Recently, the US News and World Report released the most recent rankings of nursing homes in each state. The magazine uses the traditional five-star rating system of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Facilities that manage to earn a five-star rating are considered to be among the best in the state, and Luther Haven in Montevideo has made that list.
Jim Flaherty, administrator of Luther Haven Nursing Home, explained that a five star rating is gained based on evaluations of the staff, the needs of the residents being met, and three years of state and federal quality of care surveys by the Department of Health.
"They visit annually ... three to five nursing professionals visit for four to five days, and look at literally hundreds of compliance items, such as social services, nutrition, staffing and more," Flaherty said.
The visitors check to see if various areas are considererd acceptable, or if there is a deficiency, and make a rating suggestion based on that.
With a five star rating from the US News and World Report, Flaherty said Luther Haven is put in a beneficial position.
"We have a more educated consumer," he said. "This type of information is available to them."
While Flaherty, who has been with Luther Haven for 30 years, is at the helm as administrator, he said the credit for the rating lies elsewhere. Only 20 percent of facilities receive a five-star rating.
"The staff needs to be commended. Without their level of care and dedication no facility is going to get that rating," Flaherty said.
The announcement from the US News and World Report came around the same time that Luther Haven recognizes their employees each year with an annual banquet. While the banquet was forced to be cancelled due to weather, Flaherty wanted to be sure to recognize employees who had reached a benchmark.
35 years: Malyn Fokken, Lisa Larson
30 years: Melody Nordby, Sue Dack
20 years: Beth Hampton, Joyce Moe, Sandy Randt
15 years: Pam Voorhees, Linda Gort
10 years: Vicky Dale, Colleen Folkestad, Jill Giinthir
5 years: Bonnie Haugen, Tara Lee, Kayla Anspach
Flaherty gives credit for Luther Haven's recent rating to the rest of the staff, but the American-News received multiple phone calls from Luther Haven employees, insisting Flaherty deserves much credit as well.