By Kayleigh Burns PT, DPT, DOR, The Villages of Dallas, TX Dignifying long-term care in the eyes of the world through moments of truth is something I repeat to myself daily. I often think, how can I use my position of leadership to lead a movement that strives for this exact thought? As the new DOR in a very established team, I was faced with the task of not only providing a fresh perspective but also providing a revival of passion within this team. Very quickly, I started to notice that passion-driven treatments were not talked about or inspired/supported regularly. I quickly reached out to some other DORs who I knew could inspire this positive change within my team and began to set the tone of purpose-driven treatments. I wanted to change the mindset from just seeing a patient for the time scheduled, to letting us use each day as an opportunity to create an impact and inspire unique moments that make this incredible population’s life worth living.
One therapist began to passionately talk about wound care within our facility. The excitement I saw in his eyes when he talked about the past wound care programs was the exact same excitement I wanted to reignite within this team. Through the support of our local Resource and Keystone’s Resource, we were able to not only attend a wound care course but also establish our building as an Ultramist trial building. We have not only been able to successfully heal wounds in outpatient, which then helps to keep the autonomy of care for our patients, but we have also been able to assist with wound care for our long-term care residents. Wound care has created opportunities for us to not only better support our patients and provide opportunities for our therapist passions to be supported, but most importantly it has also helped to reconnect Therapy and Nursing in this building. By supporting the continuum of interdisciplinary care and helping carry the burden of our Nursing partners, our building is better when we work together. We are committed to bettering long-term care one wound at a time!
Submitted by Carly Peevers, M.S, CCC-SLP: Therapy Recruiter for Summit; ID, NV, UT Since COVID-19, therapy and the recruiting world have shifted significantly. With staffing shortages, uncertainty, and so many new challenges, recruiters have had to step up their game. From January 2020 through December 2022, it was reported that our Therapy Recruiters hired about 2,582 new therapists nationwide, which equates to about 73 new therapists a month. Although these have been trying times, these numbers are phenomenal. Potential candidates love to hear from actual treating therapists, so many markets have started to use our very own therapists as therapy recruiters. Brilliant, right? Who better to represent the CAPLICO experience than our very own therapists who have lived, breathed, and loved our unique culture?
Our Therapy Recruiter Resources are elevating the recruiting field by increasing school/student and facility relationships, attending career fairs, attending therapy conferences, holding mixers, and increasing their social media presence. Their innovative ideas and styles are reaching therapists around the country and the world and helping increase our presence to help LEAD a therapy movement.
Listed below are the Therapy Recruiter Resources Ensign-affiliated facilities. Please reach out to them with any recruiting or marketing needs: ● Andy Cisneros PTA, CTO: Keystone Texas East and Keystone Enspire ● Angie Taylor COTA: Midwest: Kansas, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin ● Ashley Keenan, M.S, CCC-SLP: Keystone Texas West and North ● Carly Peevers, M.S, CCC-SLP: Summit; Idaho, Nevada, Utah ● Jay Jupillo COTA/L: Keystone North East Texas ● Lyda Latagliata, MOT, OTR/L: Bandera: Arizona, Pennant: Washington, Monument: South Carolina ● Paul Medvene: Flagstone: California ● Scott Hollander PT, DPT CEEAA, CTO: Theratroopers
By Deepa Basil, DOR, Patriot Heights, San Antonio, TX In the outpatient therapy program here at Patriot Heights, our therapists see many people from all walks of life. Sadly, many of our patients come to us during some of the most difficult times in their lives, but there is a silver lining to this! Our favorite part is seeing the therapy transformations from start to finish! Making a difference in people’s lives is what we do, and our patients would certainly agree that we do it exceptionally well.
We would like you to meet Joe! Joe came to our therapy program in the form of a skilled nursing stay in January 2022 after a fall incident in which he sustained a femur fracture and underwent surgery. Joe was admitted to our skilled nursing facility for short-term rehabilitation. After his discharge from our skilled nursing, Joe was seeing such great results with our therapy team, he chose to continue with our Outpatient therapy program and contacted Jessy Garcia, our outpatient coordinator. By his side the whole way, he had his loving and devoted wife taking care of him while also getting a front-row seat to his amazing progress day by day! We would like to take the time to highlight some of the praises she has voiced for our therapy team and share a bit about Joe’s story with you as one of our most exceptional success stories!
“Dear therapy team, thanks for ALL the love and compassion you showed Joe! You all went far beyond the call of duty meeting him where he was… in his hour of need! You all treated him with such dignity and respect; we love and appreciate you! [He went] From bedridden to a walk down in the park, thanks to prayers and your therapy program!
He feels loved and accepted at the gym. He is rather quiet and/or shy but the community he feels there has brought out a new facet of his personality. It thrills me to see him so ready to get up at 6AM to get to therapy on time… 92 but Joe is in PERFECT Health. Thank you for your major role in providing this for him!
[Recently] Joe walked at home for 30 minutes Saturday, 20 Minutes Sunday, and then 45 minutes at the park. This was our first walk in the park. It has a slow incline and is asphalt. His legs got really tired. Upset? No! He said ‘We need to do this more often!’
Saturday I assisted Joe in the shower. He always clutches two safety bars, I use a washcloth with soap to wash him all over, and I hold the shower wand. He said, ‘May I have the washcloth, please?’ He took it, got it wet, and put soap on it. He used both hands and washed himself from head to toe. With perfect balance, and with me only helping by washing his back, he took the towel and completely dried himself — a first! He was so pleased!
Three cheers for Joe’s therapists!! Every one of you has contributed to this success story! THANK YOU, therapy team! God bless you for caring!”.
By Angela Anderson, DOR, Gateway Transitional Care, Pocatello, Idaho We had a unique opportunity a few weeks ago for three Pennant Idaho/Nevada DORs to present to Idaho State University PT and OT students as alumni of the very same program. Jason Balls, OT and DOR of Monte Vista Hills in Pocatello, Idaho, had the foresight to schedule a Lunch and Learn with ISU about a year ago. When the time came for this to happen, he was able to coordinate with Cory Robertson, Pennant Idaho/Nevada resource, and Jace Briggs, PT and DOR of Temple View Rehab in Rexburg, Idaho, as well as myself, Angela Anderson, PT and DOR of Gateway Transitional Care Center in Pocatello, Idaho. With the help of the recruiting resources — Scott Hollander and Stephanie Cole, who allowed us to use her PowerPoint she had put together for student presentations — we were able to pull together a Lunch and Learn at our Alma Mater.
Jason, Jace, and I all have in common that we graduated from the same program but we also all intended to work in different settings when we graduated. One by one, we found ourselves the happiest and most successful in the SNF/LTC setting at different Ensign-affiliated buildings. I received an email from the clinical coordinator a few days ago that had feedback from the students and it was mentioned a few times that they could all tell we were passionate about the setting. If one thing from our presentation to the students stuck with them, I am glad that it was this. We all love the elderly and the SNF/LTC setting.
It was so fun to talk to a room full of therapy students about how we fell in love with geriatrics, how the myths of long-term care weren’t true. We talked about the opportunities for therapists there and how the need for talented and intelligent therapists and strong leaders was so great in the SNF/LTC space. We talked about how this setting is the ideal space to practice at the top of our license with the geriatric patient population and how we had the most opportunities to promote Physical and Occupational therapy as well as SLP in the Post-Acute Care space.
You could see the recognition sparking in many of their eyes when Jace talked about how he never intended to do anything but sports and orthopedic PT, and he even tried to leave an Ensign-affiliated building for a time to follow what he thought was his dream and why he went into this field. But he missed the culture, the teamwork, the complexity of the patients, and the IDT involvement. He realized he was meant for geriatrics and came back soon after becoming a DORiTO graduate and then the DOR of Temple View. The eyes of the PT/OT students followed that story word for word, seemingly incredulous, but each of our stories added to the one before. Jason relayed a similar story, only along the lines of Pediatric OT. The lifestyle and patient engagement in the SNF setting, the flexibility, and the work/life balance was highly preferable to the pediatric setting.
My own story began when I was pregnant during the physical therapy program. My focus through school was always women’s health, pre/post-natal, and pelvic health. I did not intend to work in LTC either. However, when my final clinical ended at the beginning of PPS, my CI, who was the current DOR, was just about to abandon his post and I was just about to graduate. He thought I had a gift for working with the elderly and recommended to the administrator that I replace him and stay at the building. I fell in love with the geriatric patient population at that building. I now have devoted a large portion of my life to leading SNF/LTC therapy teams. I am passionate about our residents and our setting. I know Jace and Jason and our DORs are as well. I am proud of us for conveying that passion to a class of students because hopefully they will seek out LTC/SNF settings in Ensign-affiliated buildings for student rotations and employment thereafter. If not, someday if they are at a job wondering whether they chose the right field because they don’t feel purpose or passion in their jobs, they will remember three other graduates of their program who found employment where they could be successful in their profession while finding joy and fulfillment in their day-to-day work. We had so much fun that we scheduled it for next year already!
Submitted by Elyse Matson, MA CCC-SLP, Speech Resource On a recent Saturday in Lehi, Utah, nearly 80 therapists gathered to fulfill our mission to “dignify long-term care in the eyes of the world.” Our amazing team of facilitators included Kelly Alvord, PT; Amanda Grace, OT,; Patty Fantauzzo, COTA/DOR, representing the IDT process; and Elyse Matson, SLP. Milestone and Sunstone leaders Gary Mcgiven and Asa Gardine did an amazing job gathering such a strong group on a Saturday and of course keeping everyone well-fed for the day.
Although the course trainers have taught this course many times, it was truly one of the most inspiring discussions about dementia care! Adding the IDT approach meant great questions and discussion from nursing partners about topics like care planning and the use of the Kardex as well as Quality Measures. Patty Fantauzzo, who comes from an all-dementia facility, always has amazing examples of personalized dementia care, including cohorting of similar ACL leveled residents, training every member of the facility staff about Allen levels using a lanyard and card with ACL levels, and the use of a shadow box system for personalization of resident spaces.
The breakout sessions allowed therapists from each discipline to delve into the program from their perspective. For example, the SLPs discussed the use of communication support in this population as well as how simple communication tasks can greatly improve the interaction between residents with dementia and caregivers.
The course was made better by all who attended! Thank you so much for an amazing day.
From Cara Koepsel, Therapy Resource, Keystone – North, Texas At the Healthcare Resort of Plano, something extraordinary happened this month. Our new DOR, Stephanie Wentworth, shared a moment of truth that was definitely worth sharing with others outside of their facility. These moments of truth are happening every day in our facilities but often don’t get shared, and they certainly should be!
One of the Healthcare Resort’s speech therapists, Andrew Royall, approached Stephanie to see if the facility could invest in a piano for their residents. Andrew and fellow therapist and outpatient coordinator Adam Krahl set out to find a piano at a low cost to the facility. They were able to find one that was going to be zero cost to the facility as long as they picked it up and transported it. Adam jumped on it and brought his trailer all the way to the pick-up site to transport this piano back to Plano!
The piano is now in the front area of the facility, and it looks amazing! The joys of music are now accessible to residents, a population that benefits greatly from the ability to connect and reminisce through song. The teamwork they showed to get the piano to the facility, all while yielding a zero-cost asset to the facility, will benefit residents, staff, visitors, and others well beyond just the therapy population! This shows the positive culture of the therapy team at Plano and what it looks like to have passion meet purpose. The culture of loving one another, our residents, and everyone in the whole facility was exemplified through Andrew and Adam and shows that our new leader, Stephanie, is already promoting this culture within her team and the facility!
By Maybelle Hui, OTR/L, PAM, DOR, Mission Hills Post Acute Care, San Diego, CA I wanted to send some pictures over to show everyone how Mission Hills Post Acute Care has been celebrating! In the last year, we’ve had five “best months ever” for taking care of our long-term residents with our clinical programs.. For our last “best month ever” in October, we decided to share our celebrations with our whole facility. It actually started with one of my therapists suggesting we do some kind of celebration with the CNA staff, as they all work so hard. I wanted to share this celebration with the Nursing staff as well, since we are down to only three Nursing managers holding down the fort at Mission Hills and they are all working well beyond their job duties. One of my other therapists also wanted to include Maintenance and Housekeeping since they also are so integral in keeping our building running. So, with all this, we decided to ask our administrator if we could just make this a facility-wide celebration so everyone could celebrate with us and feel included. And of course, he said yes! 😊
We are so lucky to have this culture of recognition and celebration — one that we’re aware not all departments have — and we wanted to share our successes with our colleagues since they all play a role in the care of our long-term patients. We decided to have a “Boodle Fight,” a practice that originated in the Philippines military, where a big pile of food is served in the middle of a really long table in a mess hall; every hungry soldier eats with their hands, symbolizing camaraderie, brotherhood, and equality in the military. The “fight” in the name refers to the act of grabbing and eating as much as the soldier can before others grab them, otherwise you won’t have any. In retrospect, it is symbolic of what our Rehab department was trying to do with this celebration in the first place!
By Tess Hurley, DPT, Meadow View Nursing & Rehabilitation, Nampa, ID In autumn 2022, the Meadow View Therapy Department teamed up with maintenance staff and residents to refinish the weathered, wooden outdoor furniture. This project consisted of refurbishing 12 tables and over 20 chairs.
Throughout the crisp and sunny weather, Therapy, maintenance staff, and residents worked together to sand, stain, and seal the wood. The much-used and appreciated outdoor furniture was given new life!
One of our patients stated, “I am so excited that I can hardly sleep!” This project gave residents the opportunity to feel a sense of purpose, achievement, and pride in their work. The group activity doubled as a therapeutic activity, as the residents were able to work on improving their strength and cardiovascular endurance.
The residents also enjoyed getting out of their rooms and having time to socialize with others while working. Each day for over a week, our Therapy staff assisted each patient for an hour. The patients would listen to their favorite tunes, provide valuable sequential advice in regard to the proper steps, and actively participate in the physical task of woodworking — all with smiles on their faces. Our residents enjoyed refinishing the tables, as it gave them an opportunity to contribute to their homes and community by improving an outdoor socializing space. Also, the residents are of a generation in which disposal of useful items is unheard of. Thus, the fact that they helped refurbish existing, functional wood furniture was not only beneficial for their psyches, but it saved Meadow View an estimated $3,500 to replace those items.
Now when our therapists take residents outside to ambulate and exercise, they can use the tables as a way to motivate the residents and remind them of their hard work. The patients responded very positively and stated that it helped them feel more excited about going outside and that they felt more at home. One patient stated, “It felt good to contribute to my home, and it reminded me of my good ol’ days.”
By Todd Burgener PT, DPT, CBIS, DOR, Mount Ogden Health and Rehabilitation, Ogden, UT Mount Ogden has traditionally been very proud of their low readmission rates, high employee retention rates, and 0% agency utilization. As Mount Ogden has emerged from the COVID-19 era within the last year, the situation has changed. As with the rest of the industry, Mount Ogden found itself dealing with a staffing crisis, including with CNAs and nurses. While experiencing ever-increasing turnover rates in all departments and increased agency usage, the resulting readmission rates began to soar. It became very apparent that certain systems such as change of condition reporting needed an overhaul. The Mount Ogden Therapy department recognized that we had an opportunity to support our nursing partners and play a more active role in this effort.
After several strategy sessions, operation “Change of Condition” was born. The Therapy department made a few critical strategic changes, which included moving therapists’ weekly schedules to four 10-hour shifts to allow them to attend morning and afternoon nursing huddles. During those huddles, high-risk change of condition patients were identified. These patients would be a focus during therapy sessions, where detailed vitals would be taken and reported back to Nursing. Therapists would have more supervision and monitoring of these individuals to be able to prevent any changes of condition or at least be able to intervene more quickly if a change of condition occurred.
Since these changes have gone into effect, we have seen significant changes in our readmission rates, from 28% in July of 2022 to 8.3% in October. Our staffing has stabilized, as we have been able to focus on recruiting and retaining nurses and CNAs.
By Jasmine M Bala, OTR/L, DOR, Mystic Park Nursing & Rehabilitation, San Antonio, TX Customer second! That was the reason I joined the movement. My grandmother instilled this principle in me early in life — that you can’t give what you don’t have. So, you need to love yourself first before you can love other people.
It was February 2019 when I joined the Sonterra Family; Lindsay Fry hired me. I loved my peers and I loved the freedom to be the therapist I wanted to be. However, I think I was too comfortable for a while. Lindsay keeps pushing me to start leading. I remembered telling her I’m allergic to stress … “I can never be a DOR,” I thought.
Then DORiTO came in early 2022. Being a DORiTO opened my eyes. My trip to the Service Center made me see the heart of servant leadership up close and personal. I grasped CAPLICO. I saw the great example of people breathing and living CAPLICO in every way. I saw how ownership works and how beautiful love one another is, and I went home with one goal: to Live CAPLICO.
Great things don’t come easy; it takes time and resilience. Mystic Park was my answered prayer. On October 1, 2022, I transitioned to my new home, Mystic Park. CAPLICO was alive and strong! I was in awe of how everyone worked together and supported each other. People from the Service Center, resources from everywhere, and the cluster family came over to help out. DORs from other facilities came and were treating, evaluating patients, and helping out. When the state came for a full book on our second week, I was never shaken. The support was overwhelming. CAPLICO was there on day one. Lindsay, my constant guide and friend, stood with me and is still standing.
The goal was to build a strong team (we only had two therapists when we started: one COTA and one SLP). We sought to bring in the right people and lay the foundation: CAPLICO. During our first month, we were able to build such a beautiful team. The residents were ecstatic, families were overjoyed, and staff was amazed at how we were able to turn the building around. We saw success story after story after story! Family, staff, and residents continued stopping by to give appreciation for what Rehab was doing. And to top it off, in our first month, we hit our target! Having an ED who has your back is everything! Osiris is awesome! Attached are pictures of our first team building/celebration for a job well-done!
Now I can say I love being a DOR, and I can’t wait to start training, supporting my staff, and growing with them as they find their inner geniuses. After all, we are in the business of building leaders. To Dignify Long Term Care in the Eyes of the World is my WHY. CAPLICO is my HOW.