By Peter Van Allen, Mainebiz.

PORTLAND, Maine (Mainebiz) – A Portland registered nurse has been named “National Caregiver of the Year” by a Maryland-based company with Maine operations.

Sharon Verreault was cited by Maxim Healthcare Services, a provider of home health care, companion care and behavioral services, for her work in Maxim’s Portland office.

She was presented with the “John ‘Doc’ Langley National Caregiver of the Year” award at a ceremony in Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 24.

“Sharon makes a difference in the lives of her patients and their families each and every day,” said Jarrod DePriest, Maxim’s CEO. “Her dedication to providing care in the home is truly remarkable, and we are so proud she has chosen Maxim.”

Verreault was recognized for the care she provides for Alex, an 11-year-old with Bohring-Optiz, a rare neurological syndrome resulting in developmental delays, severe cognitive and visual impairments, seizures, and other complex medical issues.

When he was younger, Alex visited the hospital every three months because of a respiratory illness. Under Verreault’s care, he has only been admitted to the hospital on two occasions. When Alex suffered a grand mal seizure, his first in nearly five years, Verreault monitored him until the ambulance arrived, creating a sense of calm for him and his family.

Verreault has worked with Maxim for 13 years and has been a mentor to many new nurses in home care pediatrics.

“I have to thank my office in Portland, Maine. We are a team, and this is ours,” Verreault said, upon receiving the award. She also thanks the families “that are brave enough to let us come into the house and take care of their children. That is huge. Thank you for all you do so that it makes our work that much easier.”

Maxim’s Caregiver of the Year Award program was established in 2011 to recognize Maxim caregivers and aides who embody our values and demonstrate excellence.  The program rewards them for the quality patient-centered care and service they provide to many of the nation’s most medically fragile and chronically ill patients.

Maxim Healthcare Services, which is based in Columbia, Md., provides home health care, companion and behavioral care and is dedicated to serving communities across the country with compassionate care and clinical excellence.