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November 29, 2012

The Heritage wins state, national honors

CORBIN — Special to The Times-Tribune

The Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility in Corbin has had an award-winning year nationally and statewide, culminating by being named the 2012 Statewide Facility of the Year by the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF). The Heritage was also the Eastern District Facility of the Year. The awards were presented during KAHCF’s Annual Meeting Nov. 13-15 in Louisville. KAHCF, the trade association that represents proprietary and nonproprietary long term care facilities throughout the Commonwealth, presented over 40 awards at the Nov. 15 banquet.

The Facility of the Year Award is presented in KAHCF’s five districts to nursing homes that have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement in the past year. The nominees are judged on strict criteria, including facility and department goals and objectives, quality patient care, the attitudes and enthusiasm of administrator and staff members, and the facility’s activities and involvement with the local community.

“The facility’s motto is “Excellence Just Got Better,” so we’re never satisfied with where we’re at. We’re always striving to do better, and our focus of course is always our residents and what we can do to make their lives better and make them feel loved,” said Administrator Cathy Willis. “We didn’t do anything different. It’s just that I have an awesome, awesome, awesome staff, and tremendous ownership. They support us so much in everything that we do.”

Also honored was Jerry Lawson, the Eastern District winner in Dietary Services.

“The Heritage is an outstanding facility that has built a long tradition of commitment to quality care for its residents,” said KAHCF Chairman of the Board Wanda Meade. “Our long-term care profession salutes administrator Cathy Willis, Jerry and the entire staff for their dedication and professionalism.”

Earlier this fall, The Heritage received national accolades as a 2012 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving quality care. The award is one of three distinctions possible through the National Quality Award program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The program honors facilities across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to the quality improvement journey.

Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, which assists long-term care providers in achieving their performance excellence goals.

The program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Facilities begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision and mission statements and an assessment of customers’ expectations. Bronze applicants must demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. As a recipient of the Bronze Commitment to Quality award, The Heritage Nursing and Rehabilitation Facility may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the Silver – Achievement in Quality award.

 “We are pleased The Heritage has been honored for their commitment to providing quality care to their residents,” said Ruby Jo Lubarsky, KAHCF president. “This is a rigorous process they chose to undertake, and it is an honor they have earned.”

This is just one of many programs in which KAHCF encourages its members to participate in. Others include AHCA’s Quality Initiatives, satisfaction surveys and Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes. More than half of Kentucky’s nursing homes are participating in Advancing Excellence, and the majority of those are KAHCF members.

“These programs are important tools to providers in measuring how we are doing in the eyes of our customers – our residents, their families and employees,” Lubarsky said. “We encourage our members to take part in these efforts as we continue working to meet the challenge of providing quality care.”

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