WV Caring Chaplain, Rick Price has been recognized by the Ceca Foundation as “Caregiver of the Year” Award winner for the 8th Annual Ceca Caregiver of the Year.

He had won the 2021 3rd Quarter award for WV Caring and was then nominated for the annual award.  For this esteemed award, there were 200 nominations from across the country that was narrowed down to 12 finalists, and Rick Price was one of three recipients to receive this national award.

Ceca partners with WV Caring and other healthcare providers throughout the nation to recognize exceptional caregiving services through the Ceca Award Program, a network for healthcare communities to demonstrate their commitment to core caregiving values.

Price received the award due to his exceptional service to the Appalachian region, in the seven counties throughout the mountain and southern areas of WV Caring’s service area.

The award ceremony was held recently at WV Caring’s Hospice Center to recognize Price, with the President of the Ceca Foundation to personally present this award.  “Rick’s dedication to the emotionally and spiritually challenging job of Chaplin for hospice patients and their families is truly inspiring. The selfless way he makes himself available day and night to provide care and comfort to anyone, including other caregivers, is remarkable,” said Ceca Foundation President, Nate Hamme.  “In volunteering to fill in long-term for another chaplain–extending his service area to 4,500 square miles with drive times of three hours or more each way–his personal sacrifices for patients and families is fully on display. We’re delighted to celebrate Rick with Ceca’s Caregiver of the Year Award.”

The WV Caring Way

Down a chaplain in a three-county service area, and well over an hour away from his place of residency, Price volunteered himself to pick up the slack. Driving through rural West Virginia, on nothing larger than a two-lane road on the mountains, he made it to every patient in need and never offered a single complaint.

Nurses offered example after example to celebrate his dedication to “being there.” A philosophy that required Price to text a dying man’s Registered Nurse a number of Scriptural references to fulfill the need. Another spoke of Price’s willingness to drive over two hours at a moment’s notice to provide comfort and care. These events are far from isolated.

Price represents the best of WV Caring, where we like to say that we’re all in this together. As West Virginians and community members, we have to look out for one another. All you have to do is call. Our phone is always on, and our doors are always open.

Add a link to his full nomination: (click here)

Here is his nomination.

“When Rick Price’s name is mentioned to anyone that works at WVC (WV Caring), the automatic response is, “Aw Rick, I just love him.”  Over the decade that Rick has dedicated his life to being a Hospice Chaplain, he has demonstrated to staff that he is someone that they can count on. He has a peaceful demeanor that is not only a comfort to the thousands of families he has served, but also to the staff that is privileged to work alongside him.

Whether on-call or off, Rick will show up at our Inpatient Hospice Center at 3 am if a patient is dying or a family needs support. No hesitation. And Rick lives one hour away from the Center. In some cases, he has made the trip more than once on the same night, and regularly on weekends.

At one point, we lost a chaplain in a 3-county service area, well over an hour away from Rick’s – but Rick volunteered to pick up the slack. Please, understand, we are serving in rural West Virginia. He is driving two-lane roads in the mountains. That meant his service area was over 200 miles wide with travel times in one direction of over 3 hours. Never a complaint. Nurses give example after example of how dedicated he is to ‘being there.’  One RN even relaying an instance of a patient that had not wanted spiritual services, but as he was dying requested to be read scriptures – time was short, so Rick began texting verse after verse to the RN to fulfill the need. He passed quietly and peacefully. Another RN spoke about Rick driving 2 hours on a moment’s notice to provide comfort and prayer to a family and patient. These are not isolated incidents – they are weekly events.

Rick also ministers to the WVC staff as a whole. While he is traveling huge distances, he still makes time to send out encouraging messages and emails to all the staff. He is determined to bring peace to people that he knows desperately need it. And, we haven’t even mentioned his rapier wit. He is funny and lightens the Inter-disciplinary Team meetings with his humor and pleasant attitude. And he is a family man – who does all this for WVC patients and staff while having a big family of his own.

Selfless service from a deeply spiritual man is what we have come to expect from this dedicated employee and friend. He is a treasure and a blessing to us all at WV Caring, and to those he serves.”

Learn more about Ceca Foundation: cecafoundation.org/

To learn more about WV Caring: (add our link) or call 1-866-656-9790.