Rector Healthcare marks fifth year in community

Wednesday, December 7, 2005
Rector Healthcare residents enjoy a game of bingo Monday afternoon

Inside the city limits of Rector is another little world where 81 dedicated staff members give loving care 24 hours a day to one of Rector's most valuable assets -- aging seniors and others who can no longer care for themselves at home.

Rector Healthcare opened in December 2000 and quickly became established as a trusted place where loved ones can get the care and attention they need and deserve. Its warmth and beautiful interior truly make it a "home away from home" for those who reside there.

"It is a different world inside of here," said administrator Lori Ray. "You almost forget what's going on outside." Inside the facility's doors, the focus is totally on those entrusted to the care of men and women who seem to take their jobs very seriously.

In annual surveys conducted by a team from the state Office of Long Term Care, Rector Healthcare has had good ratings. "They have found no substandard care here," Ray said.

The surveys, required for annual recertification, include an inspection of every service and every square inch of the facility over a full week. "They look at everything from the front door all the way through," Ray added. "The survey team includes a nurse, a generalist, a dietician and, sometimes, a pharmacist."

The facility currently has 53 residents, with a capacity of 70. "We opened a rehab unit in September 2004, so some residents come for a few weeks for therapy and then return home," Ray said. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy are conducted daily through a contract with Millenium Rehab of Jonesboro.

Daily activities for residents are planned and carried out by activities director Melissa Harris and social worker Chris Ward, who, Ray said, work hand-in-hand.

"Bingo is the number one activity," Ray said. "We have bingo three times a week, and our residents really look forward to and enjoy it."

Other activities include dominoes, board games, card games and daily exercise, and a beautiful day room is available for those who want to visit or watch television.

Family members and friends are invited each year to the annual Christmas party, which this year is planned for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22. Food will be provided by the facility and there will be a special visit from Santa Claus.

Many residents are able to takes leaves of absence at times for visits with family members. "This increases during the holidays," Ray said. Residents also leave at times for visits to a doctor or dentist.

"We do all of the transporting to and from doctors' offices," Ray noted.

Providing care to residents at the facility are doctors Dr. James Sheridan, Dr. Adalberto Fonticiella, Dr. Lance Monroe, Dr. Jerry Muse, Dr. Greg Mallard, Dr. Bennie Mitchell, Dr. Richard Lochner and Dr. Stacey Noel and ANP Judy Leach.

Meals are prepared and served by a kitchen staff of seven. There are planned seasonal menus, Ray said, but residents get some choices and are allowed to make special requests once a month. "We can always substitute for something they don't like," Ray added."

Beautician Bonnie Thompson visits the facility twice a week to keep residents looking at their best.

Residents are encouraged to personalize their rooms to make them more comfortable and homier. "We provide bedding, but residents are welcome to bring their own if they'd like," Ray said. Many bring several personal items with which to decorate their rooms.

"One family came in this morning and brought a Christmas tree for their mom and her roommate," Ray said. "We welcome that type of thing."

Ray joined Rector Healthcare as administrator in January 2005. She and her family relocated here from Newport, where she had worked eight years with Regional Management, which owns the local facility.

The Ray family resides on West Second Street in Rector. Husband Doyle works at ARI in Paragould, and the couple's seven-year-old son is a second grader at Rector Elementary School. "We really like the school here," Ray said.

Ray was quick to add that she "gives all the credit" for good things at Rector Healthcare to her very capable department heads and floor staff. "They do it all," she said. Department heads include: April Tracy-Nutt, director of nursing; Toni Hollis, assistant director of nursing; Amy Harmon-Daughety, office manager; Carolyn Frost, dietary manager; Tara O'Neal, Medicare coordinator; Chris Ward, social worker; Melissa Harris, activities director; Beverly Simpson, housekeeping and laundry supervisor; Carl Carmen, maintenance, and Alice Harmon, medical records.

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