Many nursing homes strive for their staff and residents to form family-like relationships in a setting that feels like home, but Maine Veterans’ Homes - South Paris delivers it. Administrator Brad Peck said a recent survey of the Home offered a compliment that makes him very proud.
“Officials were impressed that our residents knew our staff and caregivers by name and vice versa. To me, that’s all part of how we live our mission and core values,” he said.
Maine Veterans’ Homes staff are guided by six core values that include honesty and integrity, Veterans are unique, respect, excellence, teamwork, and lead the way.
Teamwork in Healthcare
Peck said MVH-South Paris is unique because of several new additions to its senior leadership team within the last year. Bringing new leadership provided an opportunity to focus on candidates who connected with the MVH core values and those who put an emphasis on the caregiver/patient relationship aspect of healthcare.
“What that’s done is form a team that’s deeply invested in our mission of ‘caring for those who served,’” Peck said. Along with this team is even more hands-on care from management staff and a tighter knit working relationship with colleagues that ensures better communication.
While strategies can be implemented, it’s a good feeling when those successes can be charted. A firm that interviews clients of healthcare facilities reported that MVH-South Paris was ranked Best in Class in all categories of a 16-category survey. In June, 100 percent of residents and families gave the Home top scores of 4 and 5 in satisfaction.
“The team felt a tremendous amount of pride in this. It speaks to the level of care and service we’re providing to our Veterans,” Peck said.
An Employer of Choice
Director of Nursing Amanda Dumont began her career as a CNA at MVH-South Paris six years ago. When she became a registered nurse, she sought experience working in a hospital and left her full-time position here, but stayed on per-diem working with our Veterans and their families. She eventually returned as a unit manager and is happy to be back in her new role as the director of nursing.
“I had always wanted to come back full-time,” she said, adding that both her grandfathers are Veterans. “Everyone here is close and we communicate with one another so openly, which always benefits the residents. Ultimately, our goal is to do anything and everything we can to better the lives of our residents.”
Dumont praises the work environment at MVH-South Paris and points to several CNAs who have been there for 15 and 20 years.
“That’s unheard of in this field,” she said.
In addition, the Home regularly recognizes employees for excellent service to our residents.
Campus Surrounded by Maine Outdoors
Peck said MVH-South Paris offers something that other communities don’t – 11 acres in western Maine with scenic views of local wildlife and the mountains. Recently, a former resident's estate left $70,000 to the Home for a garden project. The Home has instituted a project will include improved walkways for wheelchair access, expanded access around the gazebo, and other features throughout the property. The Home has even contracted with a company run by a former Marine to complete the work.
The Home touts two adjacent ball fields where local schoolchildren play baseball and soccer. In fact, one resident was recently presented with a certificate of appreciation for his work as scorekeeper for one of the teams.
Part of the Home was recently renovated, too, to keep up with modern trends in healthcare facilities and for the enjoyment of our residents and their families.
Ingrained in the Community
MVH-South Paris residents benefit greatly from being part of the small, Oxford County community. They have a team of dedicated volunteers who play a critical part in getting residents involved in the rich activities program offered at the Home.
Pat Paar, director of the program, thinks immediately of volunteers from VAST, Veterans Adaptive Sports & Training. They have brought archery, ice fishing, laser rifles and therapeutic snowshoeing to residents of all ages.
Veterans at MVH-South Paris are active and love to participate in community events, visit local restaurants, see shows and do just about anything you can think of. Residents often discover new passions while staying active with hobbies they enjoyed before becoming residents.
Peck points out that Oxford County has the largest population of Veterans in the state. This, along with support from the Western Maine Veterans Advisory Committee, results in many volunteers and events that raise money for the Home’s Resident Activities Fund and its Resident Needs Fund, which provides items that insurance doesn’t cover, such as extra clothing or replacement dentures.
Learn More About MVH-South Paris
While Maine Veterans’ Homes - South Paris may be a midsized Home, Peck is pleased with how it is both a close-knit community and how many people come together to help them achieve their mission of caring for those who served.