Embrace Living with Rebecca Priest: A Celebration of What Is Working

Rebecca Priest

Rebecca Priest

This has been a whirlwind month! We have hosted 15 surveyors for 12 full work days at 3 of our entities for annual recertification surveys.

And, we had a very successful result at each one. Thank you. The comments from surveyors resounded that as an organization you are living our values: friendly, respectful, responsive, caring, innovative, and fun.

That does not mean we do not have some further work to do, but I would like to highlight what is working for us:

1. Small Homes. The smaller the entity, the more successful. This includes those neighborhoods in St. John’s Home that were surveyed. “Bigger” makes things so much more complicated. We must continue to find ways to make households “smaller” to ensure staff and elder success.

We are doing this by building small homes as quickly as we can afford; unifying success in leadership by having consistent clinical support teams (social work, activities, dietitians, captains, environmental support staff); and moving to comparable living situations with as few elders in a house as possible.

2. Connected Teams. In those teams where staff members knew each other and were knowledgeable about the roles of each of their colleagues, we saw much better success. Interestingly enough, in these scenarios, we also see happier employees and more satisfied elders and families! Let’s seek teams that are well connected.

We are doing this through neighborhood education and guide-supported growth in all places where people live.

We are also doing this by training small home teams in groups so that they can grow in their knowledge and appreciation for one another. 

3. Universally Trained or Connected Employees. In our main roles, as supporters of elders’ lives, Day Break services has nursing staff members who do exercise each day with the elders, share meals together, and exhibit team pride as an interdisciplinary group. Penfield Green House Homes have Shahbazim who worship with elders in church; create meaningful engagements and activities with the elders and nurses; and shop, cook, and share in meals as a household. They remind each other when protocol for care is not adhered to and they monitor their team quality.

We are building a universal workforce through the establishment of Shahbazim positions at St. John’s Home. We have begun the process to offer CNA training for all St. John’s Home employees who want to support a household model.

In other areas, we are looking to build competences and specialized excellence that will help us in this rapidly changing business climate (reimbursement, technology-supported houses, clinical education for all disciplines, etc.).

I know that sometimes it is more natural to focus on the drama, the negative, and the losses side in our lives, but I can assure you, this practice will not enable us to succeed as an organization.

What will? We must honor success; recommend changes to the right people in our small environments and in a manner that considers what is working for those teams; and make a personal commitment to listen and respond to what elders need each and every day.

In love,

Rebecca Priest
Administrator of Skilled Nursing

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