SEPT. 17, 2021 - Gwen Larsen, administrator for Accura HealthCare of Stanton, accepts the 2021 Governor's Award for Quality Care from Department of Inspections and Appeals Director Larry Johnson, Jr. (Photo by Caroline Wright, Accura HealthCare)

DES MOINES — Today, officials from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) presented the first of two Governor's Awards for Quality Care in Health Care Facilities for 2021.

Accura HealthCare of Stanton, located at 213 Halland Avenue in Stanton, Iowa, is a 46-bed skilled nursing facility in Stanton, Iowa. The facility first opened in 1976, and Accura has owned and operated it since 2017.

DIA Director Larry Johnson, Jr., bestowed the award on Accura HealthCare staff during a ceremony at the facility.

"What an honor it is to recognize this staff for their incredible work ethic and dedication to its residents," he said.

When DIA staff visited the facility as part of the vetting process for the awards, they noted how Gwen Larsen, the facility administrator, went out of her way to interact with residents, and how happy they were.

Resident Eleanor Hallquist nominated the facility for the award. Ms. Hallquist has been a resident at Accura HealthCare for more than 10 years. "There is always excellent care for residents here," she said in her application, specifically mentioning the quality of the staff, food, and hygiene of the facility. She also mentioned a popular program with local fourth graders where the students "adopt a grandparent," and the community members who come to the home to perform a variety of talents for the residents.

Other residents said facility staff go out of their way to be helpful, and that they are respectful and pleasant.

One resident claimed, "We're not perfect, but we come close."

The families that DIA staff spoke with said communication between the staff and families is excellent, and some became tearful when they explained how grateful they were about the care their family member receives. They were impressed with the regular updates provided by staff during the pandemic, and that the facility had purchased iPads so the families could keep in regular communication during the times they couldn't visit.

The Governor's Award for Quality Care was established to recognize the high-level of care provided by health care facilities to their residents. Since the awards were first presented in 2001, 60 awards have been designated for 52 individual facilities.

Lake Mills Care Center, a 78-bed skilled nursing facility in Lake Mills, Iowa, will receive the second award for this year on Oct. 8, 2021, at 11 a.m.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals is committed to protecting the health and safety of Iowans through regulation and oversight of health care, food, and gaming; application of administrative law; and investigation of Medicaid and welfare fraud.

SEPT. 17, 2021 - Front Row: Lisa Toti, Melissa Bartels, Peggy Luciano, Angie Baier, Gwen Larsen, Eric Olson, Ted LeNeave. Back Row: Kristi Bottoms, Tom LeNeave, Mark Peterson, Shauna Roland, Michelle Cornelius, Lindsey Lefkow, Carey Robins, Mike Brown, John Widen. (Photo by Caroline Wright, Accura HealthCare)