James Berklan

Hidden gems are often the best kind. They surprise us and keep us hopeful and optimistic for the future.

Maybe you make the trek to a new restaurant and instead of finding just good food, you discover a wonderful new neighborhood.

Perhaps you pick up a new book on a favorite topic and you discover a talented writer you hadn’t heard of before.

Or maybe you get dragged on a date to a concert you never would have bought tickets for yourself and, voila, you become a fan.

This is how I feel about McKnight’s Technology Awards, the third annual version of which is being sponsored by Tena and started accepting entries this month.

Each year, I head into them, expecting to hear about whiz-bang gadgets, complex formulas and new computer calisthenics. And often we do. That’s great.

But I also am reminded that this awards competition is actually about discovering fantastic resident care performed by inspiring caregivers.

I’d urge you, as the potential caregiving entrant, to think the same way. Think first of what you do well to enhance resident care and then track backward to consider the technology and talent that made it possible.

The awards are given in five wide-ranging categories that supply room for just about anyone to enter. High-tech, low-tech, programs that might at first glance appear to be no-tech — they’ve all been honored in the past.

Our nationally respected judging panel always includes caregivers from all walks of eldercare, not merely the computer, chemistry or electronics worlds.

You have at least a month, possibly double that depending on when you receive this, to pull together the basic entry details.

If history has taught us anything it’s that dozens of providers are making plans to enter already. Why not join them and risk getting some great exposure for your caregiving team?

Fifteen (or more) winners will be featured in a magazine spread we produce when it’s all over. You could be a part of it.

See page 47 of this issue or simply click on the Events tab near the top of www.mcknights.com to see stories for more details and items on past winners.

You have nothing to lose but the lack of a spotlight for your outstanding work. But you have to come out of hiding to do so.