Martha Deaver began her work as an advocate for the rights of nursing home residents in the late 1980’s when her grandmother was a resident of an Arkansas nursing home. She joined The Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents in 1998 and became a member of the board of directors in 2001.

In January of 2008 Martha was elected President of The Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents. Martha’s mother and mother-in-law were victims of nursing home abuse.

In 2005 Martha Deaver was honored by National Citzens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform (NCCNHR) for her long-term commitment to protect the rights of nursing home residents. She was presented with the Janet Tulloch Memorial Award in Washington, DC. Governor Mike Beebe wrote a letter of recommendation for the award.

In June, 2000, Martha Deaver’s nursing home abuse story was the first story to appear on the consumer website, , where it remains today as the lead story.

In June, 2006, Martha Deaver’s tragic experiences with two Arkansas nursing homes was featured in “Ladies Home Journal” in a report titled, “It Broke My Heart That I Couldn’t Protect My Mom.” The journalist of this report, Michael J. Weiss, won a journalism award in Washington, DC from “The National Coalition for Nursing Home Reform” after the report was published.

Martha Deaver has worked with the Government Accountability Office by providing information and data to assist in the production of several GAO reports. After supplying numerous complaint surveys to the GAO, Martha was asked to be the spokes person for the announcement of complaint survey data being added to the government nursing home compare web-sight.

Martha Deaver worked for three years supplying information and data to Trudy Leiberman, the director of the Consumer Union dealing with health issues for Consumer Reports. After the three years, Martha hosted Trudy in Arkansas for one week while traveling the state to meet with nursing home owners, nursing home residents and their families, reporters, long-term care agency directors, and the Arkansas Attorney General. This culminated in one of Consumer Reports most in-depth outlooks on America’s Nursing homes that was released in 2006. The article was titled, “The Crisis in America’s Nursing Homes.”

Martha Deaver was recognized by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, the state’s largest newspaper as, “a vocal crusader for the state’s nursing home residents.”

Martha Deaver has worked with numerous newspapers, radio and television stations, specifically dealing in television news stories about abuse and neglect in nursing homes all across the state of Arkansas.

Martha Deaver worked at the state capitol in Little Rock testifying against the nursing home industry’s attempt to pass a tort reform bill specific to nursing homes and continues to speak for the rights of nursing home residents in every Arkansas legislative session.

Martha Deaver has received numerous awards for outstanding support of the Arkansas Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

Martha Deaver represents AANHR as a strong member of several “National LTC Coalitions” in dealing with long-term care issues in Arkansas and nationally.

Martha Deaver created the first program in recognition of National Residents Rights Month in Arkansas, and has chaired each of the events for the past twelve years. It is held at the State Capitol every October. The governor signs a special proclamation recognizing this event.

Martha Deaver created AANHR’s first National Nursing Assistant Recognition Awards Banquet recognizing CNA’s from across the state. Martha has chaired each of the events. The governor signs a special proclamation recognizing this event.

Martha Deaver has been publically recognized The Honorable Mike Beebe. Governor Beebe states, “she is an advocate in the best sense of the word, tirelessly supporting and defending others.

Martha’s high standards will make Arkansas better for future generations.”

Martha Deaver works to file complaints on behalf of family members and residents by supplying data and information to the state regulatory agency and the AR Attorney General’s office, and OIG, pertaining to nursing home abuse.

Martha Deaver has spoken at, and helped form, numerous Family Counsels across the state of Arkansas.

Martha Deaver was honored to be reappointed to a second three year term on the Governor’s Long Term Care Facility Advisory Board.

Martha Deaver is the recipient of the FBI 2010 Community Leadership Award.

Martha Deaver has been asked to serve in 2015, at the request of Director of AR Department of Veteran’s Affair, Col. Matt Snead, as a committee member with the development of the new Veteran’s nursing home at Fort Roots.

Martha Deaver serves on the “2015 Professional Advisory Council” for Alzheimer’s Arkansas.

Martha Deaver has served on the Arkansas Department of Veterans Affairs Steering Committee to help Veterans in nursing homes and other settings since 2018.

Cernoria McGowan Johnson (1909-1990) set up the national program of Nursing Home Ombudsmen in 1974. The award in her honor is presented to someone whose work has had national impact or is a model for national excellence and who exemplifies accomplishment in his or her chosen field.