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This year, Apploi received a record-breaking number of nominations for our Top Healthcare Worker Awards. It was incredibly difficult to narrow down the list of outstanding workers—but we are thrilled to share the four winners. Get to know them in the words of their friends and colleagues.

Please join Apploi in congratulating the Top Healthcare Workers of 2023 and extending our deepest thanks to every member of the healthcare community.


Twyanice Luster

“Twyanice has overcome adversity and continues to make strides in her career. I have had the honor of watching her go from CNA to LPN and now she will be graduating in August 2024 as a RN. Her dedication and passion for her patients is impeccable. These traits have continued to follow her from CNA position.

Caring for her residents is her first and foremost goal and it is demonstrated with the care she gives them. She makes sure they are adequately dressed for the day, smelling good, medications given, and attentive to all their needs. Her long-term goal is to open a home care business to spread her love throughout the community to ones that can’t do for themselves.”

Emerging Leader

When you need inspiration, encouragement, and a sense of perspective, this is the worker you go to. They might be a supervisor, or they might be a team member with an amazing knack for stepping up to lead. They have natural influence, and they use it for good, boosting their coworkers’ morale.


This worker makes a positive impact throughout their community, inside and outside of the facility. They excel at forming connections and know exactly how to make other members of the community feel seen and cared for. Whether they’re leading a team or staying out of the spotlight, they make a difference in the lives of everyone they work with and care for.

Carmen Ellis Jackson

“Mrs. Jackson has worked at the NJVMH for over 50 years. Her dedication and commitment to the residents, family members, and employees has always been above and beyond exceptional. When a problem, complaint, or significant issue is brought to her attention, she finds immediate resolve. She assures the residents receive highest quality of care, and also that the family members feel comfortable when their loved ones are admitted to our facility.

It amazes me how she maintains her nursing skills as well as staying abreast of the latest medical information. Through her years at the facility, she has held many nursing titles, working as a CNA,LPN, RN, Nursing Supervisor, ADONS, to DONS. No matter what title she has held, she will stop and answer and call light &/or assist the residents as needed.

At one time when Administration was in need, she temporarily accepted a position for Food Service Department Head when both F.S. Department Head & Assistant Supervisor simultaneously retired and nobody was available to fill either key role. When Mrs. Jackson received the promotion for the ACEO/Clinical Services, she also maintained her title for DONS, two very busy and important jobs in our facility, while Administration looks to fill the DONS position. During my 29 &1/2 years working under Mrs. Jackson, she has been a mentor to me and I am proud to not only to work with her, but also to know her.”

Hailey Hellesto

“Hailey is responsible for the programming of a memory care neighborhood. She uses her imagination when coming up with ideas for her residents. Her residents are thriving with all the new programming she has introduced to them. Hailey is new to this position and her families and residents LOVE her!

When I go into the Memory Care unit, her residents are smiling and doing all kinds of new things such as sitting in front of an exercise ball with drum sticks in their hands, music going and they are drumming to the beat and having a blast! She has done pet therapy with farm animals, and the looks of delight on the residents’ faces are priceless! We are so lucky to have Hailey. The impact she has on her residents is so amazing. She has given them a great quality of life.”


To this worker, there’s no such thing as a boring job. No matter what task they’re working on, they find a way to inject it with a new life. A workplace trailblazer, they’re happy to try new ways to tackle their job. You can find them experimenting with new processes, suggesting tools, and keeping things fresh for their whole team.

Team Player

This worker’s power comes from their strong commitment to their team. They are motivated by a sense of purpose and will go out of their way to lend a hand.. Between their work ethic and their interpersonal skills, it’s no wonder they’re such a treasured coworker and friend.

Edna Balasbas

“Bayanihan (buy-uh-nee-hun) is a Filipino word derived from the word bayan, meaning town, nation, or community in general. ‘Bayanihan’ literally means, “being a bayan,” and is thus used to refer to a spirit of communal unity and cooperation. In the Philippines, the Bayanihan spirit is one of communal unity, helping others without expecting rewards, to achieve a certain goal. In earlier days, when houses were made of lighter materials such as coconut leaves, Bayanihan also meant helping one’s neighbors move their house — literally.

Edna has literally been the Bayanihan of SYNERGY HomeCare of Schaumburg and St. Charles! Edna not only danced her way into the hearts of our clients, but she’s tapped danced into ours as well. You rarely find a caregiver that lives in the City of Chicago, without transportation, but magically appears at your client’s house way out in the suburbs at any given time that she was asked. She was patient and ready as she willingly applied her skills in personal care/hygiene, companionship and caregiving.

She is a very special lady that helps to “build the house” with not just one client but with all clients. She is a selfless person that is gracious and grateful for each and every opportunity to bring happiness and dignity to those that need it most.”