Community involvement remains a priority
For the second year in a row, Meadows on Fairview earned the title as one of the best nursing homes for short-term rehabilitation by the U.S. News and World Report.
Kayla Luraas, the campus administrator, wasn’t surprised to receive the designation again because she observes the dedication of nurses and administrators to residents and patients every day.
“Working in senior care, you have to work as a team for things to go well, and at the end of the day, we all have the same goal, which is the resident,” Luraas said.
The focus on patient care is where transitional care unit nurse Samantha Pagel found her calling when she joined the Meadows on Fairview team around three years ago.
“I love seeing new faces; you know, we get a lot of new faces every week, every two weeks, every month. … And everybody has a different personality, of course, which is really fun,” Pagel said.
She and her fellow nurses entered the nursing profession with the desire to provide care for patients; not with the focus of receiving an award, but they appreciate the acknowledgment all the same.
“We take pride in that for sure, we appreciate it. I know we work really hard back here,” Pagel said.
Coincidentally, her three years with Meadows on Fairview aligned with when the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the country. She recalls a lot of uncertainty at the start about whether or not Meadows on Fairview could remain open during that time.
However, teamwork is what stands out in her mind of how they got through the hardship.
“We got through that together. We had teamwork,” she said.
Not only did they get through that together, but 2020-2021 was the first time Meadows on Fairview’s transitional care unit was nationally recognized.
“It’s nice to get acknowledged; we try our best every day, and dealing with COVID and everything like that, that’s a huge hardship just in the medical field in general,” Pagel said.
Meadows on Fairview isn’t simply a place where individuals live or receive care, according to Luraas. Rather the nurses and staff bring the facility to life through their dedication to the job.
“I think it helps that the team has been here for such a long time. They remain so unwavered and so proud of the care that they give,” Luraas said.
Despite changes in leadership at Meadows on Fairview throughout the past year, the team was still able to work efficiently with one another to receive the accolade for the transitional care unit for the second year in a row.
“We’ve gone through a lot of change this year, and it’s been a really positive thing actually. And I think that was so uplifting to hear the team, you know, get that gratification that’s so well deserved,” Luraas said.
The 14-bed transitional care unit is a service provided by the Meadows on Fairview facility that can add to the experiences of residents and local community members who are released from hospital care, but need a stepping stone before returning home.
“That transitional care unit is just a nice feature to have in this building because … if somebody goes out to the hospital, they can go there and [remain] in the building [afterward], and it’s all a big home,” Luraas said.
She explained that if a resident of Meadows on Fairview’s assisted or independent living programs needs to go to the hospital for an emergency, they can seek transitional care in their home community when released, rather than a rehab center out of the area.
A successful transitional care unit can be based on whether or not patients can return home following rehabilitation or if they need to return to the hospital, according to the U.S. News.
Meadows on Fairview receives referrals from M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center for its transitional care unit that caters to the neighboring community members.
“A lot of people want to stay within the area if they’re from Forest Lake or Wyoming, so it’s nice to be able to accommodate them during their stay,” Luraas said.
Community beyond Meadows
The tight-knit community of nurses and facility administrators isn’t the only element that Luraas thinks sets the team apart as they work to be involved in the broader community.
For the upcoming year, Luraas plans to keep focused on building a sense of community within Meadows on Fairview with new leadership, but also get more involved in the local community as well.
“We really want to get more involved in the community and spend some time partnering with Lakes Hospital,” Luraas said.
Meadows on Fairview hosts a few events each year, like its Halloween Trunk-or-Treat, pancake breakfast or annual car show allowing residents to interact with attendees and vice versa.
“I think it’s those things that set us apart. We keep our culture strong and just we’re a tight-knit community,” Luraas said.
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