DES MOINES – Yesterday, officials from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) presented the second of three 2023 Governor's Awards for Quality Care in Health Care Facilities.

Green Hills Health Care Center is a 56-bed nursing facility located at 2200 Hamilton Drive in Ames.

DIA staff who toured the facility were struck by the high-end furnishings, the large windows and abundance of natural light in the building. The facility includes a licensed memory care unit for residents with dementia, with an impressive sensory garden that the residents help to maintain. The unit was designed to reduce sensory overload for the residents, and features a large mural painted on the exit doors to disguise the doors and reduce the chances that a resident with dementia would try to leave the facility unaccompanied.

Joyce Mercier is a resident who nominated the facility for the award. She touted their five-star rating and said Green Hills has "outstanding" care.

"We also have excellent PT service staff here," she said. "Staff comes immediately to the resident's home if needed."

Residents were excited to discuss the robust activities program, which has heavy community involvement and has included a wide variety of musical and dance performers, exercises such as seated yoga and tai chi, demonstrations like flower arranging, and even local shelters bringing in animals.

They also mentioned that the facility has two professionally-trained chefs on staff, who have created a menu with high-quality cuisine.

Board member Clarence Cory is a family member of a resident, and also nominated the facility. He said the employees at Green Hills are polite and caring and that call lights are answered quickly, with no response time being longer than five minutes. He said the board also has a quality-control committee that meets regularly to review procedures. One spouse of a resident said staff are open to accepting feedback to improve the quality of care.

DIA Director Larry Johnson, Jr., said, "From the residents to the staff to the board, this facility worked together to create a culture of quality to better the lives of their residents. I commend each of the team members at Green Hills on their tremendous accomplishment."

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