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2023 Consumer Voice Leadership Award Winners

November 14, 2023

Congratulations to the 2023 Consumer Voice Leadership Award Winners! These individuals have demonstrated exceptional commitment to improving the lives of long-term care consumers.


Janet Tulloch Memorial Award

This award was established in 2000 after the death of Janet Tulloch, a nursing home resident, author, committed advocate and long-time member of the Consumer Voice’s Board of Directors. It honors a citizen advocate, family caregiver or long-term care consumer (e.g., resident of a nursing home or assisted living facility or an individual receiving home and community-based services) who has worked directly with and for consumers to improve the lives of long-term care consumers.

MAURICE MILLER, Advocate and Nursing Home Resident

Maurice Miller is approaching 13 years as a stroke survivor and quadriplegic and will soon mark 11 years as a resident of the same facility in suburban Washington, DC. 

Maurice is a dedicated nursing home advocate with Consumer Voice. He is a frequent participant in podcasts, webinars, and Consumer Advisory calls. Maurice works to educate residents on how to use federal regulators to address their complaints, and fights for top-down nursing home reform.

CINDY NAPOLITAN, Advocate and Nursing Home Resident

Cindy Napolitan is a nursing home resident living outside of Dallas, Texas. She has lived in two different nursing homes over six years and has advocated for herself and others during that time.

Cindy is an advocate at the local, state, and federal level and is an active participant in Consumer Voice’s Consumer Advisory Council.

MARGARITE GROOJTES, Advocate and Nursing Home Resident

Margarite Grootjes has been a resident of a nursing home in southeast Ohio for the past seven years. Margarite is involved in advocacy work at various levels. 

She is president of the Resident Council at her nursing home; a member of the Consumer Advisory Council with Consumer Voice; and she is on the Workforce committee of the Moving Forward Coalition.


Janet Wells Public Policy Leadership Award

The Janet Wells Public Policy Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has provided exemplary leadership in the public policy field in advancing quality of care and quality of life for residents receiving long-term care services.

CHARLENE HARRINGTON, Professor of Sociology and Nursing at the University of California, San Francisco

Charlene Harrington is a respected worldwide expert whose name is synonymous with appropriate staffing and quality nursing home care. Over the past four decades, she has worked tirelessly not only to advocate, but to publish evidence-based research on this incredibly important topic. 

Charlene has devoted endless service to local, state, national, and international organizations and government entities. She is selfless in her commitment to the needs of nursing home residents and the frontline staff who care for them. Her dedication to education has empowered countless healthcare professionals, shaping the future of long-term care medicine. Her advocacy efforts have championed the rights and well-being of long-term care residents, leaving an indelible mark on the industry. Charlene Harrington has been a professor of sociology and nursing at the University of California San Francisco since 1980. She has testified before the U.S. Congress on long term care research and policy, written many articles and books on nursing homes and long-term care, and lectured widely in the U.S. and internationally.


Cernoria Johnson Memorial Advocacy Award

Cernoria McGowan Johnson (1909-1990) set up the national program of Nursing Home Ombudsmen in 1974. The award in her honor is presented to someone whose work has had national impact or is a model for national excellence and who exemplifies accomplishment in his or her chosen field.

EDWIN WALKER, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration for Community Living

Edwin Walker has served for more than 30 years in the the federal agency responsible for advocating on behalf of older Americans. Currently Edwin serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging, and he leads the Administration on Aging in advocating on behalf of older Americans. Edwin has guided and promoted the development of home and community-based long-term care programs, policies, and services designed to afford older people and their caregivers the ability to age with dignity and independence and to have a broad array of options available for an enhanced quality of life. Edwin has also championed the promotion and implementation of evidence-based prevention interventions proven effective in avoiding or delaying the onset of chronic disease and illness.

Prior to joining HHS in 1992, Edwin served as the Director of the Missouri Division of Aging, responsible for administering a comprehensive set of human service programs for older persons and adults with disabilities. He received a Juris Doctor degree in law from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Media Arts from Hampton University.


Congratulations to the award recipients, and thank you for your advocacy!

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