It’s a brand new day at Laurel Health and Rehab

By: 
KATHLEEN GILLULY
Outlook managing editor
Liane Bates and Brian Huso
Liane Bates and Brian Huso

Brian Huso likes to remind himself and his employees not to repeat the mistakes of the past. A plaque on his office wall reads:
If we keep doing what we are doing, we will keep getting what we already have.
With that in mind, change is underway. According to Huso, executive director of Laurel Health and Rehabilitation Center, the plan for improvements implemented upon his November arrival and that of Liane Bates, the director of nursing, has made the residents and staff happier and healthier.
Between Huso and Bates, the long-time administrators have over 60 years of combined experience. Along with their years in the field, they are dedicated to the residents they serve and want to create the best long-term and transitional care facility possible.
The changes are evident and both Huso and Bates are happy to point them out. They’ve rebuilt the team, picking the very best employees for each department.
They are remodeling. When a resident moves, maintenance steps in with a fresh coat of pain and new curtains. There have also been positive changes and upgrades to the transitional care unit and dining room.
“The physical upgrades will continue,” Huso said. “We want folks to feel comfortable and at-home here. That takes a stable team and on-going training.”
One of Huso’s goals is to be able to meet standards 24-7.
“No matter when, if a team comes to inspect, we are ready anytime,” he said. Considering the regulations are as stringent, if not more any other industry except maybe that of nuclear power facilities, meeting all the standards is a feat, but one the team is up to, Huso and Bates agreed.
In addition to serving as home for about 75 long-term residents, the facility provides room and board for 25 people in transitional care. Laurel Health and Rehab offers complete therapy for folks in recovery.
“We have PT, OT and speech,” Bates said. “And I am a certified wound nurse. So when patients go home, they are successful.”
With 83 employees and a full house at any given time, the Laurel care center is dynamic.
“We are very lucky to be able to provide a nurse practitioner and there is a doctor here five days a week,” Huso said. He said he choose to come to Laurel because the parent company is able to provide resources and has the same goals.
“I had an opportunity to work with EmpRes and was very impressed,” said Huso. “Their goal is to provide quality care, but they don’t micro manage.” Bates agreed.
“They are the most supportive team I’ve ever worked with,” she said.
The facility is employee-owned. Employees become vested through their position and longevity with the company. The better the company does, the better the return. A CNA with 20 years invested can leave or retire with $50-60,000, said Huso. That is just one more aspect of the business model that promotes providing the best care for the residents.
“We have to remember this is their home and we are visitors,” said Bates. “We want them to be as comfortable as possible.”
The facility and the employees are also becoming more invested in Laurel.
“It’s important for us to be active in the community,” Huso said. “We’ve served meals at the Laurel Senior Center and will be back again to help for the Easter meal.”
Laurel Health and Rehab is hosting an Easter Eggstravaganza for children April 14, and there will be a July barbecue and other events open to the public.

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