Hughes Health & Rehabilitation

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Hughes Health News

Hughes Health Joins Regional Effort in Disaster Drill

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation recently participated in a simulated disaster drill conducted in conjunction with the Long Term Care -- Mutual Aid Plan. The LTC--MAP conducts an annual exercise that brings hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities in greater Hartford together to address a simulated regional disaster. The drill challenges the organizations to work together to help those in need. This year’s drill simulated strong storm damage done to two regional area nursing homes. The exercise challenged the participants how to move patients quickly and safely from one facility to another.

In the first photo, Hughes’s management is shown setting up a Command Center at its West Hartford facility in preparation for the arrival of patients. Using an Incident Command System, Hughes tested all components of quickly establishing and implementing a triage and admitting process as a patient receiving facility.

Command Center Triage with the fire department

In the second photo, William Kall, center, Battalion Chief of the West Hartford Fire Department, observes Hughes staff performing triage on the incoming patients who were portrayed by Hughes employees.

“We are committed to working with our neighboring health care organizations to maintain and improve our proficiency in dealing with disasters that may happen here in West Hartford or in our surrounding communities,” said Mike Wilbur, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s safety officer and treasurer. “These annual emergency drills build strong ties within the community, which is vital in dealing with any type of emergency situation.”

Hughes Health Honors Its Veterans

Veterans at HughesHughes Health’s annual celebration of Veterans Day is a very special time for our residents who served in numerous wars. It’s a time of pride and gratitude for them as well as for their families and Hughes caregivers. This year’s Veterans Day celebration at Hughes included the participation of three members of the West Hartford American Legion, Post 96. Jeffrey Cole, Jeffrey Linden and Patrick Harrell shared stories and memories of wars past and gave a very moving lesson on the traditional folding of the American flag.

Veteran getting a certificateSeveral Hughes residents, shown in the front row of first photo, represented all our veterans who now call Hughes home. They served in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War. Hughes residents also include men who served in the Soviet and the Portuguese armies.

All the veterans received certificates of service, which were proudly given by Hughes staff. Recreation Therapist Deborah Palmisano, at left in second photo, is shown giving a certificate of service to Hughes resident Bruce Phelps.

Honor wallIt was a very special day at Hughes, one that will be remembered by all. The spirit of Veterans Day will continue with the recently installed Hughes Health Wall of Veterans. The wall, titled “Honoring Our Veterans” commemorates residents’ service with actual photos of them in military uniforms that have been kindly supplied by their families. In addition, the wall includes a folded American flag given by a family in honor of a past loved one, and six seals, representing each branch of the U.S. Military. .

The Hughes Health Wall of Veterans will be an ongoing display as it will continue to honor current Hughes residents for their service. It will be a reminder of what they gave to their country, and how their Hughes family will always be grateful.

Halloween Was A Scream at Hughes Health

Hughes Health Staff and Residents HalloweenWho were these colorful pirates, monsters, fruits, candies and others bringing smiles and laughter to all at Hughes Health on October 31? They were Hughes’s staff, family and friends, all having a wonderful time during the annual Hughes Halloween Celebration. Some of the group, pictured in photo, gathered to entertain Hughes residents Mary O’Brien at lower left, and Joseph Parisi seen lower right. In addition, music entertainment was provided by Tom Stankus, standing at right. The day including judging of costumes and awards were given for the funniest, prettiest and most original attire. Three days earlier on October 28, the children of employees were guests at the annual Hughes Children’s Halloween Party. That event included sweet treats, refreshments and the opportunity for the children to show off their costumes to Hughes residents. The interaction between the generations was a very special time for all involved!

Hughes’ Lina Dureza Honored With the 2017 Public Service Award From the Connecticut Nurses Association

Lina Dureza, director of nursing services at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, was honored with the 2017 Public Service Award from the Connecticut Nurses Association as CNA’s recent Diamond Jubilee and Awards Reception.  The award, according to CNA, “is given to an individual who has made notable contributions to the advancement of nursing, public health or health care in Connecticut through public service, public education/advocacy, public policy or organizational leadership.” 

In his remarks introducing Lina, Hughes’s Vice President Mark Finkelstein said, “Lina Dureza’s work ethic, her commitment to excellence, and her outstanding leadership abilities have distinguished her as an exemplary nurse manager and education leader.” Lina was one of several nurses, interdisciplinary teams, educators and advocates honored by the CNA at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell. Joining Lina, pictured standing at right with her husband Julius, at the ceremony are her fellow Hughes associates, standing from left, Satyarani Tallapureddy, M.D., Amy Peruti, Laurie Ann Spruill and Iride Beiletti, and sitting, from left, Barbara Senak and Jeanne Cardwell.

Hughes Residents Enjoy a Concert in Elizabeth Park

On a beautiful, cool summer evening, Hughes Health residents accompanied by staff, volunteers and several family members, enjoyed a glorious night out in Elizabeth Park in West Hartford. The occasion was an outdoor concert by Eight to the Bar, a beloved local band known for their slick arrangements of swing, jazz, blues, doo-wop and Motown tunes.

Most of the 20 Hughes residents and 20 chaperones were transported by bus for the short trip to Elizabeth Park’s Rose Garden Lawn for the show. Others were treated to roundtrip rickshaw rides kindly provided by Bike West Hartford. (When Bike West Hartford introduced the rickshaw to Hughes in 2015, we were just one of three skilled nursing facilities in the United States to offer such neighborhood rides for our residents.)

Under picture-perfect skies, Hughes residents enjoyed a boxed supper of chicken salad, macaroni salad, croissants, cookies and beverages. Lawn chairs and wheelchairs were set up for everyone to enjoy the concert that began at 6:30 p.m. But, it was hard to sit still during the band’s performance. The well-known songs played by Eight to the Bar resulted in many Hughes residents singing along, even a couple of them dancing!

“It was a great evening; the residents loved it!” said Diane Kozikowski, Hughes’ director of therapeutic recreation. “This was the first time we attended such an event, and it definitely won’t be the last!”

“I want to thank the Hughes staff, with help from volunteers and family members, who escorted our Hughes residents to Elizabeth Park. Without their assistance we would not have been able to provide such a wonderful summertime outing,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes. “It was another example of how the Hughes staff goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure our residents are well taken care of wherever they go.”

Here are some photos from Hughes’ wonderful night out at Elizabeth Park!


2014-2017 Women's Choice Award

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Receives the 2017 Women's Choice Award® as one of America's Best Extended Care Facilities

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been named one of America's Best for Extended Care by the Women's Choice Award®, America's trusted referral source for the best in healthcare. The award signifies that Hughes has been designated as one of the top 825 extended care facilities out of over 15,000 across the nation.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Hughes has been honored as one of Americans Best for Extended Care by the Women's Choice Awards.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 70% of people turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long-term care during their lives. The Women's Choice Award helps individuals and families make educated decisions about where to find the best care by evaluating results from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) five-star rating system. The methodology for the award is unique in that it also assesses primary research about women's healthcare preferences.

America's Best for Extended Care have received four or five star ratings in the following four categories and must have a combined total of at least 18 stars to be chosen. The CMS rating categories are:

  • General staffing
  • Registered nurse staffing
  • Quality rating
  • Inspection survey rating

Award-winning facilities must have at least 25 residents, Medicare certification, no recent history of penalties or fines and full sprinkler systems.

"Choosing an extended care facility can be a very difficult and emotional decision," said Delia Passi founder and CEO of the Women's Choice Award. "As women make the majority of healthcare decisions, our award helps daughters and other female family members find a quality facility to care for a loved one."

Approximately 1.4 million American seniors live in elder care facilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"To be recognized as one of America's Best in Extended Care for four consecutive years by the Women's Choice Award is a reflection of the consistent and dependable patient-focused care that Hughes is known for," said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. "Our family of caregivers do their best every single day to bring comfort to every person entrusted with our care. We deeply value that responsibility, as well as the wonderful honor from the Women's Choice Award organization."

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Providing Innovative Fresh Food Dining by Partnering with Unidine Corporation

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation is partnering with Unidine Corporation® to provide an innovative new approach to its patient dining experiences that focuses on locally sourced fresh food and its commitment to health and wellness.

Hughes selected Unidine based on the company's operating philosophy which combines nutrition, culinary expertise, hospitality, and education to change the dining experience. Unidine's Fresh Food Pledge brings a commitment that all entrees, soups, salad dressings, sauces and deli meats such turkey and beef are made in-house.

Among the unique and award-winning programs Unidine will bring to client are Refresh or Hydrate for Health infused water hydration program, and OHSOGOOD, Unidine's proprietary health and wellness brand.

"Hughes is continuously seeking ways to improve our resident care and employee experience. By working with Unidine, we are further committing ourselves to the nutritional well-being of all who come through our doors," said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

"Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has embraced our Fresh Food Pledge, along with our enhanced guest services and community outreach programs," said Richard Schenkel, founder and CEO of Unidine Corporation. "By selecting Unidine to transform the culinary experience, Hughes is enhancing its commitment to residents, staff and the community."

Solange Thibeault 2017 Hughes Employee of the Year

Mark Finkelstein and Solange Thibeault
Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Vice President Mark Finkelstein celebrates with Solange Thibeault after she was named Hughes’ 2017 Employee of the Year.

During a special employee recognition luncheon during National Nursing Home Week in May, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation proudly announced its 2017 Employee of the Year, Solange Thibeault.

In announcing the award, Hughes’ Vice President Mark Finkelstein spoke of Solange’s virtues.  “She rarely calls out sick.  She is punctual.  And she never says no,” Mark said in front of a large gathering of her co-workers. 

As an example of her dedication, Solange, a dietary aide, even reported to work the day after her mother passed away, according to Mark.  “She always has a smile on her face and always has a smile and a kind word for those entrusted to our care,” said Mark.

Solange has worked at Hughes for nearly 14 years.

Congratulations, Solange!  Everyone at Hughes is proud to call you a co-worker and friend.

 

Check Out Photos from Hughes’ Employee Recognition Event

The United States Congress designated May 14-20 as National Nursing Home Week. Hughes planned many festivities during that time, including Employee Recognition Day on May 17.

The day included lunch on the Hughes patio and recognition of employees’ longevity.  Hughes proudly awarded 5 year, 10 year, 15 year, 20 year, 25 year, and three 30 year service pins.  Gift cards were also given to employees who received pins.  Also, all Hughes staff received a Gold Award lapel pin and a gift signifying the Gold Quality Award. 

Included in the day’s event was the announcement of the Hughes employee of the year, Solange Thibeault. 

In addition to the midday ceremony on May 17, Hughes hosted an appreciation dinner for the 3-11 p.m. shift workers from 6:30-7:30. Also, the 11p.m.-7a.m. workers were recognized on the morning of the 18th with breakfast.

“Hughes is so proud of our employees every day and is thankful to have a special week every year to honor them,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.  

Michelle Salmon, center, receives congratulations for her 10 years’ employment by Lina Dureza, left, director of nursing and Iride Beiletti, right, assistant director of nursing.


Michael Wilbur, assistant controller; Kathy Kanhai, 25-year employee; Mark Finkelstein, vice president; and Cristina Balser, director of housekeeping.


From left, Gary Thibault, infection prevention nurse, receives congratulations on receiving his 25 year service pin from Jennette Livingston, director of social services; Michael Wilbur, assistant controller;  Cristina Balser, director of housekeeping; and Diane Kozikowski, director of therapeutic recreation.


Marjorie Bagot (15 years), Kathy Kanhai (25 years), Liz Lazicki (25 years), Yvonne Palmer (15 years), and Iona Burchell (15 years) show their service pins.

 


Michelle Salmon, second from left, receives congratulations for being recognized for her 10 year pin by, far left, Jennette Livingston, director of social services; Michael Wilbur, assistant controller; Diane Kozikowski, director of therapeutic recreation; Laurie Spruill, controller; and Lina Dureza, director of nursing.


Iona Burchell, far left, receives congratulations for receiving her 15 year pin from Dana Pickett, director of engineering; Michelle Lipka, dietician; and Jim Hilliard, director of dining services.

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Dawn Barner Inducted Into Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Dawn Barner Inducted Into Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame
Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Dawn Barner, third from left, was recently inducted into the Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators. Joining Dawn at the ceremony were, from left, Theresa Sanderson, secretary of the American College of Health Care Administrators; Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation; Wendy Furniss, public health branch chief of the Connecticut Department of Public Health; Lina Dureza, director of nursing at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation; and Elizabeth Schmeizl, president of the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Dawn Barner was inducted into the Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) in a special ceremony in March.

According to the ACHCA Connecticut Chapter, “the purpose of the Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame is to recognize nursing assistants who have consistently rendered the highest quality of care and promote exceptional quality of life to residents in long term care facilities in Connecticut.”

A nearly 27-year veteran at Hughes, Dawn personifies the characteristics of a professional and caring certified nursing assistant (CNA).

“One of Dawn’s greatest attributes is her ability to listen to residents. She listens intently and makes them feel secure and cared for. And, she manages to accomplish this no matter how busy she is,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Dawn demonstrates true dedication to her job and those entrusted to her care. She has amazing patience and is able to work effectively with all residents with her caring and calming approach. When you work with Dawn you do it right. There are no shortcuts.”

In addition, Dawn’s kindness and smiling face is not reserved just for residents, families, and co-workers. “Virtually everyone who comes through the front door on any given evening will be greeted with her smile and overwhelmingly gracious hospitality, said Mark. “Her kindness doesn’t stop there. It is also extended to her colleagues in other departments, especially if they happen to be working late. It could be as simple as a cookie, a plate of cheese and crackers, or an admonishment to go home to a waiting family.”

Dawn is respected by all who meet her, whether they are co-workers, residents, families, or supervisors. Dawn Barner is the type of CNA that the Hall of Fame was established to honor.

Everyone at Hughes congratulates Dawn for this well-deserved and exceptional honor.

Thank you for being such a great nursing assistant and co-worker, Dawn!

Hughes Health Employees Raise Awareness of Heart Health During American Heart Month:

February is American Heart Month and nowhere was this more apparent than at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.  Hughes’ administration and staff, adorned in red, held their first annual "Heart to Heart Festival" in support of the American Heart Association's "Go Red for Women,"  a national movement which seeks to empower women to take care of their heart health.  The inaugural festival, held on February 15th,  was a celebration of giving as residents, staff and vendors came together to help raise awareness of heart health and funds for the American Heart Association.   The Heart to Heart Festival included heart-shaped dog biscuits baked by residents, sweet treats created by staff and a  lunch prepared by the dietary department – all served by the recreation staff.  In addition, vendors sold everything from jewelry to culinary treats.  Overall, the first annual Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Heart to Heart Festival raised $400 for the American Heart Association. “Every year, I’m amazed at the energy, compassion and dedication our residents and staff bring to this important cause,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes.  “I believe this new event will be another great annual tradition at Hughes.”

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Honored by the Town of West Hartford And State of Connecticut:

Hughes Receives ProclamationHughes Health & Rehabilitation was honored by the visit of West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor and State Senator Beth Bye recently. Both the town and state representatives came with proclamations honoring Hughes for the numerous regional and national awards the skilled nursing facility received during the past year.

Mayor Cantor presented a Town of West Hartford Proclamation and Senator Bye gave a General Assembly Official Citation to senior staff at Hughes’. Both proclamations noted Hughes’ achievement in providing quality care and winning the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living for superior performance in the long term and post-acute care profession; the Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best for Extended Care for the third consecutive year; the Hartford Business Journal’s Connecticut Family Business Award; and for the sixth consecutive year, a Best Nursing Home in America award by U.S. News & World Report.

Hughes Receives Proclamation“Your visit means a great deal to all of us at Hughes,” said Vice President Mark Finkelstein in welcoming the guests and accepting the proclamations. “We live, eat and breathe our mission statement here at Hughes,” Mark said to Mayor Cantor and Senator Bye. “Our staff knows and lives our mission. It’s a way of life here.”

Hughes’ Director of Nursing Lina Dureza then shared with Mayor Cantor and Senator Bye an overview of the extensive nomination process required to win the national Gold award from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. The award is the most prestigious of three distinct awards possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, which recognizes organizations nationally that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality care. Hughes was just one of three providers nationwide to receive the 2016 Gold – Excellence in Quality Award. Since the program’s inception in 1996, AHCA/NCAL has recognized only 31 organizations with awards at the Gold level.

“I’m very touched by their visit,” said Mark after the meeting. “For Mayor Cantor and Senator Bye to take time form their very busy schedules to meet and honor us is a wonderful testament to their concern for their constituents and their appreciation for the wonderful care Hughes employees provide to our residents every day.”

Photo 1: Enjoying their time together recently at Hughes are, from left, Matt Barrett, president and chief executive officer of Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities; West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor; Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health &; Rehabilitation; and State Senator Beth Bye.

Photo 2: Presenting Hughes with proclamations are, at far left, West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor and third from left, State Senator Beth Bye. Standing with them are Hughes representatives, from left, Vice President Mark Finkelstein, Assistant Director of Nursing Iride Beiletti and Director of Nursing Lina Dureza.

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation's Mark Finkelstein Honored as a Health Care Hero by the Hartford Business Journal:

Health Care Hero AwardMark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation and WFSB 3 news anchor Denise D'Ascenzo enjoyed the festivities at the Hartford Business Journal's Health Care Heroes 2016 Awards Luncheon held on December 1 at the Connecticut Convention Center. Mark was honored for his work in "Corporate Achievement“ Innovation, along with seven others health care heroes in different categories. Denise served as emcee of the Hartford Business Journal awards ceremony. In her remarks, Denise acknowledged many of Hughes' accomplishment in 2016, including being one of only three skilled nursing facilities nationwide to receive the Gold Excellence in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living, as well as Mark's selection as a top performer for the third time in four years by the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Congratulations, Mark!

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Named a Best Nursing Home In America for the Sixth Consecutive Year by U.S. News & World Report

Best Nursing Home AwardHughes Health & Rehabilitation has received the distinction of being named a Best Nursing Home in America by U.S. News & World Report for the sixth consecutive year.

The 2016-17 U.S. News & World Report Best Nursing Homes survey rated nearly 15,000 nursing homes across the United States in measuring nursing home safety, health inspections, staffing and more.

Hughes was at the top of the Connecticut nursing homes list with a rating of five stars from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for their overall performance in health inspections, nurse staffing and quality of medical care. U.S. News recognized as Best Nursing Homes those facilities with overall ratings of 4.5 stars or greater. There are 227 nursing homes in Connecticut. Of these, 52 – or 23 percent -- received an overall rating of 4.5 stars or above.

“We are very pleased to be earn the coveted five-star rating and be selected as a Best Nursing Home by U.S. News & World Report,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “To be honored for six consecutive years clearly demonstrates the commitment and professionalism of our great Hughes staff. To them, I say thank you for your inspiring work.”

Throughout 2016, Hughes has received accolades locally, regionally and nationally for its patient-centered care. In August, Hughes was just one of three skilled nursing facilities nationwide to receive the 2016 Gold – Excellence in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) for superior performance in the long term and post-acute care profession.

In October, Hughes was a recipient of the 2016 Hartford Business Journal (HBJ) Connecticut Family Business Award which, according to the HBJ, “recognize outstanding achievements in family-owned businesses and tell the story of a select group of the regions’ most successful firms.”

In June, Hughes received the 2016 Women’s Choice Award as one of America’s Best for Extended Care for the third consecutive year. This evidence-based designation is the only extended care award that identifies the country’s best healthcare institutions based on robust criteria that considers female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence, and what women say they want from an extended care facility or nursing home.

And, in January it was announced that Hughes’ Vice President Mark Finkelstein was selected as a top performer by the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). It was the third time in four years that Finkelstein has been selected by ACHCA. Its Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award is a distinction of significance: Fewer than nine percent of facility leaders nationwide qualify. Mark was one of only nine skilled nursing facility administrators in Connecticut selected by the ACHCA.

For more information about U.S. News & World Report's Best Nursing Homes, visit http://health.usnews.com/best-nursing-homes.

Hughes Hosts Annual Halloween Party for Children

Who were those superheroes, princesses and others in wonderful costumes having a great time at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation? They were the children, nieces and nephews of employees enjoying the annual Hughes Halloween Party!

With smiles on their faces, the costumed brigade celebrated the holiday by participating in cookie decorating and arts and crafts and enjoying apple cider, donuts and other treats. In addition, each child received a goodie bag.

Then, the youngsters walked throughout the facility to receive candy handed to them by Hughes' residents and staff. "It was a wonderful scene seeing the children interacting with our residents," said Amy Peruti, nursing supervisor and coordinator of the Hughes Halloween Party. "We created this day for the children, but our residents and employees get as much out of it because they love the opportunity to see and speak with the youngsters."

Amy's two children, Olivia and Madison, were part of the parade of children that brought so much joy to the halls of Hughes!

"It was a very special day for many of us," said Amy.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Honored As One of the Finest Skilled Nursing Facilities in the United States

National Quality AwardHughes Health & Rehabilitation Vice President Mark Finkelstein and Director of Nursing Lina Dureza received the 2016 Gold - Excellence in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) for Hughes' superior performance in the long term and post-acute care profession. Hughes was one of three providers nationwide to receive the 2016 Gold - Excellence in Quality Award. Since the program's inception in 1996, AHCA/NCAL has recognized only 31 organizations with awards at the Gold level. Based on the core values and criteria of the nationally recognized Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program challenges member providers to achieve performance excellence through three progressive levels - Bronze, Silver, and Gold. The Gold - Excellence in Quality Award is the most prestigious of the program. At this level, recipients have invested multiple years in mastering and applying the rigorous quality improvement standards of the Baldrige Criteria to achieve superior results in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer and workforce focus, and operations and knowledge management. The award was recently bestowed upon Hughes during a ceremony in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo credit: American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living

Hughes Health Wins Connecticut Family Business Award From the Hartford Business Journal

Family Business AwardHughes Health & Rehabilitation was a recipient of the 2016 Hartford Business Journal Connecticut Family Business Awards at a gala celebration held at Casa Mia at The Hawthorne in Berlin, Connecticut.

The awards, according to the Hartford Business Journal (HBJ), "recognize outstanding achievements in family-owned businesses and tell the story of a select group of the regions' most successful firms."

Hughes was honored as a second place winner for companies with 76-199 full time employees. The HBJ selected Hughes for, among other things, our achievements during the past 12 months, ability to stay ahead in the marketplace, and dedication to our founding principles in a modern world.

Amy Peruti, pictured third from left, nursing supervisor, proudly represented Hughes and received a plaque and accolades from event sponsors (from left) Jay Rasmus from MahoneySabol; Ross Nelson from Cox Business; Stephanie Dumont from Comcast Business; Peter Samson from Berkshire Bank; and Sulin Ba, from UConn School of Business

It was a great night for Hughes and all the other family-owned businesses in Connecticut honored by the Hartford Business Journal!

Photo credit: J. Fiereck Photography.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Earns National Award for Excellence in Quality Care

National Quality AwardHughes Health & Rehabilitation has earned a 2016 Gold – Excellence in Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) for superior performance in the long term and post-acute care profession.

The award is the most prestigious of three distinct awards possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, which recognizes organizations nationally that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality care.

“I’m so proud of our entire team here at Hughes for this incredible achievement,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “This award is a symbol of the outstanding hard work and dedication to quality provided to each and every resident we care for. Achieving this award is a great honor for our entire organization.”   

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation was one of three providers nationwide to receive the 2016 Gold – Excellence in Quality Award. Since the program’s inception in 1996, AHCA/NCAL has recognized only 31 organizations with awards at the Gold level.

“It takes steadfast dedication and passion to successfully achieve this level of the program,” said Chair of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers Christine Boldt. “Hughes Health & Rehabilitation is among the best in the nation for its quality of care. I applaud them for this achievement.”

Based on the core values and criteria of the nationally recognized Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program challenges member providers to achieve performance excellence through three progressive levels—Bronze, Silver, and Gold.  The Gold – Excellence in Quality Award is the most prestigious of the program. At this level, recipients have invested multiple years in mastering and applying the rigorous quality improvement standards of the Baldrige Criteria to achieve superior results in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer and workforce focus, and operations and knowledge management.

“It takes many years for some to get to this level because we set the bar really high,” said Boldt, “I’m very proud of this year’s recipients for successfully rising to the challenge. I applaud them for this significant achievement.”

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation is a family-owned and operated health care center for more than 55 years, providing quality care for those with chronic illness, as well as those needing convalescence and rehabilitation.  Excellent healthcare, coupled with a genuine caring attitude are the hallmarks of Hughes. 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been accredited for its quality as a nursing care center by The Joint Commission, and named as one of the best nursing homes in the United States for five consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report and for seven consecutive years by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.  Hughes has received the 2016 My InnerView by National Research Corporation Excellence in Action Award and been named a Women’s Choice Award recipient as an America’s Best for Extended Care for three consecutive years.  Hughes has been recognized by the AHCA for achievement in its Quality Initiative Recognition Program and has received the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (NADONA) for achieving a deficiency-free inspection from the Department of Public Health.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Receives Excellence in Action Award from National Research Corporation

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been selected as a recipient of the Excellence in Action award by the National Research Corporation.

The award, known as the 2016 My InnerView by National Research, recognizes long term care and senior living organizations that achieve exceptionally high levels of excellence.

Award recipients must achieve overall customer or workforce satisfaction levels that fall within the top 10% of qualifying organizations. This, according to National Research Corporation, is significant since the My InnerView product database is the largest in the U.S.

“We strive every day to provide quality care for our residents and, by doing so, for their families and loved ones, as well,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “This award by the National Research Corporation is a testament to Hughes’ daily mission of providing health care service in an environment where caring makes the difference. We are extremely grateful for National Research’s recognition.”

For more than 30 years, National Research Corporation has been at the forefront of patient-centered care. Today the company’s focus on empowering customer-centric healthcare across the continuum extends patient-centered care to incorporate families, communities, employees, senior housing residents, and other stakeholders. National Research is dedicated to representing the true voice of patients and other healthcare stakeholders.

Employee lunch

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Thanks Employees with Staff Appreciation Day

One after another, employees of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation came up to Vice President Mark Finkelstein and Director of Nursing Lina Dureza to say thank you for the special meals and gifts that they received.

“No, thank you for all you do,” said Mark and Lina.

Hughes Health honored its 210 day, evening, and night shifts workers during its recent 17th Annual Employee Appreciation Day. Daytime and evening employees were treated to a lunch and supper barbeque and nighttime workers ended their shift by receiving a specially-made breakfast, including an omelet station. In addition, each staff member received an insulated lunch bag with the Hughes Health logo and mission statement proudly displayed: Dedicated to providing health care in an environment where caring makes the difference. It was a fitting tribute to those who personify Hughes’ mission every day.

“This is an opportunity to say thank you to our staff who work tirelessly for our residents and each other,” said Mark Finkelstein. “Hughes is a very caring place, and today was a great way for us to honor our caretakers.”

Employee lunch“We work fast all the time, so this event gave us the opportunity to slow down and enjoy the company of our co-workers,” said Sonia Robles, from Hughes’ Housekeeping Department.

The barbeque was catered by Russell’s Creative Global Cuisine of West Hartford and included ribs, chicken, baked beans, grilled vegetables, corn bread with honey butter, salad and watermelon. The breakfast consisted of omelet stations, home fries, fresh fruit, Danish pastries and breads.

“I usually don’t eat lunch. This is a nice way to reflect, catch up with my co-workers, and feel appreciated,” said Jim Hilliard, Hughes’s director of Food Services.

“No matter how busy management is, they always find the time and way to say thank you,” said Pat Semrow, Hughes’ benefits manager.

“This is a very special day. The food is delicious and it’s nice to see everyone enjoying themselves and being appreciated,’ said Rosie Goodman, a restorative nurse aide.

2016 Women's Choice AwarHughes Health & Rehabilitation Receives the 2016 Women’s Choice Award® as one of America’s Best for Extended Care; Hughes Health Recognized for Third Consecutive Year

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has received the 2016 Women’s Choice Award® as one of America’s Best for Extended Care. This evidence-based designation is the only extended care award that identifies the country’s best healthcare institutions based on robust criteria that considers female patient satisfaction, clinical excellence, and what women say they want from an extended care facility or nursing home.

This is the third consecutive year that West Hartford-based Hughes Health has been recognized with a Women’s Choice Award.

“To be honored for three consecutive years with a Women’s Choice Award for America’s Best in Extended Care is a testament to the consistent, unwavering and dedicated care our family of caregivers performs every day here at Hughes.  We are very grateful for the recognition bestowed upon us by the Women’s Choice Award and other national organizations in 2016. It inspires us to do and be better continuously,” stated Mark J. Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

The list of under 845 winners out of 15,000+ facilities nationwide, including Hughes Health, represents facilities that have 25 or more beds, and have received at least 18 combined stars in the four categories determined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) five-star rating system. The CMS categories are: general staffing, RN staffing, quality rating and inspection survey rating. Awarded facilities must also have a Medicare certification, full sprinkler systems and no recent history of penalties or fines.  

“One of the hardest decisions a woman will ever have to make is to choose a nursing home or extended care facility for a loved one. Reducing the risk of making the wrong healthcare choice is our mission,” said Delia Passi, CEO and Founder of the Women’s Choice Award. 

For more information on the Women’s Choice Award and recipients, visit http://www.womenschoiceaward.com/awarded/healthcare/

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Hosts Health & Wellness Fair for Employees

Health Fair
Health Fair

Free health screenings and massages, educational opportunities and presentations, as well as one-on-one discussions of personal health and wellness goals were all part of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Health & Wellness Fair on May 27.

The event, held at Hughes’ West Hartford center on Highland Street, was free and open to all employees, and included door prizes and post-event health programs.

“Your health is very important us,” stated Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, in an invitation sent to all 210 employees in all work shifts at the skilled nursing center. According to Mark, the Health & Wellness Fair was designed to give employees valuable information for all aspects of their lives. “From eating well to exercising well, from taking care of their bodies as well as their minds, we want to make sure we are giving employees every opportunity to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” said Mark.

“It’s important for me to be healthy, and this fair really helps,” said Robin Crandlemire, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at Hughes. “We need to feel good when we’re working to help other people feel good.”

Hughes’s Health & Wellness Fair included participation by many local organizations, including Fit Behavior, YMCA, Capitol Chiropractic, LA Fitness, American Heart Association and American Diabetes Society. Hughes’ health provider, Aetna, offered information on medical and dental plans, discounts programs for gym memberships, eye exams, weight-loss programs and more, as well as an Employee Assistance Program that provides free and highly confidential counseling and relationship support services for all Hughes employees.

“Many of the offerings today are eye-openers,” said Pat Semrow, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s benefits administrator and coordinator of the Health & Wellness Fair. “We want our employees to leave here with a better understanding of what’s available to them.”

Some employees were leaving as lucky winners of one of several door prizes, which included a full year pre-paid membership at LA Fitness, a Pilates Ring-Premium Power Resistance Full Body Toning Fitness Circle, Jillian Michaels 30 Shred videos, and gift cards for one hour back massages.

Hughes’ Health & Wellness Fair did not end with the one-day event. The center is sponsoring a company-wide 30-day weight loss challenge with 35 employees participating, as well as twice-monthly Zumba classes on its premises.

“I’m very excited that were able to offer these programs here at Hughes. They are important and at the same tie fun!” said Pat.

 

 

Hughes Health’s Sandra Dinnall-Nevin Recognized for Excellence in Nursing

Hughes Health’s Sandra Dinnall-Nevin Recognized for Excellence in Nursing

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Sandra Dinnall-Nevin, RN, was among area nursing professionals recognized with the 2016 Greater Hartford Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing at a gala dinner and awards ceremony at the Connecticut Convention Center on May 5.

The Nightingale Awards for Excellence in Nursing were created by the Visiting Nurse Association of South Central Connecticut to celebrate outstanding nurses and the profession. The goals of the program are "to encourage retention, inspire future nurses, focus public attention and recognize the breadth and scope of nursing at the local level."

"From the first day Sandra joined our staff she demonstrated a commitment to success," said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health.

Among her many accomplishments at Hughes, Sandra is known as an excellent educator and a hard worker. She single-handedly and successfully converted 170 patient charts seamlessly to ICD10 coding with virtually no assistance.  Sandra is also respected for her kindness and heart-felt interest in Hughes’ resident and their families.

Since 2003, the Greater Hartford Nightingale Awards Gala has honored nearly 1,200 nurses and has awarded $64,000 in nursing scholarships to local nursing students. 

Congratulations, Sandra, on your well-deserved recognition. We are all proud of you at Hughes!

Jeanne Cardwell, at right, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s 2015 Employee of the Year, receives flowers and accolades from Hughes Health’s Director of Nursing, Lina Dureza.  

Jeanne Cardwell Selected as Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s 2015 Employee of the Year

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation today announced that Jeanne Cardwell, RN, has been selected as its 2015 Employee of the Year.

Jeanne has served a combined 30 years at Hughes Health, a skilled nursing facility in West Hartford. She first worked at Hughes Health from 1965-1969, then raised her family and returned to the facility in 1990.

“Jeanne cares deeply for our residents at Hughes. She is a refined and dignified co-worker – a true role model,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Leave it to Jeanne to express extraordinary kindness to our residents, especially to those who do not receive many visitors. For all she has done for so long for all our family members, both residents and staff, Jeanne is richly deserving of the honor of our Employee of the Year.”

Jeanne has served in many capacities throughout her career at Hughes Health. She has worked as a Charge Nurse, Day Shift Supervisor and Medicare Nurse. Although her job classification is Medicare Nurse, she fulfills many responsibilities, not the least of which is her involvement with quality assurance.

Jeanne, a resident of Avon, is a graduate of the Hartford Hospital School of Nursing.

Congratulations, Jeanne, on your selection as Employee of the Year!

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Mark Finkelstein Selected as a Top Skilled Nursing Facility Administrator by National Organization

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Vice President, Mark Finkelstein, has been selected as a top performer by the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA).

This marks the third time in four years that Mark has been selected by ACHCA. Its Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award is a distinction of significance: Fewer than nine percent of facility leaders nationwide qualify. Mark is one of only nine skilled nursing facility administrators in Connecticut selected by the ACHCA for is 2015 award.

"I'm honored to be recognized again by the ACHCA for its distinguished Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award,” said Mark. “I must thank my co-workers at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation for their continuing support and dedication. They make my job very meaningful and our facility a place of caring and comfort for all our residents. I am indebted to their tireless service.”

ACHCA’s Eli Pick Facility Leadership Award uses Minimum Data Set (MDS) quality indicators, occupancy and three years of survey data to select top performers. MDS is part of the U.S. federally mandated process for clinical assessment of all residents in Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes.

Under Mark's leadership since 2006 as administrator and vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, the facility has, among other things, been selected as one of America's Top Nursing Homes by the Consumers' Research Council of America for seven consecutive years and by U.S. News & World Report for the past five years.

In addition, in 2015 Hughes received the highest Overall Five-Star Quality Rating by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hughes was one of just seven facilities in Connecticut to receive this highest ranking in all categories, and has maintained its Five Star Rating for five consecutive years despite tougher federal ratings standards. Also in 2015, Hughes was the recipient of the 2015 Circle of Excellence Award from the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (NADONA) for achieving a deficiency-free inspection from the Department of Public Health.

Also under Mark’s direction, Hughes Health has received the Silver and Bronze Achievements in Quality from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), and has been accredited for its long-term care by The Joint Commission.

In 2011, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation was a recipient of the Hartford Business Journal's Health Care Heroes Award for its work to decrease preventable hospital readmissions for patients with heart failure.

Mark has been the recipient of numerous national awards in his professional career, including the Distinguished Nursing Home Administrator Award, the highest and most prestigious award given by the American College of Health Care Administrators. He also has received the Ross Laboratories Distinguished Service Award for distinguished service and leadership to the members of the American College of Health Care Administrators and the Distinguished Administrator Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators. In 2012, Mark received his first Facility Leadership Award from the ACHCA.

In addition, Mark has received numerous state awards, including awards from the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut for contributions to professionalizing administration and improving quality of patient care for providing reliable and unbiased assessments of health care issues; for meritorious service; and for many years of distinguished service.

Currently, Mark is a Director of the Connecticut Association of Health Care Facilities, a Lifetime Honorary Member of the National Association of Directors of Nursing and a Lifetime Member of the Academy of Long Term Care Leadership & Development. He also serves as a selectman in his native town of Portland.

Everyone at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation congratulates Mark his multiple recognitions from the American College of Health Care Administrators!

Christmastime at Hughes

The spirit and excitement of Christmastime filled the halls of Hughes Health during the annual holiday party for the children and grandchildren of our staff. Our beautiful young guests met Santa Claus, had their photo taken with him and told the man in red what they would like for Christmas. Then, it was on to gingerbread cookie decorating, holiday arts and crafts, and the enjoyment of hot cocoa and donuts – all the main reasons for non-ending smiles from the children! “Our annual Christmas party brings our staff and their families together for an afternoon of happiness and fun headlined with the one and only Mr. Claus,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

 

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Honors Veterans

Veterans
Veterans

Veterans

November 11 was Veterans Day across America and a very special day at Hughes Health.

Twelve veterans who are Hughes Health residents were honored by their families, fellow Hughes residents and staff, and Hartford HealthCare at Home staff in a special ceremony and presentation.

The veterans – who served in the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy during the Vietnam, Korean and World War II wars – were each presented with a certificate and blanket that had embroidered “We Honor Veterans.” To close the program, Hartford HealthCare at Home volunteers led everyone in singing patriotic songs, including “Grand Old Flag” and “God Bless America,” as well as “Sentimental Journey.” Refreshments were then enjoyed by all in a room filled with a strong sense of patriotism and comradery.

“It was an honor to show gratitude to our resident veterans for their service to our country,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “They are wonderful examples of the “Greatest Generation” who gave selflessly to protect our country’s freedom – a freedom we still enjoy to this day.”

Hughes Health Marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer AwarenessOnce again, employees of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation joined together to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of breast cancer. And, they did it quite fashionably.

On October 21, during National Breast Cancer Awareness month, many Hughes Health employees wore pink to indicate their support of breast cancer advocacy. Hughes’ Pink Out Day was a powerful and beautiful show of support to help fight the disease that affects so many.

“Every year I invite our employees to participate and every year the response is overwhelming,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Our annual Pink Out Day is very important to all of us at Hughes. It’s our way of reinforcing the need for public support for breast cancer awareness and research funding that helps improve the diagnosis and treatment of this insidious disease.”

Every Hughes employee who wore pink on October 21 received a pink ribbon rope pen. In addition, Hughes honored their efforts by making a five dollar contribution for each participating employee to the American Cancer Society. Hughes also served pink treats in the staff dining area.

“The sea of pink at Hughes on October 21 was a thoughtful, memorable and beautiful show of support for Breast Cancer Awareness month. I thank my fellow Hughes’ employees for such a touching tribute,” said Finkelstein.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Selected to Receive the Java Music Club Program, an Initiative That Lessens Depression and Loneliness in the Elderly

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been selected to receive the Java Music Club Program, a mutual support activity group program specifically designed to reduce the rates of depression and loneliness in the elderly. Hughes Health was one of five long-term care facilities in the state to be selected by the Connecticut Long Term Care Ombudsman Program of the State Department on Aging to implement the program.

“We are elated to be selected as a recipient of the Java Music Club Program,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Music is a beloved art form for all ages and, especially, has a well-documented impact on the elderly. It’s a phenomena that cannot be overstated. It’s an opportunity we are grateful to implement.”

The Java Music Club Program, founded in Canada, is the first standardized mutual support program that addresses the critical rates of depression and loneliness across the senior living spectrum. The program includes themes, photography, music, readings and a talking stick.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation staff will be trained by the creators of the Java Music Club, who will travel from Canada to Connecticut in early 2016. Step-by-step instructions will include a training DVD and eight CD’s of custom recorded music in lower singable keys. The program is designed to be used in a regular recreation program calendar and scheduled weekly, twice a week or daily.

According to the creators of the Java Music Club, the program is unique because the focus is on having group participants help one another. It is based on the altruistic concept that people are happiest when they are helping one another. It is different from typical recreation programs in that it is not about what the staff can do for the group participants, but what the participants can do for one another.

Hartford Courant Editorial Page Supports Cycling Without Age and Hughes Health

“Go, Rickshaws

Thumbs up to Lene Bruun and Bike West Hartford Inc. for starting Cycling Without Age. The program, popular in Ms. Bruun's native Denmark and other European countries, is designed to get older people out of nursing homes and into rickshaw bicycles driven by trained drivers. Getting elderly people outside, in the fresh air and moving around the neighborhood reduces depression and has positive cognitive effects. The first rickshaw bike will be garaged at Hughes Health and Rehabilitation of West Hartford on Highland Street, with more to come.” – Hartford Courant editorial, September 13, 2015

Women’s Choice Award Video Honors Hughes Health & Rehabilitation

Hughes Health Featured on Fox Connecticut News

Click here to see Fox Connecticut television’s news report from Hughes Health & Rehabilitation about Cycling Without Age, a program founded in Denmark that provides outdoor rickshaw rides for the elderly. Cycling Without Age’s second rickshaw in America and first one in New England was unveiled recently at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation in an event co-hosted by Bike West Hartford, Inc. The television spot features Hughes Health’s Director of Therapeutic Recreation Olivia Astle and resident Peggy Daniels enjoying a ride outside Hughes Health‘s facility on Highland Street in West Hartford.

Worldwide Cycling Movement Benefitting the Elderly Introduced in Connecticut at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation

Cycling Without Age, a program founded in Denmark that provides outdoor rickshaw rides for the elderly, was introduced recently in Connecticut at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation in West Hartford.  Cycling Without Age rickshaw rides benefit the health and social interactions of the elderly and, in just over two years, have spread across Europe. The program’s second rickshaw in America and first in New England was unveiled recently at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation in an event co-hosted by Bike West Hartford, Inc. Pictured at inaugural rickshaw rideof Cycling Without Age in Connecticut are, standing back row from left, Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation; Shari Cantor, deputy mayor of West Hartford; Lene Bruun, Cycling Without Age West Hartford; Ole Kassow, founder of Cycling Without Age Denmark; and Scott Franklin, president of Bike West Hartford, Inc. Sitting in the rickshaw, front row from left, are Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s director of therapeutic recreation Olivia Astle and resident Peggy Daniels. (Photo credit: John Marinelli)

Hughes Health Holds Annual Workplace Safety Drill

“Lock the building down at the reception desk.
Lock the building down the reception desk.
Lock the building down at the reception desk.”

The repeated message came over the intercom in a no-nonsense tone, breaking the usually pleasant routine of a typically busy afternoon at Hughes Health.

Immediately, the Hughes staff moved the residents and themselves to a safe location.

The recent scene was ominous but necessary when Hughes ran a Workplace Safety Drill with the help and guidance of the West Hartford Police Department.

“Practicing a response to a worst case scenario of a possible workplace violence event is staying ahead of the curve,” said West Hartford Police Officer Shane McAvay. “It’s valuable training for all.”

“This drill reinforces Hughes Health’s policy and mandatory training that all our employees receive,” said Mile Wilbur, treasurer of Hughes Health and organizer of the drill. “We want our staff trained and prepared to deal quickly and efficiently in response to threats in our workplace. Our policy is based on prevention. If you see something, hear something or know something, then say something,” said Wilbur.

Years ago, Hughes created its Formal Policy and Procedure for Prevention of Violence in the Workplace which states, “It is the policy of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation to ensure the safety and well being of all employees, residents and visitors in the event of an episode of violence, or potential violence, within the facility.” The policy is a working document that is continuously improved upon through these annual safety drills, as well as the identification of best practices and feedback from the Hughes staff.

After the drill, an Acton Report is created and discussed with Hughes’ department heads that identify potential opportunities for improvement through further staff training. The report is then presented in all staff meetings. These open forums between management and staff provide a valuable give-and-take exchange of ideas for policy revisions and improvements.

“The Hughes staff took today’s drill seriously. It was good to see,” said West Hartford Police Officer McAvay.

When the drill was completed, a reassuring message came over the intercom:
“All clear in the lockdown.
All clear in the lockdown.
This was a drill.
Again, this was a drill.”

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Lina Dureza Selected 2015 Nursing Administrator of the Year by National Organization

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation is proud to announce that Lina Dureza, Director of Nursing, was awarded the 2015 Nurse Administrator of the Year Award by the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA/LTC).

The award is one of the highest accolades the NADONA/LTC Board of Trustees bestows upon an individual for notable service to long-term care. The award was presented at NADONA’s 28th Annual Awards Banquet held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award,” said Dureza. “Everything I have accomplished at Hughes Health I credit to God, the leadership of my administrator, Mark Finkelstein and to my wonderful, supportive and caring team of co-workers. “I share this award with them and all Directors of Nursing Administration across the country who work diligently every single day to serve those entrusted to our care.”

Lina, in addition to receiving the national 2015 Nurse Administrator of the Year Award, was honored by NADONA as the 2015 North East Region Nurse Administrator of the Year. Lina is also a past recipient of a professional certification from NADONA and just received her certification as Certified Dementia Practitioner (CDP) and Certified Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Care Trainer (CADDCT).

In 2014, Lina was selected as a 2014 Greater Hartford Nightingale Award winner for Excellence in Nursing.

Lina joined Hughes in May 2007, and has extensive experience in nursing, management, and administration. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Filamer Christian University in the Philippines in 1977 and a certificate in Long Term Health Care Management from the University of Connecticut School of Business in 2004.

Lina received a Master of Science in Management in the Executive Master’s Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006.

Hughes Health’s Nursing Management Team Participates in Symposium on Quality

The Nursing Management Team at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation attended the full-day Spring 2015 Connecticut Symposium hosted by Partners Pharmacy on June 18 at the Water’s Edge Resort & Spa in Westbrook. Created for long term care and assisted living professionals, the Symposium focused on quality metrics to help build team cohesiveness and success. The Symposium’s theme, “Reach for the Stars,” provided career-focused education, peer and vendor networking and other elements. According to the Hughes team, the Symposium was a great way to learn how to raise performance expectations by raising standards, improving staffing measures and using data to measure quality care. Host Partners Pharmacy is one of the top three largest long-term pharmacy companies in the U.S. As one of the nation’s premier providers, Partners Pharmacy offers a full range of resources required to effectively serve the comprehensive medication needs of skilled nursing facilities, long-term care residences, assisted living communities and their residents.

Hughes Health Selected for Pilot Program with Hartford Hospital’s Preferred Provider Network

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been selected by Hartford HealthCare (HHC) to participate in a pilot program focusing on the quality and safety of patient transitions and clinical care. The selection of Hughes is part of HHC’s development of a Hartford Region pilot program to create a Preferred Provider Network of post-acute care facilities.

“We are honored and very prepared to participate in Hartford HealthCare’s pilot program,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “HHC’s development of Preferred Provider Network of post-acute care facilities focuses on two of Hughes’ core competencies: providing safety and quality care to our residents and, by extension, their families.”

The development of HHC’s network of acute-care facilities will include site visits, project goals and quality metrics. According to HHC, the goal is to “create the nation’s finest patient centric, quality and safety driven program linking hospitals and post-acute care settings.”

Hughes Health is already a member of the Saint Francis Care Post-Acute Care Affiliated Provider Network. Selection criteria for participation in this network included Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) quality scores, readmission rates, availability of specialty clinical programs/capabilities, other quality criteria, and proximity. Hughes is rated as a 5-star skilled nursing home by the CMS, and has maintained that ranking for five consecutive years. Hughes have received five stars in every category that CMS measures, despite tougher federal standards developed in an effort to lower the number of stars awarded to skilled nursing facilities.

Hughes Health Wins National Award for Inspection Results

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation announced it has received the Circle of Excellence Award from the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (NADONA) for achieving a deficiency-free inspection from the Department of Public Health.

"We continuously strive for excellence for the benefit of our residents and their families,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “To again be recognized by NADONA for our deficiency-free inspection is a testament to the dedication of our entire Hughes Health team.”

Hughes Health also received NADONA’s national recognition in 2013.

Accepting the award on Hughes Health behalf at the recent NADONA National Conference in Atlanta was Lina Dureza, director of nursing. "The Circle of Excellence Award is very significant because it reflects our singular focus of providing a safe, caring, best-in-class environment for all those who enter our skilled nursing facility,” said Dureza.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Iride Beiletti Receives Nursing Administration Certification from National Association

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation announced that Iride Beiletti, assistant director of nursing, has received certification as a director of nursing administration by the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (NADONA).

The certification from NADONA recognizes Beiletti’s specific core knowledge in long term care. In addition, the certification, according to NADONA, indicates that the profession of director of nursing in long term care is unique in the nursing field, and becoming certified validates the uniqueness.

“Everyone at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation applauds Iride for her wonderful and well-deserved achievement,” said Mark Finkelstein. “For more than 25 years as an employee at Hughes Health, Iride has brought commitment and compassion to everything she does. Iride personifies the Hughes Health philosophy of continuous improvement for the benefit of our residents and their families.”

Beiletti is a resident of Avon.

Created in 1986, the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care has been the leading advocate and educational organization for directors of nursing, assistant directors of nursing and registered nurses in long term care.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation's Amy LaCilento Honored for Excellence in Nursing

Amy LaCilento, RN, Nursing Supervisor at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, was recently honored as a 2015 Greater Hartford Nightingale Award Winner for Excellence in Nursing at a gala celebration at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Amy, a West Hartford resident, was recognized for her outstanding contributions to patient care and the development, training and implementation of Hughes Health’ Heart Health Program, a nationally acclaimed initiative that seeks to reduce hospital readmissions for patients with congestive heart failure. The Greater Hartford Nightingale Awards Gala, in its 13th year, honored 100 nurses from 30 organizations throughout the area. In Connecticut, 270 out of 75,000 nurses were selected for the 2015 Nightingale Awards.

To read about Amy’s accolades from Long-Term Living Magazine, please click here:
http://www.ltlmagazine.com/article/2015-leaders-tomorrow-amy-lacilento

 

Hughes Health’s Amy LaCilento Receives National Recognition

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Amy LaCilento, RN, nursing supervisor, has been selected as a recipient of the 2015 Leaders of Tomorrow award from Long-Term Living Magazine

LaCilento is one of five healthcare professionals from the United States selected by the publication for the award.

According to its editors, Long-Term Living’s  2015 Leaders of Tomorrow “recognizes those who are making an impact on tomorrow’s long-term care policies, quality initiatives and senior care culture—whether it be on a national scale or one care site and colleague at a time.”

LaCilento was recognized for her leadership role in the design and implementation of Hughes’ Heart Health Program, a nationally-acclaimed initiative that seeks to reduce hospital readmissions for patients with congestive heart failure, as well as for her participation in programs that improve employee morale and wellness, and reinforce Hughes Health’s multigenerational community involvement.

“Amy has participated in vital initiatives for both our residents and co-workers at Hughes Health which have built upon Hughes’ nationally-known reputation of quality health care and our connections to the greater West Hartford community,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.  “Amy’s recognition nationally as a Leader of Tomorrow by Long-Term Living Magazine is a monumental moment in her career, and one that we are thrilled to share with her.”

“I share this award with all my co-workers at Hughes Health because without their efforts our programs would not be as successful as they are,” said LaCilento. “I am tremendously honored for this recognition and thank the Hughes Health team for making it possible.”

LaCilento, a resident of West Hartford, has worked for Hughes for 11-years.

 The winners of the Leaders of Tomorrow award were selected by the editors of Long-Tem Living Magazine for “making a difference in their towns and states while serving as exemplar models for others across the country.”

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Honored by Yale School of Medicine

Photo credit: John Marinelli

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Director of Nursing, Lina Dureza, pictured center, left, receives a Certificate of Participation from Yale University School of Medicine’s Research Associate Sabrina Rubeck for Hughes Health’s involvement in Yale University’s “CRANNY” Study. The “CRANNY” Study sought to test the efficacy of cranberry capsules in the prevention of urinary tract infections in nursing home residents. The study was funded by the National Institute on Aging under a grant and approved by Yale University Human Investigation Committee. The Yale School of Medicine Certificate of Participation also recognized Hughes Health’s commitment to clinical research. Dureza is pictured with fellow Hughes nurses and staff members, including Vice President Mark Finkelstein, far left, at the ceremony.

 

Hughes Health Selected as a Member of Saint Francis Post-Acute Care Network

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation was recently selected as a partner of the Saint Francis HealthCare Partners Post-Acute Care Network. The Network offers patients of Saint Francis Care a high-quality, highly efficient network of preferred providers to enhance the transition from hospital care to post-acute care.

The Post-Acute Care Network includes Hughes Health as well as a full continuum of post-acute care services, including long-term acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing, and home health and hospice.

“We are excited to be part of the Saint Francis HealthCare Partners Post-Acute Care Network. More important, it offers patients and their families in greater Hartford a local, well-known and highly competent group of facilities that provide excellent health care,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

Selection criteria for participation in the Saint Francis network included Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) quality scores, readmission rates, availability of specialty clinical programs/capabilities, other quality criteria, and proximity.

The Saint Francis HealthCare Partners affiliation with these providers helps ensure that patients will receive post-acute care and rehabilitation services in collaboration with their medical team at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, as well as their primary care providers.

“Our goal was to select a group of affiliated providers to help enhance the transition from hospital care to post-acute care for our patients,” said Jess Kupec, President and Chief Executive Officer, Saint Francis HealthCare Partners. “This network will match patient needs with the right level of care to improve transitions of care, help reduce readmissions, and improve overall patient outcomes.”

Patients and families always have the right to select a post-acute provider of their choice. They will continue to be offered provider options based on their individual clinical needs. SFHCP will be working with providers in the post-acute network to develop protocols for admission, patient education, coordination with the patient’s primary care provider, and facility discharge.

 

Hughes Health Selected Again as One of America’s Top Nursing Homes by Consumers' Research Council

For the seventh consecutive year, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been selected as one of America’s Top Nursing Homes by the Consumers’ Research Council of America (CRC).

Hughes Health received CRC’s Honor of Distinction and Excellence for its high ratings in three performance categories: health inspections, staffing and quality measures. CRC bases its distinction on data collected by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

“Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s recognition again as a Top Nursing Home by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, as well as our multiple-year distinctions from U.S. News & World Report and other accolades received, demonstrates our continuing focus on the residents and their families we serve,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president and administrator of Hughes Health. “We believe that our singular vision has served our residents well. We are honored that our consistent approach to quality care continues to be recognized by the CRC.”

The Consumers’ Research Council of America’s Guide to America’s Top Nursing Homes is information provided to the public by the official U.S. Government site regarding Medicare, www.medicare.gov.

 

Hughes Health Again Recognized in National Quality Initiative; One of Only 3 CT Nursing Facilities to Achieve Top Rating

For the second consecutive year, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been recognized by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) for achievement in its Quality Initiative Recognition Program.

Hughes Health was one of only three facilities in Connecticut that achieved all four quality goals established by the AHCA.

“This recognition is a testament to our relentless focus on quality in all aspects of our operations,’ said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “We dedicate ourselves to quality every day for the benefit of residents who have been coming to Hughes for more than 50 years. We thank the AHCA for their recognition.”

Launched in early 2012, the Quality Initiative is a three-year effort that builds upon the existing work of the long term and post-acute care field by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve the quality of care in America’s skilled nursing care centers.

The Quality Initiative Recognition Program is designed to recognize AHCA/NCAL members that demonstrate the attainment of one or more of the four Quality Initiative Goals for nursing centers:

  • Safely Reduce Hospital Readmissions by 15%
  • Increase Staff Stability by 15%
  • Increase Customer Satisfaction to 90%
  • Safely Reduce the Off-Label Use of Antipsychotics by 15%

The American Health Care Association is a non-profit federation of affiliate state health organizations, together representing more than 11,000 non-profit and for-profit nursing facility, assisted living, developmentally-disabled, and subacute care providers that care for approximately one million elderly and disabled individuals each day.

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Hosts U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Healthcare Leaders for Discussion on Use of Antipsychotic Drugs In Nursing Homes

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation recently hosted a roundtable discussion led by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on initiatives to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes.

Participating at the recent roundtable discussion at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation on initiatives to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes were, from left, Matthew Barrett, Executive Vice President of the CT Association of Health Care Facilities; Lina Dureza, Director of Nursing at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation; U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn); and Mark Finkelstein, Vice President of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

Photo credit: John Marinelli

Senator Blumenthal was joined by Connecticut lawmakers, representatives of several state and private healthcare agencies and others during the Oct. 1 discussion that discussed best practices and successful interventions to decrease the utilization of antipsychotic drugs for residents dealing with dementia.

Connecticut ranks among the top 20 states in the use of antipsychotic drugs for elderly nursing home residents, but its rate of use has dropped 14 percent since 2011, new government data show.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, CMS, recently announced that the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care set a new goal to reduce use of antipsychotic drugs by 25 percent by the end of this year, and by 30 percent by the end of 2016, based on a 2011 benchmark.

“We were honored to host Senator Blumenthal and other health care leaders on this very important and timely topic,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Since 2011, we have partnered with Qualidigm and the University of Massachusetts Medical School to train Hughes staff members on methods to care for certain residents with dementia. Our antipsychotic drugs rate dropped to 17.2 percent in 2012 and 6.7 percent in the most recent reporting,” said Finkelstein.

“We thank Hughes Health for hosting Senator Blumenthal and others to spotlight the issue of off-label prescribing of antipsychotic drugs for nursing home residents,” said Matthew Barrett, executive vice president of the CT Association of Health Care Facilities. ‘’Hughes has been a leader in tackling this very challenging issue, and we are committed to working with them and others to achieve CMS’s 25 percent reduction goal of the use of antipsychotic drugs for those with dementia” said Barrett.

Hughes Health Receives Certificate of Achievement

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation received a Certificate of Achievement for participating in the National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative 2013-2014. The certificate was presented to Hughes Health by The Connecticut Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative, the Quality Improvement Organizations and Qualidigm.

Qualidigm launched The Connecticut Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative, a national quality improvement initiative, to focus on improving the overall quality of care for nursing home residents by eliminating or reducing health care-acquired conditions.

Through this Learning and Action Network (LAN), Qualidigm is providing quality educational programs for nursing home personnel to network, learn, and share on these key topics.

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Receives Joint Commission Accreditation

Hughes Health and Rehabilitation has earned Nursing Care Center Accreditation for its safe, high-quality care, treatment and services from The Joint Commission.

“Receiving accreditation from the prestigious Joint Commission is a testament to the continual care, dedication and operational improvements we commit to on a daily basis,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation “We are very grateful for the Commission’s acknowledgement.”

The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health care organizations and programs in the United States.

Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards. Their mission states: “To continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.”

Hughes Health’s Lina Dureza Honored for Excellence in Nursing

Pictured in the photo, from left, are Margo Melillo, Dr. Satyarani Tallpureddy, and Hughes Health employees Lina Dureza, Jeanne Cardwell, Iride Beiletti, Brian Flaxman, and Barbara Senak.

Photo credit: Mark Maglio

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Director of Nursing Lina Dureza, third from left, celebrates with co-workers and others at the 2014 Nightingale Award for Excellence in Nursing Awards Ceremony. Lina was feted in front of nearly 1,000 people, including family and friends, for her excellent and dedicated work at Hughes, which includes her role in Hughes’ ranking as one of the best nursing homes in the nation for four consecutive years by US News & World Report. Lina is the first Hughes employee to receive the Nightingale Award, and it was a fitting tribute to her since the ceremony was held during National Nursing Week. The Twelfth Annual Hartford Regional Nightingale Awards celebration honored 103 nurses from 32 organizations at a dinner and awards ceremony at the Hartford Marriott Downtown. Congratulations, Lina. We are so proud of you!

Residents Share Recipes and Special Times at Hughes Health

Here at Hughes Health and Rehabilitation, residents look forward to a monthly program provided by the Recreation Department called “Cooking with Baci.” Baci means grandma in Polish. Therefore, this activity means “cooking with grandma.” Several months ago, Cooking with Baci was created for residents who expressed an interest in sharing their family recipes as well as using their own cooking skills to create meals. Residents who attend the group represent many different nationalities and cultures. Hughes openly embraces residents to express their individuality and ethnic backgrounds, and they are encouraged to actively participate in sharing their recipes or those passed down from previous generations.

The very first recipe for Cooking with Baci was submitted by a resident named Josephine, a Polish woman who loved making homemade potato, onion, and cheese pierogies. She said this was her all-time favorite dish growing up as a young girl and had learned the cooking techniques from her mother.

Another resident named Joe is Italian and therefore requested that we make fresh Italian pasta as well as mini English muffin pizzas like he used to make as a young boy.

Many of the recipes submitted are reminiscent of the residents’ childhood or young adulthood.  Cooking with Baci connects them -- and all of us at Hughes -- to their past and family traditions in a very important and special way. 

Hughes’ Nursing Director Receives Certification from National Nursing Association

Lina A. Dureza, Director of Nursing at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, has been awarded professional certification by the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (NADONA) as a Director of Nursing.

Since 1989, the National Association Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care (NADONA/LTC) has been certifying Directors of Nursing (DON) and Assistant Directors of Nursing in Long Term Care facilities. Over 1800 DONs have been certified through this program.

Certification indicates that the DON in long term care possess a specific core of knowledge in their profession. Their profession is unique in the nursing field, and becoming certified validates the uniqueness.

Lina joined Hughes in May 2007, and has extensive experience in nursing, management, and administration. Equally important, Lina’s years of dedication to residents and their families reflects Hughes’ mission of providing healthcare service in an environment where caring makes the difference.

Lina received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Filamer Christian College in the Philippines in 1977. Additionally, she received a certificate in Long Term Health Care Management from the University of Connecticut School of Business in 2004, and a Master of Science in Management in the Executive Master’s Program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2006. We congratulate Lina on her latest accomplishment.

 

 

 

Hughes Health Employees Support Heart Health Awareness

Hughes Health is always full of love, and recently there was even more heart throughout the facility as employees participated in the American Heart Association’s “Red Out for Heart Health” day on February 14. More than 100 Hughes employees wore red and participated in various activities, such as a “heart” scavenger heart, for prizes. In addition, Hughes Health made a donation to the American Heart Association in honor of all its participating employees. “Every year, our Hughes employees express their support of the American Heart Association in fun and meaningful ways. We were honored to see more than 100 proudly wear red and raise awareness of the importance of heart health,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Heath & Rehabilitation.

Hughes Health Recognized in New National Quality Initiative

Lina Dureza, at right, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Director of Nursing, receives recognition by the American Health Care Association for Hughes’ achievement in a new Quality Initiative Recognition Program.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation has been recognized by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) for achievement in a new Quality Initiative Recognition Program.

Hughes Health was one of only 16 facilities in Connecticut that achieved three of four quality goals established by the AHCA.

“These centers are leading the charge on our journey to promote better outcomes in long term and post-acute care,” said Dr. David Gifford, MD, MPH and Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at AHCA. “Their achievement in the first 12 months of our initiative is both impressive and demonstrates that our three-year goals are achievable.”

The Quality Initiative Recognition Program recognizes AHCA nursing center members that demonstrate the attainment of one or more of the four AHCA Quality Initiative goals:

  • safely reduce hospital readmissions within 30 days during a skilled nursing stay by 15 percent;
  • increase staff stability by reducing nursing staff turnover by 15 percent;
  • increase customer satisfaction by having 90 percent of residents and families willing to recommend their center to others; and safely reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics by 15 percent.

“Hughes Health is honored to be recognized in this new and important quality initiative of the ACHA,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Programs that seek to improve the lives of our residents and their families are of upmost importance to our caregivers and staff.”

The American Health Care Association is a non-profit federation of affiliate state health organizations, together representing more than 11,000 non-profit and for-profit nursing facility, assisted living, developmentally-disabled, and subacute care providers that care for approximately one million elderly and disabled individuals each day.

Hughes Health Employees Dress in Pink in Honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation employees showed their support of October’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month by dressing in pink recently during a day of work at their West Hartford facility.

Everyone that dressed in pink received a pink bracelet, and to honor their effort Hughes Health made a donation of $5.00 per participating employee to the American Cancer Society. A total of $700 was raised by Hughes Health employees.

“Our day of pink was both a way for our employees to raise awareness of breast cancer and Hughes Health’s way of honoring their continuing commitment to battle this serious health issue,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Our employee participation was great!”

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease and to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same.

Hughes Health highlighted in Hartford Courant story about its decline in use of antipsychotic drugs

Hughes Health is highlighted in a Page 1 story in the Hartford Courant for its work in reducing the use of antipsychotic drugs for residents with dementia. Working with Qualidigm, a Medicare quality-improvement organization, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Hughes staff members have been trained using a “tool kit” of methods to care for certain residents. Working with these residents’ family members, Hughes use of antipsychotic rate dropped dramatically. To find out how dramatically, and to read the news of this important development, click on to the entire Hartford Courant story at The Hartford Courant.

Hughes Health Employees Step Up for Alzheimer’s Research

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation employees and their families, including Director of Nursing Lina Dureza, second from left, and Treasurer Mike Wilbur, sixth from left, recently participated in the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer's is the nation's largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer's care, support and research. More than 600 communities nationwide and 6 locations in the Connecticut Chapter region hosted walks for this cause.

Photo: Hughes Health & Rehabilitation

 

Hughes Health Nurses Participate in the Power to Care

Nurses from Hughes Health & Rehabilitation recently attended a conference called “The Power to Care: Focus on Infusion Therapy,” a full-day symposium recently held at the Aqua Turf in Plantsville, CT.

“We always want our nurses and support staff involved in the latest developments in long term care, both for the benefit of their professional development and the care of our residents,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

“It’s imperative that we stay abreast of current trends, challenges and solutions regarding our long term care.”

The conference was hosted by Omnicare, a national long term care pharmacy, and provided very timely and informative sessions. For example, one discussion was titled Managing the Clinical Impact of the Complex Resident with Infusion Needs. As stated in the event’s brochure: “Under health care reform, LTC [Long Term Care] facilities are faced with the challenge of admitting and providing high quality care to residents with increased clinical complexity. Infusion therapy plays a key role in managing the resident.” This session discussed the importance of pre-admission assessments, appropriate VAD (vascular access device) placement, and care planning for the complex resident with infusion needs. The discussion highlighted strategies for quality management of residents receiving parenteral nutrition, inotropic therapy, PCA (patient controlled analgesia) and IV push.

“The entire seminar was very informative and valuable to us and to our residents at Hughes,” said Lina Dureza, director of nursing at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “We are continually looking to learn the latest about long term care and bringing those best practices back to our work environment.”

 

Hughes Health Receives National Award for Quality

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Director of Nursing Lina A. Dureza, center, receives the 2012 Silver Achievement in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) at a recent ceremony in Tampa, Florida. The award highlights Hughes Health and other facilities across the nation that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality long term care. Hughes Health was one of only 52 facilities nationwide to receive the Silver-level award this year. Pictured with Ms. Dureza are, at left, Len Russ, vice chair of the AHCA Board of Governors and, at right, Neill Pruitt, chair of the AHCA Board of Governors.

Photo credit: American Health Care Association

Hughes Health Assists Alzheimer’s Association

What were 15 purple flamingos doing recently on the front lawn of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation on Highland Street in West Hartford? That’s what Anna Katselnik, pictured, administrative assistant at Hughes, and her co-workers wanted to know. The flamingos were actually part of a thank-you message from the Alzheimer’s Association, Connecticut Chapter, for Hughes’ donation to the organization’s Spring Walk To End Alzheimer’s. “We know all too well the difficult challenges that people and families face when dealing with Alzheimer’s, so were only too happy to help support the wonderful work of the Alzheimer’s Association,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. The association’s Connecticut Chapter is the primary source of support and information to the thousands of state residents dealing with the effects of Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia.

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Participates in Study with Yale University School of Medicine

Study Focuses on Pneumonia Reduction in Dependent Elders

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation announced today it is participating in a study with the Yale University School of Medicine to determine if a multicomponent intervention protocol can prevent pneumonia in nursing home residents.

The study, called Pneumonia Reduction in Dependent Elders – or PRIDE – is sponsored by the National Institute of Aging (NIA), part of the National Institute of Health (NIH). NIA’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of older Americans through research.

Leading the PRIDE study is Vincent J. Quagliarello, M.D., professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and a board certified infectious disease specialist.

“Hughes Health & Rehabilitation is always focused on improving the health of our residents. This study with the Yale University School of Medicine will provide valuable information on possible ways to reduce the risk of pneumonia, an all-too common infection in the elderly,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president and administrator of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

Hughes Health residents who meet study eligibility criteria and become enrolled in the study will be observed by the Yale team of investigators through December 2013.

 

A message from Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation:

In 2011, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation earned accreditation for the quality of our long-term care from The Joint Commission.  The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization that accredits and certifies more than 19,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.   The Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

Recently, an article was published by McKnight’s Long Term Care News stating that accreditation by The joint Commission improves the nursing home culture of safety.  We at Hughes could not agree more.  We commit ourselves daily to the safe care of all our residents and employees.  We have in place a 5-point management plan that guides Hughes’ safety-oriented culture: 

  • Safety and Security Management
  • Fire and Safety Management
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Equipment Management
  • Utilities Management

We at Hughes believe our daily focus on these issues insures that everyone lives and works in safe environment.

I invite you to read the following article form McKnight’s Long Term Care News:

Thank you,

Mark Finkelstein

Voluntary accreditation improves nursing home culture of safety, study finds

Nursing homes that are voluntarily accredited by The Joint Commission say they have a more robust culture of resident safety than non-accredited facilities, new study results disseminated by the group suggests.

Senior-level managers at over 4,000 nursing homes across the United States told researchers that accreditation by The Joint Commission has a beneficial impact on resident safety issues such as staffing, teamwork, training, nonpunitive responses to mistakes, and communication openness, according to the study. The Joint Commission is a nonprofit healthcare facility accrediting organization.

“It has been suggested that the process of sustaining the level of standards compliance required for accreditation can create a safety-oriented culture within a facility, and our results appear to support this contention,” Laura M. Wagner, Ph.D., R.N., an assistant professor at the New York University College of Nursing at the Hartford Institute for Geriatric Nursing, says. “Although there are costs associated with accreditation, these findings suggest that the benefits of voluntary accreditation may ultimately outweigh the extra costs.”

The research was partly funded by a grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The study was published in the May issue of The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Click here to read the full study

 

Hughes Health Employees Gather to Celebrate 50th Anniversary in West Hartford Home

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation recently celebrated its 50th anniversary at its landmark West Hartford nursing facility on Highland Street with an employee recognition luncheon. The event included a history about the building (originally constructed in 1900 as the family home of Henry C. Judd, a prominent Hartford businessman), a recap of Hughes’s recent accolades, and gifts to its more than 200 employees who help run the 170-bed facility. Hughes Health, recently honored as one of the best nursing homes in America by U.S. News & World Report, is a skilled nursing facility providing quality care for those with chronic illness and for those needing convalescence and rehabilitation. “The Judd Mansion started as a family homestead, was subsequently owned by a family, and now remains about family,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Caring for loved ones family style is what we’re still all about.”

Photo: Spencer Sloan

Hughes Health Selected as a Health Care Hero for Participating in Heart Health Program

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation was a recipient recently of the Hartford Business Journal’s 2011 Health Care Heroes Award for its work to decrease preventable hospital readmissions for patients with heart failure.

The award was given to Hughes Health for advancing health care prevention through its participation in the Communities of Care initiative launched by Qualidigm, a Rocky Hill-based health care consulting and research organization.  

 “We are very honored to receive this award from the Hartford Business Journal because of our work with Qualidigm and our other partners in the Communities of Care initiative,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “Anytime we can educate, communicate and coordinate better heart health to prevent unnecessary hospital readmissions of patients with heart failure is time well spent. We have been active in Qualidigm’s Communities of Care effort throughout 2011, and look forward to our participation in 2012.”

Hughes was honored for its interdisciplinary approach in educating residents, their families and caregivers about heart health throughout the recovery process and beyond. Prior to discharge, Hughes assesses patients’ knowledge about their heart health to determine if there are areas in which patients need additional assistance to assure success following re-entry into the community.  When they are discharged, patients are given a heart failure reference sheet that they can use as a resource for prevention and early intervention should heart failure symptoms reappear.  

“We thank Hughes Health & Rehabilitation for its tireless efforts in collaboration with many other health care organizations to ensure that patients with heart failure being discharged from their respective communities’ hospitals are not readmitted due to failures in communication or care gap coordination between various settings,” said Marcia K. Petrillo, Qualidigm’s chief executive officer and a recognized visionary in the design and implementation of quality improvement initiatives. “As a cohesive community, we help to ensure that hospitalized patients with heart failure experience a smooth, safe transition as they travel the health care continuum. We know that improved processes can only lead to better health care outcomes.”

Hughes Receives Excellent Results in Recent Satisfaction Survey

As Hughes Health & Rehabilitation celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2011, it is a time we celebrate our history as a caring, committed healthcare center for those with chronic illness as well as those needing convalescence and rehabilitation.

Excellent healthcare, coupled with a genuine caring attitude are the hallmarks of Hughes Health. We have been named one of the best nursing homes in the United States by U.S. News & World Report and the Consumers’ Research Council of America. In addition, Hughes Health has earned accreditation for the quality of our long-term care from The Joint Commission and is a recipient of a national quality award from the American Health Care Association.

At the same time of our celebratory year, we look ahead to the next 50 years. Hughes Health is committed to continuously improve our operations for our residents, their families and our staff.

Recently, Hughes asked top research company My InnerView to conduct an independent satisfaction survey of our residents and families. And the results were excellent. In the area of overall satisfaction, 61 percent ranked Hughes as excellent and 38 percent ranked us as good.

One respondent commented, “You are to be commended for the cleanliness and upkeep of you facility. The nurses are excellent. I feel as if my mother has been well cared for and have always felt secure with her in your hands.”

I want to thank the residents and families who participated in this survey. Their feedback is vital to improving Hughes’ care giving and caregivers. And speaking about caregivers, I want to also thank the Hughes’ staff for their untiring efforts in providing the best care, 24/7, to those residents who call Hughes home.

All of us at Hughes are proud of our 50-year history serving the families in our area. We promise to continue our rich history by learning, adapting and implementing improvements to our care giving. It’s a proud tradition of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation since 1961.

Thank you,

  

Mark Finkelstein
Vice President
Hughes Health & Rehabilitation

 

Hughes Health Selected as “Hartford’s Finest” by Hartford Advocate

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation was recently honored as the finest “Skilled Cared Rehabilitation Center” by the Hartford Advocate newspaper. The publication cited the Hughes’s staff as “a devoted group of trained nursing, rehabilitation and medical professionals who have spent 10, 20, even 30 years providing an environment conducive to the residents' recovery.”

“We are very honored by the Hartford Advocate’s recognition. Personally, I want to thank the wonderful Hughes staff for all they do to provide quality, personalized care to our residents seven days a week. Their dedication is outstanding,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation.

Hughes has also received national recognition for its quality care from the American Health Care Association and U.S. News & World Report. Also, for three consecutive years, Hughes has been rated a top nursing home by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.

To read more about Hughes’ honor from the Hartford Advocate, please click here.

 

Elizabeth Jeney
Hughes Health’s Elizabeth Jeney, second from left, was recently inducted into the Connecticut Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA). Pictured from left to right are: Wendy Furniss, chief of the Health Care Systems Branch of the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health; Ms. Jeney; Mark Finkelstein, vice president, Hughes Health & Rehabilitation; Michele Carney, president of the Connecticut Chapter of the ACHCA; and Stephen Shelton, chairman of the awards committee of the Connecticut Chapter of the ACHCA.

Hughes Health’s Elizabeth Jeney Inducted into Nursing Hall of Fame

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Elizabeth Jeney has been inducted into the Connecticut Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame.

Liz, a resident of Wethersfield, CT, and 26-year employee at Hughes Health, was selected for the Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators.

The purpose of the Connecticut Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame is to recognize nursing assistants who have consistently rendered the highest quality of care and promote exceptional quality of life to residents in long term care facilities in Connecticut.

“Liz is loved and respected by residents, families and co-workers,” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. “One has only to meet Liz to realize her genuine affection for those entrusted to her care.”

Liz is the third Hughes Health employee in four years to be inducted into the Connecticut Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame. She joins Angela Kovesdi, who was inducted in 2009, and Sylvie Heath, inducted in 2008.

“Liz continues the Hughes tradition of providing outstanding and compassionate care to every resident every single day. Her induction into the Connecticut Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame means a great deal to everyone here at Hughes,” said Mark.

 

Families Honor Loved Ones with Memorial Bench at Hughes Health

BenchFamily members and friends of those who spent time at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation have honored their loved ones and Hughes caretakers with a memorial bench and surrounding garden. Located on the grounds of Hughes at 29 Highland Street in West Hartford, the bench is inscribed with the words, "Dedicated to those we have cared for and held in our arms for a while but will hold in our hearts forever." According to Mark Finkelstein, vice president and administrator of Hughes, "We are so grateful and touched by our residents' family members and friends who have allowed us to create this memorial bench in honor of past, current and future residents of Hughes. This simple bench speaks volumes about the caring relationships that develop between Hughes' residents and their caretakers, and will forever remind us of the wonderful people who have one time or another have called Hughes home." The memorial bench is surrounded by shrubs and two flag poles on the front lawn of Hughes, a 170-bed rehabilitation center located in an historic home in West Hartford. Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, a family-owned and operated healthcare center for nearly 50 years, provides quality care for those with chronic illness, as well as those needing convalescence and rehabilitation. Excellent healthcare, coupled with a genuine caring attitude are the hallmarks of Hughes.

 

A Green Milestone for Hughes

Pictured cutting the symbolic green ribbon at the celebration are, from left, Hughes Health Treasurer Michael Wilbur, West Hartford Deputy Major Tim Brennan, Hughes Health resident and President of its Resident Council Josephine Ostrowski, and Aegis Energy Services President Spiro Vardakas.
 
 
Josephine is also pictured with other guests at the ceremony. From left are West Hartford Deputy Mayor Tim Brennan, Hughes Health MDS Coordinator Brian Flaxman, CT Association of Health Care Facilities Executive Vice President Matthew V. Barrett, Hughes Health Vice President and Administrator Mark Finkelstein, Hughes Health Director of Nursing Lina A. Dureza, Hughes Health Treasurer Mike Wilbur, and Aegis Energy Services President Spiro Vardakas.
 

It was a glorious early summer day at Hughes recently when friends, residents and staff gathered to celebrate an important milestone: the inauguration of Hughes’ new 75 kilowatt co-generation plant. “This is a historic day for Hughes Health & Rehabilitation as we incorporate modern green energy-saving technology into our 50-year old operation,” said Mark Finkelstein, Hughes Health vice president and administrator. “Our new co-generation plant furthers Hughes’ commitment to be a quality facility dedicated to providing an environment conducive to our residents’ convalescence and recovery.”

Hughes selected CHP (combined heat and power), also known as co-generation. CHP is the simultaneous production of usable heat and electricity from one fuel source – in this case natural gas. Hughes was assisted in the project by Aegis Energy Services, headquartered in Holyoke, Mass.

“This system is expected to save our facility in excess of $50,000 per year, with a great simple payback on our investment,” said Hughes’ Treasurer Michael Wilbur. In addition, the CHP project includes a 15-year discount on gas transmission through the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control.

Pictured cutting the symbolic green ribbon at the celebration are, from left, Hughes Health Treasurer Michael Wilbur, West Hartford Deputy Major Tim Brennan, Hughes Health resident and President of its Resident Council Josephine Ostrowski, and Aegis Energy Services President Spiro Vardakas.

Josephine is also pictured with other guests at the ceremony. From left are West Hartford Deputy Mayor Tim Brennan, Hughes Health MDS Coordinator Brian Flaxman, CT Association of Health Care Facilities Executive Vice President Matthew V. Barrett, Hughes Health Vice President and Administrator Mark Finkelstein, Hughes Health Director of Nursing Lina A. Dureza, Hughes Health Treasurer Mike Wilbur, and Aegis Energy Services President Spiro Vardakas.

Hughes Health Joins National Quality Campaign

Hughes Health and Rehabilitation has joined thousands of nursing homes across the country in a voluntary national initiative, the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign. The campaign seeks to accelerate the rate of quality improvement in nursing homes by promoting excellence in caregiving for nursing home residents, monitoring key indicators of quality in nursing homes, and acknowledging the critical role of staff in providing high quality care. The Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign targets eight measurable clinical quality and organizational improvement goals.

“We strive every day to provide the highest quality of care to our residents and patients, and we are always working on new ways to promote quality” said Mark Finkelstein, vice president of Hughes. “This campaign allows us to be a part of a broad national effort and signal, through data and measurable accomplishments, that our efforts are paying off for our nursing home residents.”

The campaign is different from existing national quality initiatives in several respects. It encourages consumer involvement as an important aspect to achieving success. The campaign also acknowledges organizational culture elements, such as the critical role of consistent staffing assignments and resident and family satisfaction, in improving care. More information is available on www.nhqualitycampaign.org.

“We will also be encouraging our residents and families to take an active interest in the goals of the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign,” added Mark. “Consumers can sign up to participate in the campaign via its Web site, and we can find ways to work together to meet our goals of improved care.”

Residents and their families, as well as Hughes staff, are invited to call Mark directly for more information about this national quality campaign at 860-236-5623.

Hughes Health Honors Our Veterans and Veterans' Spouses

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation Treasurer Michael J. Wilbur welcomes guests to a special Veterans Day ceremony at Hughes.

Veterans Day marked a day of gratitude and thankfulness here at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation when 63 of our residents were honored for their service in defending our country.

“Today we honor you for your bravery, your courage and for the great sacrifices you have all made for our country,” said Brenda Abrams, director of therapeutic recreation at Hughes. “It is because of you that we are able to experience freedom each and every day in United States of America.”

Commander John Schmitt, left, and John Eselunas, both representatives of West Hartford VFW Post 9929, presented flag pins to Hughes veterans and veterans’ spouses during a special Veterans Day celebration at Hughes.

Twenty-nine United States veterans, four international veterans and 30 spouses of veterans were honored at Hughes. Each person was presented flag pins by guests Commander John Schmitt and John Eselunas, both representatives of West Hartford VFW Post 9929.

“We would like to take this time to say thank you for all the hardships you have endured, for carrying the great burden and responsibility of defending our country. America owes a debt to you that can never be repaid,” said Brenda.

 

Hughes Nursing Assistant Inducted into Hall of Fame

Angela KovesiAngela Kovesdi, a certified nursing assistant at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, was inducted into the 2009 Certified Nursing Assistants’ Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Angela immigrated to the United States from Romania in July of 1984 with nothing more than a suitcase full of clothes and a couple of treasured possessions.  She spoke no English.  In November of that year she came to Hughes Health with her uncle, who acted as her translator.  Through him she explained that she needed a job and that she was a good person and a hard worker.  The administrator was so impressed by her initiative, work ethic, and persona that a position was created for Angela in the housekeeping department. 

Within four months, Angela so impressed the management of Hughes that she was trained and given a position as a nurses’ aide.  In the years that followed, she has grown to be recognized as one of the most beloved and respected CNAs at Hughes, where she has been recognized as an “Employee of the Year.” 

“Angela is loved and respected by residents, families, and co-workers.  One has only to meet Angela to realize her genuine affection for those entrusted to her care.  The quality of the care that she delivers is exceptional,” said Mark Finkelstein, administrator of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation. 

 

Hughes Health & Rehabilitation’s Sylvie Heath Inducted Into Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame

Sylvie HeathSylvie Heath, a certified nursing assistant at Hughes Health & Rehabilitation was inducted into 2008 Certified Nursing Assistants’ Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Health Care Administrators.

Sylvie (pictured on left), a 29-year veteran at Hughes Health, was also recognized by her company for her outstanding service.  “Sylvie represents the essence of care giving at Hughes and epitomizes the great and vital work all our nursing assistants bring to our residents every single day,” said Mark Finkelstein, administrator of Hughes Health & Rehabilitation, Inc.

“I accept this award on behalf of all my fellow nurses aids who are so deserving for the dedication they display to those in need,” said Sylvie.  “I am very grateful to the Connecticut Chapter of ACHCA for acknowledging and honoring the work we do.”

A resident of East Hartford, Sylvie was inducted into the 2008 Certified Nursing Assistant Hall of Fame by Connecticut Department of Public Health.

 
Michelle Salmon, center, receives congratulations for her 10 years’ employment by Lina Dureza, left, director of nursing and Iride Beiletti, right, a