Forest Hill staff receive awards of excellence

Two Forest Hill Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center employees are recipients of the Maine 2021 Excellence in Long Term Care Award from the Maine Health Care Association and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

FORT KENT, Maine – Two Forest Hill Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center employees are recipients of the Maine 2021 Excellence in Long Term Care Award from the Maine Health Care Association and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

The Forest Hill team have named Reggie Murray, an infection control specialist, and JR Laferriere, who works with the activities department and is also a transporter for residents needing to travel to appointments or to services, and learned that a jury had awarded the honor to the two nominees.

Forest Hill staff announced the awards to the recipients in a surprise celebration on September 15. A more formal, state-wide virtual awards ceremony was held on September 30.

The Long Term Care Excellence Award recognizes employees across the state who have consistently demonstrated a commendable level of care, dedication and professionalism in the care of their residents / consumers.

The ongoing pandemic has presented a plethora of unique challenges for residents of nursing homes across the country, including heightened feelings of depression – due to social isolation and estrangement from families, as many institutions have interrupted visits from people outside the organization for long periods of time. Many of the staff, recognizing the impact of the situation on the residents, have found creative ways to make a difference and bring joy into the daily lives of their residents.

“We chose to name JR because he completely changed his role as transporter by attending the activities. He has created his own personal daily group with the residents where they all have coffee and donuts and just discuss daily events, ”said Forest Hill administrator Travis Guy, IA, BSN.

Forest Hill consistently received five-star quality ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for all five parameters measured. Even so, when the pandemic began, there was a need to raise quality and safety standards to a higher level, and staff immediately got down to keeping their residents safe. Implementing security measures and protocols was one step, and teaching people what to do and why to do it was another.

“We chose to name Reggie, well, because she’s awesome,” Guy said. “Seriously, she did everything and everything we asked of her. She provided extensive information to staff regarding security during COVID, performed fit testing on all staff, rounded floors, and explained everything we did to staff and residents. She adjusted her schedule when needed, and the list goes on and on.

Each award winner received a digital award certificate to print and frame and will receive a cash award and commemorative program book from the statewide celebration.

“We are very proud of our employees who receive this award and all of our employees for really working tirelessly throughout this pandemic to ensure our residents receive the highest quality care. Our employees have always gone above and beyond for our residents and when you are surrounded by people you know to love and care for, then you have a place where you can feel at home. We strive to make our residents feel that way every day here at Forest Hill, and this recognition demonstrates that effort, ”said Guy.

To learn more about the Long-Term Care Excellence Award, visit https://www.mehca.org/excellenceinltc.


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