A long-term care executive is being celebrated for his selfless acts and bravery during a devastating flood that threatened facility residents and staff members.

Jody DePriest, regional vice president of Pathway South, a company that manages 11 skilled nursing facilities, was awarded the first ever “Hometown Hero Award” by the Louisiana Nursing Home Association. 

The award honors long-term care professionals who “exhibited on-the-job courage, strength, selflessness and compassion during an emergency or disaster.” 

DePriest leads the company’s emergency preparedness program. His skills were put to the test during a “devastating” 2016 flood that threatened the Flannery Oaks Guest House, a 130-bed skilled nursing facility in Baton Rouge.  

DePriest worked closely with nursing facility staff, administrators, local authorities and state officials during the flood. He also ensured communication between the groups remained up-to-date and was the last to evacuate the facility after helping each resident and staff member to safety.

“(DePriest) is truly a shining star in our company and to the community at large,” Pathway South President Earl Thibodaux said in a statement. “His dedication and sacrifice to keep residents safe and comfortable at all times is inspiring and commendable.”

DePriest received the award during the LNHA convention and trade show in September. It is the first year for the award, according to the organization.

“There is no one more deserving of the Louisiana Nursing Home Association’s first Hometown Hero Award than Jody DePriest,” LNHA Executive Director Mark Berger added.