NEW ULM - U.S. News & World Report fifth annual Best Nursing Homes ratings gave the highest possible overall rating to Oak Hills Living Center.
The 2013 ratings gave five stars to less than 20 percent of nearly 16,000 facilities nationwide. The ratings draw data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a federal agency that assesses homes in health inspections, nurse staffing levels, and care quality to create an overall rating.
"As an administrator at Oak Hills Living Center, it is an honor to receive this type of recognition," said Candace Shouviller. "The staff works hard at creating a 'home-like' environment with the focus of 'resident-directed' care. We strive to employ caring individuals who have a passion of working with the elderly. It takes each person employed at Oak Hills to achieve this honor. I am proud to be a part of this team."
Oak Hills administrative staff created "Mission Possible 2013," a year-long project designed to make the facility the best possible place to work with individual and team challenges and growth while having fun.
"Due to state funding freezes, we needed to create unique ways to recruit and retain talented staff," said Oak Hills Payroll Administrator Kim Schlumpberger.
Oak Hills has always focused on resident care, but it began stressing staff focus after its latest remodeling project.
"As caregivers, it's easy to focus on others and not ourselves," Schlumpberger said. "We realized we can't take care of others to the best of our ability until we take care of ourselves." She added that nursing assistant positions are available at Oak Hills.
Each month, one of six Oak Hills Mission Possible Committees meets and creates mission challenges promoting individual and team growth. Residents Choice Awards are awarded to employees each month. Winners listed on a Wall of Fame will vie for a 2013 Residents Choice Award.
In other activities at Oak Hills, on Saturday, May 5, a run run/walk begins with a resident walk at 2 p.m. A 2.2-mile fun run/walk open to the public begins at 2:30 p.m. Entry fee is $10 through May 1. The first 50 participants will get T-shirts. Snacks will be served following the run/walk.
The Minnesota National Guard will bring its obstacle course for staff to use from 4:30 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 12 in front of Oak Hills. Rain rate is June 13.
Oak Hills teams and the public are invited to use the course at 6 p.m. The Oak Hills Relay for Life team will sell food and have family games available to raise cancer research funds.
In July, Oak Hills teams will be active at New Ulm's Bavarian Blast including the Grand Parade.
For more information on the report, go to www.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).