Award-winning health care at home

Charlestown and Oak Crest named among top home health care providers in America

Created date

July 14th, 2009
Seventy years after Judy Garland clicked her ruby red slippers and chanted, There s no place like home, in The Wizard of Oz, the expression still rings true. Home is the place where we relax, laugh, and spend time surrounded by the people and things near to our hearts. So it s no surprise that when recovering from an accident or illness, research has shown that recovery can be faster at home than in the hospital, particularly if there is high-quality health care available. That s great news for people living at Charlestown and Oak Crest, which have been named to the 2008 HomeCare Elite, a compilation of the most successful Medicare-certified home health care providers in America. High standards The 2008 HomeCare Elite winners exemplify a commitment to providing their patients with optimum care while performing at the highest level, says Nancy Buller, senior director at OCS, Inc. (the leading provider of health care informatics), which partners with DecisionHealth (a top source of health news) to put together the annual review. We congratulate Charlestown and Oak Crest on being two of the top home care agencies in the country. Robin Keeler, home health manager for Oak Crest, credits several factors for the communities recognition. Our campus environment promotes a collaborative approach to care, she says. Our residents deserve more than cookie-cutter methods of health care, and our home health team works with the medical staff to create individualized plans to address their needs. Personal touch Ruth Yates took advantage of the home health program at Oak Crest after a short stay at Franklin Square Hospital. The Oak Crest medical center arranged everything for me while I was in the hospital so that when I came home, all I had to do was schedule my appointments with the home health team, says Yates. Having the home health program made it much easier to recover. I looked forward to their visits. They were always very friendly to me and my husband it was like having friends come over to visit. They also worked with the Oak Crest fitness center to come up with a fitness routine to help me get back on my feet, she says. Comprehensive care The home health program is just one of many offerings that help Charlestown and Oak Crest residents quickly get back to leading active, independent lives after an operation or illness. Services and amenities like an on-site medical center; rehabilitation with specially trained physical, speech, and occupational therapists; 24-hour security by staff trained in emergency medical services; and professionals to assist with shopping, cooking, and light housekeeping all help residents recover in the comfort of their home. People also enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that their clinician works in the community where they live, says Michele Varholy-Charlsen, home health manager for Charlestown. Residents see the home health staff in the hallways and know them on a first-name basis, which is comforting. I just can t say enough good things about them, says Yates. I would definitely recommend them to anyone. Now, whenever I see them in the community, it s always a hug and a hello. Wellness made fun (and free!) Franklin Square Hospital, the American Cancer Society, and Omni Eye Specialists were among the more than 20 vendors at the recent Oak Crest Health Fair. Residents streamed in for free information and giveaways like pedometers, stress balls, and spa gift baskets. An array of health experts from Oak Crest were also on hand offering free screenings, including blood pressure, balance, vision, and body fat analysis. I went around to most everything and got in line where I could. I enjoyed every minute of it, says Oak Crest resident Jeannette Seitz, who had her blood sugar level and balance checked, as well as a free massage. Seitz and her husband, John, moved to Oak Crest from Timonium four years ago. Former snow birds, the Seitzes recently sold their Florida vacation home of 25 years. We like it so much here at Oak Crest, we decided to give up Florida all together, says Mrs. Seitz. We don t really miss it at all. Wellness Manager Temica Carter, who organized the health fair, says the event fits with the wellness-oriented atmosphere at Oak Crest: It s a great opportunity for our residents to gain important health information while enjoying a fun, upbeat environment.