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Salem Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility gets high marks on 2011 state survey

April 11, 2012

SALEM - The Skilled Nursing Facility inside Salem Community Hospital outscored all but two of the 950 nursing homes in the state where residents ranked their satisfaction, earning a 98.02 percent overall score.

"We give excellent, excellent care and we do that in a team effort," SNF Director Jan Kirkland said Tuesday.

She received a phone call from a representative of the Ohio Department of Aging recently to tell her the facility ranked third overall for resident satisfaction for Ohio nursing homes in a 2011 survey. Out of hospital-based facilities, SNF ranked first.

Article Photos

Judy Jayne, left, a certified occupational therapy assistant, and Sue Stitle, a physical therapy assistant, lend a hand to knee replacement patient Carl Mathey of Washingtonville as he practices going up and down stairs in the therapy room inside Salem Community Hospital’s Skilled Nursing Facility. The facility recently scored the third highest in the state for resident satisfaction and number one for resident satisfaction for in-hospital nursing homes. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

Opened in June 1986 on the second floor of the hospital, the facility offers short-term rehabilitation care, but has to follow all the same rules as a stand-alone nursing home. The average length of stay for patients is about 15 to 17 days or less, but Kirkland said "this is their house until they can go home."

She was honored to receive the personal phone call about the ranking and said she was proud of all the positive actions team members take to ensure all patients' needs get met holistically.

"We make sure whatever they need, they receive - physically, emotionally and spiritually," she said.

The Ohio Department of Aging released the results of the survey late last week. The survey was developed by the Scripps Gerontology Center of Miami University and the Margaret Blenkner Institute. Trained interviewers from Vital Research LLC conducted face-to-face interviews with a sampling of residents at each nursing home or assisted living facility to fill out the survey between July 2011 and January 2012.

A separate survey was conducted for Ohio assisted living facilities, also known as residential care facilities, with Copeland Oaks in Sebring making the top 25 in Ohio with a score of 97.8 for overall resident satisfaction. Assisted Living Ministry Services LLC in East Liverpool also made the top 25 with a score of 98.8.

According to the Ohio Department of Aging press release, residents rated their satisfaction with their facility's environment, activities, administration, direct care/ nursing assistants, laundry, meals and dining, social services and therapy along with general satisfaction.

The staff at the hospital's SNF includes registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, patient care assistants, social services (a licensed social worker), physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, speech therapists, an activities coordinator, dietitian, room service attendants, unit secretaries and pastoral care.

There's also service from housekeeping, laundry, nutrition, food, labs, X-ray, EKG and respiratory departments.

Kirkland said volunteers from the SCH Auxiliary make bags for walkers and play piano on Wednesdays. Members of area churches volunteer for activities, area choirs come and sing and they have pet therapy, including permission for residents to visit with their own pets. There are all types of activities available and they try to cater to each resident's likes or dislikes, whether it's sports or bingo. Residents can get their hair done, attend church services and eat meals with their families on the holidays.

The staff is upbeat and positive and Kirkland said "they work amazingly well together to meet the goals of our residents, whether it's to walk 5 feet or 550 feet."

"They epitomize an interdisciplinary team, people from different skills using those skills for the good of the patient. Everybody works together," SCH Director of Public Relations Michele Hoffmeister said.

Kirkland said three important areas the people doing the surveys look at are cleanliness, nursing/therapy care and quietness, with SNF scoring 100 percent in all of those areas. The facility has a capacity of 15 residents, with six questioned for the survey. Family members can visit at any time, with no set visiting hours.

The results for all nursing homes and assisted living facilities can be seen at

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at



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