Maxim Healthcare Group has named licensed practical nurse Donna Irving the South Region recipient of the Caregiver of the Year Award! Donna was selected for this award based on her impactful contributions to the home healthcare community. Donna has worked with Maxim for five years at its Richmond, Virginia office. She showed her strength and devotion when one of her patients tragically passed away.

Donna cared for the Jefferson twins, both of whom were born after 23 weeks – a little more than half the typical gestation period of 40 weeks – and each weighed a little more than one pound. Both twins had a long stay in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after they were born. One of the twins, Jonah, needed a nurse due to his need for a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) for feeding, and to a lesser extent the care required for the shunt in his head. His sister also needed a feeding tube – G-tubes can be hard to manage for many adults, much less two newborn babies. However, Donna was able to work with both twins and gave each of them the love and care they needed and deserved.

“[Donna] was able to work with not one, but both of them. You could tell she not only does it for her job, she does it out of love,” said Fantasia Jefferson, the twins’ mother.

In the summer of 2020, Jonah passed away unexpectedly. Instead of transitioning away from her case, Donna courageously opted to remain with the family. She stayed with the Jefferson family through their grief and sorrow, while continuing to care for Jonah’s twin sister, Ya’layna.

Fantasia called Donna “a friend and counselor.” She said that she would have struggled to continue on in the home where her son passed without Donna’s support, always putting others’ needs above her own.

“Donna is someone I can talk to, open up to her, we share tears together,” said Fantasia. “She understands my loss.” Fantasia also describes Donna as being a positive presence for her other children, as they see how she cares for their sibling.

Maxim’s Richmond office Operations Manager Cleveland Mallory stated: “Donna’s resilience in the face of loss and grief is an inspiration to us all.” She has set an outstanding example on how to continue your work gracefully while experiencing great loss. Cleveland also said that Donna “devotes extreme care and attention to every activity she approaches, whether caring for patients or training other nurses. Her work sets a high bar for all home care nurses in our organization.”

While The Caregiver of the Year award is in its 10th year of celebration, this past year has brought on hardships that have pushed the members of our nursing staff past their typical limits. Maxim Healthcare is proud of the hard work and dedication that all of our caregivers bring each day in service to their patients, our clients – the extended members of our Maxim Family. The work of our four Caregiver of the Year Award recipients is particularly extraordinary; it serves as a prime example of the attitude of service that Maxim exudes, and the excellence for which it strives.

*Patient information and likeness featured with the consent of the patient/family