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Mercy senior communities receive ‘five-star’ ratings

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

By Eileen Connelly, OSU

ARCHDIOCESE — For nearly four years Betty Rhoden has called Mercy Franciscan Terrace Home. It is a special place for Rhoden, who appreciates the kindness of the staff, the variety of activities offered, the relationships she has developed with her fellow residents and an environment in which she can feel “safe and secure.”

Rhoden’s experience is reflective of the level of care faith that recently earned two of Mercy Health Partners’ local senior living communities high ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Mercy Franciscan Terrace in Springfield Township and Mercy Franciscan at West Park in Western Hills both earned five-star ratings for overall performance from the CMS. Mercy St. Theresa in Mariemont and Mercy Franciscan at Schroder in Hamilton earned five-star ratings specifically for quality.

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The newly elected resident council members at Mercy Franciscan at West Park gather for their first group photo. The council represents all residents and works with administration for the betterment of the entire community. (Courtesy Photo)

“We are proud of the excellent care we provide to our residents and families,” said Brian Forschner, president, Mercy Senior Living. “These ratings say a lot about how well our staff engages with our residents and their families, the quality and variety of activities we offer, and how well we maintain our communities.”

The CMS introduced the national rating system in December 2008. The overall performance ratings are measured in three key categories: health inspections, an effective staff per resident ratio and how consistently the staff follows established quality of care measures. The Regional Quality Team for Mercy Senior Living is led by Dr. Victor Lee and includes each director of nursing as well as the executive director from each community.

“We measure our quality data continuously and are always updating and making changes to improve our care delivery; we do that by working well together and sharing best practices,” said Lee.

Quality, he added, means providing “the best care you can to people. The quality measures are important and serve as our guidelines, but all the numbers in the world don’t matter if there isn’t caring human interaction.

Key to providing that care is a committed staff, noted Lee. “Our staff is very strong. They are dedicated and believe in our mission.”

Rhoden has experienced that care saying, “I like it here. They treat me good.”

It is the little things that have made her feel so at home at Mercy Franciscan Terrace. As a “meat and potatoes person,” she loves the meals served there, especially the meatloaf, mashed potatoes and beef stew. She also enjoys the opportunity to spend time on the patio and plant flowers in warm weather, said Rhoden.

Finding a senior residence where Chrisula Petrou would feel at home was also important to her son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Carrie. “Mom had lived with Jim and I for a while before we starting researching places to live,” Carrie Petrou explained. “We wanted her to be close enough that we could keep tabs on her and we needed to feel comfortable.”

They considered several places before a friend’s daughter who worked at West Park recommended it. Carrie Petrou said her first impression was the facility’s cleanliness. What really impressed and moved her, though, was the obviously caring attitude of the staff.

“What made me feel is really good is that when I walked in to visit mom early on, I noticed that everyone there called her ‘Yia Yia,’ just as our family has done for years. She was even teaching them Greek words,” Carrie Petrou recalled. “When I head the staff calling her the endearing name that her family has called her…well, a woman knows when people mean what they say with genuine warmth behind it. They stop and hug her.”

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