Harbor Tower Village Community Blog

Oak Harbor retirement center recognized for care

By admin: 07/22/2014 @ 7:42 am



Michelle Beahm
Whidbey News-Times Reporter

Hazel Welliver, the executive director of Harbor Tower Village in Oak Harbor, is proud of the retirement community, with good reason.

Harbor Tower Village was recently awarded the bronze Commitment to Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living. This award is given to communities that exemplify a commitment to the goal of making lives for their residents better.

The bronze award is the first applicants can receive; after that, they can then apply for the silver award and then the gold.

But Harbor Tower Village, while planning on applying for the silver award in the fall, won’t be changing anything about how they run their facility to sway their chances.

“We’ll always just do what we’ve got to do and try to make (life) better for them,” said nurse Shannon DelCiello, who runs the Wellness Department for Harbor Tower Village.

Welliver credits DelCiello as being instrumental in earning the national recognition.

As part of their application for the award, the community had to provide a measurable example of how they improved the life of a resident, so DelCiello suggested the story of how two residents with uncontrolled diabetes were saved from having to go on insulin. She said when she arrived at the community, the two residents had very high blood sugar and were quickly approaching a point of needing insulin.

“I thought, you know what, we’re going to see if we can stop that,” DelCiello said.

Her plan involved working with the two residents to get them to make healthier choices in regard to food and exercise, and to educate them on how to continue making those choices without constant supervision.

“So the staff, the entire staff, the kitchen, myself, the doctor and families all worked together in unison to try to get these people to make healthier choices for themselves without having to be watched all the time,” DelCiello said.

Eventually, one of the residents no longer needed to regularly check their blood sugar at all, and the other resident went from having to check four or more times a day to only checking twice a week.

So when she was asked to provide a measurable example for the award application, this was first on her mind.

“I think that if you can take something like that and be able to make their lives better so that they, one, felt so much better about themselves and, for two, they accomplished something that was great in their lives,” DelCiello said. “I think that was fantastic.”

According to her, the all-inclusive, hands-on approach to helping improve the lives of their residents is their normal strategy.

“You have to be involved with all of your residents on a personal level,” DelCiello said. “They’re not just diagnoses, they’re not just ‘folks in a home,’ they are actually people, and we need to be able to take what they’ve got and make it better.”

DelCiello has been a geriatrics nurse for 32 years and started when she was 17 years old. She said geriatrics is her passion.

“They do an outstanding job of quality for their seniors in their community, and they are working toward making sure everybody has good, great experiences at their building,” said Stuart Brown, chief operating officer of Village Concepts, the assisted living management company Harbor Tower Village is a part of.

Eight Village Concepts communities received the bronze award for commitment to quality this year. Brown said that so many communities receiving the award this year helps the company recognize that they are “consistently, throughout all of our communities” committed to quality care.

“It’s a privilege to come into work,” Welliver said. “That’s how all of us feel. We’ve got a tremendous staff.

“You can’t teach somebody to have that compassion gene. They either have it or they don’t. You can teach them to do a job, but you can’t teach them to care. And this staff cares.”

Pictured: Lou Biddle looks through a selection of books brought by the Sno-Isle Library Bookmobile. Program Director Arielle Corrin arranged for it to start coming once a month so the residents could check out books to read that aren’t offered in the Harbor Tower Village library. Image Credit: Photo By Michelle Beahm/Whidbey News-Times


Harbor Tower Village receives Bronze National Quality Award

By admin: 05/30/2014 @ 2:02 pm



Washington State center recognized by national program for commitment to quality care  

Oak Harbor, Washington – Harbor Tower Village has been recognized as a 2014 recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award for its dedication to improving the lives of residents through quality care. The award is the first of three distinctions possible through the National Quality Award program, presented by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The program honors centers across the nation that have demonstrated their commitment to improving quality care for seniors and individuals with disabilities.

“I applaud Harbor Tower Village for its commitment to delivering quality care,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “This award represents the dedication that each Bronze recipient has given to improve quality in the long term and post-acute care profession.”

Implemented by AHCA/NCAL in 1996, the National Quality Award Program is centered on the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The program assists providers of long term and post-acute care services in achieving their performance excellence goals.

The program has three levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Centers begin the quality improvement process at the Bronze level, where they develop an organizational profile with essential performance elements such as vision and mission statements and an assessment of customers’ expectations. Bronze applicants must also demonstrate their ability to implement a performance improvement system. Trained Examiners review each Bronze application to determine if the center has met the demands of the criteria. As a recipient of the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award, Harbor Tower Village may now move forward in developing approaches and achieving performance levels that meet the criteria required for the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award.

“This award demonstrates that Harbor Tower Village is committed to striving for quality improvement,” said Ed McMahon, Ph.D., Chair of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers. “Harbor Tower Village has laid a strong foundation for continuing on to the Silver and Gold levels.”

The awards are sponsored by AHCA/NCAL Associate Business Members My InnerView, by National Research Corporation and PointRight. My InnerView represents the true voice of nursing home and assisted living residents, families, and employees with the most insightful quality measurement solutions and satisfaction surveys in the healthcare continuum. PointRight is the recognized leader in data-driven analytics for health care and insurance. Harbor Tower Village was one of 390 centers to receive the Bronze level award. The award will be presented to Harbor Tower Village during AHCA/NCAL’s 65th Annual Convention and Exposition, October 5-8, 2014, in Washington, D.C.


Ice Cream Social

By admin: 05/12/2014 @ 9:52 pm


Ice cream social with the Boys and Girls Club of Oak Harbor.



Tulip Festival

By admin: 04/28/2014 @ 8:28 am

On Thursday, April 24th, a dozen residents from Harbor Tower Village journeyed to Mount Vernon, WA for the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and Kiwanis’ Salmon Barbecue. For lunch, residents dined on a scrumptious menu of wild salmon barbecue over alder, baked potatoes, coleslaw, garlic bread, and ice cream. Afterwards, residents took a beautiful van ride through the vast multi-acre tulip fields of the Skagit River Valley. For the album, click here!



Easter Luncheon

By admin: 04/24/2014 @ 1:41 pm


On Saturday, April 19th, residents gathered in Harbor Tower Village’s dining room for a scrumptious Easter luncheon. Attendees were given the choice of baked ham drizzled in a brown sugar glaze or prime rib, baked potatoes, green beans, and carrot cake. Visitors were asked to give a $10.00 donation to the Oak Harbor Senior Center in lieu of an entrance fee. In total, our guests donated over $180.00 in funds! For more pictures, visit the album here!




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