City of Lincoln
2008 Media Releases
Mayor Chris Beutler today presented the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for June to Joyce Kubicek of the Lincoln Area Agency on Aging (LAAA). The monthly award recognizes City employees who consistently provide exemplary service and work that demonstrates personal commitment to the City. The award was presented at the beginning of today’s City Council meeting.
Kubicek is an Aging Program Coordinator for the LIFE division of LAAA, and has been employed by the City for about 30 years. She was nominated in the categories of customer relations and valor by co-workers Joanne Farrell, Donna Mulder, and Barbara Straus. She was nominated for following her intuition regarding one of her cases involving an elderly couple.
A planned, routine home visit to the couple turned out to be a life-saving event. One day in March, when she went to see the couple, they did not answer the door or the phone. The wife has dementia and hearing loss, and may not have heard the doorbell or telephone. Kubicek thought it was possible that they had forgotten her planned visit and went out.
Since it was the end of the work day, Kubicek went home but was unable to stop thinking about the missed visit. She tried to call the couple a few more times with no results. Later in the evening, Kubicek located their daughter’s phone number in another state and asked that she try to call the couple. She also advised the daughter to call the police if she couldn’t reach them in a few hours.
The daughter was unable to reach her parents and called the police, who broke into the home, and found the elderly couple in terrible shape. Both of them were sick with the flu, dehydrated and weak. The elderly couple were transported to the hospital and admitted.
Kubicek followed her intuition that all was not well with the couple, and pursued help for them after working hours. This resulted in the necessary emergency action being taken, which probably saved the lives of the elderly couple. Both have recovered from their ordeal.
The nominators believe that due to Kubicek’s persistence and professionalism, the elderly couple are alive and safe today.
The nomination stated that Kubicek has always been devoted to the elderly in the community. Over the years, she has helped thousands maintain their independence and quality of life. This time, she made an even bigger difference.
The other categories in which employees can be nominated are productivity, safety and loss prevention. Consideration also may be given to nominations that demonstrate self-initiated accomplishments or those completed outside of the nominee’s job description.
All City employees are eligible for the Mayor’s Award of Excellence except for elected and appointed officials. Individuals or teams can be nominated by supervisors, peers, subordinates and the general public. Nomination forms are available on the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: personnel) or from department heads, employee bulletin boards or the Personnel Department, which oversees the awards program.
All nominations are reviewed by the Mayor’s Award of Excellence Committee, which includes a representative with each union and a non-union representative appointed by the Mayor. Award winners receive a $100 U.S. savings bond, a day off with pay and a plaque. Monthly winners are eligible to receive the annual award, which comes with a $500 U.S. savings bond, two days off with pay and a plaque.