Around The Town

Around The Town

Executive director Smith honored at Jacksonville Skilled Nursing:

Jacksonville Skilled Nursing and Rehab, the 88-bed subacute and skilled nursing facility, is honoring its executive director, Stephanie Smith, for her healthcare leadership during National Long-Term Care Administrator’s Week, March 14-18, 2022, established by the American College of Health Care Administrators. 

This year, Long-Term Care Administrator’s Week continues to have added significance due to the COVID-19 pandemic for these leaders (also called “administrators”) of skilled nursing facilities. The nation’s long-term care leaders, including Smith, have led the way in the battle with the virus, giving their all to assure their facilities are equipped to provide quality care and services to the residents in their care.  

Working at a career she loves is what motivates Smith every day. “I love having the opportunity to nurture not only my residents but the amazing staff at Jacksonville as well,” she said.  

Smith became a skilled nursing facility executive director in 2021. “I chose a career in this industry because my grandmother, Evangeline ‘Ginger’ Kurfman Dougherty, was a victim of Alzheimer’s. When Grandma was first diagnosed, I had no idea how to help her. I went to nursing school to learn more about how to care for her. Although she left us way too soon many years ago, I’ve been able to carry on her nurturing and caring legacy by remaining in long-term care and taking care of this amazing generation.” 

Ensuring Quality Care 

Administrators including Smith are key players in a facility’s care team. They touch the lives of residents and families, and, most importantly, ensure that their staff provides the highest level of quality care to a vulnerable population. Every day, she strives to support the mission, vision and commitment to providing quality of care and innovative services for which Jacksonville Skilled Nursing and Rehab is known. 

“I am passionate about my job and grateful for the opportunity to give back to this older generation,” said Smith. “I enjoy the daily interaction with our residents. Many of the seniors I work with have lived full and interesting lives. Talking with our residents and learning from their stories and life experiences has enriched my life in many ways.”  

It takes commitment and dedication to become an administrator. Individuals often undertake a rigorous internship, followed by passing state and national exams. Even upon becoming an administrator, one must continue life-long learning to provide the best care possible. They are masters of multitasking – considering every aspect of a person’s life, not just their medical needs, while building a sense of home and community for all facility residents, and a warm feeling of belonging for staff. 

“One of the most important aspects of my job is to ensure our residents feel valued, and maintain their highest practicable physical, emotional and social well-being,” said Smith. “Among the ways this is achieved at Jacksonville Skilled Nursing and Rehab is by extending those same aspects to our amazing staff. By continuously working to make our staff feel valued and appreciated they remain happy and stay where they are at. That in turn leads to continuity of care with our precious residents.” 

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