Top award for heroic patient rescue

Beverly Massay, a home health aide for Partners in Care, received the 2010 Home Health Aide Award from the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA) for saving her patient as well as the patient’s four grandchildren from a fire. This annual award recognizes a home health aide whose story provides a powerful example of hard work, dedication and caring that is known and valued in the profession. HCA is New York State’s premiere home care association, representing more than 400 providers, individuals and associate members who collectively serve thousands of New Yorkers.

Partners in Care, a not-for-profit organization, is an affiliate of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York, the largest home health care agency in the nation. Composed of more than 8,100 home health aides, RN’s, LPN’s and office staff, Partners in Care provides a wide range of comprehensive home care services, including private pay, in all five boroughs of New York City as well as Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland Counties.

Beverly Massay, arrived at work early at the residence of her bed-ridden 91-year old patient who suffers from dementia. She walked into the house where everyone was still sleeping, laid out her patient’s clothes and prepared some food for her patient’s breakfast. Then she sat down with her Bible, deciding to give the client ten more minutes of sleep. “All of a sudden sparks were shooting out of the corner,” recalls Beverly. A fire had started from a shoddy circuit that had been blown in a power surge. Beverly reacted quickly to save her patient; “I got up, grabbed my patient off the bed, and pulled her out of the room, down the stairway and to her wheelchair that was downstairs.”

After placing her patient safely outside the house, Beverly realized, “I have to go back and wake everybody else.” She immediately ran back into the house to wake up and ensure the safety of her patients four teenage grandchildren who were still sleeping. Beverly Massay said, “I knocked on every door, I screamed: Fire! Fire! I’ve never seen a fire move that fast.” In a matter of minutes, the building was completely engulfed in flames. “When we were outside, I turned my patient so her back was to the fire and she wouldn’t see what was going on,” Beverly says, “I told her that we had come outside because it was too hot in the house and we had to come out to get a little breeze.”

As a result of Beverly’s quick action everyone got out of the building safely. Her patient was removed from the blaze so rapidly that she did not need to go to the hospital because she did not inhale any smoke. Beverly says, “I just thank God it happened when I was able to save my patient and her family.”

“Partners in Care Home Health Aides always go above and beyond the call of duty for our families, but Beverly Massay took this to a whole new level in her dedication and commitment,” said Marki Flannery, the President of Partners in Care. “We are pleased that Beverly has been honored with the prestigious 2010 Home Health Aide Award as her courageous rescue of an elderly patient and her family from a burning building literally helped lives, making Beverly a true hero in every sense of the word.”

HCA President Joanne Cunningham said: “The work of home health aides and other home care personnel is, by its nature, heroic. Caregivers help patients fulfill the basic necessities of life, monitor for symptoms of ill health, provide comfort and healing, and make it possible for vulnerable individuals to live safely and independently at home. In some instances, these heroic deeds reach new heights as Beverly Massay exemplifies.”

Since 1983, Partners in Care, an affiliate of The Visiting Nurse Service of New York, has provided certified in-home caregivers who are experienced, compassionate, reliable and highly attentive to the individuals they care for, including those afflicted with Alzheimer’s. The in-home team is supported by well-trained staff members who help coordinate schedules and doctors’ orders, as well as provide continuing education and on-the-job training. Accredited by Community Health Accreditation Program (CHAP) and licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we provide quality services to over 1,500 clients every year. For more information call 1-888-9-GET-HELP or visit

If any readers are interested in becoming a Home Health Aide, they should call Partner’s In Care at (212) 609-7750.