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Foundations Health Leaders On the Importance of Culture and Prioritizing Staff

November 3, 2021
Long-term care facilities have long been undervalued, underfunded, and understaffed. While staff shortages are not new, the issue has progressed over the past two years from a problem into a crisis.

Many facilities are struggling to motivate, retain and recruit staff, partly because of the vaccine mandate and partly out of fear from catching the virus. As a result, facilities are so understaffed that some have been forced to turn away new residents.

That is why Foundations Health in Ohio is taking extra steps to make its staff feel appreciated. Under the leadership of Brian Colleran, the CEO and founder, and Bob Speelman, the vice president of business of Development and Culture, Foundations Health has developed a strong company culture built upon mutual respect, compassion, and acceptance.

Speelman and Colleran recently appeared on Experience Care’s LTC Heroes podcast to share how they balance their facility’s practical needs with the goal of achieving the highest level of care. Colleran is a firm believer that when “you do the right thing for your staff, and they're doing the right thing for the residents,” census numbers and the financial side will take care of themselves. You can listen to the entire discussion using the player below:

Foundations Health focuses first and foremost on the continued support and growth of their staff. Colleran mentioned that staff retention is “all about finding the right people and giving them the opportunity [to flourish].”

Foundations Health’s leaders emphasize building trust with the clinical staff, as they are the ones who are to interact with residents. Trust in knowing they will provide the appropriate level of care that reflects the company culture while representing the facility and what it stands for.

Colleran noted that company culture can “manifest itself in many different ways.” Sometimes it is through giving employees a voice to interact with each other and management. Sometimes, it is through communities, creating a sense of belonging. Both are prime examples of how Foundations Health highlights the stars of their company - their staff.

Everyone’s Voice Matters

The leadership at Foundations Health does not believe that employees are just there to work a shift. Rather, they place an emphasis on integrating team members into the culture and welcoming them into their family.

In today’s precarious long-term care industry, having a team that believes in your vision and mission isn’t easy to find. So “when you've got them, you need to value them,” says Colleran. By creating a close-knit team, both employees and leadership share a vision based on mutual respect and love. “Every person has something of value that we can learn from,” Colleran said on the podcast.

Such respect for staff helps elevate the standard of care and is one of many reasons why Foundations Health has a 90% occupancy rate, well above the average in Ohio.

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