Sun Health Shows the Love for Employees

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Celebrating each other – Service Awards highlight employee excellence
Sun Health celebrated some of its best and brightest employees at the inaugural Service Awards banquet held Sept. 19 at Grandview Terrace. Almost 100 employees and their guests gathered for a night featuring a gourmet dinner, socializing and recognition – lots of well-deserved recognition.

Earlier this year, employees nominated co-workers for recognition in four categories:

  • Innovator And Creator Of Efficiencies – I.C.E.
  • Excellence In Growth And Education
  • Creative Initiatives
  • Customer Service Excellence

A cross section of Sun Health directors and managers judged the nomination submissions and narrowed it down to three finalists in each category. An outside judge then determined the winners. Below is a list of this year’s finalists and winners in the four categories, along with names of employees celebrating longevity milestones with Sun Health, who were also guests at the banquet.   Continue reading

‘It’s Never 2 Late’ Right on Time at La Loma Care Center

It's Never 2 Late, a computer designed for ease of use has become a big hit at La Loma Care Center.

It’s Never 2 Late, a computer designed for ease of use has become a big hit at La Loma Care Center.

La Loma Care Center is the proud owner of an adaptive computer system called It’s Never 2 Late. The system features user-friendly technologies such as touch-screen monitors and an adaptive keyboard, which allow individuals with cognitive or physical limitations to play games, listen to music, or watch videos. It’s kept on a rolling cart making it easy to move from room to room.

“We’ve been using it since May and have had a very good response from our residents and their families,” Ione Murray, Life Enrichment coordinator, said. “It was exciting to see how interested people were in it right from the start and that they took the initiative to learn how to use it.”

Some of the most popular activities with residents include playing games such as Hearts or Scrabble and watching shows such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” or exercising to yoga videos. “Families are really interested and engaged in it and want to learn the process to be able to use it with their loved ones,” Murray said.

“It’s Never 2 Late appeals to people of all ages and at all levels of computer literacy,” Murray said. “The wide variety of choices means there’s something for everyone, and it can be used in group settings or for single use. It seems like the sky’s the limit and we are so excited to see where it will go.”

Student Nurses Make a Good Impression

Students from the Grand Canyon University nursing program on the Banner Boswell campus,   cared for Sun Health Senior Living residents this summer as part of their clinical rotations.

Students from the Grand Canyon University nursing program on the Banner Boswell campus, cared for Sun Health Senior Living residents this summer as part of their clinical rotations.

Nursing students from the Grand Canyon University program on the Banner Boswell Medical Center campus spent two months this summer honing their clinical skills at Sun Health’s three senior communities. They were assigned to work with residents who had health concerns.

The students worked up health profiles on participating residents and consulted with Sun Health nurses, other health professionals, and in some cases, the resident’s physician on how to help them.

The student nurses wrapped up their rotation with a “show and tell” class held at Sun Health earlier this month. It was attended by administrators and managers from The Colonnade, Grandview and La Loma. The students shared their experiences, findings and suggestions on how to improve health services on each of the campuses.

Teresa Brulé, director of Resident Services at The Colonnade and a nurse, admitted to being initially “reticent” about how the students would fit in but she quickly learned they had much to offer. “What you have given us is invaluable,” she said to the students. “You’ve done wonders for our residents.”

One of those students was Jeff Miller who proudly described how he and another student helped a resident learn how to manage her high blood pressure more effectively. The students evaluated the resident’s medications and consulted with her doctor, who recommended a new timetable for taking her medications. “It was a nice experience being able to go to resident’s homes and work with them to improve their health,” Miller said.

The next group of student nurses will begin on Sept. 10.

Packing it in

About 60 foster children living in Surprise received new, fully-stocked backpacks compliments of Sun Health residents and employees.

About 60 foster children living in Surprise received new, fully-stocked backpacks compliments of Sun Health residents and employees.

Nearly 400 foster kids from the Northwest Valley, ages 7 to 18, headed to school this month with new backpacks filled with school supplies, compliments of the Sun Health SHINE (Sun Health Involvement Never Ends) summer backpack drive.

The drive was done in cooperation with OCJ Kids, a Valley-based foster and adoption agency. What started last year as a SHINE drive to donate 60 stock backpacks to area foster kids took on a life of its own as Sun Health residents, volunteers and employees gave well beyond expectations. The result was 242 backpacks.

This year, the SHINE Committee set a stretch goal of 300 backpacks, and once again the community rallied for the cause. A total of 384 backpacks were distributed to local children living in foster care.

“It means the beginning of a positive school year for these kids,” said Shevaun Sullivan, project manager with OCJ Kids. “The fact that they get new backpacks and not old ones; the fact they get to go in with new supplies and not a trash bag or no supplies, means they have a better chance of success at school this year. They are already labeled, and this takes one more label away that they are in foster care.”

The Wal-Mart Super Center in Surprise worked with SHINE to order the packs and supplies in bulk. Sun Health employees volunteered over a lunch time to stuff the 384 packs. The drive culminated with a party in late July at The Colonnade for about 60 local foster children. Several employees hosted the party and provided the guests with refreshments, an art project, games and line-dancing. Each child picked out their own backpack available in seven solid colors.

Eleven-year-old Esteban (last name withheld) choose a red one, his favorite color, and he expressed appreciation for the party and the gift. “This is very nice,” the affable 6th grader said. “It shows that people care about us.”

Serious as a Heart Attack

Earlier this month, nearly 50 Sun Health Foundation friends gathered in the Sun City West home of Birt and Louisa Kellam for some socializing and refreshments. It may have looked like a normal party to the casual observer, but things were about to get serious.

Birt Kellam introduced Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center (BDWMC) CEO Debbie Flores, who thanked the assembled for their financial support of the medical center and gave examples of how that support has paid dividends in providing superior health care for the community.

She turned it over to cardiologist Fredric Klopf, M.D. who outlined how donor contributions have led to advances in cardiac care at BDWMC, including the 90-minute door-to-balloon treatment standard approved by the American College of Cardiology for treating heart attacks. Early treatment has been found to not only save lives, but also to minimize heart- and brain-tissue damage.

Suddenly, one of guests clutched his chest, complaining of chest pain, pressure, and shortness of breath.   Continue reading

Photo of Colonnade Resident Sky Diver Wins International Contest

Sharon Vizzini, resident of The Colonnade, went skydiving in October 2012. In May 2014, this photo was awarded second place in an international photo contest.

Sharon Vizzini, resident of The Colonnade, went skydiving in October 2012. In May 2014, this photo was awarded second place in an international photo contest.

PHOENIX (May 23, 2014) –– On May 21, 2014, Grantmakers in Aging (GIA) announced the selection of 18 winners of its first “Friendly Faces, Friendly Places” international photo contest, supported by the Pfizer Foundation. Out of the 500 photos submitted worldwide, one local photo was announced as a winner. The photo of Surprise resident Sharon Vizzini sky diving at age 70, placed second in the “Older and Active” category. The photo was provided by Sun Health Senior Living and submitted by the Greater Phoenix Age-Friendly Network.

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Grand Canyon Nursing Students Learning Skills at Sun Health

Students from the Grand Canyon University nursing program at Banner Boswell attend orientation at Sun Health where they will be doing clinical rotations this summer.

People in purple scrubs will be popping up at various Sun Health locations this summer. The purple ones are senior nursing students at Grand Canyon University and each Tuesday, now through August, they will be doing community health clinical rotations at the Center for Health & Wellbeing, in the Care Transitions program or at each of Sun Health’s three senior living communities.

The students are part of a GCU’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions based at Banner Boswell Medical Center. Continue reading

“Thank You Thursday” Recognition Goes to Season For Sharing

A deep and heartfelt THANK YOU to Season For Sharing – the $10,000 grant they gifted to our Sun Health Memory Care Navigator program will help us continue to provide free healthcare services to patients, families and caregivers dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other memory loss conditions.

Season For Sharing grant recipient

Season For Sharing funds are raised through an Arizona Republic, azcentral.com and 12 News annual holiday fundraiser.

Today is “Thank You Thursday” – a day to celebrate donors and beneficiaries alike who have benefited from this incredible fundraiser. As a beneficiary, we are grateful to the media and community who made this possible. From the bottom of our hearts…. THANK YOU. We are honored by your generosity.

The grant will be used towards the following services:

  • Free access to Marty Finley, M.Ed., a Sun Health geriatric care manager with 15 years experience in memory loss conditions
  • In-home assessments
  • The creation of customized memory loss care plans with each patient and their family
  • Connecting patients and family to relevant community resources
  • Being a resource for families/caregivers as patients goes through different stages of dementia
  • Educating patients and family about local clinical trials
  • Collaborating with each patient’s physicians
  • And more!

The Memory Care Navigator program is funded 100 percent by the Sun Health Foundation through charitable giving and grants, such as the Season For Sharing program. Learn more about it here: http://www.sunhealth.org/memorycare/.

 

Sun Health Foundation Golf Tournament an ‘Ace In The Hole’

Sharon G foursome_4web

Many thanks to the players, sponsors and volunteers who participated in the 2014 Swinging in the Sun for Aces Golf Tournament, held March 10 on the Patriot Course at Wigwam Arizona.

The tournament raised money for the Sun Health Memory Care Navigator program, providing free personalized support for patients and caregivers affected by memory loss.

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