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Montereau’s Health Center Named One of America’s “Best Nursing Homes”

U.S. News and World Report has named Montereau’s Chateau Skilled Nursing Center one of the best in the country.

The national magazine said health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of medical care are used to determine each home’s star ratings. Montereau received the top five-star overall rating.

This impressive rating is based in part on the results of the annual inspection conducted by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Inspectors arrive unannounced each year and spend three days scrutinizing every detail of care and operations. After a comprehensive examination earlier this year, the inspectors praised Montereau and reported “zero deficiencies” in direct patient care.

Although Montereau enjoys an excellent reputation, and both residents and staff are proud of the quality of services provided, receiving “zero deficiencies” is a remarkable accomplishment.

“We must comply with more than 4,000 federal and state regulations,” explained Donna Fields, Montereau’s Director of Nursing.

Having a lax day is never an option for Health Centers staff.

“It is hard work and focus every single day,” she said. “And it involves staff in every depart-ment, from dietary and laundry to activities and engineering, and every level of nursing – CNAs (certified nursing assistants), CMAs (certified medication assis-tants) and all nurses.”

“I was just elated,” said one resident, Helen, when she learned Montereau had earned the highest rating.

Helen has lived at Montereau for more than nine years. Last August, she made the move from Independent Living to Skilled Nursing – the Chateau.

“I didn’t realize it would be so efficient and the people would be so cordial and so nice,” she said.

“I was near death when they brought me here and these people resurrected me. They take good care of me…and with a smile. I highly recommend it!” she added.

Helen is one of 70 residents in the Skilled Nursing area of the Health Centers. About 65 percent are “contract residents” who either moved from Independent Living, or will return to their Independent Living apartment or cottage as soon as they recuperate from an illness or surgery.

“Resident first” is the thought foremost in the minds of those who serve.

“It’s all about the person who is at a vulnerable point in their life. We ask the staff to make their day, interact with them, have fun,” Donna Fields said.

“We hire the best of the best –people who have a servant’s heart,” she added. They are “people who have the heart and passion and want to do well,” she described.

The expectations are high. Staff members are trained to know what the regulations are so they can, in turn, provide the hands-on care and do it expertly.

Health Centers staff complete online training twice a month, and participate in in-service training once a month.

Training includes such topics as pain management, infection control, first aid, CPR, the Heimlich maneuver, as well as leader-ship and management skills.

Each staff level has a skills checklist. Employees must demonstrate their ability to execute those skills.

The nursing staff uses an electronic records system. All of their patient assessments have to be up to date and their charts are audited on a regular basis.

“We also encourage staff to build relationships with other team members, the residents and their families,” Donna said.

“They are taught to man-age conflict, be accessible, always keep residents and families in the know, and never shy away,” she said. “Everyone here works together toward our mission,” said Charge Nurse Linda York. “We mentor the younger ones.”

Montereau’s mission is “to value, support and uplift the lives of older adults and the people who care for them.”

Linda has worked at Montereau for three years. She said her 30 years of experience has taken her to “a lot of different facilities and work in many different types of nursing.”

“Montereau is definitely the best place I’ve worked in those 30 years,” she said.

Health Centers Administrator Floyd Autin is quick to credit Donna Fields’ leadership.

He said Donna was promoted a year ago from Assistant Administrator to Director of Nursing. In this position, she has helped staff understand their responsibilities.

“She has instituted positive change and brought leadership and accountability to the staff,” he said.

Donna passes the credit to “the dedicated, hard-working staff who have the heart to do what they are doing and who want to make a difference.”

There is no doubt it is a team effort and staff in all departments feel they are important members of the Montereau team.

“This is a tough business,” Donna said. For Montereau’s employees, it is not just a job,” she said, “it is a commitment.”

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