Williamsburg Health & Rehabilitation Center took home top facility honors at the 2013 Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF) Annual Meeting Nov. 12-14 in Louisville.

Williamsburg was named Facility of the Year, winning the honor over three other facilities from across the state. Williamsburg was also the Eastern District Facility of the Year. KAHCF, the trade association that represents proprietary and nonproprietary long-term care facilities throughout the Commonwealth, presented over 40 awards at the Nov. 14, 2013 banquet.

“It’s overwhelming, really,” said Michelle Jarboe, administrator of Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center. “We’ve been on an amazing journey. The staff, residents … everyone has just worked so hard at what they do. The staff here really go above and beyond what is expected of them. They are all about coming up with creative, new and better ways to care for our residents.”

The Facility of the Year Award is presented in KAHCF’s districts to nursing homes that have demonstrated an outstanding level of achievement in the past year. The nominees are judged on strict criteria, including facility and department goals and objectives, quality patient care and meeting national standards, the attitudes and enthusiasm of administrator and staff members, and the facility’s activities and involvement with the local community.

“It may not be their first home but we try to make it as home-like as we possibly can for as long as they have to come and stay, whether it be short-term and we get them all better and get them back home, or whether they have to stay with us long term,” Jarboe said.

Jarboe said she strives to ensure that residents don’t feel as though they’ve been forced to give up things they love most about life simply because they are at a nursing facility. Staff take residents to movies, restaurants, community events, fishing and even have a plan to go to a local pumpkin patch to enjoy the fall weather and participate in a hayride.

“If there is something one of them wants to do or they have a bucket list item like going to a University of Kentucky basketball game, we are going to try to find a way to get those tickets for them and make it happen. We make all of the arrangements,” Jarboe said.

Officials with KAHCF had high praise for the facility following the banquet.

“Williamsburg’s staff has demonstrated their desire to provide quality care every day, often without receiving the recognition they deserve,” said KAHCF Chairman of the Board Ken Urlage. “This is one way to recognize their effort. And while it is an important honor, it is insignificant to the thanks they receive every day from their residents and families.”

Jarboe credited the Williamsburg staff for making a difference every day in the lives of the residents and the facility.

“They do things that are not normally expected of them. They excel. They’re creative. They’re always trying to come up with different ways, better ways, to care for all of our residents. I don’t ask them to do that. They just do it,” she said.

Williamsburg is also one of three Kentucky facilities to have met all four of the American Health Care Association’s Quality Initiatives. Those initiatives asked facilities to reduce the off-label use of anti-psychotics, re-hospitalizations and staff turnover while improving customer satisfaction.

“It is an honor to recognize Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center for their continued commitment to providing quality care to their residents,” said KAHCF President Ruby Jo Lubarsky. “Not only were they named the best facility in Kentucky, but also one of three members to achieve all four of AHCA’s Quality Initiatives. It is truly a recognition they have earned.”

It is the second time Williamsburg Health and Rehabilitation Center has won the award. It took the top prize 11 years ago as well.

According to contest rules, Jarboe said the facility could not compete for the top spot again for another three years.

The facility also recently received the Quality Initiative Recognition Award from the American Health Care Association. It was one of 60 facilities in the nation to receive the honor. Only two others in Kentucky got the award.

Four goals that have to be met to receive the Quality Initiative Recognition Award include: safely reducing hospital readmissions by 15 percent, increasing staff stability by 15 percent, increasing customer satisfaction above 90 percent and safely reducing the off-label use of anti-psychotics by 15 percent.

Jarboe said the facility would be presented with the award in New Orleans in February.

Reprinted with permission of The News Journal.