Two Long-Term Care Facilities Receive 2018 Governor's Awards for Quality Care

DES MOINES – Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds today announced that two long-term care facilities have been selected to receive the 2018 Governor’s Award for Quality Care in Health Care Facilities. Mercy Living Center-North of Clinton and Oakview Home of Conrad were selected from a field of 11 nursing facilities nominated for the Governor’s Award.

Mercy Living Center-North is an 86-bed nursing facility operated by Mercy Health Network. The facility received three nominations for the Governor’s Award, including two from current residents. Clayton Cook wrote that after visiting the facility to support a friend’s wife who was a resident, “. . . my wife and I agreed that if we ever had to go to a nursing home, Mercy Living Center North would be the one.”  

Tom and Laurie Wolf said they were amazed by the interaction between staff and the residents. “The staff members truly know the residents, from life history to likes and dislikes,” the Wolfs wrote. “They take the time to know the residents and engage in conversations with them. Everyone from housekeeping to dietary to administration truly has the best interests of the residents in mind.”

All of the nominators cited the facility’s diverse activities, which Clayton said “goes above and beyond to keep us occupied." Resident Norma Hammer said the activity department staff must stay up all night thinking of games for the residents to play. “Besides being fun, the games stimulate our brains and make us think,” Norma wrote, adding, “I feel right now that I’ll never get dementia.”

Above everything else, all three nominations said the staff at Mercy Living Center – North is outstanding. “Our CNAs and nurses are the best,” Norma continued. “They are so kind and compassionate and helpful. I know I made the right decision to come to Mercy Living Center – North and I’m very happy here.”

“The year my wife passed, the staff took my picture of me hanging my wife’s ornament on the (Christmas) tree,” Clayton added.  “After Christmas the staff gave me the ornament as a keepsake … it's one example of how staff treat us like family.”  

The second award-winning facility, Oakview Home, is a 46-bed community-owned nursing facility overseen by a local board of directors. Nominator Dixie Walters said Oakview “is the hub of community activity. Residents see people they know and have worked with, which helps greatly in the transition to living at Oakview. Residents do not feel alone.”  

Dixie cited several examples of how Oakview staff seeks to enhance the residents’ quality of life. “When a resident has a particular interest or need, staff sees to it that the resident receives it,” she said, adding, “A CNA accompanied a resident on a small aircraft flight. The residents was a former pilot and hadn’t flown for quite some time.”

The nursing, CNA, and medical staff are on top of every issue, Dixie wrote. “The staff always knows what needed to be done to help. The individual is important; one sizes does not fit all. When residents can do something that is special and unique to them, that is quality of life. Life is not only maintained, it is improved. Exceptional care is not unusual for Oakview, it is the norm. They set their own bar very high.” 

The Governor’s Award for Quality Care was established to recognize long-term care facilities that provide – in the nominator’s opinion – a high level of care to their residents. Since the first awards were presented in 2001, a total of 56 awards have been presented to 49 individual facilities.

“What is most unique about the Governor’s Award for Quality Care is the fact that facilities are nominated by those they serve or the family members of their residents,” Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) Director Rod Roberts explained. “The nominators have all experienced, first hand, the care and compassionate services provided by these facilities to their loved one, their neighbors, and their friends.” 

“The common theme running through all the nominations is Iowans caring for Iowans,” the Director added. “We are fortunate in our state to have some of the finest people operating nursing homes where our senior citizens are recognized for their individuality and cared for with dignity and respect.”

“On behalf of Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, I look forward to presenting the 2018 Governor’s Awards for Quality Care to the administrators, staffs, and residents at Mercy Living Center – North and Oakview,” he concluded.