University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Chair of Pediatrics
Position: Director of Nursing, Senior Care Center
Location: Gunnison, Colorado
The Senior Care Center (SCC) at Gunnison Valley Health is a new, 52,000-square-foot building offering a modern, social experience. Licensed for 59 beds (all certified for both Medicare and Medicaid, and taking advantage of swing beds), the SCC is the only long-term residential care facility in Gunnison County. The scope of care encompasses skilled nursing care, Alzheimer's/dementia care (in the "Special Care Unit"), and hospice and palliative care; the SCC also offers both occupational and physical therapy through the Gunnison Valley Health Rehabilitation department. Although not a registered Eden Alternative® site, the SCC follows the principles of that philosophy, in which some staff are trained. The SCC was planned to embrace the "neighborhood" concept trending in the senior living industry, with 15-18 residents living together in a community-like setting. Almost every resident has a private room (47 private rooms and three semi-private) oriented around a common area for dining, living, and gatherings; nurse stations were carefully integrated into the common area to create a better synergy between staff and residents; and the kitchen was designed to become the central hub for activity, while giving access to caregivers. Each "neighborhood" is connected to a campus common space that contains the core amenities for the residents, including physical therapy, a salon, activity rooms, and administrative services, with the intent of providing a destination for residents to leave their "neighborhood" and have an "outing" within the community. Serving residents since 1938, Gunnison Valley Health is a county-owned, integrated health system governed by a volunteer board of seven trustees who are appointed for five-year terms by the Gunnison County Commissioners.
Reporting to the Administrator, the Director of Nursing is responsible for managing all aspects of professional nursing and patient care services and will report directly to the Center's administrator. The primary purpose of this position is to plan, organize, develop, and direct the overall operation of the nursing department in accordance with current federal, state, and local standards, guidelines, and regulations governing the facility – and as directed by the administrator – to ensure that quality care is provided within budget on a daily basis and that the nursing department is maintained in a clean, safe, and sanitary manner.