We all know that the healthcare profession has been focused on COVID-19 concerns since March 2020. The need to learn, implement, and adapt practices to keep our patients and ourselves safe from the COVID-19 virus has taken a great deal of our attention and resources for nearly two years. It has been, and continues to be, an important focus.
However, COVID-19 is not the only virus that the healthcare profession, especially the skilled nursing and assisted living profession, must contend with. COVID-19 may have been top-of-mind, but it’s the season to remember another virus that we have the resources to combat: the flu.
That’s right. Flu season is upon us, which means flu prevention season is also here! The CDC website provides an excellent assortment of resources, including materials to assist companies and individuals with sharing trustworthy information to social media.
Most importantly, we want to remind everyone that just like past years, the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself, your co-workers, your family, and your residents or patients from becoming sick from the flu virus. The flu vaccine is safe and does not cause the flu.
According to the CDC, everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season. “The flu vaccine can reduce flu illnesses, doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, and has been shown to be life-saving!”
For most who get sick with the flu, symptoms will be mild. However, there are many groups of people for whom the flu can cause more severe issues. Those with chronic illness, children younger than five, pregnant women, people with diabetes, asthma, or heart disease, and adults 65 and older can all experience serious complications from the flu. But it’s certainly not all bad news! According to the CDC, in recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-related hospitalizations among older adults by 40%. And at Mission, we know that keeping residents and patients out of the hospital and safe in their own space is a huge piece of both mental and physical well-being.
Particularly in the healthcare setting, where we care for and treat more at-risk populations, ensuring everyone who can get vaccinated does get vaccinated is essential.
For our part at Mission Health and Mission Living, our employees are required to be vaccinated against the flu (baring specific exemptions) and we facilitate getting the vaccine for our patients and residents, who understand how important the flu vaccine is to their continued health. The CDC provides additional information to help address various concerns, and we encourage everyone to explore further—either for themselves, or to utilize when speaking with other who may have questions about the flu vaccine. For more information you can go to the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/flu or call them at 800.232.4636
Most (if not all) people in the healthcare profession know that staffing is an issue right now. Even prior to COVID-19, staffing was a top concern for many healthcare providers throughout the country. When you provide skilled care for a group of people, consistent and skilled staffing is essential. But needing staff is not the same as having staff.
At Mission Health, we took a hard look at the certified nursing assistant (CNA) shortage and decided to invest time, money, and resources into something that would not only help us ensure that our residents and patients are well cared for by outstanding employees, but would also enable us to grow our own within the Mission culture. With the help of many knowledgeable individuals (who were also up for a challenge) we started a CNA certification course to train brand new CNAs. The Mission Experience is built around our CARES values of Character, Attitude, Respect, Excellence, and Service, and by offering CNA certification to our existing employees and interested new employees, we have been able to develop more consistency in the workplace and have started to see the benefits of lowered agency costs. We have also been privileged to help launch the careers of many individuals through this program that enables participants to work and be paid while they learn.
To give us an inside look at how the Mission Health CNA Course is making a difference at one of our Kansas communities, we talked to administrator Roy Walker. Roy embraced the CNA certification program early on and has some thoughts he’d like to share.
Edwardsville Care Center is a Mission Health community that cares for individuals with a mental health diagnosis. The community stays full or nearly full at all times, which means that consistent staffing is always top of mind. Edwardsville has added eleven certified nursing assistants to their team through the course, and they have two more students lined up for the next cohort at a Mission Health sister community nearby. Because Mission Health has multiple locations throughout Kansas, interested participants are able to complete earn their CNA certification at convenient locations, all while getting paid while they do so!
According to Roy, the CNA certification program has “completely eliminated CNA agency usage,” which means Edwardsville Care Center residents receive more consistent care, while the community is able to operate more cost effectively. Always looking to the future, Roy say the next task is continuing to attract and grow more of our own nurses.
One of the most impressive aspects of the program is the retention rate of CNAs who have joined the team. In any high turnover profession, retention is a top concern. Roy was proud to tell us that of the eleven individuals who have completed the CNA course, all eleven remain with Edwardsville! A couple opted to work as PRN employees or work consistently on the weekend, resulting in a 100% retention rate, with full-time retention at 73%. Truly amazing and a testament not only to Roy and the course instructors, but also to the employees who have chosen to pursue their healthcare careers with Mission Health.
When asked how his experience has been so far with the quality of care provided by CNAs who went through the program, Roy couldn’t have been more enthusiastic. “They come out with their eyes open and excited to help the residents. They also take the initiative to bring up opportunities for improvement within the building, and above else they have great attitudes. They are kind, respectful, and willing to do whatever is required to continuously improve quality of care.”
One exciting aspect of the way Mission Health operates the CNA certification course, is that we encourage current employees who are interested in becoming CNAs to complete the program with us. There is a lot of value in growing our own and supporting the career goals of current employees, not just new employees! And a benefit of a dietary services team member, or an employee from activities, or whomever they may be, becoming a CNA with us is that the transition is far easier. “The learning curve is simply adjusting and adopting their new responsibilities which takes a much shorter time than an outside hire,” says Roy.
We asked Roy what he considers the best part about the certification courses, and while he had a lot to say, one piece stood out. His experience has really highlighted the “increased synergy” that comes with having new CNAs who previously worked in other departments at Edwardsville. “They know how to best work with their previous department and things flow really well. Above everything else, I am able to watch first-hand the staff culture change. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for the CNA class,” says Roy.
For anyone who may be considering becoming a CNA through the Mission Health certification course, here’s what Roy has to say about that decision!
“You’re going to be in high demand, and every day you come to work is going to matter. It’s going to matter to you, your family, your community, your team at said community, and especially the residents you assist with each press of the call light. You will be proud of your hard work, and know that this work is meaningful and purposeful.”
Mission Health is continuing to run frequent classes, each approximately four weeks long, which culminate in taking the state test to become a certified nursing assistant. Our program is unique in that the community at which you wish to work at (if you are not already an employee there) hires you prior to the course, so that you are able to work and be paid while you learn. There are no costs associated with this program for the students, which means that if this is something you’ve considered but been unsure of how to make a career change work in your schedule or budget…look no further!
Did you know that 1 in 5 adults experience a mental health issue at some point in their life? It’s way more common than you might think, and over the past year we’ve seen more and more conversation around mental health arise. However, not everyone is able or comfortable taking part in these conversations. Maybe you or someone you know feels too isolated or too scared to open up. Maybe you or someone you know doesn’t know where to start.
Even if you feel isolated…statistically you are not alone!
At Mission, we understand how common mental health issues are and want to take this opportunity to talk about the importance of offering resources to employees that can improve their wellness. It’s human nature to experience stress from daily occurrences which could physically, socially, or financially make an impact on your emotional well-being. It could also seem hard to open up and talk about these problems to those around you because of fear or rejection. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Across the country we have made great strides in starting to break the stigma around mental illness, but there’s still a long way to go.
Companies, like Mission Health, can help advance the cause of fostering better mental health by ensuring that there are accessible tools offered to employees, and that employees know how to access those resources. Talking about it just might save your life or the life of someone you love.
That’s where teledoc comes in.
For Mission, that means utilizing HealthiestYou, which includes an online therapy program where a certified licensed therapist or counselor provides their patients with optimal psychological counseling through the convenience of your phone! It’s easy to forget to make time for your mental health when you’re dealing with the stress and bustle of everyday life. Add in symptoms of anxiety or depression and it can feel impossible to find a therapist near you, call the office, make an appointment, write it in your calendar, remember to go in two month’s time when you’re actually able to get an appointment, take time off from work or find a sitter for the kids, navigate traffic as you drive to the office…you see where this is heading? There is no shame in struggling to find time for your own mental wellness.
Which is why at Mission Health, we offer teledoc as part of our health insurance plan, to provide enrolled employees with access to mental health counseling they can schedule with a few clicks of a button and take part in from the comfort of their own home. HealthiestYou’s mental health option is an effective tool to utilize because you can use it on the go, at your convenience. Through video calls, online chat, or a phone call, HealthiestYou is a good solution for those who need to talk through problems and find on-the-go solutions that really work. It’s also a great place to start if you’re brand new to therapy and want a low pressure session to get you through a difficult spot.
One really great advantage of using HealthiestYou is that talking about problems to a licensed professional can feel much easier and safer than to spilling every worry and stressor to friends and family. One Mission Health employee says, “I feel that I can be more of myself because I am given a non-biased opinion from someone who is viewing my situations from an outside perspective.”
There is always a solution, and you are never alone. If you or a loved one are having symptoms of a mental health issue (such as intrusive thoughts, difficulty sleeping, unexplained weight gain/loss, difficulty concentrating, feeling tired all the time, etc) and think you might benefit from professional support or you’re just not feeling right and you think you might need help getting to a better place, reach out. Reach out to anyone you feel safe and comfortable doing so. And if you’re a Mission employee, please talk to your administrator or check out the Yapp app to see if HealthiestYou is right for you. Even if you are not enrolled in our health insurance plan, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) may still have resources that can help you through a difficult time (including but not limited to up to three free counseling sessions, emergency rides, and financial planning).
We want to provide our staff with the best options possible, because if you aren’t at your best, then how can you perform at your best?! You are loved and valued and our mission is to overcome our struggles together so we can provide the best Mission Experience possible!
“The advice I’d give to somebody that’s silently struggling is, you don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to struggle in silence. You can be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition, as long as you open up to somebody about it, because it’s really important you share your experience with people so that you can get the help that you need.” — Demi Lovato
We talk a lot about the various benefits we’re proud to offer employees at Mission Health, and one of our favorite benefits is discounted tuition at Capella University. Helping employees pursue their desired careers goals is extremely important to us. As 2021 inches toward 2022 (inches, or maybe sprints), we know there may be people out there considering what the new year will hold for them. If pursuing a new degree is something on your radar, or even if it’s not but you might like to learn more about what we offer through our Capella partnership, keep reading!
We interviewed our very own Amy Ivey to find out more about her experience with Capella University. Amy is the Marketing Director at Jesup Health and Rehab in Georgia, and she has been with Mission Health for more than two years. In 2019, she enrolled in Capella to pursue her BS in Business. When asked what prompted her to seriously look into applying with Capella, she said, “At first, I was so afraid to fail and that everyone would watch me fail. I hadn’t been in school for twenty years! But I chose the Guided Path with Capella, and the program makes it so easy to learn, complete assignments, and meet deadlines.”
And Amy has really demonstrated just how well this program works for her! She currently holds a 3.88 GPA and has been on the Dean’s List every semester. She was even inducted into the National Society of Leadership and Success: a designation reserved for honor students that comes with some pretty cool perks of its own.
In considering that we may have employees who are curious about Capella but are worried about making classes fit into their busy adult lives, we asked Amy what she would say to someone in that situation. She was happy to vouch for Capella’s approach to online learning, saying, “They keep in mind that each student may have a family, a job, and other obligations. If you’re unsure, reach out to Capella and allow an advisor to help you find the perfect courses to help you excel!”
Another benefit of enrolling in a program with Capella is access to free general education courses through Sophia. Sophia courses consist of assigned readings, short videos so that you feel like you’re actually in a classroom, and follow-up questions to complete. By taking the Sophia courses that are free once you have enrolled in a program with Capella, you can earn core credits that you need for your chosen degree, without the cost. And Amy hasn’t let that opportunity pass her by! She just finished Human Biology and has started Algebra in the past week, with the goal of knocking out those courses at no cost to her. An important benefit with Sophia is that unlike some college courses, if you are unable to complete the course in the standard 60-day allotted time, Capella makes it easy to reach out to your professor so that you aren’t penalized for an incomplete class.
The core message in conversation with Amy about what Capella has to offer and how it can fit into a busy schedule, is that Capella is there to ensure you succeed at every step of the way. If pursuing a new degree interests you, visit the Capella University partner site via the home page of our website and reach out to one of their enrollment counselors. There is no commitment, and they will respond with the additional information you need to decide which degree and which path may be right for you. They are also available to provide more details regarding tuition discounts and financial aid.
And last but not least, thank you again to Amy Ivey for taking the time to give us her insights into this benefit available to Mission Health employees!
With 51 communities in 8 states, Mission Health is proud to announce that we were recently listed as number 22 of the Top 30 Largest Nursing Facility Companies. As President and CEO, Stuart Lindeman, always says: Mission is looking to grow, and we’re looking to grow smart.
What does that mean? It means that we prioritize our core values and our ability to provide for our teams and our residents before making any decisions about growing the company. It’s important to be certain that we’re able to successfully provide top quality service to each and every one of our communities as we continue to grow.
And we’ve done just that. We’ve added new communities in new states over the past couple years, even in the face of unprecedented challenges across the profession. In the process, we’ve brought the Mission Experience to the employees and residents at those buildings.
Even as the profession begins to recover from the difficulties faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, the past year has produced an even greater need for innovation in the face of challenges. As Mission continues to expand, we are focusing on innovation that enables us to provide better service, in cost-efficient ways. We’re offering new, robust clinical programming in a time when it might be easier to simple rest on existing programs. We’re creating fast, efficient ways to communicate with our employees. We’re uplifting our dietary services teams and elevating the experience for our residents.
As a top 30 largest nursing facility company, we remain committed to providing personalized, exceptional service in every interaction. Recently, we’ve added new assisted living communities to the Mission Living side of our business, while expanding the resources available to our teams working with those buildings. We also continue to work with companies in need of operational or clinical oversight assistance through our Mission Management group. The healthcare profession is one that is constantly changing, and we are proud of the range of experience we have in ensuring its success.
As we continue to grow, we will always put the Mission Experience and our CARES values first. Employees who are engaged and happy, and residents who are confident in the exceptional care they’re receiving – that’s what differentiates Mission communities and has enabled us to successfully grow into a top 30 largest nursing facility company.
Thank you all for being a part of our continuing journey!
When we say we care about the input of our residents and those who care about them, what do we mean? Do we simply nod along when a resident makes a request? Do we rely solely on family members to reach out to us when they have a concern they’d like to discuss? No. Of course not!
We’ve all heard it touted that a proactive approach is better than a passive approach, and we’ve taken that to heart at Mission Health. Our residents and patients, and their family members, are an important part of creating a person-centered approach to the services we provide. We believe that if we’re waiting for them to come to us with requests, then we’re missing out on opportunities to elevate their experience with us.
Over the past year, we’ve partnered with National Resource Corporation to implement the Real Time program for resident/patient and family member surveys. This approach enables us to get feedback at more frequent intervals, and use that feedback to shape the way we provide care. Did a resident move into their room and have a great tour of the community? Did a family member have to call a few too many times to reach the person they were trying to speak with? Does someone dislike the coffee?!
All these possibilities represent potential opportunities to reward and continue successful patterns, or the chance to improve on a service that could use some extra attention. And while there will always be growing pains with implementing a new more responsive survey system, we say that all feedback is a gift…and we mean it!
What methods does your company use for gathering client feedback? Are surveys sent out in bulk, annually? Perhaps surveys are sent only to new clients, or only on the anniversary of service rendered? As long as the survey itself is kept short and sweet, more touchpoints allow a company to build a more complete picture of strengths and weaknesses and can build a stronger relationship with those served.
What about implementation? Is feedback used with genuine interest in making improvements within the company? Taking the initiative to actively review responses as they come in, and then doing something with the gift of feedback is the most important part of any survey process. Whether the results are positive or negative or a bit of both (hint: it’s always a bit of both), taking the time to digest the information given and then reaching out to the responding parties in a timely fashion builds trust, and creates a more engaged client base.
Take a moment today to reflect on whether you and your company actively seek out feedback to grow and better the services you provide, or whether you’re hesitant to open those floodgates. Because here’s the thing: whether you know it or not, the things clients say in surveys are things they think and feel about their experience with the company.
And remember: all feedback is a gift!
As the world we know begins to shift into a new “normal” after COVID-19, it is important that we also learn how to remain healthy and safe within our own professions. Being a healthcare hero not only means taking care of our residents with the utmost care and compassion, but it also means taking care of yourself during these times, so you are able to live a long and healthy life. An important place to start, is in your workplace! Working for a company like Mission Health, that genuinely cares about your health and well-being, is instrumental in a safe return to normal.
Healthcare workers continue to be on the front line of the nation’s fight with the Covid pandemic. By being able to provide critical care to those who may come in contact with the virus, some healthcare heroes may be at increased risk of infection from COVID-19. That is why Mission Health takes facilitating our employee’s access to vaccines so seriously. We are committed to providing Mission employees with the most recent, reliable information, as well as on-going opportunities to get vaccinated and save lives!
Mission Health is proud to announce that each community is now able to personally order and administer vaccines to every new and current employee or resident. Previously, the vaccine was only made available in a package of 10 and had a short shelf life. Due to these circumstances, many vaccines were expiring and were no longer useful to the new employees and residents who may need them at a later date. However, Mission Health now has the access to order the vaccine and make it available directly on site to the specific employee or resident who need it immediately…at NO cost to them! This is especially beneficial for our healthcare employees because there is no longer an unpredictable wait time for the vaccine and can now be directly ordered for one person rather than having to wait for other employees to be eligible to order.
Mission Health also not only wants our employees to feel comfortable with their experience, but we want to ensure that all healthcare heroes are taken care of and appreciated for their hard work and dedication. Having access to the vaccine, when they want and need it, is part of showing our employees they are a top priority. As we continue to recognize and reward those who are helping Mission Health achieve complete vaccination throughout every community against COVID-19, we are continuing to reward those employees who do receive their vaccinations with us with an extra 8 hours of PTO. If you’re a Mission employee, talk to your community’s Administrator to learn more! We appreciate everyone’s commitment to protect our most vulnerable population, and by getting the vaccine, we can fully live out the Mission Experience and do our part to ensure a happier and healthier 2021!
Let’s talk about thanks, and not just “thanks at the finish line” but thanking as we go. Particularly in professions that ask so much of our employees in the form of caring, dedication, and skill, ensuring that we share well-deserved praise on a regular basis is a key part of reaching milestones!
At Mission Health, we are always striving for excellence. We like to “level-up,” because we know there are always things we can do better for ourselves and for those in our care. But that doesn’t mean that we aren’t amazing right where we are. It doesn’t mean our employees who continue to show up and deliver the Mission Experience each and every day aren’t already award-winning caliber!
By pausing to notice, value, and voice appreciation for the smaller, every-day actions of employees, co-workers, business partners, and anyone else your workday brings us into contact with, we can uplift each other and reach new levels of excellence.
…While creating a better workplace for everyone!
As we get ready for Memorial Day Weekend, we want to take a moment to thank our employees and announce something extra special: we recently received the 2021 Employee Approved Award from NRC Health, recognizing the top five senior living communities that were identified by employees as having outstanding culture. It is a huge honor to have our culture of living our CARES values of Character, Attitude, Respect, Excellence, and Service be recognized not just by national organizations, but by our employees themselves!
We are the company that we are because of our employees. By continuously seeking out feedback and building on the success of existing programs, we are able to provide a work environment where everyone is encouraged to deliver their very best. And they do. For themselves, for their co-workers, and for the residents Mission serves, our employees exceed the “standard.” So a heartfelt thank you to our employees: for all that you do, and for working together with the company’s mission to yield award winning outcomes, we appreciate you!
And for the rest of 2021, let’s all continue to look for opportunities to thank one another. Whether it’s for holding the door, or covering a shift, or teaching us something new, let’s share in thanking each other for making the workplace an enjoyable place to be.
Whether your financial questions sound more like, “How much money do I need to retire?” or “How can I make more money this month?” it’s safe to say that we’ve all considered our financial future at some point recently. You may not know this, but April is Financial Literacy Month, where we focus on educating people about the importance of planning for a secure financial future. Individual goals will inevitably look different, and at Mission Health, we are invested in helping our employees identify and maximize what that plan looks like for them.
As part of our commitment to supporting healthy financial futures for our employees, Mission Health partners with DailyPay: a service that allows employees more control over when, where, and how they access their earned pay. This program was in the works long before the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted everyone to pivot and re-evaluate priorities, and for us, DailyPay remained a priority. We rolled out this new optional benefit in the second half of 2020, with rapid uptake across our communities in the first few months. While not everyone will have a reason to fully utilize the DailyPay services right away (or possibly ever), the partnership brings our employees access to many additional benefits…
Including Financial Literacy Month resources!
From balance boosting giveaways, to access to free financial counselors, Mission Health is proud to be able to connect our employees with the valuable resources they need to maximize their financial goals for the future.
If you’re looking to continue your career in the healthcare profession (or start one!) and all this sounds like a great perk to you, we’d love for you to check out our locations and current job openings! But beyond our constant excitement over welcoming potential new members to the Mission Health team, a focus on financial literacy is important because the financial health of an employee has ripple effects that may not seem obvious at first. The healthcare profession relies on staff who dedicate their time, attention, and skills to caring for some of our nation’s most vulnerable. At Mission Health, we believe that it’s our employees—delivering the Mission Experience every day—who differentiate us. An engaged, cared for employee is able to give the quality service that our residents and patients deserve. But those are just words if they aren’t backed by action and support from the company. So really, it’s how we support our employees that matters!
Offering DailyPay, and the host of financial planning resources available through the platform, is one way we make life easier for Mission employees, but it’s not the end. Our goal as one of the 2021 Top Workplaces in Tampa Bay (and beyond) is to drive employee engagement through a suite of employee assistance resources that put our staff first. So, if you’re a Mission Health employee reading this, be sure to check out the MH Employee Resource App to learn more, and if you’ve stopped by for inspiration on how to continue to innovate and support employees at your own workplace, we highly recommend a deep dive into financial resources that can empower employees.
When someone asks themselves, “How am I doing financially?” we want the answer to be “Great!”
…And then we give them the tools to do even better.
There’s no wrong way to start thinking about your financial future, so let’s get smart about how we talk about money. Let’s empower employees by giving them the tools they need to succeed during Financial Literacy Month and beyond!
Check out what’s new with Mission Health! We have paired up with Capella University as our career education partner for an exclusive offer for our nursing professionals that you don’t want to miss out on. Want to advance in your career? Well now you can! FOR FREE!
For those who are new to Capella University, Mission Health has partnered with Capella to provide all healthcare professionals with COMPLIMENTARY access to many tools and resources on how to advance their careers in the skilled nursing field. There are also discounted options for tuition programs for skilled nursing professionals to be able advance their careers and/or maintain their license.
One such complimentary program that we at Mission Health are particularly excited about is Capella University’s new “Mask Up” appreciation campaign to recognize the hard work of healthcare professionals, which specifically benefits nurses who would like to take advantage of free CE courses.
For those looking to further their career with scheduling they can control, Capella University also offers a FlexPath option where you can easily earn your degree on demand! You can set your own deadlines, manage costs, and leverage your personal experience to advance at your own time and budget. At Mission, we believe that with the busy life that comes with the healthcare field, our employees deserve access to an education that fits the way they live today. FlexPath allows each individual control over their own education at their own pace. Programs that are available include degrees focused on pursuing Business Management, Education, Health Care Administration, Information Technology, Nursing and Psychology.
Once you are accepted into the program, you will be matched with your own enrollment counselor who will personally work with you throughout your admission process. This gives every individual the opportunity to be able to share their professional goals and explore programs that best suit their needs, walk through program details and course expectations, and also get a cost breakdown and specific info about financial aid and ways not to break the bank…or your wallet!
Here’s what Tina Thomas, Mission Health’s Senior Vice President of Operations has to say about Mission’s partnership with Capella University:
At Mission, we want YOU to put yourself and education first by staying emotionally healthy during uncertain and trying times. An online degree is a powerful and effective path to get yourself there! New webinar offerings through Capella are catered to everyone with effective tips on how to stay balanced, resilient, and connected. Some webinar courses that are offered to Mission Health employees include a variety of topics ranging from how to strategically manage and plan new goals in your career, successful leadership development, mentorship, or managing your well-being in the workplace.
If you would like to learn more, you can visit the home page of our website and find the link listed “Mission Health & Capella University,” then scroll down to the “Exclusive CE Content” section. Or you can check out the Mission Health Employee Resource App (and/or the Mission Living Employee Resource App) for more details! 📲