On June 9, Yvette Voogd, activity director at Westview Health Care Center in Sheridan, Wyoming, received the Activity Professional of the Year Award.
The honor was presented by the Wyoming Activity Coordinators Association during its annual awards banquet. Yvette said she was “pleasantly surprised” to win. Her residents, on the other hand, were not surprised at all.
“The residents thought it was about time!” Yvette laughed.
Tonya Murner, executive director at Westview, nominated Yvette.
“Yvette has been our activities director for over 20 years,” Tonya wrote. “She has a passion for her position. She has a way of engaging our residents and motivating them to have fun. She gets them up and moving for activities and brings the love and laughter to their lives.”
“I enjoy the residents, being able to make a difference, having fun and getting to be creative coming up with things to do to make their lives better,” Yvette said.
Tonya especially praised Yvette for putting extra thought and effort into keeping the residents’ spirits up and keeping them engaged with activities even during COVID lockdowns. Between bingo in their rooms, themed snack carts with favorites like ice cream sundaes, dress-up days and rolling a ball up and down the hallway with sticks, COVID may have paused visitation, but it couldn’t keep out fun! Some volunteer groups even brought animals like cows and llamas up to the windows for residents to watch.
When Yvette was asked what her favorite activities are to do with the residents, she said, “Just getting them outside in nice weather because it’s often so cold, planting flowers and vegetables.”
She also likes organizing parties and visiting one-on-one with residents to get to know their stories.
What are her thoughts about her Activity Professional of the Year Award?
“It felt pretty awesome,” Yvette said. “It’s pretty rewarding to be recognized.”