Ann Nothstein and Carmen Cruz Receive Raker Spirit Awards

March 04, 2024

Michael Spigel poses for a picture with Carmen Cruz and Ann Nothstein, who are wearing Raker Spirit Award medals

Ann Nothstein and Carmen Cruz received Raker Spirit Awards at Good Shepherd’s ACE Awards at ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks on Feb. 29. The ACE Awards annually recognize employees for their service to Good Shepherd.

Since 2004, the Raker Spirit Award has been given annually to a Good Shepherd employee. It was created to “recognize those employees who exemplify, in their day-to-day living, the spiritual values we have come to know as the Raker family legacy.”

This Raker legacy extends from Good Shepherd’s founders, John and Estella Raker, and their son Dr. Conrad Raker. The Rakers guided Good Shepherd with qualities and values including:

  • Compassionate care and community service given to clients, patients, residents, their families, and/or the community
  • Setting an excellent example of leadership by working cooperatively with others to meet our present challenges and future needs
  • Ability to both serve and work with a wide variety of people, groups, and cultures
  • Advocating for those less fortunate to help them be as independent as possible
  • Benevolent volunteer activity of faith, or neighborhood or civic organizations

Ann Nothstein

Ann (pictured, right), our 2022 awardee who had the celebration delayed due to COVID, is as an inpatient care manager at Good Shepherd Specialty Hospital in Bethlehem. Ann’s colleagues nominated her as a strong advocate for patients who most likely come to us in a compromised, fragile state. It is not unusual for her to interact with patients and families who are highly emotional given their diagnoses and prognoses. And yet, despite such “tough customers,” colleagues haven’t ever seen Ann “lose her cool” or focus, oftentimes going beyond the norm to help families through next steps.

Ann’s compassion doesn’t apply just to patients. Realizing the often-difficult environment in which her colleagues work, she serves as a beacon of positive attitude and cheerleading – always looking to make life a bit easier by helping with routine tasks, recognizing colleagues on special occasions and just providing food and fun.

Carmen Cruz

Carmen (pictured, left), who is this year’s awardee, is a secretary at Good Shepherd Home – Raker Center in Allentown. Carmen has worked for Good Shepherd for more than 40 years and has worn many hats through the years: as a certified nursing assistant, then occupational therapy/physical therapy aide and most recently as secretary at Good Shepherd Home – Raker Center.

The one thing that has never changed is Carmen’s dedication and love for her Raker residents, coworkers and the community at large. Those who nominated and selected Carmen did so recognizing she is someone who makes the most of her role – not letting typical boundaries restrict how many people she can positively impact or how much value she can add.

While not in a clinical role, Carmen serves Good Shepherd’s long-term care residents at Raker Center in numerous ways. When residents have questions about what private funds they have to make personal purchases, and how to access these funds, Carmen is there. She uses this as a relationship opportunity – a chance to get to know them personally so that when Raker Christmas celebrations come around, she know what “gifts” each of the 99 residents should receive to suit their needs and desires.

Thank you, Ann and Carmen!