May 13-19 is National Nursing Home Week, a week to honor the aged and disabled and the dedicated staff who care for them. In celebration of this week, we are highlighting a major achievement by one of Kindred’s long-term care facilities.

In 2011, Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation – Mountain Valley was the gold recipient of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award. It was the only nursing center in the country to win this award last year. Gold recipients must show superior performance over time in a number of areas, including leadership, strategic planning, customer satisfaction and healthcare outcomes. “Becoming a gold recipient is a three-step process,” says Maryruth Butler, Executive Director, Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation – Mountain Valley. “You first have to apply to be a bronze recipient. If you receive the bronze award you can apply for the silver, and finally the gold. Your ability to apply is contingent on your [CMS] survey outcomes.”

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The AHCA/NCAL gold recipient application process is quite lengthy. “The first part of the application asks for a detailed organizational profile that paints a picture of the overall facility,” Butler says. “The last part of the application includes our survey results, which show that quality of care in our facility had been sustained over multiple years.” Applications are judged by trained examiners who provide feedback on opportunities for improvement to support continuous learning.

Butler believes that quality of care is directly related to customer satisfaction and staff longevity. “Quality of care is driven by our workforce,” she says. “Our staff has been trained to solicit input from residents as to how we can make their stay a little more pleasant. For example, residents are given menus so they can make their own food choices. We also have a large number of staff members that we’ve trained, grown, groomed and kept. That, in my opinion, leads to quality of care.”