Mary Tabacco, rehab aide at Life Care Center of Palm Bay

Mary Tabacco, rehab aide at Life Care Center of Palm Bay, Florida, received Life Care Centers of America’s Southeast Division Whatever It Takes And Then Some Award on Aug. 26, 2015, for her dedication to customer service.


Executives from Life Care awarded Tabacco a $1,000 cash prize during an awards ceremony at the company’s headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee. She was chosen from among hundreds of associates in the Southeast Division and was one of only eight associates from Life Care’s more than 200 facilities nationwide to receive the award.


Tabacco goes out of her way to plan events like community outings and in-house luncheons for her fellow associates and for residents. She has taken on the planning of the center’s outpatient reunions, in which former outpatients who have completed rehab at the facility can come for a meal and socialization with each other and their therapists.


This is just the beginning of her acts of caring, however.


In 2014, Tabacco planned a luncheon for her co-workers and extended the invitation to a former rehab patient whose husband had recently passed away. Tabacco knew she needed to get her mind off of her recent loss, and not only did the former patient accept the invitation, but the fellowship helped lift her spirits.


Tabacco also took note of a resident who had been a mayor in his younger days. When she saw he didn’t know what to do with all the extra time on his hands, she created small tasks he could do to achieve a sense of productivity. She even took him to a local business networking event, where he enjoyed interacting with other politicians and being a part of the community.


“Ever since I was hired at Life Care Center of Palm Bay, it’s not been just a job – it’s been a family,” said Tabacco. “You can never have enough kindness and compassion for people, and everybody has it, and it’s free to give, so why not give it?” 


Life Care Centers of America’s Whatever It Takes And Then Some program rewards associates for extraordinary acts of kindness. Monthly awards are presented in Life Care facilities nationwide based on nominations from fellow associates, family members, residents and guests. Each facility then chooses an annual winner, from which the divisional winners are selected.


“Dedicated caregivers routinely go far above and beyond their job descriptions, and Mary Tabacco certainly demonstrates by her example their professionalism and compassion for the residents they serve,” said Beecher Hunter, Life Care president. “We are proud of Mary and the thousands she represents in their selfless approach to the needs of others."