In the community

Vale nursing home gets top marks

Pioneer Place resident care manager Christy Gillespie (left) chats with Lorrie Holloway, Pioneer Place business office manager last week. The nursing home was recently recognized for its quality health care. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

VALE – A regional organization that monitors health care for seniors recently identified Pioneer Place as one of the state’s top nursing homes.

Pioneer Place was one of 17 Oregon nursing homes identified for the 2018 HealthInsight Quality Awards. The 17 Oregon nursing homes were recognized for their “excellence in providing high-quality care for their residents.”

“We scored in the top 25th percentile,” said Tom Hathaway, Pioneer Place administrator.

HealthInsight is a health improvement organization that oversees nonprofit health firms in Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon and Utah. 

Hathaway said it is a federal program and “Oregon’s version monitors all 135 nursing homes in the state for quality measures such as skin integrity, pain management.”

Pioneer Place offers assisted living and rehabilitation services. 

Hathaway said the number of residents on the nursing home and assisted living sides of Pioneer Place fluctuates. 

Last week he said there were 20 nursing home residents and 29 clients in assisted living.

Hathaway said the assisted living section of Pioneer Place also recently passed its state inspection.

“We were deficiency-free, which is extremely hard to do,” he said.

Hathaway attributed the recent recognition by HealthInsight to the staff.

“They are the ones that make this happen. They are the ones that offer the attention and ask the questions of the people who are living here,” said Hathaway.

He also cited its record of training, which he said can be difficult for a rural care center. Pioneer Place tackles that challenge through partnerships with regional health organizations that provide on-line training. 

“That way we don’t have to send one person, pay mileage, pay hotel and meals. Instead our staff here are motivated to learn online,” said Hathaway.

Hathaway said another trait that makes Pioneer Place successful is a management style that encourages initiative.

“You can’t micromanage 80 employees and expect to provide quality care because you have 80 different perspectives and 80 different opinions,” he said.

Hathaway said Pioneer Place also succeeds because it doesn’t have large turnover in leadership. For example, he noted, Pioneer Place’s director of nursing – Nilda Kelly – arrived four years ago.

“And I have been here four years. That is the type of stability that lends itself to improving quality health care,” said Hathaway.

Hathaway said experienced health care providers help separate Pioneer Place from other nursing homes.

“When you bring in a green nurse who doesn’t know the regulations, you are going to have a lower quality of care. When you provide the training and guidance people grow and develop their skill sets and the quality improves,” he said.

Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.