Killdeer nurse receives caregiver award

Felwa Laguio, of Hill Top Home of Comfort in Killdeer, ND, has been named one of the four recipients of the prestigious 2023 Caregiver Award by the North Dakota Long Term Care Association.

Felwa Headshot.jpg
Felwa Laguio.
Contributed / Hill Top

KILLDEER, N.D. — Hill Top Home of Comfort employee Felwa Laguio was recently selected as one of four recipients for the 2023 Caregiver Award presented by the North Dakota Long Term Care Association. The Caregiver Award recognizes long term care staff that significantly enhance the quality of life for residents in North Dakota’s long term care facilities.

Nursing Director Stephanie Hardersen said the nomination for the award came from the wife of a resident who passed away on Jan. 5. She added that out of 690 nominations, four North Dakotans were selected to receive the award,

"The wife was just so happy with that fellow was kind of at the bedside during his final hours there," Hardersen said. "Since she's been here she's been a phenomenal employee."

In her nomination submission, the wife said Falwa went above and beyond to provide exceptional care to her husband Wayne, who was dying of Alzheimer's.

"She stayed well past her shift and ministered to my husband, talking to him and reassuring him everything was all right and she would not leave him alone," the woman stated. "Whenever Falwa was taking care of Wayne, I never had any worries and knew everything would be okay."


Felwa became a nurse after being inspired by her mother who was also a nurse. She graduated from nursing school in 2008 and landed her first job was at a tertiary hospital in her province of the Philippines. In 2013 she went to Saudi Arabia and worked in an accredited hospital working on a Med-Surg medical ward where her mother worked as well.

In late 2015 she went back home due to her father being diagnosed with lung cancer. When her father passed away she began to pursue nursing care in America, as this was a dream of her parents. She passed her NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) in 2019 and was hired by Hill Top in 2020. The pandemic delayed her return by two years and she finally arrived in the United States in the summer of 2022.

Felwa met her husband James, also a Hill Top employee, in high school and they’ve been together for 22 years. They were blessed with a beautiful daughter Bella in 2017. Bella recently started kindergarten at Killdeer Public School.

She feels blessed to be given this award and said it will serve as an inspiration to work harder because you don’t know when you will make an impact on someone. When she was presented with this award she told all her staff that it wasn’t just her. She noted this would not have been possible without the support of her coworkers, who she calls family.

A panel of judges selected the winners based on exceptional dedication and commitment to quality care for residents. Felwa will be honored at the NDLTCA Gala Awards Dinner on May 3 at the Bismarck Events Center and will receive a cash award and recognition plaque.

By Jason O'Day / The Dickinson Press

Jason O’Day is a University of Iowa graduate, with Bachelor’s Degrees in Journalism and Political Science. Before moving to Dickinson in September of 2021, he was a general news reporter at the Creston News Advertiser in southwest Iowa. He was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa. With a passion for the outdoors and his Catholic faith, he’s loving life on the Western Edge. His reporting focuses on Stark County government and surrounding rural communities.
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