Sam Perlin, 91, has been called "the sand, the irritant in the oyster shell which produces a beautiful pearl."
His tireless, empathetic advocacy began in the 1960's when his mother was in a New York facility; and it continued in
Florida during the 1970's and has endured from 1983 until today in Texas. In Florida, Sam was an ombudsman and then
member of the citizens' group Nursing Home Hotline Patrol. He wrote a column for the St. Petersburg Times in which
he was instrumental in starting the first nursing assistant certification program. In the '80's, he continued
his work with Texans for Improvement of Nursing Homes. Proving his reputation as a "crusty crusader," Sam
testified at a 1986 hearing - when owners and supervisors as a Texas nursing home were tried for murder - that the Texas Department
of Health was partly to blame.
In 2007, Sam was presented a Special Life-Time Advocacy Award by
the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform.