Heritage Chief Clinical Officer, Jeremy Rutter, shared recently that all of their skilled nursing and rehabilitation communities in Chautauqua County, NY, including The Green (Greenhurst, NY), The Park (Jamestown, NY), and The Village (Gerry, NY), have welcomed their therapy teams into the Heritage family of employees.
In past years, the Heritage therapy department had moved into an affiliation with a large outside organization to provide therapy services to their residents, Rutter explained. The therapists, who worked with the contracted organization, have been transitioned to their new positions as Heritage employees. The return to in-house therapy services at the locations in Chautauqua County allows for a more comprehensive and cohesive approach, which gives their therapists an increased ability to work with residents to more thoroughly identify individual goals and customize a plan which fosters the greatest level of independence possible in their therapy journey.
He added, “While our residents were able to receive an excellent level of care with our contracted therapy providers, this shift allows us to provide enhanced qualified therapy and rehabilitation services to our residents, while now being able to care greater for our therapy staff as Heritage employees. They have continued to work tirelessly through the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure our residents remain healthy and engaged, and now we are able to further care for them through the same initiatives we have worked with other Heritage staff to provide. We are so excited to welcome them ‘home’ to Heritage.”
Lisa Haglund, Heritage President and CEO, shared that as a part of “Team Heritage,” the therapists are able to take advantage of several new employee programs designed to both recognize and assist employees during difficult times, including free weekly meals for employees and their families, a newly increased hazard pay structure, meals and snacks provided at each community for staff during shifts, and weekly employee recognition drawings with prizes.
“The work our employees do each day, including our therapists, is heroic. During this difficult and often stressful time, they and their families have sacrificed so that our residents can continue to receive the same compassionate care Heritage has always been known for. We recognize that it is important to us that we both celebrate and care for our employees. We share the same love with them that they share with their residents daily. As an organization, we feel both blessed and excited to welcome our therapists as ‘official’ team members.”
Heritage Ministries was founded as the Orphanage and Homes of the Free Methodist Church in 1886 and has grown from its original campus in Gerry, NY, to six locations in New York with additional affiliations across the United States. As a not-for-profit provider of senior care and housing, Heritage is a leader in the industry, employing approximately 1,500 team members, and serving over 2,500 individuals annually. With locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Washington, Heritage, and its affiliates provide rehabilitation and skilled nursing services, independent retirement housing, and assisted living. Homestead Stables provides intergenerational equestrian opportunities as well as boarding, training, lessons, and a therapeutic riding program. In addition, childcare is provided at two campuses, allowing for intergenerational programs. For more information on Heritage Ministries, please visit www.heritage1886.org.