The coronavirus pandemic made life difficult for people across the country last year, including skilled nursing facilities throughout Florida. Patients at many Gulf Coast Health Care centers, including The Rehabilitation Center of Lake City, Lake Eustis Health and Rehabilitation Center, Suwannee Health Rehabilitation Center, Southern Lifestyles Senior Living Center, Margate Health and Rehabilitation Center, Viera del Mar Health and Rehabilitation Center and Wave Crest Health and Rehabilitation Center, faced unprecedented challenges and uncertainties. In addition to following our own rigorous in-house protocols to keep patients and clinicians as safe as possible, we also implemented guidelines recommended by the CDC and other public health agencies. Still, there were occasional moments of doubt and fear that made 2020 a difficult time for everyone.
That all said, Gulf Coast Health Care prides itself on being prepared for all challenges, and we had an answer for the struggles. Rather than throw in the towel, we doubled down on our commitment to patient health, community service and public safety through several initiatives. It required complete focus from everyone involved, and the process was at times tiresome. Still, Gulf Coast Health Care pressed on because we dedicate ourselves to being prepared for any challenge, even a challenge as big as COVID-19. We took huge steps forward in a year when everything else seemed to come to a halt completely.
Our Viera Del Mar Health and Rehabilitation Center received official accreditation from the Joint Commission and received the nonprofit organization’s illustrious National Quality Approval rating, also known as the Gold Seal of Approval™. To earn this distinction, a healthcare center undergoes multiple onsite surveys by the Joint Commission, which take place over 3 years. It is a rigorous process meant to award the best healthcare organizations in the country, and we are proud that the Viera Del Mar center was able to uphold our standards of consistently providing safe and effective care to all patients. Meanwhile, the U.S. News and World Report named our Margate Health and Rehabilitation Center as one of the best nursing homes in America for 2020-2021, giving it the distinction of “high performing” in short-term care. The rating is based on the publication’s thorough analysis of public data. They evaluate everything from safety, treatment outcomes and patient care. We are honored to be considered among the best centers in the nation.
Meanwhile, the rest of our Florida centers continue their commitment to excellence and have contributed to Gulf Coast Health Care’s average 5-star Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services rating for each of its centers in Florida. The Five-Star Quality Rating System was created to simplify the process of comparing centers. Centers that have 5 stars are considered well above average in quality, while those with 1 star are considered far below average in quality. The fact that all our Florida centers create an average of 5 stars reflects the hard work and dedication of our staff, who prioritize patient care above everything else.
Throughout every Gulf Coast Health Care center in Florida, we were able to hire new registered nurses, personal care attendants and other clinical experts, which provided much-needed employment for local professionals and extra layers of care for our patients. And – because this is Florida, after all – we successfully prepared for and overcame six named hurricanes, avoiding further disaster as we continue to battle COVID-19.
In 2021, our Florida centers will focus on renewing hope, renewing energy and continuing our commitment to quality healthcare.