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Healthcare Hero Sharon Dawkins

John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Sometimes, medicine isn't the only thing that keeps the residents at Madison Health and Rehabilitation going. It's the service provided by Sharon Dawkins, activities director, who has been involved in providing quality of life care to nursing home residents for over 20 years.

Dawkins' first bit of experience came when she was 16 and in the 11th grade when her peer-counseling class required approximately 20 hours of community service at a day care or nursing home. To her surprise, after graduating high school in 1992, Dawkins began working part-time as an activities assistant at Madison Health and Rehabilitation.

Today, Dawkins is the Director of Activities at Madison Health and Rehabilitation, where she has served full-time for six years. Additionally, Dawkins works part-time at Centre Pointe Health and Rehabilitation, in Tallahassee, on the weekends, where she has served for 20 years; 14 years of that was served as a full-time director.

As an activities director, Dawkins encourages the residents to not just sit in their rooms, but to get up and participate in dinners, bowling, movie showings and even talent shows, where a Madison Health and Rehabilitation resident won first place recently. "It's been a joy," said Dawkins. "We give them a reason to live.

In addition to enhancing residents' lives, Dawkins has served as President for District 10 for the Florida Healthcare Activity Coordinators Association. Dawkins is married to Louis Dawkins, who is an RN at Madison's Davita Dialysis. She is the mother of Jermaine and Victoria, both of whom volunteer at Madison Health and Rehabilitation.

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