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The Hillsdale County Medical Facility is the best nursing home in Michigan according to a Newsweek Survey. | Facebook

The Hillsdale County Medical Care Facility earned the No. 1 spot in a Newsweek Report released on Oct. 9 listing the best nursing homes in Michigan.

Denise Baker, the admin­is­trator of the facility, said she was happily sur­prised by the news. Now in its near-100th year of exis­tence, the nursing home started out as a poor­house, according to Baker, “for people who weren’t being taken care of by their fam­ilies. It just kind of expanded from there.”

Now, the county-owned nursing home is located on Mechanic Road, just five minutes via car from Hillsdale College, and has 170 beds. Baker said the nursing home has been rated as a five-star facility in the recent past. 

Newsweek released a report ranking nursing homes based on several dif­ferent cri­teria: a rep­u­tation survey given to admin­is­trators as well as nurses and physi­cians, number of staffing hours, quality of stay, and health inspec­tions via the Medicare and Med­icaid pro­grams.

The nursing home is paid for in full by Medicare and Med­icaid. This means the home is subject to annual inspec­tions and ratings by the Centers for Medicare and Med­icaid Ser­vices. Baker said the home achieves high scores from the state in those areas.

The study did have some lim­i­ta­tions, according to Baker. 

“They didn’t look at facil­ities that were under 150 beds,” she said. “While there are two other very good facil­ities in the county asso­ciated with the hos­pital, they didn’t get counted into the data col­lection.”

As a non­profit, Baker said her goal is to provide good service to res­i­dents and maintain a clean facility. 

“I think if you start there, you’re going to come out on top,” she said. “That’s what it’s about, is taking good care of people in a clean facility.”

According to Baker, running a nursing home can be a lot of work. 

“It takes a village to take care of 170 elderly people, and we’re very lucky to have a facility full of people who love what they do and love who they take care of,” she said.