The Welcome Home Project During COVID and Awards

When the pandemic hit, keeping care “resident-centered” helped staff and seniors cope at Greenbrier. Long saw first-hand how their homes stood firm under pressure from the coronavirus. Rapid changes and restrictions were put in place to ensure residents’ safety. “During Covid, when the families could not visit, we planned celebrations at the window with themes and treats,” says Long. “It is all about things you would do at your own home with your own family. It is the same thing in a setting where people can get medical staff support, but it is their home, and we are a family.”

Jim Thorpe agrees, “I saw how much difference it made when we went through the Covid-19 pandemic. I felt like the restraints put on us as a caring institution did have a detrimental effect at first on our residents because they could not see their loved ones except through a window. Long-distance loving is hard to do. When that happened, I saw our residents take a turn; we did everything we knew possibly to do to help that. You could see it in their eyes and demeanor, but our family here at Greenbrier stayed constant and remained a part of their family in dealing with this. We got through it, and got stronger.” 

In fact, amid a tough time for senior care facilities across the nation, The Homes of Greenbrier and Greenbrier Skilled Nursing were recognized by Care Providers Oklahoma for their “Commitment to Quality”. The state-wide organization recently surprised staff gathered outdoors with the announcement. On a video posted on Care Providers Facebook page, the representative hands over the 2021 Commitment to Quality sign and plaque to gathered staff.

Also, in 2021, The Enid News and Eagle Awarded Greenbrier Village The Best of Readers’ Choice Award for Best Assisted Living, Best Nursing Home, and Best Skilled Nursing Facility. Each year, Enid News and Eagle readers are invited to vote their favorites on several categories in the area. The newspaper tallies the votes and awards the winners.

These two recognitions came after a long and arduous year battling COVID. “It felt amazing. To be recognized for everything we did” remarked Katy Cerezo, Administrator at The Homes of Greenbrier. “Throughout 2021, everyone rallied together and created new ways to have fun or new ways to connect with the residents and their families. It was hard. There were times people were not happy with the regulations that we had to implement. The people working here, their hearts are big. There was so much extra going into everything we have done this last year.” “Everything that we did during that time frame, and still do, is based on what is best for our residents,” says Mike Weatherford, Marketing Coordinator for Greenbrier and Family Guide for skilled nursing. “But it was nice for someone on the outside to say. ‘Hey…great job!'”

As Mike Weatherford wrote: From day one, the staff rose to the occasion and went above and beyond. Watching them do their regular jobs and then throwing in a pandemic altered the course of every new day, and they did not let it shake them from their commitment to serve. They stepped up to the plate and did things that were kind and compassionate. They facilitated virtual visits through smartphones and devices and even windows. They made phone calls to family members to help keep them in the loop about how their loved one was doing. The staff went room by room and read to residents, did puzzles with them, and painted their nails with them. They laughed and cried with them as well.

Mike attributes the recognition to a dedicated staff and Greenbrier’s home culture. “That commitment to quality, what we do and how we do it. It is because of the Welcome Home Project that the concept of taking care of our residents was already ingrained in all of us. It is just a part of what we do,” explains Mike.