29222 Rancho Viejo Rd, Ste 127
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
November 2020

In a year like no other, when outside influences have painted a bleak picture of fear and sadness, we are seeing something quite the opposite unfold among our Ensign affiliated teams. Acts of kindness, love, appreciation, and even joy have been springing up in even the most dire of circumstances. Together, we are finding a way to embrace one another and hold each other up……and we have grown stronger and deeper in our commitment to dignify long-term care in the eyes of the world. 

Taking time to recognize all of the good that has come from this year of challenges will further magnify the strength of our culture. If you have taken a HeartMath course with us, then you are well aware that feeling gratitude is a scientifically proven prescription to activate the life-enhancing power of the heart. A daily Gratitude Prescription to ward off worry and anxiety is the key to our longevity!

The Season of Thanksgiving can be a sacred time to reflect on all of the lives that enrich and lift us higher each day. I am deeply grateful for the privilege of being your partner. My heart nearly bursts with love when I reflect on all that you have overcome this year, and all that we have yet to accomplish on our mission together.  
I came across this tree on a morning walk and put the Ensign affiliated therapists and nurses up high in the branches! --Mary Spaeder
Joy is an Inside Job
The Positive Effects of HeartMath® in
Controlling Anxiety 
by Deb Bielek, Therapy Resource
According to a 2019 article published in the NPJ Parkinson’s Disease, anxiety is a severe problem for at least one-third of people living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), and anxiety appears to have a greater adverse impact on quality of life than motor impairment. Cheri Prince, our Therapy Resource and founder of PD WELL – a Parkinson’s therapy, education and resource center, invited Mary Spaeder to provide education and support on this topic for persons with PD and their caregivers during one of the online educational programs through the Nebraska Parkinson’s Association. During this event, Mary talked about the value of HeartMath® in controlling anxiety and emotions. “Negative emotions fuel anxiety, and anxiety reactions become etched in our neural circuitry. Relieving anxiety is an individual, inside job. Using the power within you that is stronger than worry, anxiety or fear can be found in the power of your own heart, and that is where Heart Rate Variability training and finding coherence comes into play.”  Mary then took time to guide the participants in a quick coherence technique by coaching them to slow their breathing. Then, to begin focusing on the area of the heart and imagine that breath flowing in and out of the heart.  And, then, to shift the mind to a positive regenerative emotion of gratitude, joy, peace, happiness.  

By giving persons with PD and their caregivers the powerful non-drug treatment tool to relieve anxiety through an “individual inside job” such as quick coherence, we are providing a gift of control over this disruptive manifestation.  
Beating the Odds - Dad is Home!
By Erik Sullivan, CTO, DOR, OTR, Surprise Health & Rehab, Surprise, AZ 
I couldn’t be happier to share that my dad (Jim) has beat the odds and beat COVID-19!!! We’ve had a 10 day roller coaster including many tears of sadness, and today tears of joy, as we were able to drive my dad home. Again, I can’t express my gratitude for all of the positive energy received from my Ensign family. I wish I had the words to put together how much your support has meant to my family as I have shared every response with my mom to keep her going in our darkest hours. Thank you and I hope you all have an amazing holiday weekend filled with as much joy as we are feeling at the Sullivan house. 
I love you and I thank you all!
Momentum Facility Holiday Portraits
By Dennis Baloy, Therapy Resource/DOR, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Fullerton, CA
CLICK TO SEE THE VIDEO (Password is caplico)
Note: Infection control procedures and current local public health guidance were religiously and strictly observed. Masks were taken off for household family members for a quick photo opportunity.

Momentum facilities, together with the clinical and therapy resources, launched a project, “Holiday Portraits 2020.” This is an initiative to bring the facility staff together and celebrate the holidays. We kicked off this project last Friday and Saturday to get our heartwarming project rolling!

Big shoutout to the team! The Hills: Darren (Administrator/Grillmaster), Paul (DOR/Rally Person), Martha (Activity Director/HGTV-Décor Extraordinaire), Issela (HR/EEF Champion), and the rest of the crew, for inviting staff and their families and for making it a successful one! To team St. Elizabeth: Rand (Administrator/People’s Champ) and Kim (Activity Director/Holiday Cheer Spreader), for bringing joy and love to all the staff that came and participated in this meaningful event. To Rebecca Yee, Clinical Resource, despite her busy schedule, for organizing this initiative and sharing her photography skills. We are grateful for all the great work that all our facilities and staff do for our residents, and this is one way the Momentum Market is giving back to all. What a joy to see facilities come together!

For interested facilities, kindly send Rebecca Yee or me a message (DBaloy@ensignservices.net) so we can sprinkle some holiday cheer (and snow) on your facilities! Let’s strengthen our partnership and celebrate everyone in our facility! Tis the season of giving and gratitude. Happy Holidays, everyone!
The Hills Post Acute Employee Thanksgiving Event
By Paul Baloy OTD, OTR/L , DOR, The Hills Post Acute Care, Santa Ana, CA
Note: infection control procedures and current local public health guidance were religiously and strictly observed… masks were taken off for household family members for a quick photo opportunity.
“By the most basic definition, a team culture is made up of the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors shared by a team. It’s how people work together towards a common goal and how they treat each other.”
We are blessed to have amazing resources that support and facilitate team culture at The Hills Post-Acute. Thank you, Becca and Dennis, for capturing CAPLICO moments this weekend through our family portraits’ sessions. 

Our administrator, Darren, single-handedly grilled and served snacks for our team members. Martha, our activities director, hand-crafted creative backdrops and themes for our photo sessions. Issela, our HR director, took the opportunity to have our employees sign up and participate on the spot in our employee emergency fund campaign. The facility’s department heads rallied the employees to join and participate during this Thanksgiving weekend event. 
Overall, we had a good turnout of employees and their families, successful photo sessions, increased employee participation in our EEF and lots of fun! Magic is not lost in the things that we don’t have, but we find magic in the things we have.
Congratulations EEF All Stars!
By Mary Spaeder, Director of Therapy
We now have 98 facilities at 100% contribution to our Employee Emergency Fund (EEF)! We increased this number by 13 facilities since last month. Highly coveted T-shirts for our new all-stars are on the way! Congratulations! 

When Christopher Christensen saw the increase in therapy EEF numbers this past year, he said the following: “Not surprising given the culture of the therapy team … so happy they are all having the fullness of the Ensign experience. Think of the many lives being blessed because of them, including their own.”

Giving anonymously to your fellow colleagues when they are often at the most challenging time of their life is such a powerful demonstration of our culture. Many receivers say that the money is needed and deeply appreciated, but the virtual hug from literally thousands of fellow employees from across the country is even more healing and powerful. Generosity and kindness toward others can create positive energy in you, and positive energy in your team. This is such a powerful way to boost the happiness of your team during a time when we all need it. 
Remember, the goal is 88% therapy contribution and a 5% increase in your facility. 
Love to you all, and thank you for demonstrating Love One Another.
Huge Shout Out to Emblem Hospice
By Doug Haney, CEO/ED, Bella Vita Health & Rehabilitation Center,
Glendale, AZ
I wanted to recognize this very special “Moment of Truth-esk” gesture that the entire staff of Bella Vita experienced recently. A couple weeks back, our staff was pretty worn down and experiencing a wide range of emotions dealing with the effects felt from this coronavirus. Everyone was especially hurt when we lost several of our long, long-term residents we all called family. We loved each and every one of those we lost and needed some serious support for those who knew them well.

Out of the blue, Michael and Mitch stepped in, offering a memorial service to honor and remember those we lost over the past several months. They set everything up, even though I knew their services were widely needed during that time. I can honestly tell you we cried and held each other a lot during that time. We were grateful for Emblem’s offering and kindness when we needed it the most. Read On...
100th Birthday Celebration!
By Mike Cons, MOT, OTR/L, DOR, Lake Pleasant Post Acute Rehabilitation, Peoria, AZ
The residents and staff of Lake Pleasant Post-Acute were honored to celebrate the 100th birthday of Mr. Paul Frizzell on October 17, 2020. Although it was not the centenarian celebration he had once imagined, the staff at Lake Pleasant were able to put together a fun-filled day. Mr. Frizzell and the other long-term care residents enjoyed a parade of classic cars, muscle cars and motorcycles thanks to local car and bike clubs. His special day also included a socially distanced happy birthday serenade by his family, who drove through the parade line on a decorated pontoon boat. The milestone celebration was capped off with cake for everyone and a special recognition from the Mayor to celebrate 100 years of a life well-lived!
Sharing the Love with Family Pictures
By Chase Gunderson, ED, Owyhee Health and Rehabilitation Center,
Homedale, ID
Partners, I would highly recommend offering family pictures for your staff. We did it again this year and it is far and away the most appreciated thing we do for our staff all year. It costs a little bit of money, but it’s well worth the cost! Click here to view the video
All Staff Super Star
By Sam Hewson, Operations Manager, Sloan’s Lake Rehabilitation, Denver, CO
I just wanted to reach out and thank our awesome staff for attending our All Staff Meeting as a special guest came to address and say goodbye to his “new friends.” Before he discharged at 2:30, one of our male residents wanted to personally thank our staff for his care here at Sloan’s Lake. He shared his story about being hospitalized for what was classified as a broken neck after collapsing in public some time ago. He thought he was going to die, and when they told him about rehab, his heart sank with fear as he lived alone and knew no one. In addition to losing his wife a year ago, he also was very anxious about COVID. After placing him with our amazing therapy team and nursing staff to teach him how to live again, he is able to go home today. 

Today at all staff, with tears streaming down his cheeks, he wanted to thank everyone for what they have done for him. He thanked everyone who had a hand in his recovery, from housekeeping to nurses. He spoke from his heart about the friends he had made and the smiles he received every day. He talked about the importance of encouraging him to get better and try harder. To push and to stay positive. He loved his time here and hated to leave.  

When I looked around the room, there wasn’t a dry eye. Our staff truly felt the love and power behind his message. Many staff members left humbled as they were reminded once again of the important role they play in a resident’s life while working in health care. We are so blessed to be able to serve our fellow man every day. Great work, Team Sloan’s.
Code Sepsis
Pilot Project
Submitted by Esther Allmond, DOR, The Cove at La Jolla, CA
The Cove volunteered to be a pilot site and is now entering their 3rd month for the EPIC program: CODE SEPSIS. Dr. Pouya Afshar handpicked our facility to trial this pilot program to help prevent sepsis in-house by carefully monitoring vitals throughout the day. Throughout this time, we have gained a new appreciation and respect for taking vitals before, during and after therapy treatment sessions. Rehab has taken a more active role in vital signs at The Cove, and I just wanted to share with all of you a little bit more about EPIC, CODE SEPSIS, and our current protocol at our facility.

EPIC (Excellence in Programming and IDT Care): Programs dedicated to taking IDT action with a QAPI approach in order to provide the most excellent care possible for our patients.  

CODE SEPSIS MISSION: Early identification of sepsis to improve patient outcomes.

WHY: Sepsis is the leading cause of readmissions to the hospital in 2019 (20% of Medicare readmission!). With every hour that treatment is delayed for sepsis, the mortality rate increases by 8%. Read On...
Momentum Therapist Spotlight
By Paul Baloy OTD, OTR/L , DOR, The Hills Post Acute Care, Santa Ana, CA
Denise Del Cano, COTA, ADOR, has dedicated her career in The Hills Post Acute. An alumnus of Santa Ana College, she earned her associate’s degree in Occupational Therapy Assistant 12 years ago and has been with the facility since then. She was promoted to Assistant Director of Rehab last year and completed the DORITO program this year. Denise did her internship here at The Hills. She was supervised by Vonda Gaier, COTA, who then became her colleague. She is a Filipino American born in Los Angeles, California, the eldest of five and a loving mother to her 16-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. Interestingly, Denise was introduced to the field of therapy when her daughter received therapy for several years. Denise saw the importance and relevance of Occupational Therapy and has been an advocate ever since.  Read On...
Helping Patients Thrive at Pinnacle
By Kelly Alvord, Therapy Resource, Sunstone-Utah
The main water line broke at Pinnacle Nursing and Rehab and flooded part of the facility. During the cleanup and construction, several residents watched the heavy machinery with interest and shared how they ran machinery in the past. Pinnacle’s leadership team decided to purchase a mini-backhoe so these residents could be engaged in patient-centered, meaningful activities as they continue to thrive at Pinnacle. Thank you, Pinnacle, for always leading the way and helping your residents live to their highest potential! (Kirk Player, PT/DOR, seen supervising the use of the backhoe.)
Graduation Party at Medallion
By Mark Gardner, NHA, ED, Medallion Post Acute Care, Colorado Springs, CO
I was wondering why Paula was walking down the hall with balloons and cupcakes until I saw her go into her therapy room and say, “Edward’s graduation party is here!” The resident lit up and was ecstatic to be able to graduate from his therapy program and go home.

I’m so proud of him and all the hard work that he had put forth. There are not enough words to describe how special this moment was for me to watch. Thank you, Paula and team, for making a single person feel like a million bucks in achieving his own personal accomplishment
Vital Sign Tips
Submitted by Dawn Thompson, DOR, Victoria Post Acute Care, El Cajon, CA
Over the last several months, Victoria Post Acute Care [VPAC] has honed in on vital sign monitoring as part of our daily practice in both nursing and therapy. I’ve been nominated to lead our vital signs committee, and during the next few weeks I’d like to share some of the best practices and education that assisted us through COVID and landed VPAC Vital Sign Grand Champions. 
We’ll start with the vital sign we’re all monitoring daily, body temperature. After 8 months of daily screening, you’ve probably noticed a pattern and can guess your morning temperature within a few tenths of a degree; you’ve established your baseline temperature. Do you know your residents’ baseline temperature? Would you be able to identify a fever and assist in early recognition of an infection? Read On...
CAPLICO Fun for Emerald Retreat
By Madeana Galler, Therapy Resource, Kansas
Just getting ready for our Emerald weekend retreat — I'm like the annoying soccer mom...
Halloween 2020
By Tiffany Bishop, MS, CCC-SLP, DOR/Therapy Resource - Keystone North, TX
Promoting our ThinkThin initiative, the subject of the LTC Think Tank call on October 31 was the “spooky side effects of dehydration,” and the LTC Committee also sponsored a Halloween costume contest. Congratulations to the winning teams:
1st Place Winner: Casas Adobes, Tucson, AZ, DOR: Lindsey Bross
2nd Place Winner: Panorama Gardens, Panorama City, CA, DOR: Danthea Oliveros
Celebrating Spirit Week ...in PJ's!
By Patty Fantauzzo, COTA/L,TPM / CTO, Julia Temple Healthcare Center
Moment of Truth
Submitted by Eric Brown, ED/CEO, Legend Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Greenville, TX
I wanted to share this update with everyone because I am proud of the therapy team here at Legend of Greenville, especially the Speech Therapists who stepped up and are helping a sister facility in Paris. Legend-Paris had a COVID outbreak start recently, and Tiffany stepped up and offered her Speech Therapists to help remotely through Facetime apps. The therapists have done a great job in Legend-Paris’ time of need with the facility not a having a Speech Therapist on staff. Here is a quick note from Tiffany recognizing the team:
“For the past two+ hours, my amazing speech team has been video messaging with various members of the Legend-Paris team to do swallowing screens on all of the 20+ surge skill patients that they’re dealing with today since they don’t have any speech coverage out there. We’re helping capture that speech case mix, and even identifying some high-risk diet patients to follow up on. I’m so proud of these ladies and their willingness to help out others and just make it happen!”
Not only did our Speech Therapists help a struggling sister facility, but they also provided us with an important reminder to continually search for ways to support one another during these COVID times. Thank you, Tiffany and Speech Therapy team here at Legend-Greenville. I am proud of you all.
Congratulations DORiTOs!
By Brian del Poso, OTR/L, CHC, RAC-CT, Therapy Resource 
Congratulations to the recent DORiTO class for completing the program and taking another step in leadership growth! For a peek into what this past class did for their Capstone projects, visit flipgrid.com and enter the flip code: 2020dorito2. There might be something there that sparks an idea for your own facility!
The next program start date is coming in Jan. 2021, so look out for an e-mail soon with exact dates and info for those interested.  
Congratulations, Brody LeRoy, OT/DOR, New CTO at Pinnacle 
By Seth Anderson, ED, Pinnacle Nursing & Rehab, Price, UT  
I am proud to announce and celebrate Brody Leroy earning his CTO. Brody joined Pinnacle in April 2019 and has never looked back. He is a leader in his department and in the facility that drives results. He is humble and good-natured, but is quick to teach and hold accountable. He helps outside his department and is a very effective marketer.  

Since joining our team, Brody has increased our Total Therapy Margin by over 60% and Margin Percentage by 5%. Skilled ADC has increased by three patients per day, and our building EBIT per month has doubled in his time here. Brody has also been an administrator, so he has an entire building perspective that is felt by every department. He is an owner. 
Congratulations to Our CHCA Spotlight on Excellence Award Winners!  
By Maryann Bowles, Therapy Resource, Colorado
The Spotlight on Excellence Awards Ceremony recognizes the special people in our industry. These people have shown that they will go above and beyond for Colorado's most vulnerable population. Without them, we know that 2020 could look very different.

This year, the Spotlight on Excellence Awards Ceremony had two finalists from the Ensign-affiliate ENDURA MARKET for Therapy Professional of the Year: Jason Niemeier, PT, from Arvada Care & Rehabilitation, and Paula Reyes, PT/DOR, from Medallion Post Acute Care! We are so proud of both of them but only one could go home with the award. The award was presented to Paula Reyes. Congratulations!