A proud day for Ohio nursing home

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If you scout the headlines or listen to coffee klatsch chatter at all, it doesn't take long to figure out that nursing homes often do not enjoy a good reputation.

Although some providers earn the disdain they receive, I'm also still shocked at the number of times a bad reputation is accepted unchallenged. More facilities need to do play more defense, or even better, go on the offensive.

Luckily, the staff at Villa Springfield Health and Rehabilitation Center in Springfield, OH, doesn't have to worry about either of those concepts. Springfield Health and Rehab knows how to grab the brass ring. Today, top managers from the Covenant Care nursing facility are in Washington to become the first healthcare provider of any type to receive the Better Business Bureau International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence.

The honor recognizes supreme commitment to ethical business practices and has been granted to world-class corporations businesses since 1996. After various recent news reports around the country, some might think “ethical business practices” and “nursing home” don't belong in the same sentence.

Villa Springfield, however, knocks that notion on its ear. It beat out 78 other deeply vetted finalists nationwide for the BBB award. The provider made such a compelling case, in fact, it drove judges to issue two grand awards since it was locked in a tie with communications giant Verizon.

“Everybody knew this was an ethical company from the way they treated people,” said Sheila Adkins, director of community relations for the council. “The judges could not break the tie. [Villa Springfield] always received such positive feedback from their patients, families and vendors.”

Originally, the 110-bed facility was first anonymously nominated for, and won, the six-county Miami Valley BBB Eclipse Integrity Award. This was no rubber stamp: Judges visited contending business and pored through nominating documents.

After the initial victory, Executive Director Bill Robinson and Marketing Director Michele Hemphill decided to go ahead and take the challenge of further refining a thick binder of testimonials and explanations about their facility. Having “just one or two” deficiencies this year and none the year before helps, Hemphill noted, but without the gumption to go for the big prize, none of it would have mattered.

“We put it together, but we wouldn't have anything to put together if we didn't have such a good building,” Hemphill said of the 3-inch thick dossier. The binder held precious rave reviews and explained community outreach and best management practices she and Robinson worked overtime to assemble.

Today's gala in the nation's capital is to be followed by a local celebration at the facility May 12—right in the middle of National Nursing Home Week.

Here's hoping the rest of nation's nursing homes sit up and take notice—and realize what they, too, are capable of accomplishing.

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McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.

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