Greensboro, NC, February 25, 2020 – Mike Murrell, Cook Supervisor at Crystal Bluffs Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, received the Riley W. Clapp award for outstanding service in a non-nursing discipline at the North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association (NCHCFA) Annual Awards Program held in Greensboro, NC on Monday, February 24, 2020. Each year NCHCFA acknowledges front line personnel who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in long term care. Mike is an employee of Culinary Services Group, the contract foodservice provider at Crystal Bluffs.
Mike has worked for Crystal Bluffs, a skilled nursing facility in Morehead City, NC for the past 6 years, starting as a Dishwasher, then Cook and later as a Cook Supervisor. He has demonstrated his dedication to the Crystal Bluffs community through his consistent performance as part of the Dietary Department, often working extra shifts to cover call offs, emergencies and special resident events.
“This is an extraordinary employee and I feel blessed to work alongside him daily. He gives back to all the residents and staff. Thank you for Culinary Services Group’s commitment and teamwork to continuing a partnership and culture change in the healthcare environment.”
– Jen Salter, LNHA, Executive Director Crystal Bluffs Rehabilitation & Health Care Center
In September of 2018, Crystal Bluffs was in the path of Hurricane Florence, and the staff were ordered to shelter in place. Despite having a wife and children at home, Mike selflessly worked to provide continuous food service at the facility for the five days the shelter in place order was enacted. Not only did Mike and the dietary team provide meal service to 90 residents and 50 staff members they also hosted an additional 75 family members and guests who needed safety and shelter from the hurricane conditions. The Crystal Bluffs facility was one of only three open sites in Carteret County during the storm. At the peak of the storm, the area received 85 mph winds for 18 hours straight, causing electrical surges that eventually caused the facility to operate on generator power. During this time the Dietary Department continued to serve meals under minimal lighting and limited air conditioning. Mike was the primary cook during this time and his pleasant and calming nature helped to calm a stressful situation. Following the storm, Mike was seen in the community grilling food outside his church and handing it out to the community and they began to rebuild.
“Mike is one of the most selfless people I have ever met. I have witnessed his kindness firsthand many times, from helping a coworker to feeding neighbors after Hurricane Florence.”
– Jerry Frivance, Food Service Director Crystal Bluffs Rehabilitation & Health Care Center
Later that year, Mike stepped in to lead the Dietary Department again when the Food Service Director’s father transitioned to hospice care. Mike and Chef Jerry Frivance have been partners in the culinary industry for more than ten years, working in privately-owned restaurants before entering the healthcare field together. Mike, a true friend, supported Jerry during this time allowing him to spend his father’s final days by his side.
Mike’s dedication to the Crystal Bluffs community is demonstrated every day. His excellent customer service and infectious smile have led him to have a great rapport with residents, their families, and other staff. He is a dietary “gem” that brings new meaning to service with a smile. Meals are an important part of resident life at Crystal Bluffs, a leading topic of most conversations, surveys and care plans in the facility. Mike ensures meals are not only delicious but served with kindness and compassion. His positive manner supports the facility’s desire that everyone is valued, important and essential to the community.
“Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things a person can experience. Our family experienced this difficult loss three times over the past three years here at Crystal Bluffs. Mike took such wonderful care of our family each time. He made sure we had snacks, meals and drinks… He also gave hugs for those moments when we were at a loss for words. He has a gentle spirit and tender heart and our family is grateful for all he did for us.”
– Annamarie Zook, resident family member
The executive team from Culinary Services Group traveled to the Awards Gala to see Mike accept his award. CSG is so proud to call a team member like Mike Murrell one of our own. His selfless dedication to his community demonstrates the guiding principles we embrace as a company. CSG congratulates Mike on winning the 2020 Riley W. Clapp award for outstanding service, it is a well-deserved honor. CSG also thanks Jen Salter, Executive Director at Crystal Bluffs for taking the time to nominate Mike for the award.