Mark, thanks for taking the time to talk today. Can you tell us a little bit about your background?
I’m a Physical Therapist and have been involved in long-term care rehab for 30 years, including as an RSM in a long-term care facility. So I understand the the commitment it takes to work in this challenging environment.
(Mark also founded what is now Aegis Therapies, a division of Golden Living, and most recently was President of California-based Hallmark Rehabilitation, which worked with more than 150 long-term care facilities. For more on Aegis Therapies, click here. For more on Hallmark Rehabilitation, click here.)
Why did you stay in long-term care?
When I was starting out, rehab in nursing homes was certainly not a priority or focus. I truly have a passion for geriatric rehabilitation.
So what brought you to Signature?
I have had the opportunity to work with (Signature CFO) John Harrison in the past. John spoke so highly of Signature Rehab and asked if I would do an assessment. That evolved into Joe (Steier) supporting the creation of Signature Rehab as a segment and asking me to lead as President and CEO of that segment.
What were the findings of the assessment?
During the assessment, we identified numerous opportunities for the rehab program to greater complement the segmentation* initiative. Our recommendation was to create a rehab infrastructure and have staff report up through that, instead of reporting directly to building administrators.
*Note: Earlier this summer, Signature moved to segment operations of its business into a handful of distinct boutique firms: Urban, Rural, Post-Acute, Rehab and Serenity (Alzheimer’s/dementia).
How does the new infrastructure work?
Through the creation of Signature Rehab, we’ve dramatically increased the clinical support for the therapists. We have a team of 10 field-based clinical experts called Directors of Clinical Services, or DOCs. These folks are identifying specific programs that can benefit a facility, and they’re also present to help with the implementation and success of those programs.
The DOCs work with a Rehab Operations Officer, or ROO, that has the same block of buildings. They work together with recruiting to identify and hire new therapists, and ensure that appropriate goals were set and achieved. The new infrastructure through Signature Rehab gives us the ability to more effectively manage our therapy operations.
How will life change for rehab and therapy staff in Signature buildings?
I think the main thing is they’re going to get more support. We’re here to help the facility be successful – they are our customer. Customer service will be a priority, and customer satisfaction will be one of our guiding principles.
We still all work for Signature, we still all share the same values and culture.
Why are the changes to rehab important?
How we provide rehab at Signature needed to be reworked to help segmentation be the game-changer we all expect it to be.
We will be working with the therapists to minimize their extraneous activities, maintaining the teamwork and partnership with the facility yet using their skill set primarily to improve the residents’ function.
You have considerable experience in the long-term care arena, and at a high level. Is Signature the anomaly in long-term care?
It definitely is. Signature’s unique philosophy, culture and pillars – it certainly is cool to talk about, but in my short time here, it’s evident that it’s taken seriously and is important. The Revolution is alive, and I want to be part of it.
More about Mark Wortley…
Mark is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah and has a degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Utah. He is married with four children ages 22, 18, 14 and 7. For fun, he enjoys golf, snow and water skiing, and coaching the kids in basketball.