Ann & Mark Baiada embody the very best of Donegal’s Diaspora legacy
The flagship event of the Donegal Connect Festival Series is the Tip O’Neill Diaspora awards, which will take place on Friday September 23rd at the Inishowen Gateway Hotel, Buncrana. The Award Ceremony recognises the enormous contribution made by Donegal Diaspora across the world. Among the nominees are the Baiadas’, healthcare champions based in New Jersey, USA, but with strong ties to Carnasaul, Kilmacrennan.
Both Ann and Mark are distinguished members of the Donegal Association of Philadelphia, an organisation founded in 1888 which has Irish roots and charity at its core. The Baiada’s are also members of the Irish American Business Chamber and Network of the Philadelphia, Delaware Valley Area, dedicated to the support of Irish and American business relationships.
Mark Baiada founded BAYADA Home Health Care in 1975 with the mission to help people have a safe home life. Almost 50 years later it has growth to before a global leader in home health case not only in the US but across Europe, Asia and New Zealand. Now Chairman of BAYADA, he oversaw the company’s transition to a non-profit organisation in 2019. Unprecedented in the industry, the transition was made to ensure BAYADA’s mission, purpose, and business model would endure.
Ann Claffey Baiada, RN, is a champion of the nursing profession. Her unwavering commitment to clinical excellence motivated her to create training and mentoring programs at BAYADA to empower clinical leaders and ensure excellence and further personal and professional growth. Her grandmother Bridget Lynaugh left Donegal in 1908 and settled in Philadelphia, raising a family there, without every returning to her native Donegal. Today Bridget’s granddaughter and husband Mark employ approximately 28,000 people across the world including 10 counties in Ireland.
In recognition of their incredible efforts and success they have received countless awards and titles including the 2014 Úachtaran Award from the Irish Chamber in Philadelphia (Ann) and 2019 President’s Award from the Nursing Foundation of Pennsylvania (Mark). Both have received Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Drexel and Neumann Universities in the Philadelphia area.
Ann and Mark have dedicated much of their life to bettering the wider healthcare profession as well as supporting numerous humanitarian and charitable organisations. Despite their widespread success, both see ‘‘our family which now extends to five children and 11 grandchildren, is our greatest achievement. Family is central to our lives and Donegal heritage is a very important part of this’’ explains Ann.
Tip O’Neill is just one of a series of Donegal Connect events taking place across Donegal from September 22nd to 25th. Among the packed line-up include a Walking Festival, Donegal ‘It’s In Our DNA’ Genealogy Workshop, Killybegs Good Tour, Music & Film Events along with a Donegal Connect Carnival taking place at Swan’s Park from 4pm on Saturday September 24th.