Michelle Vaughan, administrator at Vandalia Rehabilitation & Health Care Center for the past eight years, has been honored with a rare Lifetime Achievement Award by the company that owns and operates the facility.
The award was presented last Wednesday at Peterson Health Care’s annual awards banquet in Peoria. It is the top award given by the company, and has been given to only 13 other recipients since 1996.
“I was absolutely overwhelmed with it,” Vaughan said. “I don’t take compliments well; I always try to point it back to the team. I don’t consider myself as deserving of it, because it really is due to the efforts of the team here.”
She began in the business as a housekeeper at the age of 18 and worked her way up. She has worked at Vandalia Rehab for the past 13 years.
“I decided that I wanted to be an administrator when my mother was in a facility,” she said.
Since that time, she’s shunned the spotlight and deflected the credit to her staff.
“The reason I got (the award) is that I push teamwork,” Vaughan said. “We all strive to be the best we can be. I am very blessed to work for a company like Peterson."
Peterson Health Care is based in Peoria, but has 91 facilities in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri. It has 6,000 employees, 65 of whom work in Vandalia.
Company literature defined the Lifetime Achievement Award as “an honor given to a person who has provided exemplary service to our organization, industry and profession. It takes into account the roles played within the Peterson organization or the facility – dedication above and beyond the call of duty, family life, personal sacrifices and achievements, willingness to help other team members, contributions to our organization and professionalism.”