Here we are sailing past July and into that sweet harbor of summer – August. The tomatoes are juicy, the blackberries are plump and our barbecues are at their prime, grilling the classics and luring friends and family over for meaningful conversations.
Have you noticed something different about those conversations lately?
It isn’t all about COVID, is it. A last, we’re sharing news about in-person celebrations like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and news about jobs, travel and what the kiddos and grandkids are up to.
Life, as we knew it. Pre-COVID.
Burgers and Chicken and Safety Nerds
At Marquis we love barbecues too and one of our favorites is returning in August, after a two year COVID hiatus. It takes place at Marquis Hope Village in Canby, Oregon, located in an agriculturally rich valley that’s every shade of green. Some of the best food in the world is grown here. At our barbecue, we’ll be serving that food, (including our chef’s incredible barbecued chicken), cranking up the classic rock and playing yard games.
But our conversations may have a different focus than yours.
“We’re all safety nerds so we love talking about safety!” laughs Marquis Hope Administrator and Campus Director, Jordan Turner.
It may sound boring but at Marquis, we’re all obsessed with safety.
Our annual Safety Barbecue, as we call it, is a celebration of all we do, every day, to protect our community. And do we believe in prizes! We hand out Apple Watches, TVs, gift baskets, movie tickets, gym memberships and other goodies for achieving our great safety record.
It’s critical, as it is in a few other industries…
What Do NASA, the Nuclear Power and Long Term Care Industries Have in Common?
The answer is thousands of pages of federal and state regulations.
Fun fact: The most regulated industry in the world, next to NASA and the nuclear powered industry, is skilled nursing and long term care.
Failure to comply with those regulations can lead to sanctions against the facilities, shutdowns and most important, possible injury or death.
How do we keep our residents and staff safe?
It’s all about the right people, the right focus and the right training.
The Right People
Let’s take Jordan Turner, for example.
Nearly ten years ago Jordan walked into Marquis as a college intern.
“I quietly had all the wrong preconceived notions about the senior care industry and zero desire to stay for a long time,” he admits.
But something Jordan witnessed the first month on the job changed that mindset.
“When I first arrived, I saw a new patient come into the facility on a stretcher. She had suffered a massive stroke. She couldn’t do anything by herself. Nothing. Then, just three weeks later, I’m walking down the hallway and I see her again. But I can’t quite believe it’s her because she’s like a new person. She’s walking out of the building and back to her life of independence.”
“That only happens when someone receives the best care from the best safety protocols. I realized the type of company I was working for and I said to myself, how can I build a career here?”
(We’re so glad you did, Jordan!)
Marquis is known for hiring people who care about safety and for building an organization that is structured without barriers to the leadership. Those leaders are in the facilities. They know staff and they know the residents and families. Everything is transparent.
“That’s something that flows from the top,” says Jordan. He points to Marquis CEO and fifth generation owner, Phil Fogg as another example of the right people.
“Phil expertly leads our company and the industry. He’s the Chair of the American Health Care Association. He speaks on national platforms, as a respected expert and industry leader. You’ll also see him walking the halls of our facilities and at our Company gatherings, right in the mix with residents and staff. At the last Company annual car show, I saw Phil sitting on the curb laughing and talking with one of the residents he’s known for a long time.
“Every day we witness that commitment to seniors and how the Company spares no expense keeping us all safe.”
The Right Focus
That leads to the right focus, which is proactive, not reactive.
Even during a global pandemic.
Early on, Marquis’ leadership saw COVID barreling toward pandemic status. They helped mobilize a national, state and local effort to prepare everything from securing emergency supplies to gaining early access to the vaccines.
Marquis’s company-owned pharmacy, Consonsus, was chosen by the Centers for Disease Control, to be a trusted and approved provider of the COVID Vaccines. Marquis facilities were among the first in the nation to complete administering the vaccinations and with the highest number of staff and residents choosing to get vaccinated.
That same proactive approach happens every day in each Marquis facility.
“Some companies might avert a disaster and say, boy, that worked out okay, we were lucky this time. We say no to that approach. We analyze every situation to make sure we never get to that point,” says Jordan.
“In our industry we have forms called Near Misses, a record of when something didn’t happen – but could have. For instance, near misses can occur when transferring someone in and out of bed, to and from a wheelchair or at a blind corner where collisions with dining carts and people might happen.”
“We’re constantly looking for those risks and if we find one, we immediately analyze it from every angle and find a solution. It may be adjusting the time of day we transfer a patient or installing a mirror and motion sensor at what once was a blind corner, but we find a solution”.
The Right Training
Safety committees within each facility give monthly presentations on various safety topics, from housekeeping, to food handling, to fire prevention.
Each facility and company-wide, we train for natural disasters like fire, earthquakes and ice storms which can affect electricity and important deliveries.
We run mock coordination drills with local first responders, including a large-scale county drill where we travel to the designated emergency hub for items we would need in an emergency.
Our training also includes the day-to day-handling of important technology and equipment that ensures safety ¬¬–– if used properly. The long term care, skilled nursing industry offers thousands of choices of equipment and machines that keep people safe. We make sure our staff is trained specifically on the latest technology Marquis has invested in for the highest standards of safety. That technology can be anything from our preferred type of lifts, blood pressure cups, pulse oximeters (a noninvasive method for monitoring oxygen levels), down to the best disinfectants.
How Do Patients and Families Notice Our Focus on Safety?
“I was giving a tour the other day and one of the visitors gave us some feedback that we hear a lot,” says Jordan. “That our campus is fresh, the staff and residents are inviting and engaged and that if we care this much about the people on a tour, then we must really care for the people living and working here.”
We know people don’t think about safety as much as we do, but that focus makes our work at Marquis special and rewarding. The proud safety nerds that we are, will be sharing those stories at our Safety Barbecue.
As Jordan puts it, “I get to come to work every day and work with like-minded people who put safety first, which means we put people first. We know we’re making a difference in someone’s world, giving them back their best, vital life.”