By Dennis Baloy, OT/DOR, St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Fullerton, CA

The acquisition of St. Elizabeth Healthcare and Rehabilitation happened in May 2019. The transition was remarkably successful, but it did not come without challenges. Equipped with knowledge and guidance from our resources, we were ready for the speed bumps ahead — from changing guidelines of our managed care partners, new state and federal regulations to the Star Rating Data, onset of PDPM and many more. Our relentless, action-oriented and fearless yet compassionate leaders, Rand (Administrator) and Mady (Director of Nursing), knew that the only way to achieve these things is staying the course toward our true north — that of providing the best individualized care to all our residents while continuing to embody the CAPLICO values toward one another.

Fast forward to January 2020, when the Department Heads of St. Elizabeth decided to jumpstart the year with a team-building/planning event. In this meeting, they picked the brains of all the adroit minds (fueled with everyone’s genuine love and compassion), and the best ideas in each department were laid down on the table to create a blueprint for “greatness” of St. Elizabeth.

From St. Elizabeth to St. E! Yes, plain and simple St. E!

Why the “E”s? We have narrowed down the core values that each St. Elizabeth employee embodies. They serve as our cornerstones and foundations for each intention and action we make when we go to this second home we call “St. E”!

Excellence. Empathy. Extraordinary. Engaged. Empowered …

Our building was undergoing a considerable renovation (front yard, room renovation, repainting) — an extensive overhaul. We also had a series of fun and educational inservices for all the staff. Keeping the blinders on and riding on this momentum, we were set to relaunch “St. E” to the community this May 2020.

Then COVID-19 came, and the world was shaken.

We paused.

It took only a few moments of realization that all our plans and efforts for our big relaunch were perhaps meant for this. Our facility is more prepared, more reinforced and better structured. The staff’s culture and morale are at an all-time high — bonded tighter than ever.

Yes, it is a different calling now, and everyone is well aware of it. The next few days and weeks will be a grueling test of the core values that is St. E. To say it will be a hard battle is an understatement, but united together we will succeed.

Bottom line is, surely now more than ever, nothing can replace the E’s that all the employees of St. Elizabeth/St. E embody: Excellence, Empathy, Extraordinary, Engaged, Empowered.