Nevada Caregiver Awards Luncheon


According to AARP and the National Alliance on Caregiving, the state of Nevada has more than 532,000 informal caregivers, and the value of informal caregiving in Nevada is said to be roughly $4 billion. In addition to the informal family caregiving, there are many caregivers that get paid. In fact, as the baby boomers become elders and acquire chronic illnesses, many more caregivers are in demand.

The Northern Nevada Caregiver Coalition which was formed over 12 years ago by Diane Ross and myself, among others, has developed the Caregiver Awards Luncheon. This affair occurs in November which is recognized as National Caregiver’s Month. Caregivers are acknowledged and honored at the November 29, 2017 Awards Luncheon which had 270 attendees and 95 honorees in seven different categories. All of the 95 caregivers are acknowledged and honored, but in each category we recognized a special person that went above and beyond.  Here are those very special honorees in each category:

Family Caregiver:
Robbie Hibbs

Caregiver for a Veteran: 
Arlynn Tramble

In-home Paid Caregiver: 
Greg Patroulis

In-facility Caregiver: 
Delia Vargas

Volunteer Hospice or Community Caregiver:
Judy Humphrey

Dual Life Caregiver:
Julie Ornelas

Caregiver for Youth with Special Needs:
Steffi Vandever

In addition, the Caregiver Coalition recognizes and honors a business that provides model caregiving benefits to its employees as the Outstanding Business Award. As more and more American adult workers grapple with caring for loved ones, the importance of companies to recognize the stress and need for paid time off to care for their loved one is vital.  AARP Nevada, the 2017 Outstanding Business in Caregiving awardee, leads the way in making sure their employees can work and live to bring the best balance to life possible. AARP, through their employee policies of providing two weeks of paid leave for caregiving, have proven to be a leader in this arena. We honor them.

Last year the Nevada Caregiver Coalition initiated a perpetual award in memory of Jerry Cruitt who was a founding member of the Caregiver Coalition and was well known for his humanitarian service to the disabled, their caregivers, and the community in general. Jerry Cruitt was a champion caregiver who was a caring man that lovingly and graciously helped others. The first Jerry Cruitt Humanitarian Award went to Diane Ross for her service and dedication to caregivers and their families. This year the Caregiver Coalition voted to award this honor to The Community Foundation of Western Nevada for taking on the Caregiver Support Initiative.  This initiative resulted in the creation of the website and a guidebook that covers the basics of beginning care. Chris Askin, Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Western Nevada received the award.

What an honor to experience all these giving people and organizations. Thank you.

To learn more about the Nevada Caregiver Coalition, please visit 


Lawrence J. Weiss, Ph.D

Dr. Weiss is the Founder, CEO, and President of the Center for Healthy Aging, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to  integrate public, private, and philanthropic resources to help educate and train caregivers, enhance wellness, and provide models of care that demonstrate efficiencies and cost savings while improving the quality of life for elders. More information can be found at