper Trail, a Fort Wayne cottage neighborhood for active adults - is scheduled for completion in 2020.

Lutheran Life Villages offers residential living, assisted living, skilled nursing, short- and long-term rehabilitation, memory care, adult day services and respite care. Lutheran Life Villages serves over 650 individuals each month and employs over 540 staff. For more information, please visit

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