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.