Ringwood Staff Wins Praise for Quality Care

Jocelyn Thomas Around the Province

RINGWOOD, N.J. — The staff of Holy Name Friary here was recently recognized by the state for its exemplary care of elderly and sick friars, especially in the prevention of pressure wounds and urinary tract infections (UTI), two common problems that plague many nursing homes.

The staff of the long-term care (LTC) facility — which is home to 29 friars — was recently recognized with a plaque and certificate of accomplishment by theNew Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the New Jersey Hospital Association.

Preventing Common Complications
Doctors, nurses and certified nurse’s aides work together to follow standards of care that prevent pressure ulcers, more commonly known as bed sores, and UTIs, which can result from catheter insertion. The staff initiatives were detailed last fall in report by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the New Jersey Hospital Association. The staff was also featured in a photo in the report.

“We participated in two collaborative initiatives that investigated how LTC facilities prevent and treat medical conditions; the first was on pressure ulcers and the second was on UTI,” said friary Administrator A. Francis Soucy, OFM.

These initiatives provide the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with the staff of other larger LTC facilities, as well as hospitals, he added. Francis said, “I’m pleased that our ability to prevent infections was acknowledged by these recent reports.”

Francis said that Holy Name Friary has a lower rate of incidence of ulcers and UTIs because of the care given to residents.

According to the report, titled “Winning Gold Against Catheter-Acquired Urinary Tract Infections,” the administrator, physicians and staff carefully follow catheter-placement policies and procedures to prevent infections.

Bigger Facilities Not Always Better
Kathy Manger, director of nursing, said, “We were able to reduce the number of infections because we have a lower use of catheters than many long-term care facilities. We were selected for the second initiative because we were so diligent.”

Studies like these show the quality of our staff based on quantitative information, she said.

“As a small facility, with a small staff, it was challenging to get employees to believe that we had as much, if not more, to offer in participating in the state and federal collaboratives. I am proud to say that they shined and fully proved that smaller is better.”

Manger, who has been working at Holy Name since May 2005, said she finds the environment there very peaceful.

“As Fr. Francis gave me a tour nearly four years ago, I realized that this was the way nursing home facilities were supposed to function,” Manger said.

“The Franciscan attributes of faith and prayer allow the facility to function as a family and provide support for both residents and staff. Fr. Francis and I were immediately simpatico on providing quality end-of-life care and have worked closely together in the provision of this care, utilizing as little artificial medical interventions as possible, and encouraging friars and staff to live life to the fullest.”

She continued: “I have found the Franciscans to be much more attuned with the real world, and open to diversity, more charitable to the poor, and more open to discussion then many other religious people I have known. I have witnessed Fr. Francis immediately respond to any friar’s desire, be it a special out-of-season food, or lotion bought from the store — whatever it takes to make them happy.”

Shown with Francis in the photo in the report are, from left, Manger, Rhoda Nieves, Elizabeth Hines, Pat Dunkerley, Carol Varrechia, Linda Harty and Lola Singh.

— Jocelyn Thomas is director of communications for HNP.