Goshen, N.Y. (July 1, 2011) – A unique resident program and four individual employees from Elant at Fishkill and Elant at Wappingers Falls received awards during the New York State Health Facilities Association (NYSHFA) annual awards program held June 28.
The awards honor exemplary programs and employees of skilled nursing facilities in New York State. Some criteria include innovativeness in dealing with residents and staff/peers; use of skills and knowledge to positively affect quality of life and care; positive impact on residents’ health, safety and welfare; and serving as a role model for other staff members.
Among Elant’s winners: A groundbreaking program cultivating relationships between those who care; a nursing assistant who makes a point of involving her residents in topical conversations so they keep informed about the world around them; a 42-year veteran of the same facility; and an activity coordinator that makes it her job to address every resident’s interests in her activities.
“Congratulations to our award-winning program and our individual award winners,” said Elant Inc. President and CEO Todd Whitney. “Elant is known for its extraordinary caregivers. What we have at Elant are truly special people doing extraordinary things for our residents every day.”
Innovative Practice Award, Changing to a Culture of Person-Centered Care, State Level – Elant at Fishkill: Pat Long, Director of Nursing at Elant at Fishkill has fulfilled a dream she’s had for 20 years – to implement a program where nursing home staff learn more about residents who are mostly non-communicative or have dementia. The program helps staff to provide better care because they gain a greater sense of each resident’s personal history. But the program has also had a profound effect on patients as they listen to their memories – some talk and some sing after having been non-communicative for years. The program involves a three-step process: First, a resident is interviewed to discover what moved them when they were young, their passions, their significant relationships, their work and their leisure activities. Second, a memory board is developed to include photos and mementos. Third, a special presentation is coordinated where family joins the resident along with direct caregivers and other staff members as the resident is presented their board. The resident’s biography is read aloud, family members speak, individual photos are discussed, and musicians play their favorite songs. Following the presentation, the memory board is placed on display near the resident’s room.
Certified Nursing Assistant of the Year Award, State Level – Teri Cron, Certified Nursing Assistant, Elant at Fishkill: Cron is someone who truly enjoys having conversations with the residents. She finds ways to involve them in group discussions about news events, tells jokes, banters with them individually and talks sports. She brings baked goods from home and picks up toiletries from the store. She mentors new certified nursing assistants and has been an advocate for the residents.
Licensed Practical Nurse of the Year Award, NYSHFA District IV – Susan Maglio, Licensed Practical Nurse, Elant at Fishkill: Maglio is a 21-year LPN veteran of Elant at Fishkill. She has filled in the role of weekend supervisor and substitute unit manager as the need arises. She is the consummate team player and is always there to assists others.
Registered Nurse of the Year Award, NYSHFA District IV – Mary Lou Koziol, Registered Nurse, Elant at Wappingers Falls: A nurse for more than 42 years, Koziol has worked at Elant at Wappingers Falls her entire career. She leads volunteer activities for Elant at Wappingers Falls as well as other organizations. She serves meals at a homeless shelter, facilitates retreats at Mt. Alvernia and is on the board of directors for Greystone, an agency for mentally and physically challenged individuals. She also helped organize a retreat for a group of chronic and terminally ill individuals, which included organizing a team of nurses to provide nursing care for the weekend, enabling caregivers and family members a period of respite.
Hearts and Hands Award, NYSHFA District IV – Jean Modica, Activity Coordinator, Elant at Wappingers Falls: Modica’s job is to coordinate activity programs for the facility, but her determination is to find something for everyone’s interest. Her unique programming has enticed two residents, who had preferred to be in bed, to get up and attend programs regularly. She initiated the “Can-Can Fund” at Elant at Wappingers Falls, where she takes the can and bottle returns for refunds and collects the money for take-out lunches, bingo prizes and to help residents buy things if they do not have the means or family support. To increase feelings of worth and self-esteem, she has organized activities to enable the residents to give back to the community. One resident removes the pop-tops from cans and Elant at Wappingers Falls then donates them to a local elementary school in support of Ronald McDonald House. More than 16,000 cans have been returned for a profit of about $800.