Congratulations to NCI’s Newest CTO

Submitted by Aimee Bhatia, Therapy Resource, NCI, California
Wervonn “Vonn” Malabanan has been the Director of Rehab at Camarillo Healthcare Center since July 1, 2021. Prior to that, he had been a dedicated and influential member of the therapy team and had participated in the DORiTO program, which allowed him to actively engage in many leadership tasks prior to moving into this role. Vonn has a heart of gold. He leads with a gentle toughness. He is warm and easily approachable and truly cares about his team, yet he leads with a directness and firmness that leaves no gray area.

Throughout his short time at Camarillo, he has already made his mark. He has grown the LTC programming in-house in an admirable way with solid documentation training and with amazing outcomes for the residents. the Part B MSCA results show just how strong this programming is in the facility. Productivity, despite multiple COVID outbreaks in his first year, has been one of the strongest in the market, and his purposeful use of G & C to foster success has been noteworthy. Vonn has also been a leader in the market in better management of managed care. He teamed up with his ED to truly ensure they provide therapy to the contract terms and has come up with creative ways of providing additional opportunities for engagement and progress for the residents.

Leadership development is another strength Vonn possesses. He has uplifted many of his therapy team members by giving them opportunities to grow — anything from encouraging student mentorship and working with IDT for care plan meetings to empowering the team to engage in leadership tasks throughout the day and allowing his teams to engage in decision-making.

Vonn has done an amazing job fostering relationships with many therapy schools across the country. It is not rare for the team to host five or six students at a time year-round. It is one of the most robust student programs I have seen anywhere. Even Vonn takes on students in order to avoid saying “no” to schools. The hiring Vonn has done in his time there has been top-notch as well, with a thorough interview process, team involvement in hiring, and good mentorship to ensure an easy transition for new-hires.

Not only have Vonn’s metrics been extremely solid, but his dedication to the building has been remarkable, too. Vonn has a deep love for the entire facility. He works with DSD and Nursing to provide training to CNAs upon hire and as needed to ensure proper body mechanics, safety, and knowledge in caring for their residents. He steps in with other department heads to fill in and assist wherever needed. . He actively participates in facility celebrations and activities, helping to foster a greater relationship between Therapy and the rest of the facility. He is also an extremely valued partner to his DON and ED. The amount of pride they take in what he brings to the facility is amazing to see. It is not often I have EDs and DONs reaching out to me to nominate their therapy leaders for CTO, and certainly not this early in a leadership role. Vonn has made a tremendous impact and truly has a great future in the facility and the organization as a whole.

Vonn has great ideas, he has amazing clinical skills, and the solid leadership he brings to his team has made a remarkable impact on the facility.