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Brookestone View: A Testament to Excellence in Skilled Nursing Care<p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/logos/qualityaward_silver.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;200px;" />​In the heart of Broken Bow, Neb., Brookestone View has emerged as a beacon of excellence within the skilled nursing care community. This 60-bed facility, a member of Vetter Senior Living (VSL), recently celebrated a significant milestone by earning the 2023 Silver National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The recognition is a testament to its unwavering commitment to quality care for the elderly.<br></p><p>Madison Guthrie, the facility’s administrator since 2017, played a pivotal role in this achievement. Guthrie’s journey in long term care began in high school and was significantly shaped during her college years, despite her studies in criminal justice. Her mentor, Jalene Carpenter, instilled in her a lifelong love for elder care, emphasizing dignity and respect for all residents.</p><h3>A Journey Toward Quality</h3><p>Brookestone View’s path to the Quality Award began with a commitment to VSL’s world-class standards. “Once we were ready, we embarked on our journey, earning the Bronze Award in 2019,” Guthrie recalled. The significance of the Silver Award, received in 2023, resonated deeply with the entire team, underscoring the value of the recognition. “It’s not just an award for us; it’s a symbol of the quality we strive for every day,” Guthrie emphasized.<br></p><p>The process was enlightening, revealing the importance of early preparation, the integration of the program’s criteria into operations, and the meaningful changes that came with striving for the award. </p><h3>Core Practices and Culture</h3><p>Central to Brookestone View’s success are its practices around Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI), involving team members at all levels. “Our latest success story includes bringing charge nurses into the process with resident room moves and admissions,” Guthrie pointed out. “Charge nurses play a crucial role; it is such common sense to get their feedback and opinions on who will fit best where.”<br></p><p>The organizational culture at Brookestone View is built on trust and unity, with a leadership team dedicated to embodying and promoting these values. “Culture is everything. We treat people like the most important person in their life, fostering an environment where serving elders comes naturally,” Guthrie stated.</p><h3>Continuous Improvement and Engagement</h3><p>Continual improvement is driven by data analysis, allowing the team to track progress and identify areas for enhancement. Guthrie highlighted, “Data helps us prove our quality, guiding our strategies for improvement.”<br></p><p>Engagement with residents and their families begins with transparency and honesty, setting clear expectations. Regular care-plan meetings and satisfaction surveys ensure feedback is integrated into the care delivery model.<br></p><p>Collaboration and teamwork are also fundamental, with interdisciplinary teamwork playing a vital role in sustaining excellence. “Everyone’s contribution is crucial. Our unified leadership and respect for each other help achieve better outcomes for our residents,” Guthrie added.</p><h3><span><img src="/Issues/2024/Spring/PublishingImages/Quality2.jpg" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></span></h3><h3><span></span>Staying Current on Trends and Community Outreach</h3><p>Brookestone View remains at the forefront of industry trends and best practices through its connections with VSL and professional associations, including Nebraska Health Care Association. Community outreach, particularly partnering with schools and elder services, enhances the facility’s services and reputation. <br></p><p>“It is important to be a part of your community. After all, our residents still live in the community,” Guthrie noted. “Through the schools, we can educate students on what the nursing field looks like and encourage them to seek clinical futures. Through the senior center, we are able to build relationships and educate the public on what long term care is and how you can thrive in our setting. Through our integrity, our community knows we do what we say we do.” </p><h3>Insights and Advice </h3><p>Guthrie’s advice to other providers is unequivocal&#58; “Engage in the process. It’s beneficial, improving your quality and expanding your operations.” She emphasized the importance of collaborative effort in the application process, stating, “The administrator cannot be the only one involved. It’s vital to share the writing with your leadership team.” Reflecting on their own experience, Guthrie shared, “We looked at our leaders’ strengths and narrowed down a few people who could translate the everyday amazing things we do into the application. We were very fortunate to have Jolene Greenland, our business office manager, whose expertise in writing was pivotal.” <br></p><p>Brookestone View is now setting its sights on the Gold level, with Guthrie noting, “We’re investing in workshops and bringing more leaders into the process, focusing on systematic improvements.” She added, “Don’t wait until the last minute to apply!”</p><h3>Looking Ahead</h3><p><span></span><img src="/Issues/2024/Spring/PublishingImages/Quality1.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;255px;height&#58;255px;" />Facing challenges with resilience, Brookestone View’s team is prepared to uphold high standards of excellence. “When challenges arise, our collective commitment to quality care ensures we overcome them,” Guthrie assured.<br></p><p>What inspires Guthrie and her team is the impact of their work on the residents and their families. “This industry is not the easiest to work in, but providing a home environment for our residents and their families is what inspires us to continue. Seeing the difference we make in their lives motivates us every day,” Guthrie concluded, reflecting on the joy and fulfillment that come with providing exceptional care.<br></p><p>As Brookestone View continues on its path of excellence, its story serves as an inspiring example for others in long term care, demonstrating the power of dedication, teamwork, and a relentless pursuit of quality.&#160; </p><p><em>Andrea Todd is the director, public affairs at the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living.</em><br></p>2024-03-11T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2024/Spring/PublishingImages/Quality1.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsAndrea ToddDocumenting the amazing things the Brookestone View team does everyday resulted in a 2023 Silver Quality Award.
Going for the Gold Takes Rare Mettle<p>​Receiving the Gold Quality Award from AHCA/NCAL’s National Quality Award program is like traveling to an important bucket list destination. It’s powerful, inspiring, and immensely satisfying, but it’s not the end of the journey. Instead, it makes the road ahead more enlightening, joyful, and filled with optimism. It sheds light on the power of what’s possible. <br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Breanna.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="Breanna Jameson" style="margin&#58;5px;" />During the recent Delivering Solutions 23, AHCA/NCAL’s Annual Convention &amp; Expo, in Denver, Colo., <em>Provider</em> magazine hosted a roundtable discussion with representatives from the 2023 Gold Quality Award-recipient facilities and AHCA/NCAL leadership to discuss the unique value of the award, the path from Bronze to Gold, and what it means to the facility, staff, residents, families, and other stakeholders.<br></p><p>The 2023 recipients are two facilities in the same organizational family—Aspen Park of Cascadia and Lewiston Transitional Care of Cascadia, both in Idaho. Breanna Jameson, chief executive officer (CEO) of Lewiston Transitional Care, said, “I’m proud to represent my team and shine a light on their hard work. They have taken ownership of the Quality Award journey, and the organization provided the autonomy to transition to what we wanted to be.” She added that they had “many conversations with our staff to talk about why we were doing this and what we were trying to accomplish.” She stressed that receiving the Gold Award couldn’t have happened without the commitment and involvement of everyone in the facility. <br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Rachel.jpg" alt="Rachel Zimmerman" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Rachel Zimmerman, CEO of Aspen Park of Cascadia, said that they focused on financial, cultural, and clinical pillars and “what we do day in and day out.” She added, “Our staff lived this journey, and it aligned with our pursuit of the awards.” Jameson added, “It truly was a beautiful pathway from Bronze to Silver to Gold. The journey pushed us to go where we never imagined we would.”</p><h3>Its Own Reward…and More</h3><p>In many ways, the Quality Award journey is its own reward, and there were many highlights and milestones along the way. As Jameson said, “One ‘aha’ moment came as we started to see the benefits of the strategic planning and goal-setting we did as part of the award application. We talk about quality all the time, but the strategic planning shows that in an ever-changing environment, you can create goals to progress and have quality goals and outcomes.” Her facility started out with opportunities for improvement, and today they are a 5-star building with stronger finances and greater resident/staff satisfaction.<br></p><p>Nonetheless, while the journey comes with many achievements and successes, winning is still a great honor. Zimmerman said, “I was so nervous when I got the email. I had someone else read it to me. I was hoping we would get the Gold. We even planned a celebration.”<br></p><p>Robert Vande Merwe, executive director of the Idaho Health Care Association, noted, “You don’t just pay your dues and that’s it.” Jameson said, “The award has narrowed our processes, focuses, and purpose.” This, she noted, ensures that everyone is better prepared for the future. Zimmerman said, “We have implemented twice-daily huddles to talk about goals, and we get staff involved. We review goals and our strategic plan and adjust them as needed.” Jameson stressed that they may have received the top Quality Award, but they will continue their pursuit of excellence using the tools, knowledge, and resources they gained through the journey to the Gold. Zimmerman further noted, “When you get to Gold, you strive to stay there. This is the work our staff do every single day.”</p><h3>Leadership Lauds the Quest for Quality</h3><p>AHCA/NCAL CEO Mark Parkinson had nothing but praise for the award recipients. “We know what our work means. We get up early in the morning every day and go out there,” he said, adding, “You are inspiring, and your efforts are truly amazing. It is especially remarkable that you accomplished this partly during the pandemic.” He praised the teamwork that took the facilities to the Gold, and NCAL executive director LaShuan Bethea agreed, noting, “I love that you focused on the team and everyone’s role. I’m sure the residents are excited too.”<br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Cascadia.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;500px;height&#58;237px;" />Vande Merwe observed, “We have a long legacy of quality in Idaho. Maryruth Butler [who mentored this year’s Gold winners] went on the quality journey with her team. It took five years, but it made such a difference; and others were inspired.” Parkinson urged the Gold recipients, “You can inspire other people. Share your story and talk about your journey.”<br></p><p>It is important for everyone to know about the power of the Quality Awards. This includes legislators and policymakers. Parkinson said, “We need you on the Hill. Policymakers have a view that nursing homes are all run by large companies, but there are so many like you.” Congress, he said, needs to hear about how many smaller organizations are out there providing high-quality care with limited staff and resources.&#160;</p><p>Read more&#58; <a href="/Issues/2023/Winter/Pages/Tips-for-Quality-Award-Success.aspx" data-feathr-click-track="true" data-feathr-link-aids="[&quot;60b7cbf17788425491b2d083&quot;]" target="_blank">Tips for Quality Awards Success</a><br></p><p><em>Joanne Kaldy is a freelance writer and communications consultant based in New Orleans.</em><br> </p>2023-11-13T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Cascadia.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsJoanne KaldyThe 2023 Gold Quality Award recipients explain the path to achieving Gold and what it means to staff, residents, and families.
Tips for Quality Award Success<p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Rachel.jpg" alt="Rachel Zimmerman" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Talking with <em>Provider</em>, Zimmerman and Jameson offered several tips and pieces of information they want their colleagues to know about the Quality Awards journey&#58;<br>You don’t have to have all your quality ducks in a row before you start your quality journey. The award helps you implement the processes and develop a strategic plan.<br></p><p>You can’t do this by yourself. You need the whole team on board. They need to know why you are taking this journey and how it will benefit them and the residents. Announce and celebrate successes along the way.<br></p><p>Partnerships are important. While you may be hesitant to reach out to others, this journey is about collaboration. Connect with other facilities and organizations who are going or have gone through the Quality Award journey. Share solutions. At the same time, AHCA/NCAL has numerous resources, and staff are always eager to help. The association wants Quality Award applicants to succeed and move to the next level. <br></p><p>Don’t be afraid of failure and facing your flaws and weaknesses. As you go through the journey, you will see problems with processes and systems. Embrace them and see them as opportunities for improvement. Create a safe space for the team to talk about problems. Change the dialogue within your facility. <br></p><p>At the same time, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get an award the first time you apply for it. Focus on what you have learned to date that has improved quality and strategize about what you can do differently on your second try.&#160;</p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Breanna.jpg" alt="Breanna Jameson" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin&#58;5px;" />Jameson said that their facility couldn’t compete with organizations that raised wages significantly. However, she stressed that, thanks to the Quality Awards, they were able to compete for staff. “They are excited to see what quality means. While wages are important, we don’t pay enough attention to our team members who are passionate about quality. They want a company that fights for quality as well.” <br></p><p>Ultimately, Jameson suggested that you can’t go through the Quality Awards process without making gains. For instance, she said, “If you want an organization with consistent quality and outcomes without fighting battles every day, this is the pathway. It is impossible to go through this without finding ways to de-escalate the chaos and positively impact quality.” Zimmerman urged, “Just start. You aren’t perfect, but you can be stronger. Lean into the challenge and be comfortable wading into the unknown. The rewards will be innumerable.”​</p>2023-11-13T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Issues/2023/Winter/PublishingImages/Winter23_QA_Cascadia.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsJoanne KaldyZimmerman and Jameson offered several tips and pieces of information they want their colleagues to know about the Quality Awards journey.
2023 AHCA/NCAL Annual Awards<p>The American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) pays tribute to the best and brightest in long term and post-acute care. Individuals and groups honored with awards will be recognized during Delivering Solutions 23, the AHCA/NCAL Convention &amp; Expo in Denver, Colo.​</p><p><br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/BrodeyHanson.jpg" alt="Brodey Hanson" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;170px;" /><strong>Brodey Hanson, The Bridges at Ankeny, Polk County, IA </strong><br><strong>❖&#160; AHCA Leader of the Year Award</strong></p><p>Brodey Hanson is the executive director at The Bridges at Ankeny in Polk County, IA. Since joining The Bridges at Ankeny in 2018, he has created a culture of excellence, resulting in The Bridges receiving numerous awards and accolades. Hanson’s commitment to person-centered care, staff support, and regulatory compliance inspires his staff and the greater community.<br></p><p>Hanson has especially demonstrated his leadership in turbulent times. During COVID-19 when leadership was challenged to do more with less and cultivate partnerships with other nursing facilities to survive, Hanson forged a path for his community and health care across Iowa. His previous careers as a firefighter and EMT became vital. He drove as far as five hours away to pick up personal protective equipment; he secured masks, N95s, and gowns to aid 18 nursing homes throughout the entire pandemic. <br></p><p>Also, during the pandemic, Polk County was hit with a derecho which caused another nursing home to fully evacuate its residents. Hanson responded by housing 30 evacuated residents for over a month. To aide in workforce challenges, he has helped refugees from Iran and Ukraine find housing, education, and on-the-job training as they relocated to Iowa.<br></p><p>Hanson has garnered many personal and professional awards, including being named as one of Business Record’s 2022 Forty Under 40 and the 2022-2023 Governor’s Award for Quality of Care, Iowa’s highest honor.<br></p><p>As a trusted advisor, he serves on three different Iowa boards and is sought out from two different colleges that specialize in nursing home administrator licensure. Hanson demonstrates a high standard of ethical behavior and shows compassion, empathy, and dedication to residents, staff, and the local community.</p><p><br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/SeasonHull.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="Season Hull" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;170px;" /><strong>Season Hull, Franklin County Transitional Care, Preston, ID </strong><br><strong>❖&#160; AHCA Noble Caregiver</strong></p><p>Season Hull has been a Certified Nurses’ Assistant (CNA) at Franklin County Transitional Care in Preston, ID, for the last five years. In addition to her responsibilities as a CNA, she serves as a restorative aide and staff scheduler. To ensure compliance, Hull regularly volunteers to maintain restorative equipment and devices, keeping them in safe, working order. She participates in completing quarterly assessments and assists in developing and maintaining individual care plans.<br></p><p>Hull is highly organized and understands how to promote residents’ comfort, well-being, and genuine care. Residents and their family members often comment on how responsive Hull is to their needs and how the simple changes she makes in their care help to improve their quality of life.<br></p><p>As a mentor to the other CNAs at Franklin County Transitional Care, she uses a variety of educational techniques to help other staff members develop skills based on individual resident’s needs and educates staff about the “little things” that make a big difference to each resident.<br></p><p>While working full-time, she attends school to become a registered nurse and takes care of her family and their family farm. Hull has a positive attitude and outlook on life and lifts those around her, residents and staff, each day.&#160;</p><p>She is patient and kind and treats everyone around her with respect, leaving those she interacts with feeling uplifted and more positive. She truly embodies what it means to be a noble caregiver.</p><p><br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/KokoOkano.jpg" alt="Koko Okano" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;170px;" /><strong>Koko Okano, Florida Health Care Association, Tallahassee, FL</strong><br><strong>❖&#160; Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality</strong></p><p>The Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award honors one individual who has changed the course of quality in the long term and post-acute care profession. The 2023 Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award honoree is Koko Okano, quality improvement and research analyst at the Florida Health Care Association.<br></p><p>With more than 20 years of experience in long term care research and quality improvement programs, Okano is held in high regard. She has demonstrated her support of the National Quality Award program, served as a Baldrige examiner, and was a catalyst for Florida’s quality improvement achievement journey. She has also served on the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Board and AHCA’s Quality Improvement Committee. She has assisted several states in their proposals and implementation of National Quality Awards and recognition as part of state value-based payment incentives. </p><p><br><br><img src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/MartyDuncan.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;170px;" /><strong>Marty Duncan, Lakeview Assisted Living, Battle Creek, MI </strong><br><strong>❖&#160; NCAL Noble Caregiver</strong></p><p>As the beloved office manager since 2013, Martha “Marty” Duncan is the heartbeat of Lakeview Assisted Living. On any given day, Duncan is typically dancing around the lobby, encouraging anyone who is in the vicinity to join her. When a resident or family member comes to her window, her world stops, and she focuses on their needs. She listens and communicates the needs and wants of each resident and family to the appropriate department and follows up regularly to ensure the resident is the number one focus. Some individuals stay in their “lane” when it comes to their jobs, but Duncan sees her role as taking care of the residents’ needs no matter what it takes.<br></p><p>Duncan is always there to help other departments, whether it’s setting up a table so a resident can dine with family at the last minute or sorting through a resident’s closet to ensure that person feels dignified and put together for the day. She takes the initiative, even if those extra tasks mean working after hours to catch up on the duties she didn’t get to during the day. <br></p><p>Duncan is the go-to person for anything that is needed. People go to her for a daily dose of inspiration, a smile, a laugh, a listening ear—no matter the need, she is there to encourage, validate, or offer encouragement. She makes a tremendous impact on the lives of residents, families, staff, and co-workers and creates a legacy of love at Lakeview Assisted Living.</p><p><br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/CeciliaOwsley.jpg" alt="Cecilia Owsley" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;170px;" /><strong>Cecilia Owsley, Guardian Angel Homes, Post Falls, ID </strong><br><strong>❖&#160; NCAL Leader of the Year</strong></p><p>As chief operations officer and chief nursing officer, Cecilia Owsley utilizes her unique talents to help nursing and administration teams across three states and four facilities lead each of their communities to higher levels of person-centered care. Owsley makes it a priority to mentor leaders in her organization and help develop new programs such as LeadWell, a branch on the LiveWell program tree, to encourage and develop a spectacular team. She guides her team with authenticity, integrity, humility, empathy, and transparency.<br></p><p>Additionally, Owsley advocates at the state and federal level for better care for seniors. As a board member for the Idaho Health Care Association and a state representative for the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), she speaks on behalf of those whose voices may otherwise go unheard, ensuring that seniors, especially those struggling with Alzheimer’s or dementia, are not forgotten.<br></p><p>She has a genuine passion for embracing holistic health and taking a true resident-centered approach. Owsley has previously worked with AHCA/NCAL on quality improvement initiatives, the Alzheimer’s Association as a guest speaker, and Goodwill Industries as a youth mentor. She also collaborated with A Mind for all Seasons to introduce The Enhance Protocol, a holistic program designed to slow or stop the advancement of Alzheimer’s symptoms, to the seniors at Guardian Angel Homes.<br></p><p>Owsley prioritizes quality assurance and performance improvement by taking a staff-led approach rather than a leadership-led approach. As a result, Guardian Angel Homes has seen better resident outcomes and satisfaction, as well as enhanced teamwork and staff empowerment.</p><p><br></p><p><img src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/SarahSilva.jpg" alt="Sarah Silva" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;150px;height&#58;170px;" />Sarah Silva, Arete Living, Wilsonville, OR<br>❖&#160; Jan Thayer Pioneer Award</p><p>Sarah Silva serves as president of Arete Living and has a strong dedication to senior living, starting as a caregiver with Avamere (previously part of Arete Living). She possesses over 20 years of experience across all aspects of senior living, including independent living, assisted living, memory care, hospice, home health, and home care.<br></p><p>Most recently, after serving as president of the Senior Living Division of Avamere for four years, Silva executed the spin-off of the division into the standalone company of Arete Living, which included transitioning 28 managed communities to the new Arete Living brand.&#160;</p><p>Under her leadership, Silva continues to drive change at Arete Living through the organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). In 2020, she launched the DEIB initiative that cultivated a company culture where everyone feels valued and part of a collaborative team. She prioritizes career advancement and ensures there are career paths for employees to grow within Arete Living and reach their career goals.<br></p><p>Silva is known across the long term care sector as a leader driven to advance senior living and quality. Her involvement with AHCA/NCAL is extensive and includes serving on the NCAL Board of Directors as the secretary/treasurer, chairing the NCAL quality committee, serving as an Oregon State Leader, and as part of the NCAL Assisted Living Task Force committee. She also previously served as a Baldrige Quality Award examiner for AHCA/NCAL. <br></p><p>Silva participates in other advocacy groups, including the Oregon Health Care Association as chair of the Assisted Living Council and a member of the Quality and Compliance Committee. Silva is the epitome of dedication to quality, innovation, education, and advocacy. Her commitment to senior living and person-centered care is unwavering. <br></p>2023-08-28T04:00:00Z<img alt="" height="493" src="/Issues/2023/Fall/PublishingImages/trophy.jpg" width="740" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality AwardsThe American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) pays tribute to the best and brightest in long term and post-acute care. Individuals and groups honored with awards will be recognized during Delivering Solutions 23, the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in Denver, Colo.