March Madness: St. Catherine Edition

by Denise Luong, COTA/L

The Momentum Therapy Culture Committee has been rolling out simple yet fun and meaningful activities that help ignite partnerships between departments. Some of you might have even received heart-shaped lollipops from your favorite therapists during our February Love one Another Project.

In the spirit of March madness, we kicked off the month with our fabulous Rehab team from St. Catherine, “tossing” it out with our hard-working maintenance department, for some great memories. The Rehab vs. Maintenance crew bean bag toss was a hit, with everyone cheering on one another, for a chance to win a scratcher worth up to $1,000! Our maintenance crew came out on top with the most winnings!

A few minutes of fun not only lifted our spirits with smiles and cheers, but also made us forget about work and bond over a simple childhood game of toss.

And that’s a wrap from St. Catherine!

Congratulations Daisy Aranguren, PT/DOR/CTO, Therapy Resource, The Orchard

Submitted by Lito Ortiz, Therapy Resource/DOR, Flagstone-Momentum, CA
It’s my honor to present our newest Chief Therapy Officer, Daisy Aranguren, Director of Rehabilitation at The Orchard Post-Acute Care and Therapy Resource for Momentum. Daisy has been a strong therapy leader within the organization over the past 18 years. Daisy lives the Ensign Culture, and she is driven to help patients, her team, and others succeed and reach their potential. Daisy’s leadership and ownership have helped her and her team achieve incredible results. She’s been with us for 18 years.

Daisy is also one of the elite therapy leaders in the company who has attended the Therapy Summit. Daisy is an integral part of their IDT team. She promotes a positive culture and helps provide great evidence-based outcomes by promoting standardized tests and individualized care and providing the supporting documentation for justification of therapy services. Their therapy team has consistently achieved great clinical and financial outcomes. Orchard’s therapy turnover rate is one of the lowest in the company, and most of our therapists have been at Orchard for at least five years.

Daisy is also dual role DOR and therapy resource; she provides support to coordinate the educational trainings and company-sponsored courses for our therapists. Daisy provides regular updates and trainings to therapists at The Orchard regarding Medicare guidelines, regulations and state practices, and also completes therapist yearly skills checks. Daisy routinely attends company-sponsored trainings on culture, therapy program advancement, and leadership development. She is also working on her geriatric certification.

Congratulations, Daisy!

Congratulations Whitney Wilding, SLP/DOR/CTO, Rosewood Rehabilitation

Submitted by Tamala Sammons, M.A., CCC-SLP, Therapy Resource

Whitney is passionate, dedicated, hard-working and an integral part of the team at Rosewood. She contributes to the success of Rosewood in a number of ways. She works closely and cooperatively with Nursing, MDS and the BOM to be on top of PDPM. In fact, she was very involved in trainings in 2019 in preparation for PDPM and has been integral in the PDPM process at Rosewood from the onset.

She has built a cohesive, creative and vibrant rehab team that serves the residents at Rosewood. Rosewood has traditionally had more of a skilled focus, but under Whitney’s leadership, they have balanced that out with a dramatic increase in their long-term care therapy over the past year. This was a definite goal for Whitney, and she provided education to her team and kept working with them to turn the flywheel of more LTC programming. The Rosewood Rehab team now routinely has a per non-skilled day part B revenue in excess of $30, demonstrating their creative and passionate ability to provide therapy services to their LTC family.

Whitney has identified other potential leaders within her rehab team and has enrolled them in the DORITO program to make sure that Rosewood has good bench strength in rehab leadership as well as providing the opportunity for personal growth for those therapists interested in potential leadership roles.

Whitney has also been an important and influential cluster partner. She is the rehab cluster leader for her cluster and has been very active in this role. She is very supportive of one of the more inexperienced rehab leaders in her cluster, making a pointed effort to identify leadership and personal development qualities for that person as well as all of the DORs in her group. She deliberately guides her cluster partners (and herself) to continually develop personally and professionally.

Whitney lives CAPLICO and makes sure to support everyone in her building. She cares deeply about people, both staff and residents. She does a great job with the rehab staff of balancing the values of Customer Second and Love One Another with Accountability and Ownership. She always does her best to work with and help her therapists improve, but on those rare occasions where someone is not willing or capable of growing, improving and being a good fit, she has the discipline to compassionately part ways with that therapist.

Whitney is a tremendous asset to Rosewood, the Lady Luck cluster and to the Idaho-Nevada market. We are lucky and proud to have her, and she has most definitely earned the honor of being named Chief Therapy Officer.

Announcing Keystone’s Newest Chief Therapy Officers

Submitted by Jon Anderson, DPT, Therapy Resource
What a privilege I have to share and celebrate our newest CTOs (Chief Therapy Officers) in Keystone. The CTO designation is the highest designation a therapy leader in the organization can receive. It is a tall order to be in this elite club. Please join me in congratulating this elite group of Texas leaders!


Vanessa Munoz, Veranda Health & Rehab

Is Ensign in you? If there ever was someone who bled CAPLICO it would be Vanessa Munoz, TPM at Veranda Health & Rehab. She is a true embodiment of our CAPLICO culture. Vanessa began her employment at Veranda 10-plus years ago, starting as a contract PTA with Rehab Care, then eventually transitioning to an in-house therapist. She was the natural selection to lead the team when the previous CTO/DOR left to become an ED. Vanessa quickly caught on and became a driver and an integral part of the IDT team that facilitates the processes to keep the facility operating optimally; however, with that said, she is modest and attributes Veranda’s therapy team’s accomplishments to having the best people in the industry.

In fact, those that she leads commented on how well-supported they feel. She includes them in many decisions. Vanessa’s leadership has led to an extremely cohesive, well-functioning team that consistently produces high levels of efficiency and excellent patient outcomes. But how do you do all of that and do well on audits? Ask Vanessa: Veranda’s MSCA scores are solidly consistent here, too, and they have always been among the highest, culminating with the most recent one — a facility overall score of 98.95% and a remarkable Therapy score of 100%!

Covid was and has been hard for all of us, but Vanessa truly stepped up and led by example in putting in long hours and days, including nights/weekends doing triple duty as a leader, therapist and an assistant to nursing. She stepped in without being asked to help with nurse aide duties, filling in shifts to provide for the residents’ needs, demonstrating love and support by working alongside Nursing staff, and inspiring some of her staff to also help in this capacity. She celebrates her team’s accomplishments, both professional and personal — coordinating and participating in celebrations, birthdays, special accomplishments, holidays, and births. She has had team-building activities to keep her team united and with a common goal to dignify our residents’ lives. I could literally write a novel on Vanessa listing all of her accomplishments in the last 10+ years as an employee and leader at Veranda, but it can be best summated by Jason Hess, Veranda, CEO when querying about her CTO application: “She’s got my vote.” And she certainly has the vote of all who know and work with her.

Andy Cisneros, Westover Hills

Andy Cisneros, PTA, DOR joined us in 2016 via an acquisition at Legend Oaks West San Antonio as the DOR. While at Legend Oaks West San Antonio, Andy was a trailblazer in finding ways to improve length of stay while maintaining great outcomes with our managed care patients, helping to solidify their success with metrics that resulted in the facility being designated as a facility of choice. Andy was instrumental in introducing a new incontinence program, PTNM (percutaneous tibial neuromodulation), to the nursing home sector and was part of an initial pilot program to demonstrate its effective outcomes with the LTC population, which helped fuel this program being used all over the organization as a way to better treat incontinence. Beyond this facility, Andy took ownership in the cluster by ensuring no one missed a resource when capturing Medicaid CMI (case mix index), and the trainings/tools he developed resulted in a growth of >10% in the cluster of under-captured resources.

Andy is a champion in dignifying LTC in the eyes of the world, has helped initiate a number of new programs at his facility, and was one of the first in Keystone to implement the wildly popular therapeutic drumming program. In 2019, Andy left West San Antonio for a new challenge and transitioned to a new acquisition, Westover Hills. This transition allowed him to grow a new team and teach the meaning of CAPLICO to them, but the growth did not stop with just the team, because he took the challenge of growing himself as a leader. At Westover, Andy has taken ownership of assisting in the success of the building by helping in any capacity needed. He is not only the champion for the management of CMI and PDPM, but he also takes the reins in teaching others in the building on how to live CAPLICO culture. He and his therapy team have helped lead the charge in keeping the morale up for residents and staff throughout the entire COVID pandemic. “Work as though the survival of our organization depends on your continued success in your own operation. If we all do that, and help each other to succeed in spite of the challenges, we will not only survive, but we will thrive.” These are the words of Andy Ashton when he was discussing the challenges we are facing in this new COVID-19 world, and Andy Cisneros has operated the bulk of this year with those words resonating in him. He approaches the management of his metrics with that in mind, and is always looking for ways to jump the S-curve. So proud of you, buddy! Congratulations, Andy!

Jayna Owens, Legend New Braunfels

Some leaders dream about cutting edge, culture change, and progressive innovative treatments, and people like Jayna Owens, SLP, DOR, make dreams a reality. Jayna began working for Legend Oaks-New Braunfels in the fall of 2015 and began her journey with us when the building was acquired in 2016. Jayna was inspired by our core values of intelligent risk taking and passion for learning. She worked as the Speech Therapy team lead, moving up to ADOR, and later taking over as the Director of Rehab.

During this time, she took a special interest in long-term care programming and dementia design. Jayna was one of the first in our company to write multiple grants to fund her new therapy programs and vision of changing dementia care. Jayna and her team used grant funds to create and develop shadow boxes for every resident utilizing the Abilities Care Program, creating a Sensory Room with a therapeutic program across all disciplines, dining room dementia design with environmental modifications, and providing familiar landmarks in accordance with resident’s long-term memory to decrease wandering within the facility. She had the opportunity to study with some of the best dementia design specialists in the world at the University of Stirling in Scotland and apply that knowledge to her building and train other affiliates in dementia care. She has a passion for teaching and educating Keystone and the organization in long-term care programming, as she is a frequent speaker on the LTC Think Tanks.

Jayna’s 120-bed facility might not seem like it could support 25 full-time therapists, but due to the nudges and pushes with LTC program development that she has established, her team is equally as inspired and encouraged by the changes happening in dementia care and take pride in Legend Oaks-NB being a progressive leader in innovative long-term care. Way to go, Jayna! Congratulations!

Marci Williams, Wisteria Place

When Marci put her mind to becoming a Physical Therapist, it was no easy task. Already a mother to her precious son Braiden, born with special needs, she was set to leave Abilene and head to Dallas for her last clinical rotation. When Marci learned that Braiden would need to have major surgery and she would be needed at home, she changed her last clinical rotation from Dallas to Abilene and started her rotation at Wisteria in October of 2013. Wisteria became part of the Keystone family in January 2014, and Marci accepted a full-time PT position with Wisteria in Feb 2014. With less than two years of clinical experience, Marci was promoted to DOR at Wisteria, and she has been building and growing the department there ever since.

The shift from student to employee to director would have been a challenge for many, but Marci was up to the task, learning while she taught others. Marci has worked over the years to grow programs and build a team that she loves. Marci had to work hard to grow her team into what they are today; over the years, she has added staff to accommodate program growth, nearly doubling the size of the therapy team. She has seen multiple administration changes at Wisteria and has stepped up every time to assist the incoming leaders as they build rapport, establish systems, and seamlessly transition through grace and knowledge. She is humble yet extremely strong, not only functioning as the DOR of a thriving facility, but serving as a hybrid therapy resource as well for the past two years, providing guidance and support to all of our affiliates in West Texas.

In addition, Marci has specialty knowledge of Kinesio taping, wound care, and PTNM, presenting on the LTC think tank call for incontinence care and training others in her area. She continues to show results across multiple areas, from exceptional MSCA scores to market metrics. However, Marci is not afraid to show vulnerability when necessary for growth. In preparation for PDPM, as facilities across the nation were re-claiming the use of group treatments, Marci humbly admitted that this was an area she lacked knowledge in and reached out for help. The power of asking. Time and time again, Marci has humbly led with no claim to success other than results. Marci continues to grow and evolve, joining committees and asking for education to better serve her team and her cluster, and we are so proud to honor Marci and recognize her as Chief Therapy Officer!

Roohi Kapoor, Mason Creek

Please allow me to introduce you to Roohi Kapoor. She is a Physical Therapist by trade and supports our Mason Creek facility as the Director of Rehab. Roohi began as a staff PT at Misty Willow in 2017 before transitioning to become the DOR at Mason Creek in 2019. Before I can share the details of her achievements in her role as DOR, you must get a grasp of who she is beyond the role. Roohi is in the process of completing her transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy. You would have no idea that she is balancing this level of academic growth on top of her many responsibilities. At the start of Roohi’s transition to DOR, she was challenged to grow long-term care programming and build cultural unity within the facility. To say she has accomplished that goal, and so many others, is an understatement. Yes, her metrics rank amongst the highest in the organization from PNSD, CPM, and Productivity, but the true measure of her success is the actionable execution of clinical programs. She empowers her OT and SLP to grow dementia care with purposeful intent, and she partners with her fellow PT to deliver PTNM (incontinence program).

Roohi’s rehab team was quite tenured before she joined, and they have welcomed her with open arms. Her reach is not limited to just therapy services; she has built a bridge between Therapy, Nursing and the entire IDT. Roohi will extend her support to her cluster and market partners without hesitation. She is able to create buy-in and excitement behind each of her ideas. Education and training is of her utmost importance, as she always wants her team to be ready for anything. Her near-perfect MSCA results are further evidence that she moves with precision and is very thoughtful in how she prepares her team. She is constantly searching to understand what/how she can enhance her skills, both clinically and operationally. It is with great joy that I can share that she will be continuing her professional growth by becoming an AIT. We are beyond proud that she has earned the coveted title of Chief Therapy Officer. Congratulations, Roohi!

Charlie Costa, Legend Garland

Charlie Costa, PT, is the DOR at Legend Oaks Garland. Upon acquisition, this facility was struggling, and unfortunately continued to do so for a while. But through all the struggles, the shining light was always Charlie and his Therapy team. While all other metrics were trending in the wrong direction, Therapy was steadily growing stronger and better. Charlie was able to truly balance the financial responsibilities of the facility and the clinical needs of the patients, and he has been instrumental to Garland’s rise to the top of the market. Charlie has a passion for marketing, and he can often be found working with nearby facilities, home health companies and doctor’s offices to help in census development. Charlie is always up for a challenge; he is the first to introduce a new initiative. When we re-introduced group and concurrent modalities of treatment, Charlie was one of the first in Keystone to train his team and really show us all what a difference this mode of efficiency can make. He was one of our first DORs to embrace the value of DOR treatment in building morale with his team, and he loves to train and mentor students; you never walk into the department without seeing someone learning something new.

Charlie loves to roll out new clinical programs for his residents, as evidenced by his Part B PNSD being consistently in the top 5, and by the smiles on the residents’ faces! If one were to look at therapy metrics, Garland is always in the top third of every metric, not only Part B PNSD, but also productivity, cost per minute, and margin percentage, all while being able to balance his ownership in the data with his love for his team and facility. Charlie’s culture in the facility can only be described as contagious, and in the words of his ED, Will Sherman, “Charlie brings a great energy to our team where there is accountability, but in a loving and fun approach, which is a bright spot in our facility … you really can hear Charlie’s laugh down the hall, and it just makes you smile, because he not only enjoys what he does, but he has the right passion in making sure our residents are cared for properly and manages things as if it were his own.” Amazing job, Charlie, and congratulations!

Patient Success at Shea

By Jada Exstrom, PT, DOR, Shea Post Acute Care, Scottsdale, AZ
Meet Charles—Charles came to Shea Post Acute Rehab Center after suffering several falls in which he hit his head and suffered multiple fractures, contusions and hematomas. As a result of the multiple falls, he was met with confusion and memory deficits, and he had severe restrictions and limitations both mentally and physically, which impacted his progression in rehab.

Due to his medical complexities, confusion and high risk for falls, he ultimately required one-on-one care and attention, including frequent redirection and reorientation. Due to his deficits and decreased safety and insight, case management worked diligently on alternative discharge planning, including discharge to a group home, ALF, or LTC, for a higher level of care. But, much to our dismay, Charles had other plans. He was adamant about returning home and being reunited with his cats.

With the diligent management of his care, watchful eye of our staff and increased oversight, he was able to persevere. There were some things that many were unsure we would ever see from Charles. Charles started to increase his participation in therapy and even started to direct his care, drive his own rehab, and with Zane’s help (our therapy dog), Charles thrived. Charles became a fixture at Shea, walking through the halls (11 laps at a time), visiting Zane every day, conversing with other residents and brightening everyone’s day with his positive outlook.

Charles was able to walk out of Shea on his own accord, no need for any assistance, and return home to be with his cats. Charles is also planning to return to work. Charles, while you gave us a run for our money, you are a great success!

Caitlin Colteryahn, OT, TEACHA at The Healthcare Resort of Leawood, KS

By Danielle Banman, DOR, The Healthcare Resort of Leawood, KS
Caitlin Colteryahn is our lead occupational therapist here at The Healthcare Resort of Leawood and has been with us for four years. Caitlin graduated from Rockhurst University in 2014. She has been married for 10 years and has two boys. She loves spending time outdoors and traveling, especially with friends and family.

Caitlin is an outstanding occupational therapist and is passionate about developing programs for maximizing independence for our residents with dementia. She received advanced training in dementia care in March 2020 to earn the title of Therapy Expert for Abilities Care Holistic Approach (TEACHA). Caitlin has developed an amazing program here at our facility and enjoys teaching other occupational therapists in our market about this program to improve the quality of life for all individuals with dementia that we have the privilege to serve.

Caitlin says this of our program: “I believe it is incredibly important, now more than ever, that we as clinicians use the tools available to us and our clinical knowledge to help develop and implement strategies based on our residents’ functional cognition and strengths to reduce their risk of decline, promote engagement, and for overall quality of life. I love and it is an honor to work with this population, as we have the resources to really get to know who our residents are, what makes them the person they are today, and then to use that knowledge to help them achieve their goals. As a TEACHA, the pandemic has complicated the ability to be able to go into other facilities to help implement programming. However, I have been able to collaborate with other clinicians in and outside of our market through email/phone in order to help support them to utilize the Abilities Care strength-based programming to help reach the needs of their residents.”

Jihan Antipolo-Baldonado, Rehab Aide: The Secret Sauce 

By Carlos Pineda, CTO/DOR, Southland Care Center, Norwalk, CA
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishment toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results” – Andrew Carnegie. It is fascinating to watch an organization continue climbing up and inspiring the members to be the best they can be despite unpreventable hiccups. As you dissect this great phenomenon, you will always find those who are the concrete and steel of the institution. They are usually the quiet, humble but full-of-smiles individual or group that is sitting behind. You can feel their presence in any space and even more when they are not around. They are culture lovers. They are the catalyst for innovation. They spark love among individuals.

When the Momentum market gave me an opportunity to manage two great buildings, Southland Care Center and Downey Post-Acute, there was one person who stepped behind me and whispered, “This opportunity is best for our patients and therapists.” She did not see the struggle that I was heading into, but the opportunity of spreading our core values. I always feel proud, with teary eyes, every time I brag about this person to my colleagues when they ask about our best practices. My answer is that our secret sauce is Jihan Antipolo. She has been in Southland Care Center for 17 years, consistently doing great things over and over again, like the hedgehog. I do not consider her as our rehab tech but a “Resource” for all the departments of both facilities. There was a time during the beginning of the pandemic where everyone was so stressed out about where to secure PPE. Jihan did not waste a second to begin reaching out to different organizations giving donations, like PPE, hand sanitizer, alcohols, food, vitamins, etc. Instead of feeling the uncertainty, we felt the sense of being blessed. These were also shared with our sister facilities.

As I witnessed how both buildings experienced their bumpy road and how they continued to drive toward greatness, there is only thing that I know: We have Jihan Antipolo weaving every strand of the web to make it stronger and purposeful over and over again. Thanks, Jhie. We love you!

Jessica Ballera, COTA, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Fullerton, CA

By Dennis Baloy, OTD, OTR/L, DOR/Therapy Resource, CA
All in the Family
Jessica’s career as a therapist in an Ensign-affiliated facility was inspired from way back. When she was a little girl, she distinctly remembered how her grandmother was being taken care of by therapists of an Ensign affiliated facility. To this date, she vividly remembers her grandma’s smile after every therapy session. She reminisces about this image of her grandmother all throughout her life.

Her family is also not new to the therapy world. Her mom, Jasmine, is also an Occupational Therapist Assistant working with our company. Together with her Mom’s guidance and Jessica’s love of therapy, Jessica eventually obtained her degree as a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant from Stanbridge University in 2018. She worked as a part time employee to explore her options and eventually was hired full time at St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Fullerton, CA.

“I find that the greatest part about the St. Elizabeth team is how they give me the ability to shine and grow in my specialties. I feel supported in all of my out-of-the box ideas.” Jessica explained when asked what she loved about being part of the organization. She also added that what truly motivates her are the “Moments of Truth” she encounters on a daily basis. She looks forward to making a difference in someone’s life, to give them hope, and to help create a purpose for her patients. This for her is the greatest selfless joy she experiences and constantly looks forward to.

Jessica is also always available to help out other facilities around our area. She is well-liked by her peers and patients. She always brightens any room she enters and even more so the lives she touches. All of these attributes lead the Therapy Resources to choose her to be a part of the Momentum Culture Committee whose mission is to help facilitate and promote culture within the clusters. Not to mention, “O” for Ownership is her favorite CAPLICO value! Her inclusion will certainly tap her potential to further her positive influence to other therapists in the market.

Jessica is truly a gem of St. Elizabeth and our Ensign-Affiliated Facilities!

Congratulations, Jacob Barnes, Bandera’s Newest CTO 

By Shelby Donahoo, Therapy Resource, Tucson, AZ
We are proud to honor Jacob Barnes, PTA, TPM, at Park Avenue Health and Rehab in Tucson, AZ!
Jacob has been with Ensign at Park Avenue since 2013 and truly exemplifies CAPLICO culture. Jacob’s ED, Jordan Monson, says Jacob “is like salt: He’s sprinkled into every nook and cranny that is Park Avenue.” In other words, while Jacob leads a large rehab team with strong outcomes clinically and operationally, his ownership over the years is way beyond the Rehab department.

2020 led to some exceptionally tough times for all, but Jacob’s leadership shined through in this pandemic. In between serving meals, moving beds, and working all hours to support the facility, he quadrupled long-term care revenue, increasing margin by 8%. This was accomplished by concerted and thoughtful implementation of holistic programming to meet the growing needs of Park’s residents. He developed leaders in his team, such as our Bandera Abilities TEACHA, and created a designated long-term care lead and team. He helped facilitate support and communication with market DORs as challenges arose during COVID.

So here’s a perfect example of why Jacob is CTO: December 18 was his surprise CTO celebration. While facility staff, folks from all over the market, and even DORs from Phoenix (who drove two hours) congregated outside, Jacob’s co-worker was to distract him and then bring him out to “go to lunch” once he was texted that all was ready. The text to come went out, and we waited, poised with confetti — and waited some more. Finally we got a text back — Jacob was busy giving a resident a haircut! After another 15 minutes, the text came that he was done and they were headed outside. And we waited. Another text came from the co-worker: Jacob was stopping to answer call lights on the way. True and awesome story.

Thank you for all you do for your residents, facility, Bandera and the full organization, Jacob! And for your unwavering wit and humor along the way.