For the seventh year in a row, Blaine Manor has been recognized as one of the top skilled nursing facilities in the state by the Department of Health and Welfare. The county-operated facility in Hailey has received the 2011 L. Jean Schoonover Excellence in Caring Award, as it has every year since 2005.
The award is based on three annual federal and state surveys that measure quality of care and compliance with regulatory guidelines.
Stephanie Jaskowski, the manor's director of finance, said winning the award is one of the toughest challenges the manor faces each year.
"This is a difficult business," she said. "We have so many regulations and the rules are always changing. This is a big accomplishment."
The manor was one of nine facilities to receive the "gold" level award, the highest level of achievement.
U.S. News and World Report named Blaine Manor one of the top five nursing homes in Idaho earlier this year. The manor has also received a five-star rating from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Blaine County Commissioner Tom Bowman said the manor has consistently maintained high standards and the award came as no surprise.
"They have a lot of pride in maintaining their high level of care and maintaining the standards needed for this award," he said. "They should be very proud of themselves."
Jaskowski said the manor's success is likely due to its caring and compassionate environment.
"We take away the institution and turn it into their home," she said. "This is all just part of one big family here. [This award] is a reflection of our staff and their dedication to doing the best they can for the folks we have with what we have to work with."
Blaine Manor operates under a budget shortfall, originally estimated to run at more than $700,000 for fiscal 2011. The shortfall had been funded by the county since 2000, but county voters approved a $1.9 million levy last year to fund the manor until a replacement private tiered-care facility can be built west of Hailey.
The project is scheduled for completion in early 2014.
Katherine Wutz: firstname.lastname@example.org
L. Jean Schoonover
The award is named for L. Jean Schoonover, the late chief of the Bureau of Facility Standards for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. Schoonover was originally hired as a health facility surveyor for the department in 1967, around the time Medicare and Medicaid introduced their standards for nursing home certification. According to the department, Schoonover was dedicated to ensuring that residents of Idaho nursing homes received the highest possible quality of care. Schoonover died in 1994, and the department developed the award in her memory to honor facilities with exceptional quality of care.