The sentiment of ‘Welcome Home’ has been strongly felt by both patients and staff at South Shore this month, as both were happy to return to a newly-renovated facility. Last year, aging pipes with backflow issues and breaks were discovered which needed upgrading, and so the facility underwent an emergency transfer to Fairmont Rehabilitation and Wellness H2 building, the old Acute Rehabilitation Unit which was vacant, while work was being addressed. What was anticipated to take several months turned into nearly a full year, but these vital improvements have made immediate positive changes to both the residents and Alameda Health System staff.

RN Charge Nurse, Fe Gerona shared, “When they came back it was like ‘We’re home! We’re back!’ They are comfortable with the place they have been before, and are just amazed about the new floors, white walls, it all looks very neat.” In addition to addressing the plumbing issues, AHS took this opportunity to also paint and install new flooring and back splash on the walls in the bathrooms – giving the facility a fresher look as a way to implement improvements without adversely impacting residents.

CNA Maxine Morris, who has been with AHS since 1977, stated that the smooth transition came as no surprise to her. When reflecting on the way staff handled the move to Fairmont and then back to South Shore, she shared, “We all get along. It’s not a power struggle. We just do what we do. We’ve all accepted the fact that it’s not for us anyway, it’s about the residents we take care of. When they are happy, we are happy. When they are comfortable, we are comfortable. When you leave here saying ‘okay, I did it today’ it’s a good place to work.”

Before AHS teams received the green light to return, two surveyors from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) came to South Shore to inspect the facility records, trainings, water and fire drill tests, orientation, education training, as well as many other regulatory, state and Federal, documents/life safety requirements and rounded the facility in depth. After approximately 40 minutes of being on-site, the surveyors stated, “You all are even more prepared than we would have expected. You are ready to move.”

AHS staff were able to work closely with CDPH to receive temporary licensure at Fairmont for this transition, and this effort stands as a testament to our collaboration with CDPH/CMS – and strong Post-Acute expertise to make the move happen. A huge thanks for the teams responsible for making this move happen – Environmental Services, Engineering, Pharmacy, Information Systems, Food and Nutrition Services, Post-Acute team, Lab, Material Management, Agility, Social Services, Activities, Administration, Respiratory Therapy, Post-Acute leadership team, Minimum Data set Coordinator, Regulatory team, Physicians, the Fairmont Skilled Nursing Facility leadership team, Billing and so many others who supported this effort!