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 Money Raised for 'Wounded Warrior Project' Minimize

The Resident Council at Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Stoneham, Mass. held a raffle in July 2011 to raise money for The Wounded Warrior Project which benefits American veterans and their families. The prizes were a variety of spectacular baskets created by the staff of Bear Hill. Pictured above are (left to right) Bear Hill Activities Director Marie White, Resident Council President Nina Raia, resident Elinor Roden, and Director of Nursing Peg Archidiacono, RN.


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 Valentine's Day Fundraiser Benefits Hallmark Hospice Minimize


February 2011 — The residents at Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center held a "Buy a Sweet Treat" fundraiser on Valentine’s Day along with a raffle which was a great success. Proceeds of the event were donated to Hallmark Hospice. Top left to right: William Ring (Administrator), Marie White (Activities Director), Jan Gregory (Hospice Nurse), and Jean Bruno (Hospice Chaplain). Bottom left to right; Bear Hill residents Elinor Roden and Nina Raia (published in the Stoneham Independent newspaper Wednesday, March 30, 2011)


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 Bear Hill Hosts 2010 Candidates Vying for State Senate Seat Minimize

Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Stoneham has become an important stop on the campaign trail for candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for the State Senate seat being vacated by Richard Tisei, candidate for Lieutenant Governor. 

As part of his primary campaign for the Middlesex and Essex Senate District, Candidate Michael Seamus Day made a visit to Bear Hill on Thursday, August 12th, while State Representative Katherine M. Clark vying for the same seat, stopped by a week later.  

Hosted by Bear Hill Administrator Bill Ring who serves as the Mass Senior Care Ambassador for the district, the campaign visits included tours of the center and an opportunity for the candidates to address residents, staff and visitors. 

According to Ring, Michael Day expressed that he supports increased funding for nursing home care. Representative Katherine Clark shared a memory of welcoming Bill Ring and other Mass Senior Care members to the State House to talk about senior care issues, and reminded voters that she is a long-time supporter of quality nursing home care.

Vote 2010 is an important aspect of the Mass Senior Care Respect & Protect Campaign for Quality Nursing Home Care. All centers are encouraged to host primary candidates and introduce them to senior care issues. For assistance with any Vote 2010 activity, please contact Jen Chen at Mass Senior Care at 616-558-0202.

 


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 Bear Hill Rehab In The News Minimize

The Stoneham Independent 10/7/2009

Bear Hill Residents Hold Successful Bakesale Fundraiser for Domenic

JANET SOUSA OF THE BEAR HILL NURSING CENTER lent a hand at the Fall Festival Bake Sale and Raffle in an effort to raise funds for a local youth fighting cancer.

In support of a local boy in his battle with cancer, Barbara Kirk and Nina Rayia, Vice President and President (respectively) of the Residents Council, organized the bake sale event with help from Eleanor Roden, Director of Activities Carolyn Reid, and the late Edna Dorgan.

 

 

 

 

8/28/07

 

Nursing Home Residents Honor Administrator for Innovative Program

Residents at the Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center awarded their own administrator, Bill Ring, for implementing a new program—"Two's Company"—at the rehabilitation and long term care facility in Stoneham, MA.

Ring conceived and developed the program to give higher-functioning residents a sense of purpose and satisfaction, and to provide less fortunate residents with peer socialization and support. All participants benefit from friendly interaction and caring exchanges of the program, implemented through the perseverance of the Activities Department of Carolyn DiBennedito, Heather Hill and social worker Jenny Ford. Family members and care givers alike praise the program for the positive impact it has made in the residents' lives.
In the foreground are Edith Howe, Grace Rufo and Marcia Hume, who presented the award to administrator Ring (standing).


The Stoneham Independent
5/16/07

 

Bear Hill rehab is good to my family

Dear Editor: I consider Bear Hill Rehabilitation & Nursing Center to be one of the finest nursing facilities in the area. Both management and the administrative staff are very professional, kind, courteous, caring and compassionate to all of your needs and concerns.

Any situation is always handled with efficiency, diplomacy and their on-going efforts to always assist you with any help you may need. They always show respect and are very dedicated in all they do for the family members, and most importantly, for their loved ones residing at Bear Hill. This facility always maintains a bright, cheery, exceptionally clean and happy atmosphere, that always welcomes you whenever you visit your loved one.

My mom is very well cared for; safe and protected while living at Bear Hill. The nurses have always been extremely kind, professional and helpful in any way they can to care for my mother and her needs, as well as to always listen to any of my concerns and be of help to me.

The staff and the individuals that I have come to know deserve much praise and recognition for all the hard work and dedication they give. “Hats Off!” to all of those who contribute in making Bear Hill the great facility that it is. I am proud to say that Bear Hill is a place to call “Home” for my mother! 

-- Linda S.

 


 

 The Boston Herald

AS YOU WERE SAYING...
By Tom Walsh

Nursing budget back to health should not deprive the elderly

Imagine my surprise when a cute young nurse called my dad her "Clint Eastwood."

Dad was a skinny, bifocal-wearing, dentured, thin-haired 77-year-old living at Bear Hill Nursing Home in Stoneham. He used a cane and a walker but had a heck of a smile. So it caused quite a laugh when, the nurse told us at our father's wake, how she would play cops 'n' robbers with him as she made her rounds. She was the robber, he was Dirty Harry with Polident.

In the seven years he lived there, Bear Hill, like other facilities, placed a heavy emphasis on the "home" part of its name. So it's with no little outrage that I read about Gov. Mitt Romney's plan to change the rules covering a nursing home's ability to hold a bed for a resident who requires a hospital stay. A Romney official told a Herald reporter this week that there are between 3,500 and 4,000 beds held each day for nursing home residents who are in the hospital.

"It's a day of payment in which the facility provides no services to MassHealth," the spokesman said. "We simply shouldn't and can't pay for services we're not receiving."

That's a shortsighted point of view. What if the State House staff jettisoned all the governor's files and computers and furniture every time he was out of town for a few days, forcing him to find a new office when he came back? The notion that the state is not receiving a service from the nursing home on days a person is in the hospital is flat out wrong. The nursing home isn't just holding a bed; it's maintaining a room that has become a person's home.

The trouble is, our mothers, fathers and grandparents who need nursing home care are likely to require a spell in a hospital at some point. In many cases the thought of going back to a familiar environment is what helps elderly patients get through a hospital stay. My dad--no stranger to hospitals--was always comforted in the days after a surgery by the phrase, "Don't worry dad, you'll be going home soon."

Home was his room at Bear Hill, with his blue recliner, the pictures of friends and family on the wall, the Herald delivered to his bed each morning and his plants in the window. More than that, it was the staff, from kitchen helpers to janitors to nurses and administrators, who would stop by his room or talk to him in the library or the hallway that became an extended family, people who took the time to know and love him in the years he lived among them.

Why should an elder who has raised a family, paid his taxes and served his country be forced to adjust to a new setting in a time when he is most vulnerable? What if the room is given away and the home fills to capacity? Should a resident and family be put through the ordeal of finding another home? In January, my dad was forced back into the hospital again. This time, he was slipping away and we knew it was the end. We didn't want him to die in the hospital, so we took him home--back to Bear Hill, where his room was waiting.

From the time he was back inside until he passed away a day later, his nursing home family came by to visit with him and us. They cried with us, laughed with us and prayed with us for this man who wasn't just a patient to them.

The state budget may be a mess, but fixing it without taking into account the needs of vulnerable citizens is poorly thought out.

Tom Walsh is a Boston Herald reporter. As You Were Saying is a regular feature of the Boston Herald. We invite our readers to contribute pieces of no more than 600 words. Mail contributions to the Boston Herald, P.O. Box 2096, Boston, MA 02106-2096, fax them to 617-542-1315 or e-mail to oped@ bostonherald.com. All submissions are subject to editing and become the property of the Boston Herald.

 


 

The Stoneham Independent

In praise of Bear Hill Nursing Home

Dear Editor:

The family of the late Olga Guerrini wishes to acknowledge the excellent care provided to her at the Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Stoneham. Olga had been at the Nursing Center for the past five years until her recent passing in February. Olga enjoyed her stay and made many friends.

She especially enjoyed Saturday nights watching Lawrence Welk together with her friends while having refreshments. The staff of Bear Hill was always attentive and caring and provided a surrounding for Olga that was like home-away-from home. Early in her stay when she was more able, she attended many of the activities regularly planned by the nursing center for their residents.

They also provided space for us to hold parties for Olga. These parties were always a hit with the other residents and staff alike and brought great cheer to her. Over the past few months the staff were very supportive during difficult times and kept Olga as comfortable as possible.

We would like to extend our heartful thanks to all at Bear Hill Nursing Center for their great spirit of commitment and love for their residents.

-- the Family of Olga Guerrini

 


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March 2013 — Bear Hill Nursing and Rehabilitation Center continued its top ranking among area nursing homes in the recent U.S. News and World Report of nursing homes in the United States, scoring a perfect 5-star ranking for overall services. Bear Hill Rehab was one of 81 facilities in the northern Boston metropolitan area (25-mile radius from Stoneham, Mass.) to achieve the perfect score.

Massachusetts nursing homes are held accountable for their quality of service by one of the most stringent sets of laws and regulations of any state in the country. The U.S. News and World Report report on nursing homes, which is published annually, give top ranking to nursing homes with a rating of five stars from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for their overall performance in health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of medical care. In last year's report, Bear Hill Rehab also earned the five-star rating.

Only about one in four nursing homes among the 422 facilities in Massachusetts earn the coveted five-star ranking--but the results of the state survey have proven important to nursing facilities and their residents alike. "We spend a lot of time, energy and money on making sure we achieve the highest possible rating on these state health inspections," said Bill Ring, Administrator of the Bear Hill facility. "But our main focus is, and has always been, on our residents. Their quality of life is the main driver of the work we do here, and while state inspections help make sure all nursing and rehabilitation facilities are doing things right, we've never lost focus on creating an environment where people can enjoy comfort, quiet, social interaction, and safety."

Bear Hill also scored a perfect five-star rating on the subcategory of "Quality Measures", which rates nursing facilities  based on percentages of residents who received recommended care, such as flu vaccinations, and percentages of residents who had pain, bedsores, urinary tract infections, and other care-related problems.

To view the U.S. News and World Report on Nursing Homes for 2013 online, click here.

BOSTON, Ma. 4/25/2012 — Mass Senior Care members are continuing their focus on building relationships with legislators by attending meetings at the State House. The meetings are an essential component of Mass Senior Care's “Respect & Protect” Campaign, an ongoing effort to educate legislators on senior care issues and cultivate legislative support for funding quality care.

Discussions center around the importance of adequate Medicaid funding, with individual members speaking to the specific challenges they face providing care to residents.  Mass Senior Care thanks all of the Ambassadors and members for attending these important meetings, sharing their personal stories with legislators, and committing themselves to our advocacy goals.

Recent State House meetings included a meeting on April 24, 2012 (pictured above) with:

Senator Katherine Clark (center)

William Ring (far right), Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, a long-time advocate for residents' rights
and currently the Massachusetts Senior Care Ambassador for the district

Rebecca Kix (far left), Wingate at Reading

Meghan Tarr (second from left), Apple Valley Center

Justin Quint (second from right), Wakefield Care and Rehabilitation Center


Our facility was the place to be on June 10, 2011, as over 60 people gathered for breakfast and a discussion of senior care issues. Hosted by Bill Ring, Administrator of Bear Hill and a Mass Senior Care ambassador, the event was attended by several area nursing center administrators and associate members, as well as residents and staff of Bear Hill and honored guests Representative Jason Lewis and Chairman of the Stoneham Board of Selectman Paul Rotundi.

The event featured a facility tour, a full breakfast and a program with comments by Representative Lewis, host Bill Ring, and Tara Gregorio, Mass Senior Care Director of Government Relations. Representative Lewis, a frequent visitor to Mass Senior Care facilities in his district, shared his views on Massachusetts health care and his belief that health care is a basic human right.  Tara Gregorio outlined the Commonwealth’s plan to create Accountable Care Organizations and the need for a cooperative effort to reduce costs and improve quality of care by reducing unnecessary hospitalizations, and also stressed the need for adequate funding for quality nursing home care in Massachusetts.  The Breakfast is one of many events hosted by Mass Senior Care members with a goal of educating and informing the public about critical senior care issues.

Pictured above: Enjoying breakfast and conversation at Bear Hill’s political breakfast on June 10 were Bear Hill resident Katie Jones, Representative Jason Lewis, Administrator Bill Ring, Tara Gregorio of Mass Senior Care, and resident Mary Pothier.

Sunday, March 7, 2010  —  The Boston Herald reported in a story about nursing home performance that Bear Hill Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was one of the top-performing nursing homes in Massachusetts, based on its repeated history of top scores during evaluations by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The article wrote that "Administrator William E. Ring Jr. said one of the keys to running a successful nursing home is supportive ownership. Bear Hill is owned by Commonwealth Management."

In quoting Administrator Ring, the article said "'It really starts there and everything follows. You have to have ownership that gives you the tools to do the job,” he said. “We have a very liberal budget. The philosophy is to do what’s best for the people entrusted to us first and hopefully good things will happen.”

Bear Hill also has low staff turnover. Ring, who has 32 years experience as a Massachusetts nursing home administrator, and the director of nursing have worked at Bear Hill for 17 years. Management heads are “out and about,” in the facility, which ensures quality care, he said.

“We have a management team that’s very much hands on with high visibility and high accessibility,” he said. “That’s one way you get in compliance. You have to be out there and paying attention to what’s going on. They prepare every day.”

In addition, Bear Hill does not employ temporary workers to augment the 220 full-time and part-time employees. The home also has a partnership with a local nursing college program."

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