Edgemoor’s Top Nurse Gets National Award

June 26, 2012 | 2:01pm
She thought she was being nominated for one of four regional awards. She won the most prestigious award presented by the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA/LTC).


Nancy Beecham was selected the 2012 Director of Nursing Administrator of the Year. The award will be presented July 24 in Nashville.

“It’s always an honor to be recognized by your peers,” said Beecham, director of nursing for Edgemoor, the County’s long-term care facility. “It is nice to be getting the award, especially on the 25th anniversary of the organization.”

Beecham and her team of 195 nurses and nurse assistants have helped Edgemoor exceed state and federal standards on all quality indicators, including staffing level.

 “It’s been exciting,” said Beecham, 64, who assumed her current position in 2007. “When you put quality in, quality will come out. The County has done a great service for all of the residents.”

Three years ago, Edgemoor moved from old, antiquated buildings with small,  dark rooms and halls to a brand new, state-of-the-art complex with 192 large,  bright rooms. The five-star, facility—the best rated in the county—is restraint, lift and smoke free.

“From the moment she came to Edgemoor, it has been clear that Nancy has a vision for what long-term care can be,” said Dr. Rebecca Ferrini, who is the medical director of Edgemoor and nominated Beecham for the award. “She is an ever-advocate for the patients and their needs. She led the nursing staff transition from the 20th century to the 21st century.”

Edgemoor Administrator Walter Hekimian also wrote a letter in support of Beecham’s nomination.

“(Nancy) has been a guiding force in long-term care in California for the 20 years that I have known her,” wrote Hekimian. “Nancy leads by example and is unafraid to challenge the current system to improve resident care delivery systems. She has embraced culture change.”

Beecham is no stranger to recognition and awards. She was appointed to the California Board of Registered Nursing in 2006 by Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.  She has received numerous awards, including the 2009 Thomas Spindle Award, the greatest honor presented by the California Association of Health Facilities. The award recognizes an individual’s dedication to improving standards in long-term care.

Beecham’s passion for changing how long-term care is viewed and delivered has spanned her 41-year nursing career. In 1989, she brought NADONA/LTC to California and is its current president. She also ran for State Assembly District 77 in 2006.

“We needed people who understood healthcare and the delivery of it,” said Beecham.

She lost in the primary and when she was approached to consider another run four years later, she passed because Edgemoor was in the middle of moving.

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to do what I do,” said Beecham, adding that her staff also needed stability as they transitioned to the new facility. “They needed to know I was not going anywhere.”

Where the Hershey, Pennsylvania native does go is on cruises with her 84-year-old mother, who lives with her. A cruise to Alaska is on the horizon. Beecham, who is currently training for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3-Day Walk, also likes to play golf and spend time with her two children and three grandchildren, who also live in California.

Will she consider another run for office?

“No,” she replies immediately. “I am here to stay. I like working with my staff. This will likely be my last job.”