Author Archives: Signature HealthCARE

Prestonsburg and Cherokee Park earn 5-star ratings

14391_5StarBanner_WEBTwo more facilities have joined the ranks of Signature centers with five-star ratings from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

CMS is the federal agency tasked with nursing home oversight. A five-star rating is the highest rating a center can receive.

The newly named five-star buildings are Prestonsburg Health Care Center and Signature HealthCARE of Cherokee Park.

Signature has continually worked to improve the quality of care provided in its buildings, which has translated to better CMS ratings. In late February, a total of 21 SHC facilities were named to this year’s U.S. News & World Report ‘Best Nursing Homes’ list based on CMS star ratings.

Under the five-star rating system, nursing homes are assessed in three main categories: health inspections, quality measures and staffing. The overall rating combines scores received in each of the three categories.

The system is intended to help consumers, families and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and identify areas about which they would like to learn more. For more, visit CMS’ nursing home compare website by clicking HERE.


Signature Florida Panhandle Olympics Makes the News

The Signature HealthCARE (SHC) Florida Panhandle Senior Olympics were recently featured on WJHG News Channel 7 in Panama City Beach, Fla. SHC facilities participating in the event were: Chautauqua Rehab & Nursing Center, in DeFuniak Springs, Fla.; Washington Rehab & Nursing Center, in Chipley, Fla.; SHC of North Florida, in Graceville, Fla.; SHC at The Courtyard, in Marianna, Fla.; The Bridge at Bay St. Joe, in Port St. Joe, Fla; and Surrey Place Care Center, in Live Oak, Fla.

Be sure to check out the story below!

Signature celebrates Pastoral Care Week

ChaplainCorps_PostcardFront_Draft_v3This week is Pastoral Care Week, and what better opportunity for Signature to honor its facility chaplains who do so much for our residents, families and staff members, sometimes unnoticed?

Signature’s Department of Spirituality was formed in 2005 by Dianne Timmering, Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs, and Signature President and CEO Joe Steier, with the intent of meeting people at the point of their spiritual need.

“They connect with not only residents and staff members, but also family members,” said Carol Harrison, a former SHC facility chaplain who now serves as Director of Spirituality for the company. “They’re a person of prayer, a person of humility and a person of empathy.”

Signature has continued to expand the role of the facility chaplain, along with educational and other programming. Slated for 2016 is the spiritual design, by facility, to further build and integrate the spiritual deeper into the realm of overall care.

Harrison said chaplains play an instrumental role in many functions, including marketing and business, employee morale and conflict resolution, partnering with Quality of Life and social services, and even as an adjunct to rehab and clinical processes.

“A lot of our interventions are not strictly clinical in nature, but in the end, a good chaplain intervention can assist in realizing a good clinical outcome,” she said. “We can ‘care plan’ their interventions.”

Timmering praised SHC’s chaplain corps for their unwavering commitment to assist in the healing process.

“We are a ‘prescription’ for healing in whatever form needed,” she said. “We are an input of hope for best clinical and emotional outcomes.”

For more about Pastoral Care Week, click HERE.

Tennessee Signature facility receives award for use of telehealth technology


Signature had not one, but two winners in McKnight’s recent ‘Excellence in Technology Awards.’

Not only was Signature Spirituality recognized for its use of the STracker technology to track chaplain interactions with nursing home residents, Signature HealthCARE of Fentress County, in Jamestown, Tenn., received the Silver Award in the High Tech/High Touch category for its work with Signature affiliate ReadyMD utilizing telehealth technology.

SHC of Fentress County was one of two sites – Erin, Tenn. was the other – where ReadyMD piloted its program, which gives nursing home residents access to psychiatric specialists and experts located at a remote site, a few miles or even hundreds of miles away.

“It is very rewarding, as a long-term care provider, to have the opportunity in providing telehealth services in a manner in which it improves quality of life for our elder,” said SHC of Fentress County Administrator/CEO Darian Goodman. “The easy-to-use platform has been an amazing experience for all elders, family and stakeholders alike.”

A psychiatrist or psychiatric nurse practitioner provides medication management services, and a psychologist or Licensed Clinical Social Worker will provide ‘talk’ therapy.

The goal, according to ReadyMD CEO Dave Duggins is to improve overall quality of care for nursing home residents, including reducing return trips to the hospital for those residents. To date, about 300 residents have been treated at SHC of Fentress via the telehealth platform since the program launched in May.

“Fentress Administrator Darian Goodman and his team deserve all the credit for this award,” Duggins said. “Both Darian and Barry Cotton, at SHC of Erin, understand how technology can be an asset to their facilities – they have embraced telehealth and have challenged their teams to do so as well. The result has been an overwhelmingly positive response from residents, their family members and staff.”

He added that, as the elderly population grows and an increasing number of baby boomers head toward retirement, the demand for physicians will only increase. As a result, telehealth technology will only be further integrated into the health care delivery process going forward, particularly in remote areas where fewer medical services are available.

Telehealth services and technology is being implemented at three more Signature HealthCARE facilities this month, with 18 additional facilities soon to follow.

“We’re just at the front end of it (telehealth utilization),” Duggins said. “Hats off to Signature for embracing this technology early. Now, they will be well-equipped to use telehealth for the betterment of their residents.”

Signature Buckhead HR Director named to Georgia Trend’s ’40 Under 40′ list

Carla Smith, Director of Human Resources for Signature HealthCARE of Buckhead, in Atlanta, has been named to Georgia Trend magazine’s ’40 Under 40,’ a list of 40 outstanding Georgians under the age of 40. Georgia residents from all walks of life are represented on the list, which can be viewed online at

SHC Department of Spirituality recognized for use of technology in innovative approach to care

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Signature’s Department of Spirituality was proud to be notified this week that the department has been named a winner in McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards for 2015.

The awards program honors organizations utilizing technology to improve elder care. The Department of Spirituality was recognized for its use of a SharePoint-based tracking system known as ‘STracker’ (Spirituality Tracker), which represents the point of interface between Signature’s Spirituality and Clinical departments.

“So proud of my team,” said Dianne Timmering, Signature’s Vice President of Spirituality and Legislative Affairs. “Our vision here, with help from our IT team, was to develop a tracking system that we would use as a tool to track our encounters with residents. We want to link them to a specific data point/outcome and see if we can begin to move the needle of wellness and enhance outcomes in partnership with clinical. Our future goal is also to utilize this system to assist in mitigating patient risk factors like falls and wounds.”

As one of the organizational pillars upon which the company was founded, Signature believes Spirituality and its free expression is an integral part of life for most people – something that can provide enormous benefits in health, well-being and happiness, particularly in cases where health and life status are altered, as in a long-term care environment.

The system is designed to provide a universally-accessible system of online reporting for the numerous personal encounters that Signature’s facility chaplains share with residents, stakeholders, family members and others each week. STracker was developed with the intent of tracking the multiple inputs of chaplain care given for all manner of clinical (anxiety, depression, wound care, falls, psychotropic medications and others), operational or pastoral-related issues, as well as directing chaplain services toward vital areas of need within a facility. The system generates reports that are then sent to key personnel at facility, regional and home office levels, soliciting feedback and suggestions.

The goal, as always, is to empower team members and continually enhance overall care and quality of life for all the families and communities Signature serves.

For more about the STracker system, visit the SHC Department of Spirituality online HERE.

Signature execs join ranks of female healthcare leaders at national conference

Two top Signature leaders shared the stage this week with other national female healthcare leaders to address a variety of industry-related issues during the American Conference Institute’s ‘Women Leaders in Healthcare Law’ conference.

Lynn Fieldhouse, Signature’s Vice President and General Counsel of Litigation Services, and Cheri Glass, Vice President – Talent Acquisition and Human Resources, traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the conference, which was several months in the planning. Fieldhouse also served as co-chair of the event.

The conference’s gender bias was fitting for an industry dominated by women professionals. Women make up nearly 79 percent of the nation’s overall healthcare workforce, according to 2014 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and account for more than 85 percent of the workers in skilled-nursing facilities.

Meanwhile, women make up about 86 percent of Signature HealthCARE’s overall employee base.

“Signature has a strong team of women leaders, at our Home Office and in the field, so involving our company was truly a great fit,” Fieldhouse said.

Fieldhouse and Glass presented jointly during a panel titled, ‘Keeping Workforce Morale High in a Heavily Regulated, Fast-Paced, Cost-Cutting Environment.’

“We spoke on the importance of culture in healthcare, and how women leaders from all facets – long-term care, hospital or otherwise – can and should set examples to drive and sustain staff engagement and morale during these tumultuous times in our industry,” Fieldhouse said. “We proudly represented Signature and all the innovative, great things we are doing to drive culture here.”

Both Signature representatives called the event inspirational and said they were honored to participate.

“This was a strong group of female power players whose only purpose for coming together was to invest in the success of other women within their profession and serve as teachers, mentors and advocates for one another,” Glass said. “It was an opportunity and a learning experience!”

To view the full conference agenda, click HERE.

Three more Signature centers join Eden Alternative culture change movement


Nearly a fourth of Signature’s skilled-nursing and rehabilitation centers are now on the registry for The Eden Alternative, with Standing Stone Care & Rehabilitation Center, Pine Ridge Care & Rehabilitation Center and The Bridge at South Pittsburg becoming the latest to join the list this week.

The Eden Alternative is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to nursing home culture change and reshaping long-term care, an effort that closely aligns with Signature’s own mission and vision.

Much of the Eden Alternative organization’s work has revolved around de-institutionalizing the culture and environment of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The Eden Alternative’s core concept is to view places where elders live as ‘habitats for human beings’ rather than ‘facilities for the frail and elderly.’

In order to join the registry, nursing homes must reach a number of milestones demonstrating their commitment to the Eden principles.

The Eden movement within Signature began in the rural segment, Signature Hometown, in 2012. Since then, a total of 32 Signature facilities have joined the registry.

See below for a full list of SHC facilities on the Eden Alternative Registry:

Pickett Care & Rehab Center – 3/5/2012
Riverview Health Care Center – 7/18/2012
Westmoreland Care & Rehab Center – 9/19/2012
Washington Rehab & Nursing Center – 9/19/2012
Chautauqua Rehab & Nursing Center – 10/19/2012
SHC of Trimble County – 2/20/2013
SHC of North Florida – 5/8/2013
SHC at The Courtyard – 5/21/2013
Mountain City Care & Rehab Center – 10/8/2013
SHC of Rogersville – 10/16/2013
SHC of Erin – 11/20/2013
SHC of Sunrise Manor – 11/22/2013
Morgantown Care & Rehab Center – 2/8/2014
Chesapeake Shores – 3/13/2014
Prestonsburg Health Care Center – 6/6/2014
Clinton County Care & Rehab Center – 6/12/2014
Surrey Place Care Center – 7/31/2014
Liberty Care & Rehab Center – 8/26/2014
SHC of Fentress County – 9/23/2014
Spring City Care & Rehab Center – 12/4/2014
The Bridge at Ridgely – 1/22/2015
Pigeon Forge Care & Rehab Center – 2/26/2015
Harriman Care & Rehab Center – 3/27/2015
The Bridge at Highland – 5/26/2015
Bracken County Nursing & Rehab Center – 5/27/2015
The Bridge at Monteagle – 5/29/2015
Oakview Nursing & Rehab Center – 6/9/2015
Harrodsburg Health & Rehab Center – 7/2015
SHC at Mallard Bay – 7/2015
The Bridge at South Pittsburg – 9/2015
Standing Stone Care & Rehab – 9/2015
Pine Ridge Care & Rehab – 9/2015

Two dozen Signature residents, staff members travel to Boston

Signature made a return trip to Boston this week, this time with even more residents and staff members than last year’s maiden voyage. A total of 26 residents and staff from five Signature facilities in three states made the journey this year.

Earlier this year, a separate group traveled to Panama City Beach, Fla. (for highlights, check out Signature’s YouTube channel.) Signature has taken groups of residents on vacation each of the past four years.

Visit the SHC Quality of Life blog for details from Angie McAllister, Director of Cultural Transformation for Signature’s Hometown segment.