DOVER -- The Union Hospital Home Health Care program and its director each have been selected to receive honors for their performance and dedication to patients.

Union Hospital Home Health Care has been named to the Top 500 of the HomeCare Elite for 2015, a recognition of the top-performing home health agencies in the United States. Deborah Albaugh, RN, director of the UN Home Health Care, recently was presented with the Dorothy Royce Award by the Ohio Council for Home Care and Hospice (OCHCH), the organization's highest volunteer award.

Now in its 10th year, the HomeCare Elite identifies the nation's top-performing home helath care agencies. This is the third year that Union Hospital Home Health Care has achieved top 500 recognition.

"There's more than 10,000 home health agencies in the entire United States, and here at Union Hospital we are in the top 500 - that is very gratifying," said Albaugh. "I attribute that to our outstanding staff and the way they care about their patients, listen to their patients, and their focus to provide quality care every day."

Winners in the HomeCare Elite are ranked by an analysis of publicly available performance measures in quality outcomes, best practice (process measure) implementation, patient experience, quality improvement and consistency, and financial performance.

Union Hospital Home Health Care serves patients in Tuscarawas and surrounding counties with skilled nursing services, physical therapy, social work, home health aides, medical telemonitoring and the HelpLine emergency response system.

Albaugh, who has been the director of Union Hospital Home Health Care since its inception in 1987, was selected to receive the Royce Award based on her work to promote home care and hospice in Ohio through the years.

"Her dedication and leadership in OCHCH has made a huge impact on our industry in Ohio," said Wanda Stackpole, chair of the OCHCH Board of Directors. "I am proud to have served with her and look forward to her continued leadership during her chairmanship of the Board."

For the past 50 years, OCHCH has been the "Voice of Home Care and Hospice in Ohio." OCHCH supports the home care and hospice provider industry and serves its members and other stakeholders through advocacy, education, information and research.

Albaugh has a long history of working to support the OCHCH and its members, and has served for more than 10 years on the organization's Board, Stackpole said.

Albaugh also led the OCHCH's "Move to Improve Campaign for Excellence," an 18-month initiative to assist member agencies in developing and implementing a plan to reduce avoidable hospitalizations. The effort was a great success, in large part due to Albaugh's leadership, moving Ohio from the bottom third in the nation in this category, Stackpole said.

Albaugh has spent a total of 33 years leading home health care agencies, with previous stints at Harrison Community Hospital and Twin City Hospital before coming to Union Hospital. She said the ever-changing home health care industry can be challenging, but seeing patients make strides and return to their normal everyday lives is very gratifying.

"I learned the job one regulation at a time," Albaugh said. "But it still comes back to providing quality care for the patient."

Information about Union Hospital and all of its services available to the community is available on the hospital website at, and on the hospital's pages on Facebook and Twitter (@Union_Hospital).