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NEWSLETTERS

The Long-Awaited Vaccine Is Here!

We are thrilled to announce that the COVID-19 vaccine is now available to staff and residents here at White House Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center! We began administering the vaccine in conjunction with Walgreens Pharmacy to our staff and residents on December 31st.

The vaccine is highly effective in preventing COVID-19 and this is an important step in ensuring the safety of our staff, residents, and their families. We’re confident that once those in our facility are vaccinated, our community will be able to return to a sense of normalcy as we once again engage in the social activities and in-person visits we all love.

Please visit the CDC for information about the COVID-19 vaccine, or reach out to our administration if you have any questions about our vaccination program. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!

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Celebrating

National Wellness Month!

August is National Wellness Month, a time to focus on self-care, healthy routines and stress management. At White House, our team encourages residents to take a holistic approach to wellness. While every day should be a wellness day, we could all use a reminder now and then to keep our health at the forefront.

Here are some simple self-care tips to help you stay healthy and relaxed:

  • Drink lots of water, especially during the hot summer months.
    The Mayo Clinic recommends women drink 2.7 liters of fluids and
    men drink 3.7 liters of fluids per day.
  • Exercise regularly and take the time to stretch!
  • Spend time outdoors, which can improve memory, fight depression and lower blood pressure, among other benefits.
  • Focus on enjoying nutritious, healthy meals and reducing sugar, caffeine, sodium and excess fat from your diet.
  • Meditate and practice deep breathing to help you relax.
  • Focus on your sleep routine – getting enough sleep is crucial to your wellbeing.

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Meet Our Staff Behind the Mask!

Spotlight on Linda Pineiro

Linda Pineiro, CSW/BSW, has been the Director of Social Services here at White House Healthcare for the past seven years. An experienced, bilingual social worker with extensive knowledge of subacute care, long term care, hospice and respite care, Linda’s expertise and passion for maximizing each patient’s quality of life is evident in all she does.

Born and bred in Newark, Linda is married and lives in a two-family, multi-generational home with her husband and parents. Although she doesn’t have much free time now, Linda loves music, riding her motorcycle and sightseeing with her family.

A graduate of Bloomfield College in 1988, Linda chose a career in medical social work because she wanted an opportunity to be involved in helping people navigate hospital settings. With over three decades of experience working in hospitals and various care settings, Linda decided to make White House her second home. “White House is the best place to work,” Linda says. “The way it functions is great, from the top down. The facility is always ahead and prepared at all times.”

As Director of Social Work here at White House, Linda has a multi-faceted role where she manages the psychological and social aspects of care, dealing with admissions, conducting psycho-social assessments, managing insurance and HMO paperwork, and coordinating discharge planning and care for our residents.

Linda’s goal is to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of patients while here at White House as well as when they leave, setting them up with home care services, therapy, meals on wheels, and transportation as needed.

Linda offers a wealth of information and provides families with the resources, referrals and guidance they need.

During COVID Linda has made it her mission to make her rounds and visit every patient daily to make sure they are well and emotionally stable. Linda gives daily updates to families and helps residents facetime, Zoom or video chat with their loved ones, which has been critical in curbing feelings of isolation and depression during the pandemic.

Linda is one of many heroes here at White House Healthcare, and we would like to take a moment to thank her for her dedication to our residents while celebrating the skill and experience she brings to our community.

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Meet Helen Burton

103 Years Young & A COVID Survivor!

Things I Remember:

I went to a country school in a two-room log cabin with two teachers.

I finished high school in 11th grade.

I got married at twenty-five and built a log cabin house with my husband.

I had two wonderful children, a boy & a girl.

I remember Martin Luther King Jr. and the wonderful things he did.

I worked two jobs to help my husband.

My children both graduated from Hillside High School.

They married and gave me wonderful grandchildren.

They both are gone.

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Did You Know?

Benefits of Pet Therapy

At White House, we are always finding new ways to provide the best care for our residents, including looking at innovative therapies such as pet therapy. The many proven mental and physical benefits of this kind of therapy helps to ensure that our residents’ needs are being met on a continuous basis. Our residents love to pet, hold and care for our therapy dogs Toby (a Yorkshire Terrier) and Lily (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) – just look at their smiles! In turn, Toby and Lily love the attention and affection that our residents give them! Lily is certified by The Bright & Beautiful Therapy Dogs, Inc. and usually visits every other Friday, while Toby has an extra special connection to White House – his owner, Maria, used
to work in the rehab department.

We’re not the only ones to notice the positive impact of having Toby and Lily around. Researchers have long touted the benefits of pet therapy. UCLA Health notes that the simple act of petting an animal releases hormones like serotonin, prolactin and oxytocin which are known to improve mood. Not only can animals like Toby and Lily help reduce anxiety and loneliness, they also increase mental stimulation, particularly assisting those with memory issues or sequencing temporal events that have been impacted by head injuries or diseases like Alzheimer’s. Staff and residents here at White House can attest to the fact that studies show the calming presence of an animal can also help to lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and provide relaxation during therapy. In some cases, pet therapy can even reduce overall pain.

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Face to Face

With Dr. Hemant Patel

We are so proud to have physicians of the highest caliber such as Dr. Hemant Patel as part of the White House community. Dr. Patel, an attending physician at White House for many years, was chosen as a NJ Top Doc for his commitment to excellence in Pulmonology and Critical Care, two years in a row, in 2018 and 2019.

It was his childhood in Baroda, India, that propelled him towards medicine. Having seen up close too many sick and unfortunate individuals on the streets of his hometown, he instinctively knew he wanted to make a difference and save lives. After attending medical school in India, he moved to the United States in 1981to start his training. However, while completing his medical residency, his father became ill with a small spot on his lungs, so Dr. Patel raced back to India to be at his side. Thankfully the spot was not cancerous, though it was discovered that his father suffered a pulmonary condition. This personal connection inspired much of Dr. Patel’s interest in Pulmonology.

While he has worked primarily in the U.S., Dr. Patel has never neglected his roots. He is involved in the global healthcare community and continuously striving to make a notable difference in his home country of India. He served as president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) from 2007 to 2008. He has partnered with the Indian Health Ministry as a driving force in achieving smoke-free hospitals in India and exchanging best healthcare practices. He also founded the Annual Healthcare Summit in 2007, a 4-day convention in New Delhi, India.

As a resident of Livingston, NJ, Dr. Patel has led his private practice since 1989 and served in various leadership positions in different hospitals, including Chairmanship of Pulmonology. He is affiliated with St. Barnabas Medical Center, Newark Beth Israel Hospital, and East Orange General Hospital. His love of helping others runs in the family and he is proud of his sons who are both practicing physicians; one is a Radiologist in Southern Jersey and the other is an Infectious Disease Specialist.

Congratulations and special thanks to Dr. Patel for your continued expertise and passion for helping so many people. We are so fortunate to have you with us!

In 2010, Dr. Patel was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, a deserving distinction which recognizes “individuals who have made it their mission to share with those less fortunate, their wealth of knowledge, indomitable courage, boundless compassion, unique talents and selfless generosity. They do so while acknowledging their debt to their ethnic heritage as they uphold the ideals and spirit of America.”

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Spotlight On:

Occupational Therapy

When White House Healthcare resident Mr. M. was admitted as a subacute patient after a frightening fall and stroke, he was incapacitated, in the early stages of dementia, and completely dependent on others for all his basic needs. That is until he met Bong.

Angelito Anonuevo, OT/L, is lovingly known here at White House as “Bong”. As Rehab Director, he is always thrilled to see the effect that his team’s care has on the lives of patients like Mr. M.

“Mr. M. made tremendous improvement and gained a new level of independence,” Anonuevo says. “His family was so highly satisfied with the care he was receiving at White House that they made the decision to have him stay on as a long-term resident. Today he is a happy and cheerful gentleman who can be seen walking around our halls.”

According to Anonuevo, Occupational Therapists play a vital role in the rehab spectrum by providing residents with the training they need to get back to their prior level of functioning in terms of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as dressing and feeding themselves. Proof of the power of rehab is in the exemplary recovery of residents like Mr. M.

Tirelessly helping others has always been in the cards for Anonuevo, who comes from a family where health care plays an integral role. “My grandfather, father, and sister are all healthcare providers, and it was my sister—a Physical Therapist—who influenced me to go into this field,” Anonuevo says. “After so many years of practice, I can definitively say that I would not choose to do anything else. I love what I do!”

Be sure to say hello to Bong the next time you see him in the halls at White House and take a moment to witness for yourself his passion for occupational therapy.

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Face to Face With Our Subacute Medical Director

Dr. Achar, MD, FCCP

Helping patients breathe easier is one of the most rewarding parts of Dr. Pankaja Achar’s role as Subacute Medical Director here at White House Healthcare. “Shortness of breath is such a common and frustrating problem. If you can’t breathe, you can’t live,” she says.

Although well-versed and trained in many areas of medicine, Dr. Achar chose to specialize in pulmonology, and takes pride in supporting patients of our Respiratory Care Program. Indeed, White House is fortunate to have a leading Pulmonologist as our Subacute Medical Director. From oxygen management to tracheostomy care, assisting patients during such a critical time in their recovery and seeing their progress is why Dr. Achar went into medicine in the first place.

Every day, Dr. Achar sees the benefit of White House’s specialized respiratory program. Devoted to patient care and eager to immediately address any issues that arise, Dr. Achar’s focus is on patient’s comfort and safety. Our specialized services involve active monitoring and close, personalized care during suctions, nebulizer treatments, CPAP/BiPAP, 02 saturation monitoring, and other treatments. This high level of care has been critical to positive patient outcomes.

In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Achar enjoys being actively involved in regular rounds with the charge nurse, unit manager and physical therapy director. During this time, staff can truly get to know the needs of each patient and learn their stories. Together, this specialized team discusses patient care, assesses wounds and creates personalized treatment plans for each resident.

It’s a fast-paced environment but Dr. Achar, who is certified in pulmonary, internal, and critical care medicine, loves the challenge and rewarding experience, which has inspired her outlook on patient care over the past 25 years.

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What Can YOU Do To Prevent Heart Disease?

In honor of American Heart Month, we bring you the facts and some crucial tips to help prevent heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. In the United States alone, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds! Forty nine percent of Americans have at least one of the key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol and smoking.

Implementing the following habits into your lifestyle is a great start!

  1. Don’t sit for too long – get moving! Break up long periods of sitting, and stand or walk while doing things like talking on the phone.
  2. SLEEP 7 to 8 hours a night. Not sleeping enough may put you at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or other health habits.
  3. Cut down on SALT. To maintain healthy blood pressure, avoid using salt at the table and try adding less to your cooking.
  4. Stay away from foods with TRANS FATS. Trans fat clogs your arteries. Read food labels carefully & look out for hydrogenated oils in the ingredients.
  5. And remember to LAUGH OUT LOUD! Don’t just LOL in emails or Facebook posts. Laughing can lower stress hormones, decrease inflammation in your arteries, and raise your levels of “good cholesterol”.

Our Cardiac Recovery Program

The specialized cardiac program at White House was designed to assist individuals recovering from a wide range of cardiac issues. Our all-encompassing care includes cardiac monitoring, CHF prevention, daily rehabilitation, and a dedicated focus on lifestyle modification, healthy diet and exercise.

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4 Healthy Tips For The New Year!

Dress Smart. Protect your lungs from cold air. Layer up!
Wearing 2 or 3 thinner layers of loose-fitting clothing is warmer than
a single layer of thick clothing.

Walk Smart. Wear boots with non-skid soles to prevent slipping.

Be Proactively Smart. If you use a cane, replace the rubber tip before it is worn smooth.

Stay Safe. Make sure space heaters are at least 3 feet away from anything that might catch fire, such as curtains, bedding and furniture.

Take care of yourself by staying focused on what’s important:
family, friends, the spirit of the season – and your health!

Some of these tips originally appearedin healthinaging.org

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Noted & Quoted

Mr. William Peyton, a carpenter by trade, unfortunately lost his second leg to diabetes. He recently came to White House Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center to start his extensive healing process and is an inspiration to others in similar circumstances. His upbeat and optimistic personality shines through when describing the various aspects of his care that are so crucial to his recovery. Whether its infection control, keeping the pain level down, getting the proper nutrition or preparing for his prosthesis in physical therapy, Mr. Peyton is grateful to the White House staff for managing his treatment with compassion and dignity, while equipping him to move forward with his new reality.

“The level of positivity and motivation in the White House Gym is way up there . . . it just jacks me up! This facility is everything they promised me in the hospital. From the administrator down, they’re taking great care of me. I hope to be up and walking real soon with my new prosthesis so I can take my grandkids to Hershey Park and see the flowers bloom in the spring.”

-William Peyton
Subacute Resident at White House

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Face to Face With Samantha Erikson

Meet Our Nurse Practitioner

White House would like to introduce our very own Nurse Practitioner, Samantha Erikson, who joined our team 3 months ago. Her gentle, reassuring presence is a fundamental part of our larger effort to minimize the rehospitalization of our residents.

Have you always wanted to pursue a career in nursing?

Well, I majored in biology at Muhlenberg College because I thought it would give me the background to enter the field of pharmacology, nursing or physical therapy. In the end I chose nursing and went on to get my RN degree from Seton Hall University.

What was your first nursing job?

I worked for 5 years as a hospital floor nurse in St. Joe’s Regional Medical Center in Patterson, New Jersey, caring for 6-7 acutely ill patients on the geriatric surgical floor. I always had a love for geriatrics. Growing up, I was very close to my 3 living grandparents who lived nearby. They babysat me a lot – taking me to the mall where we met their friends. I was often surrounded by elderly people and enjoyed hanging out with them.

Why did you decide to go back to school to become a Nurse Practitioner?

I love learning and I felt that becoming a Nurse Practitioner would enable me to take on a leadership role in my work with patients. When I was younger I used to accompany my maternal grandmother to her doctor’s office for her regular check-ups. She was seen by a Nurse Practitioner there who was very thorough and would take the time to explain everything to us. That really made an impact on me.

Are you happy with your decision?

I truly enjoy being a Nurse Practitioner and find it to be very fulfilling. I especially like working in a Long Term Care setting. Getting to know the residents is very rewarding, and the fact that I can be more involved in their care is gratifying.

How often are you at White House?

I am here 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, from 7:30 am to 3:30 pm.

What does your average day look like?

My daily routine begins with checking on all new admissions to assess their status. If there’s a change in a resident’s condition I evaluate it and take steps to help the resident get better. In my role as NP I prescribe medications, perform blood work, and order chest x-rays, ultrasounds and other tests, which are done in-house.

When making my rounds, I keep my eyes open – monitoring each resident’s progress to detect subtle changes in condition and treat accordingly. Our objective is to effectively manage our residents’ care and prevent their readmission to the hospital. If a patient is rehospitalized I do a follow-up report to see if there are any steps we can take to prevent that in the future.

What is your experience working with the staff?

The administration is very welcoming, and open to any ideas and suggestions. They are truly concerned about the residents. White House is notably very clean and well-organized compared to other nursing homes I’ve visited. I interface closely with the Director of Nursing and the Assistant Director of Nursing, and we have a daily 45 minute morning meeting with all the unit managers and departments heads to review the care of each resident.

On a personal note, Samantha is newly married and lives about 40 minutes away from White House in Oakland, NJ. Her husband is also in the medical field. She enjoys hiking, cooking and baking, gardening and just spending time outdoors – especially at the beach during her summer vacations on Long Beach Island.

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Adopt A Grandparent Program At White House

Creating Meaningful One-On-One Relationships!

Beginning in 2012 the students of Seton Hall University have participated in the Adopt A Grandparent Program at White House. The program’s mission is to create meaningful one-on-one relationships with our residents, improving the quality of life of participants – seniors and volunteers alike.

This program successfully bridges the gap between generations. Amanda Cavanaugh, Assistant Director of Division of Volunteer Efforts at Seton Hall, was a regular volunteer at White House during her undergrad days. Profoundly impacted by the program, she went on to direct the program after graduating. “I always loved working with the elderly. Visiting on a consistent basis for over a year, I reallly got to know many of the White House residents well and appreciated their wisdom and humor”, she remarked. “Students gain a lot from this program and I have a solid group signing up year after year.”

Scheduled every Wednesday during each semester, these visits are one of the major highlights on our recreation calendar.

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Healing Wounds Daily!

Expert wound care is integral to the clinical excellence we provide at White House, and it begins at the time of admission when every resident is assessed for the presence of wounds –whether vascular, pressure or surgical.

Under the guidance of Board Certified General Surgeon Dr. Lennox Alves and our ADON Adele Anderson who is a Wound and Ostomy Certified Nurse, our specialized wound care nurses coordinate the daily wound treatment of our residents, making sure steps are in place to prevent new wounds and to measure and treat existing wounds.

Dr. Alves, who serves as Chairman of the Dept. of Surgery at East Orange General Hospital and is an Attending Surgeon at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, conducts weekly rounds at White House and is called when any serious issues arise. He does debridement at the bedside, treats the more complex wounds, and provides valuable direction to our wound care staff.

For post-surgery residents the plan of action demands follow-up communication by our nursing staff with the resident’s surgeon. For those who arrive with pressure sores – an immediate care plan is designed to initiate healing, measuring the progress weekly until complete healing is attained. Of utmost importance are our strict wound care protocols of changing wound dressings frequently to maintain a clean and bacteria-free wound bed, and encouraging and assisting our patients to turn as needed. Surface support includes low pressure air loss mattresses, and special wheelchair cushions.

Wound healing however, is a complex and fragile process impacted by many factors – diet being at the forefront as proper nutrition is key to the healing process. Our dietitians are quite involved, making sure our residents receive the precise nutritional elements they need and sustaining continuous interdisciplinary communication with both the nurses and the lab, as protein values are checked.

“When doing my work I put a smile on the patient’s face. It is most gratifying when I see improvement and a wound is resolved.”
– Chantal Joseph, LPN Wound Care Nurse

Communication indeed plays a vital role in the outstanding level of care at White House and our wound care team excels at that. They coordinate seamlessly with the unit nurses, the dietitians, and everyone else involved in the patient’s care – and, most importantly, are a reassuring presence at the patient’s bedside all through the healing process.

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Spotlight On: Senior Fitness

At White House we make sure our residents, at all levels of function, have exercise incorporated into their daily routine. MOVIN’ & GROOVIN’, EXERCISE WITH PROPS and CABANICS are just some of the fitness programs we have in place.

Music is a language that speaks to everyone, breaking through all barriers. By placing a maraca or baton in the hands of a memory impaired individual who is resistant to exercising, he or she will instinctively start shaking to the beat while following the group leader’s movements – getting an upper body workout without realizing it.

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Meet Dr. Slim

Director of Our Infectious Disease Program

Our recently launched Infectious Disease Program, with a focus on antibiotic stewardship, has seen much success. Under the specialized leadership of Dr. Jihad Slim, our nursing team skillfully treats residents with acute and chronic infections – utilizing an individualized approach to minimize the usage of antibiotics.

Dr. Slim is notified every time a patient requires antibiotic therapy and is always on-call. He leads interdisciplinary meetings with our clinical staff and conducts monthly professional development sessions.

“When a resident arrives at White House with multiple wounds and on 2 or 3 prescribed antibiotics”, explains Adelle Anderson, ADON, “our first course of action is to consult with Dr. Slim right away. There are times when he discontinues an antibiotic, and other times he changes the route of administration. His main focus is to always avoid having patients on too much antibiotics – which is the clinically most efficient way to prevent C. Diff.”

Hitting the exact dosage and route of administration for each patient, as well as stopping the antibiotics at the right time is at the core of the Infectious Disease Program at White House.

“There is a misconception, especially among residents and their family members, that the more antibiotics, the better it is for the resident – and it really is the exact opposite. The least antibiotics, the better. To prevent residents from developing resistant bacteria and side effects, it is important not to overtreat.”
–Dr. Slim

A graduate of St. Michael’s University in Beirut, Dr. Slim obtained his specialty in Nephrology in France. Arriving in the US in 1983, he graduated with a degree in Internal Medicine from St. Michael’s Medical School in Newark, specializing in Infectious Disease. He is currently the Director of Infectious Disease at St. Michael’s Hospital and Assistant Professor of Medicine at New York Medical College in Valhalla.

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Did you know?

SPOTLIGHT ON: YOUR KNEES

  • The knee is easily hurt since it bears the  load of the whole body &  is used in almost all our daily activities.
  • If you are 20 pounds overweight, you are putting an additional  120 pounds of pressure on your knees.
  • High heels throw your body forward and put 23% more pressure on your knees. Wear low heels, flats or sneakers if you plan to be on your feet all day.

Here at White House, our Orthopedic Rehab Team helps individuals recovering from joint replacement surgery relearn the skills they need to return home and back to the physical activities they love.

Our intensive rehab program follows CJR protocols, and includes designated milestones and goals with therapies offered up to 7 days a week.

 

Here at White House, our Orthopedic Rehab Team helps individuals recovering from joint replacement surgery relearn the skills they need to return home and back to the physical activities they love.

Our intensive rehab program follows CJR protocols, and includes designated milestones and goals with therapies offered up to 7 days a week.

 

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New Antibiotic Stewardship Program

at White House

Implemented in June 2017 under the leadership of Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Jihad Slim and our ADON, Adelle Anderson, the program’s mission is to manage patients’ infectious disease concerns while improving quality of care. 

The Antibiotic Stewardship Program has already been implemented at various hospitals and facilities and has proven to increase the overall management of patients while decreasing the use of antibiotics in the excess of 20%. The optimization of antibiotic therapy selection will allow for improved patient management and a reduction in re-hospitalization.  

In compliance with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: “Highlights Pertaining to Antibiotic Stewardship in Long-Term Care Facilities.” 

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Dr. Nicholas Guittari

White House congratulates Dr. Nicholas Guittari:

Nominated as one of the

Top Doctors in New Jersey!

Dr. Guittari, our Long-Term Care Medical Director, is beloved by staff and residents alike. A Board Certified Geriatrician serving the community for more than two decades, Dr. Guittari chose to specialize in Geriatrics and Dementia after learning about the ravages of dementia first-hand when 3 of his 4 grandparents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Nominated “Top Doctor” in 2018 by NJ TopDocs for his commitment to excellence in Geriatric Medicine, he is a recognized medical advocate in Long-Term Care who regularly conducts seminars on Dementia and Geriatrics.

Our families and residents appreciate Dr. Guittari’s daily presence at White House, and bask in his warmth, friendliness and specialized expertise. His hands-on approach and full-time engagement with our residents on a personal and professional level is apparent from the moment you step into our facility.

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