29222 Rancho Viejo Rd, Ste 127
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
June 2021

Summer is officially here, and the joy that the season brings feels sweeter than ever as we are starting to resume social activities and in-person meetings. Our vaccination efforts are working! We continue to see the numbers decline with our staff and patients. It’s fun to see our residents once again resuming social activities and group therapy, and it’s also wonderful to see the DOR meetings and celebrations return. In Good to Great, Jim Collins describes companies with the “hardiness factor” as those that are able to use great adversity to make them even stronger. You have all demonstrated the hardiness factor, and we are even better because of your extraordinary resilience. We are all looking forward to more and more togetherness in the coming months! We are, without a doubt, better together. 
One Step Backward, One Step Forward to Independence
By Carlos Pineda, CTO/DOR, Southland Care Center, Norwalk, CA
We are launching our "prototype" Tandem Backward Walking I - Southland Tool in a Lunch and Learn training. This maintenance series is dedicated to the person who inspired Southland to pursue greatness with maintaining the function of our beloved residents: Bertha Spaeder (pictured left with Roger Pavon, PTA). Bertha has been my inspiration in pursuing greatness for our beloved patients. I named this tool after Bertha. " B.S.MP01" --Stands for Bertha Spaeder Maintenance Program Series 01. Standardized testing and strategies are also part of the training. This evidence-based group therapy program aims to minimize fall risk.
Walking backward is essential in our daily life: when opening a door, backing away from a kitchen sink, stepping from the curb as a swiftly-moving bus passes, during toileting, or opening the refrigerator. An effective compensatory stepping response is the first line of defense for preventing a fall during sudden large external perturbations. Falling backwards is common among our elderly population especially with comorbidities like Parkinson’s disease and CVA. Read On...
WELL (We Embrace Living|Loving Life!) Strong!
What is your morning routine? Steal from the best! We want to see you thriving in 2021! 
Tory Lane, DOR at Sunview in AZ, breathes in the beautiful surroundings
Tina Bond, CTO at Peoria, AZ, and her husband enjoy swimming
Melissa Ricciardelli, DOR at Coronado in Phoenix, AZ, enjoys riding on her horse
Larissa Osio, DOR at Granite Creek in Prescott, AZ, on Peloton with her daughters on their bikes
Calli Carlson, DOR at North Mountain in Phoenix, AZ, hiking with hubby, Cody
Pinnacle Ragnar Race 2021
Pinnacle put a team together and ran a Ragnar Race in Utah. The team members were Jake Dean (PTA), Julz Taylor (PTA), Derrick Stanger (COTA), Brittnay Trujillo, (Rehab Tech), Hayley Housekeeper (Dietary Manager), and Michelle Willson (RN). This was the first race for many of them. Everyone had a great time, and it was a great team building event. There was definitely soreness felt and some limping seen on Monday, but everyone is excited to do this again next year.   
Fresh roasted coffee beans with leaves_ isolated on white background
Coffee Beans Are Brewing at Camarillo Healthcare!
Julia Schmutz, former DOR and now resource for Flagstone Northern California, has been brewing up some culture in her department! She got the idea from our Keystone resources when they read the book The Coffee Bean: A Simple Lesson to Create Positive Change. Life can be difficult at times, and our most difficult challenges often expose our resilience. We can be like the carrot that weakens in the pot or like the egg that hardens. Or, we can be like the coffee bean and discover the power inside us to transform our outlook and the world around us. 

Julia started the Coffee Bean Award in the Camarillo therapy department. She gave the first Coffee Bean Award to a therapist who, in spite of her own pain and illness, would show up to work with a smile and never let on to how she was really feeling. This started the momentum going, and each week, the coffee bean winner selects someone else to receive the award — someone who keeps infusing others around them with a positive attitude and refuses to be hardened or weakened by stress.  
Myth Busting Medicare Part B: Training Therapists at New Acquisitions
By Dominic DeLaquil, Pennant-ID/NV Therapy Resource
New acquisitions are not only a great opportunity to welcome a new facility to a market and the organization but they also give us an opportunity to provide culture and clinical training opportunities. This is really important early on as we need to understand what myths or rumors therapists from other organizations might be bringing with them. (This is also important with any new hires!)

Therapy programming on the long-term units was immediately identified as an opportunity for our residents. We saw a great opportunity to meet with the therapists, and ask questions to uncover any barriers, misunderstandings or prior trainings that they might have toward therapy interventions. 

Understanding the benefits of maintenance therapy to keep residents at their highest practicable level of function was an identified area of educational opportunities. The training focused on the three things that are required to be in place to support the need for therapy services: Read On...
Train Your Replacement? Yes, Please! 
Submitted by Gary McGiven, Milestone Therapy Resource, Utah
Nicole Newberry was the DOR at Draper Rehab for the last 15 months. Early on in her experience as a DOR, she saw the value of having an ADOR and growing leaders. As a result of this realization, she identified a member of her team that she wanted to help grow as a leader. Jamie Sack, SLP, was the natural choice, as Jamie has been completely bought into the growth of the therapy program at Draper.  

Over the last year, Jamie has participated in the DORiTO program, learned the daily technical, weekly skilled review, triple check process, and spent about eight weeks filling in for Nicole while she was on maternity leave. While Nicole was on leave, we learned that she would be moving her family to St. Louis so her husband could complete a medical school fellowship in pediatric ENT. Read On...
Onboarding New Therapy Team Members at
St. Joseph Villa
By Lisa Brook, DOR, St. Joseph Villa, Salt Lake City, Utah
Lisa Brook, DOR at St. Joseph Villa, recently shared their new therapist/new employee training and mentorship process. As COVID continues to de-escalate, their team is beginning to focus again on leadership development and believe this process starts from the very beginning of employment at St. Joe’s. They are attempting to be more intentional about onboarding and training of new therapists as their skilled census grows and they are expanding their outpatient programing as well as their LTC programing. The therapy team at St. Joe’s is being more intentional about the hiring process with improved communication with Jamie Funk, involvement of key staff in the interview process and then setting more specific plans for the onboarding and training process. In order to grow leaders we must start with growing good therapists, mindful of their treatment approaches, seeking to make the most of their time. 
Improving Quality of Life with IDDSI 
Submitted by Scott Langdale, Therapy Resource - Washington
Morgan Vaughn, SLP, has taken the lead in implementing IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative) in the Pennant Washington market. IDDSI is a global standard with terminology and definitions to describe textured modified foods and thickened liquids used for individuals with dysphagia of all ages, in all care settings, and for all cultures. 

Too often there are admissions coming into our settings with very unusually worded diets, which are unclear and difficult to understand. The IDDSI framework clarifies this and improves safety. Morgan developed a detailed, organized and decisive plan that included Care staff training, a thorough review of current diet texture, an easy-to-follow cross walk, audit processes, and continued monitoring. He also partnered with Nursing for care plan development and implementation. As a result of his efforts, his patients are safer and happier, and their quality of life has been improved. We are so grateful to have Morgan in our market. Morgan is available to answer any questions you have. Contact him at mvaughn@ensignservices.net.
Milestone’s FEES Journey
By Gary McGiven, Milestone Therapy Resource, Utah
On June 5 and 6, Milestone SLPs began the process of becoming certified in the use and interpretation of Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing, or FEES. 

Saint Joseph Villa, in Salt Lake City, hosted the two-day course presented by experts from SA Swallowing Services (SASS) out of Lexington, Kentucky. These amazing SLPs brought with them an incredible depth of knowledge (and sense of humor) on all things dysphagia. Eleven SLPs, representing seven facilities, attended the training. Each temporarily became a “dysphagia patient,” allowing their fellow students to pass the Fiberoptic scope through the nasal passages to visualize the pharynx. It was exciting to see “normal” vocal folds and swallows in action! 

The next step in the process for these SLPs will be trainer-supervised studies on real patients and residents in need of instrumental swallow assessments. The Milestone SLP team is thrilled to be able to provide FEES access in-house and is looking forward to better outcomes and quality of life for the people they love and serve. We would like to extend a huge thank you to all those who have seen the value in this project and worked to make it a reality!
ALF Partnership Success in Ottawa, KS
Ali Vandeloo, OTR and DOR at Rock Creek of Ottawa, KS, is creating a wellness movement in her community. Ottawa is a small community in a rural area, and the Therapy team quickly identified a wellness need outside of their facility. Ali and her team developed “Discover Your Wellness” for the local ALF/ILFs in order to increase quality of life and bridge relationships along the continuum of care. They designed health screening forms that they allowed the participants to complete (see attached). 

Participants then received a Wellness Tracking Card (see attached) that gave them the status of any decline that they could bring back with them at future clinics. The keys to success for the program are:
  • Partner with Admissions/Marketing (promote the clinic with flyers and word of mouth)
  • Partner with the Business Office Manager (they put together any necessary outpatient packets with consent to treat, insurance information, etc.)
  • Collaborate with Home Health agency
  • Hot spot, laptop and tools needed
  • Consider administrative time (as it grows, possibly need therapy tech)
If you have any questions, reach out to Ali at avandeloo@ensignservices.net.
Teaming Up for Outpatient
By Kelly Alvord, Sunstone Therapy Resource, Utah
Primrose is a large, newly built retirement community in St George, Utah, that includes villas, assisted living and memory care. Zion’s Way Home Health and Coral Desert Rehabilitation approached Primrose as clinical partners to provide skilled services via home health/hospice and outpatient services to meet the needs of their new residents. They participated in Primrose’s grand opening and shared how they will help this community “age in place” and help their residents thrive. This was a great example of an EPCC (Ensign Pennant Care Continuum) partnership between a home health agency and a SNF operation helping a new community partner meet the needs of their residents from the beginning.
McCall Rehab Creates a Space for Furry Friends! 
Submitted by Dominic DeLaquil, Pennant Idaho/Nevada Therapy Resource 
McCall, Idaho, is a small town nestled in the mountains and next to a large alpine lake. It is a popular destination spot in Idaho, and visitors and locals alike go there for outdoor activities. And yet, in spite of being a haven for outdoors and a very pet-friendly town, there was no dog park in the community. 
So, the DOR, Jenny Sowers, and the Maintenance Director, Patrick Coyle, came up with the idea of using a field adjacent to the McCall Rehab facility as a community dog park. Using funds they received from a grant from the city, McCall Rehab constructed the community’s first and only dog park on the facility grounds.  This wonderful idea meets a need for the community and benefits the exposure and reputation of the facility, and most importantly the residents love being able to watch and sometimes pet the dogs!  Great work, Jenny, Patrick and McCall Rehab!  
A Father’s Day Celebration at Westover Hills
By Andy Cisneros, CTO/DOR, Westover Hills Nursing & Rehabilitation,
San Antonio, TX
The Rehab team at Westover Hills hosted a Father’s Day party and photo shoot for the second year in a row.

This year, the Father’s Day party theme was, “A Guys Weekend” with activities for fishing, lunch, and even some fake tattoos!

The video here is a tribute to the fathers who are residents of the facility.
Patient Success Story at Opus Post Acute Rehab, West Columbia, SC
By Heather Bjernudd, Therapy Resource - South Carolina
92 year old male admitted to Opus Post Acute Rehab with recent hospitalization for s/p fall out of wheelchair, suffering a right hip fracture. Patient also admitted with acute respiratory failure with hypoxia secondary to aspiration pneumonia. Pt with h/o CVA with aphasia and dysphagia.

PLOF: Primarily wheelchair bound, able to assist with transfers. Primarily nonverbal. Swallowing deficits with aspiration risk. Family refused PEG.

PT/OT: On evaluation, total dependence with bed mobility and transfers. Total dependent for all ADL’s.
6 weeks later: bed mobility and transfers at Mod/Min A. He is able to propel wheelchair 30 ft with Min A! UB dressing at Mod A.

ST: On evaluation, placed on puree and NTL as LRD. Severe expressive language deficits, non-fluent, and deficits in receptive language. Patient groaned to express pain. 
6 weeks later: Patient had a repeat swallow evaluation and upgraded to mechanical soft with thin trials with adaptive device. Patient is now repeating at sentence level, engaging in spontaneous conversations and able to express pain and wants/needs verbally! 
Celebrating Our Nurses
St. Elizabeth Rehab Team Highlights RNA Champion 
Submitted by Jessica Ballera, COTA/L, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Fullerton, CA
Tiffany Daniels, RNA, like others, took on the call to work in healthcare. While many are good at their job, there are few that shine and go above and beyond. Tiffany continues to exemplify the virtues of courage, ambition and patience every day. Her patients adore her, her peers respect her, and her leadership thanks her. For that very reason, we, the rehab team of St. Elizabeth, has picked her to represent us as our chosen nurse.
St. Catherine Highlights Super Nurse, Martha! 
Submitted by Denise Luong, COTA, St. Catherine Healthcare, Fullerton, CA
St. Catherine Rehab team would like to recognize one of our own outstanding and hardworking nurses, Martha Guerro!

No matter how busy of a day Martha is facing, she will always stop what she is doing to look at you in the eye, and to listen to what you have to say, whether it’s for an IV line, a lab update or tests. Martha is not only a compassionate nurse, but also a very dependable one! At the end of her shift one day, looking tired, and bags in her hand ready to go home, Martha was asked to put in an order for a patient to have an X-ray done. Without hesitation, she followed it through and the X-ray was completed. 

Martha is very much a team player, and she is also an important asset to St, Catherine. We are proud to work alongside Martha as we strive each day to deliver and to make a difference at St. Catherine!
Introducing Scott Langdale
Therapy Resource
Submitted by Tamala Sammons, MA CCC SLP, Therapy Resource
We are very excited to announce that Scott Langdale has joined the Therapy Resource team as Pennant Washington’s second Therapy Resource. Scott will be partnering with Mira Waszak to support therapy services in Washington. Scott has proved to be an incredible DOR at Beacon Hill and has also shown the ability and willingness to help others in our market while serving in his DOR role. Scott is a humble leader and is anxious to add support and resources to our good DORs in our market. 

Here are a few other fun facts about Scott:
  • Scott started at Beacon Hill in July 2013 a year prior to the acquisition as a staff Physical Therapist. In 2016, he moved into the DOR role. 
  • Scott will be providing Therapy Resource support for Timberline, Beacon Hill, Pacific Care, Park Manor, and Lakewood. His official start date in the resource role is fluid, as we need to find the right replacement for the DOR role at Beacon Hill.
  • Scott and his wife, Cyndi, live in Camas, Washington, and they have four daughters.
  • Scott enjoys hiking, camping and spending time with his two grandsons. 
Celebrating CNA Week at Timberline 
Submitted by Serge Newberry, ED, The Oaks at Timberline, Vancouver, WA
It was Wash Cars Wednesday! Nothing better than seeing happy CNA “customers” rolling off the lot with their rides all cleaned up, wheels shined and the works. Good times at Timberline!
Congratulations Team Rainier!
Submitted by Mira Waszak, Therapy Resource - Washington
Rainier Rehab is a subacute SNF located in Puyallup, WA. Not only are they recent back-to-back Flag winners, but they also received a score of 100% on their latest MSCA and are on target to receive Washington's highest CCA score to date. 

How does one receive a 100% MSCA score? Here's what they said:
  • Daily rigor in technical meeting
  • Focusing on nursing documentation and education 
  • The BOM, Daylene Alm, created a spreadsheet to follow all the complex PDPM and level patients 
  • Taking a few extra minutes to ensure all triple check documents are completed. 
Pictured are Joe Pergamo, DOR, Sylvan Kabuya, MDS, and Dalene Alm, BOM 
With special thanks to Jen Vines, MDS, and Ashley Anderson, MDS (drawn in), who were part of the Rainier team and have since transitioned to Resource roles. Congrats, team Rainier!
Congratulations to Our Newest CTOs
We are excited to share and celebrate our newest CTOs (Chief Therapy Officers). The CTO designation is the highest designation a therapy leader in the organization can receive. It is a tall order to be in this elite club. 
Paula Reyes, PT/DOR, Medallion Post Acute Care
Colorado Springs, CO
Submitted by Maryann Bowles, Therapy Resource, Endura, CO
Paula joined the team at Medallion Post Acute in August 2018 as the Director of Rehab. Medallion was a new acquisition building in desperate need of a leader to come take ownership and properly serve the residents of Medallion. Paula took on the challenge and strategically changed the culture and approach to patient care in the therapy department. In doing so, she also positively changed the lives of the residents under Medallion’s roof. 

Paula is able to foster excellent communication between the staff and IDT to ensure the patients receive the best possible care during their stay. Paula also set a strong example for her team and the building about taking initiative and being an owner in every aspect of the building. This ownership and passion is directly related to the building’s financial success and the clinical outcomes of her residents in the SNF, ALF and independent living. Paula continues to look outside the box for programs that will meet the clinical needs of our inpatients and outpatient community. Congratulations, Paula! We are so happy for you and your achievements! 
Danthea Oliveros, PT/DOR Panorama Gardens
Panorama City, CA
Submitted by Aimee Bhatia, Therapy Resource, NCI, CA
I wanted to take a minute to congratulate and celebrate our newest CTO, Danthea Oliveros, DOR at Panorama Gardens! (insert applause here). Danthea has been a dedicated DOR at Panorama Gardens since 2015, and prior to that was a treating therapist here since 2009. She has always been internally driven to run a successful department. She has a heightened focus not only on running a financially sound department, but also leading a team full of culture and commitment to a greater good. She leads with passion, treats her team like family, is always willing to learn, is one of the first to take on new programs, is dedicated to her building, and is an overall wonderful human. 
Thank you, Danthea, for your dedication to your team and to your residents. I am proud of your accomplishments and look forward to many more years of your leadership and contributions to Panorama Gardens and our organization as a whole.
Growth in Washington!
Submitted by Tracy Jenkins, Market Leader, Pennant-Washington
You may have seen Ben Flinders email about Shoreline Health and Rehab in Washington! As Paul Harvey would say, here is “the rest of the story.” 

We welcomed four new facilities June 1 to our market, and we could not be more excited! These facilities come with amazingly capable leaders and incredible potential. We will be learning as much from them as they will learn from us. As Wild Kratts would say, that is a symbiotic relationship! The four facilities are The Oaks at Timberline in Vancouver, The Oaks at Lakewood in Lakewood, Shoreline Health and Rehab in Shoreline (North Seattle), and Mira Vista Health and Rehab in Mount Vernon!

Thank you to all for the overwhelming support! We had so many Service Center, Summit and other partners here with us during the week to make sure these transitions go off as smoothly as possible. I’m so grateful for another experience that makes me so proud to be a part of Ensign! 
Mira Vista Health and Rehab
Mount Vernon, WA
Shoreline Health and Rehab
Shoreline, WA
The Oaks at Lakewood
Lakewood, WA
The Oaks at Timberline
Vancouver, WA
Sharing Group Ideas from Legend Healthcare, Paris, TX
By Quin Hall, DOR, Legend Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Paris, TX
Quin Hall, the Director of Rehabilitation at Legend Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Paris, Texas, wanted to share some great therapy that is happening in their building at Legend.

We have two full-time SLPs as well as myself, and we love groups! We are participating in so many ways with our BIG therapy team groups, and we are even having a ton of small all-speech groups! 

With our big team therapy groups, we address orientation, following directions, attention to task, various cues, increased voice, speech intelligibility, memory recall (immediate, short and long term), and best of all hydration. We have every resident drink a glass of water prior to the group starting and after the group ends. 

When we talk small speech therapy groups, we could give you all ideas for literally days. Here are a few we love: sharing memory boards, rehab dining, scavenger hunts, word games with white board, heads up, conversation starters, facility activity integration, dysphagia smoothies, cooking co-group with OT, karaoke, trivia, current events, singing hymns, acting out a play, Price Is Right, Jeopardy, name that tune, I Spy, card writing, and simple sewing/lacing. In closing, we want to just encourage all of our SLP friends in the company to step out of their comfort zones and start doing group! 
Group Idea: Celebrating Paper Airplane Day
By Dana Pike, PT/DOR, Rowlett Health & Rehabilitation, Rowlett, TX
Did you know that May 26 was National Paper Airplane Day (yes, that’s a real thing)? Jay Jupillo, Rowlett ADOR, makes epic paper airplanes! Let’s see who can get creative with a group today having patients and even staff create paper airplanes and fly them through hula hoops or the ring thing that we OTs use! 
Group Group – A Little Drumming and Yoga Dance 
By Kristin Ryther, PTA/TPM, Keller Oaks Healthcare Center, Keller, TX
A Little Putting Group on this Pretty Day in Colorado!
By Raquel Mahon, OT/DOR, The Healthcare Resort of Colorado Springs, CO