Thursday, September 26, 2013

Introducing AHCA/NCAL's 2013 Not For Profit Program of the Year, Edgemoor DP SNF

Pictured Left to Right: Walter Hekimian, Administrator, Rebecca Ferrini, MD, MPH, CMD, and Andrea Adorno 

Nearly two years ago, Edgemoor DP SNF in Santee, CA, created Sierra Stroll, a multi-disciplinary therapeutic behavioral activation program. Sierra Stroll allows residents to engage in social and physical activities like walking, listening to music, dancing, or playing cards outdoors.

Many of Edgemoor DP SNF’s residents suffer from dementia, mental illness, apathy and aggression. Sierra Stroll was designed specifically to address these populations, and since its institution, staff has seen great improvements in their residents’ attitudes and behaviors. 

“This program has sustained the interest and positive engagement of residents with severe behavioral problems and has served to enhance peer-to-peer interaction and to decrease aggression and other negative behaviors,” said Alfredo Aguirre, Director of the Behavioral Health Services Division of San Diego County, in his nomination letter.

Specifically, Edgemoor DP SNF reported that Sierra Stroll has resulted in psychoactive medication reductions, improved behavior and tolerance, reduced aggression and improved staff skills, as well as staff fitness.

“Sierra Stroll is special because it adapts more traditional outpatient behavioral activation to SNF residents with significant cognitive, physical and interpersonal limitations,” said Walter Hekimian, Administrator at Edgemoor DP SNF. “We’re so proud of the positive impact we’ve had on our residents.”

Richard Brown, President of the Volunteer Association at Edgemoor DP SNF agreed.

“I have seen the change in [the residents’] behaviors,” he said. “They are more relaxed, less stressed, less confrontational and combative, smile more often and seem interested in their surroundings. This is a program that takes place a couple times a week so that the residents can count on outings and interactions each week. Their socialization skills seem to be improving and it has been a positive event in their lives.”

Edgemoor DP SNF’s dedication to serving others will be recognized at the AHCA/NCAL 64th Annual Convention & Expo in Phoenix, Arizona, on October 6-9, 2013.

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