Making a difference for Morningside Heights residents

Staff, volunteers at Avera Morningside Heights receive statewide honors

MARSHALL — Avera Morningside Heights and a local community volunteer were both recognized this month for their work caring for nursing home residents.

The Avera Morningside Heights Care Center received an Excellence in Practice award from LeadingAge Minnesota, a statewide association of organizations serving older adults.

“It’s a pretty big honor to be selected for something like that,” said Holly Mellendorf, director of nursing at Morningside Heights.

Marshall resident Bonny Doyle was also named a Volunteer of the Year, for her advocacy work for Morningside Heights residents.

“Bonny is an excellent advocate for residents and a tremendous resource for families. She goes out of her way to welcome family members of new residents and answer their questions,” said Tracy Deutz, vice president of operations at Avera Marshall.

Doyle, Morningside Heights and other award recipients from around the state were honored at the LeadingAge Minnesota Institute and Expo, a two-day conference held last week in St. Paul. Avera Morningside Heights was one of three organizations receiving an Excellence in Practice award. The Minnesota Veterans Home – Silver Bay and the Minnesota Veterans Home Adult Day Center in Minneapolis were also honored.

Avera Morningside Heights received the Excellence In Practice award for a project to help keep residents safe with a barcode scanning system. Mellendorf said Morningside Heights has used the barcode system “for quite some time” to keep track of each resident’s medications.

“Consistent use of a barcode medication system can improve resident safety by identifying potential medication errors before they reach the resident,” Deutz said.

For the scanning project, staff worked to make sure medications were being scanned more often, Mellendorf said. Staff also collaborated with Avera Marshall’s pharmacy to keep records of residents’ medications up to date. “It makes a huge impact on patient safety,” she said.

The scanning project was also something that took a lot of teamwork, Mellendorf said. “Everyone had to do good, or we weren’t going to do good,” she said.

“The group developed an action plan, reviewed data and worked through barriers to successfully reach their goal,” Deutz said. “I am proud of their work, and I’m thankful for the positive impact it brings to the quality care we provide residents.”

Avera staff said volunteers like Bonny Doyle also make a big difference for residents. LeadingAge presented Doyle with its District 5 Volunteer of the Year award last week, in recognition of her advocacy work for residents. Doyle is the president of Morningside Heights’ family council. She has also taken on special projects like repairing clothing protectors for residents.

“Bonny is a great example of being an advocate for a loved one,” Mellendorf said. “At the end of the day, she wants all residents to have a better quality of life.”

“On behalf of everyone who works and lives at Morningside Heights, we thank Bonny for her commitment to improving the lives of residents,” Deutz said.


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