GRANGEVILLE For Amy Farris, work at Grangeville Health and Rehabilitation has always been a family affair.
Farris has worked at the facility since 2000, starting as a floor CNA. However, she was roaming the halls many years prior as her own mom, Ellen Aiken, has worked there for years.
“These people – they are all my grandpas and grandmas,” she said. “Through the years when I have toyed with applying for other jobs, it has always come down to, ‘But who will take care of my family?’ They aren’t just residents. They are my family.”
Last year, Farris was hired as activities director and the new job coincided with her being employee of the month at GHR. She has also worked as a bath aide and an orientation assistant for new employees.
Advanced HealthCare purchased GHR in 2013
Dave and Brett Nattress saw something in Grangeville Health and Rehab (GHR): Potential.
The brothers, co-founders of Advanced Health Care (AHC), made a commitment to Idaho County when they purchased GHR in 2013. With more than 40 years combined experienced in the health-care system, the Nattress’ goals are based on a dedication to clinical and rehabilitative excellence.
AHC owns and operates facilities in seven states. It is a leader in reducing hospital readmissions with an overall rate of about 5 percent, while the national rates is as high as 23 percent. Customer satisfaction also ranks at more than 95 percent at its facilities.
Although GHR provides long-term care with its nursing home, a large part of the facility is transitional rehabilitative services.
Resident suites, fine dining and 24-hour skilled nursing care is available as well as physical and occupational therapy on-site.
The goal of GHR’s specialized rehab program is to help patients attain their maximum potential and restore the functional abilities and confidence necessary for independent living.
“This was actually the second time I applied for this position,” she grinned. “I was really disappointed when I didn’t get it the first time, but I have learned the timing wasn’t right. I was needed in other areas and the best decision was made.”
The next time the vacancy was open, however, the timing was right and she was prepared.
“I took it seriously and didn’t just turn in an application. I had a cover letter, a resume, letters of recommendation,” she said. Most importantly, perhaps – she had a plan.
“I didn’t just have a few ideas written down. I had details. Things I want to do and what it would take to attain those goals,” she said.
The transition has been easy, she said, but don’t be fooled: she isn’t taking the position for granted.
“I want to have activities that accommodate everyone, not just those who are mobile. And not just Bingo,” she smiled. “Oh, Bingo is important, but there are so many other things we can do.” And active they are.
She has not only handmade large-sized Bingo cards for a couple of visually-impaired residents, she has also spoken to each resident and/or their families to see what they like or do not like.
At least one morning a month, Farris can be seen rubbing lotion on hands, softening cuticles and painting nails. Some come into a room adjacent to the dining room for the treatment while for others she takes a cart to their room.
Some residents she coaxes down the hall for morning coffee, while others like to participate in traditional crafts, treat making or gardening. She also takes some residents shopping for everyday items such as hairspray.
Farris implemented the “Coffee with a Cop” program and Ginny Cash plays piano for residents, as well.
Although her job is Monday through Friday and assistant Marilyn Deardorff is on task for the weekends, Farris’ mind doesn’t stop working Friday afternoons.
“I see or think of ideas all the time,” she said. “I also have a great support system here and get lots of ideas from employees and family and friends.”
Grangeville Health and Rehabilitation
Grangeville Health and Rehabilitation
410 East North 2nd Street
Grangeville, ID 83530
Farris and her husband, Jeff, who owns Farris Transport, have two daughters and are involved in a variety of activities including high school rodeo and school sports.
Their twin daughters, who are juniors at Grangeville High School, cut their teeth at GHR, racing down the hallways in their walkers.
“They were pushing residents in their wheelchairs to the dining hall when they were in third grade,” Farris smiled. They have spent hours volunteering their time at the facility and, at 16 now, just this year became employees at GHR.
Macenzie and Micaela Farris said their favorite part of GHR is the residents.
“We love seeing the people and helping them,” they agreed. “It’s like a big family.”
And that family includes some blood, too, as the girls’ Great-Grandma June lives at GHR.
“It’s an amazing place to be and I enjoy making a difference,” Farris said of her journey with GHR thus far. “I look forward to coming to work, and that says a lot.”