Meet Brenda Miller from Masconomet Health Center in Topsfield, Massachusetts! Brenda worked in the Whittier Health Network for nine years before taking a break and moving to an assisted living facility. Now she’s back with Whittier and going into her thirteenth cumulative year with the company!

So, what does an admissions coordinator at ‘Masco’ do? 

My role is to work with the hospitals and referral venues (assisted livings and senior centers) to market our skilled nursing facility,” Brenda says. “We have a great relationship with Beverly Hospital, which is our largest direct feed of patient referrals. There are also four or five centers that we work closely with, and we work together when an individual has outgrown their assisted living days.

What’s the difference between a skilled nursing facility and assisted living, and how do you know when a change needs to be made? “A skilled nursing facility is for people who need daily hands-on care,” Brenda explains. Skilled nursing is a medical setting, and that care could involve helping with daily living tasks, medication schedules, or ongoing therapy.

What’s the admissions process for moving from assisted living to skilled nursing? First, Brenda visits a local assisted living facility. Then, the prospective patient and their loved ones will tour Masconomet, where they may meet in outdoor areas or in the spaced-out lobby, to review what the facility has to offer photos of the rooms and common spaces. With COVID restrictions easing, families are assured their loved ones can have visitors in their rooms. Visitors who aren’t fully vaccinated may have a scheduled visit in the common room. 

Communication is constant when you’re a resident of Masco, as Brenda explains: “Over this past year, we’ve worked hard to keep the families as informed as possible with what’s going on in the building, through email, so loved ones have some sense of peace. Additionally, we’ll make personal phone calls to talk about situations that may need more elaboration.”

In addition to Admissions and Marketing, Brenda works with the Masco Activities Director to hold regular events for the benefit of the family, such as cookouts or dessert socials in the summer. “We’d really love to hold a thank-you event for our first responders this summer if we can,” Brenda says. “We’ve worked so closely with the police, the fire chief, local ambulance companies, all of us going through COVID-19.” 

Brenda is also eager to invite case managers from hospitals or insurance companies to visit Masconomet. During the pandemic, hosting Zoom meetings with these professionals helps maintain communication with these connections. Still, she is hoping to get back to in-person marketing events as soon as the safety and health guidelines by the Department of Public Health allow them to do so.

Most of all, Brenda is glad to be back in the Whittier family. “Whittier is a private company, not a nationwide corporation where you’re lost in the shuffle. That means there’s more collaborative work between all the facilities. When it’s a smaller group of managers, the process of trying new ideas and programs can be streamlined.”

There’s a lot of respect here between managers and owners; that’s why so many here have been with Whittier for over ten years. In an industry where people job-hop every six months, that’s a big deal.

For referrals or more information about Masconomet Healthcare Center, visit their page on our website.

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