LITTLE FALLS — Administrators and officials gathered with staff members and residents Wednesday afternoon at Alpine Rehabilitation and Nursing Center for a celebration.
The center is the first in the Herkimer, Oneida and Madison County area to be named a recipient of a 2013 National Quality Award at the bronze level.
The bronze-level award is the first step in the Quality Award journey and recognizes that a provider “has developed a foundation to begin a journey of continuous quality improvement,” according to the award website.
“This award is about you, the staff and residents,” said Alpine Administrator Teresa Creedon. “We received a bronze award, but we’re not stopping here. There’s a silver award and a gold award too.”
After those present viewed a slide show featuring photos of staff and residents interacting and taking part in activities, Richard Herrick, president and chief executive officer of the New York State Health Facilities Association, spoke.
“It’s the staff that makes things happen,” he said. “I saw a lot of smiles in the video. Now there’s nothing in the regulations that says we have to make you smile. It’s an attitude you bring to work every day and that attitude will drive quality.”
Herrick pointed out that receiving a National Quality Award is not simply a matter of submitting an application and said it’s an honor only some 41 nursing homes in the state have achieved, with only a handful advancing to the silver and gold levels. “It’s about creating an attitude that as good as we are today, we want to be better tomorrow,” he said.
“What you have done here is unbelievable,” said owner Alex Barth, chief operating officer of Personal Healthcare. He stressed each department is vital to the operation. “It’s about every person and what you’ve done to change and help the facility.”
He said Alpine should be viewed as a model facility.
Applying for an American Health Care Association 2013 National Quality Award at the bronze level involved showing a commitment to quality improvement. Improvements have been made to the facility in recent years. Each nursing station, the therapy room and main dining room were renovated and all resident rooms were refinished with new flooring, wallpaper and furniture. The security system was upgraded and resident common areas were renovated. Every resident room is now equipped with a personal TV, phone and complimentary Wi-Fi access, according to the home’s website. For the award application, Creedon said, she had to show positive clinical outcomes and resident and family satisfaction and set goals for Alpine.
One change Creedon has seen in recent years is the residents at the facility now are all from local families, which she sees as an indication local residents feel comfortable placing their loved ones in the facility.
Page 2 of 2 - The National Quality Award Program provides a pathway for providers of long term care services to journey toward excellence. Facilities must achieve an award at each level to progress to the next level. The silver award recognizes achievement in quality and the gold, excellence in quality.