At times, it seems appropriate to highlight the way in which nursing homes operate in the real world versus some of the misperceptions that can cloud the views of what we do in the long term and post-acute care profession.

A case in point is the idea that owners of skilled nursing centers are not involved or care about the residents who live in their buildings. Often, it seems, the larger the ownership group, the more talk there is of owners being focused on other things rather than the people who live in their communities.

I work for the Portopiccolo Group, and that idea could not be further from the truth,

Previously, I worked for several nursing home chains and when Portopiccolo/ClearView acquired Smith County Health and Rehabilitation in July 2019, I was unsure about what the changes would bring. 

By that I mean, any previous acquisition I have been through as an administrator, the new owner overpromised when it came to lending support to meet the daily needs of the facility.

But, as I began to see the owner and the upper-level management in the building engaging the residents and staff, I gained some hope. Months later, I realized Portopiccolo Group had kept every promise they made. We did have everything we needed, and they did ensure the residents were our No. 1 priority. 

Whether it be equipment, building renovations, supplies, operating cash, or good old moral support, we have it every day without fail. 

There have been times in the past when I spent my own money on supplies that were needed. With this company, they are excellent at controlling waste, but not slashing. It doesn’t matter if it’s a resident wheelchair, or a kitchen fryer, or petty cash to buy the staff lunch, we always have it. 

I see our owner and our executive operators quite frequently. For instance, just recently I witnessed our owner in a COVID-affected building talking to residents and staff to make certain they have everything they need, and that they were OK. He was doing the right thing when nobody was looking and putting his own health at risk to make certain his stakeholders know he cares for them.

I can’t put into words how proud I am to be a part of this company. I am grateful that even during this pandemic Portopiccolo Group is growing as a company because every building they buy is one more building full of residents and staff that will finally get the support and resources they need. They will be genuinely cared for by their owners and management team.

Alan A. Hall is administrator of Smith County Health and Rehabilitation, Carthage, Tenn.