The City of Thomasville is often called southwest Alabama’s success story because of its economic development track record. Now, the town of 4,200 people can boast of having one of Alabama’s highest rated nursing homes when it recruits new industries.

Thomasville Health Care & Rehab Center earned a perfect score on its annual inspection in January. It’s the second perfect score in three years. (Click here to read about the 2014 perfect inspection.)

“There are no words to describe it,” Thomasville Health Care & Rehab Center Administrator Diane Gatlin said when asked about the feeling of earning a perfect score. “The whole staff is ecstatic. In all actuality, it’s the hard work of the staff that gets us here. They certainly feel ownership in this accomplishment and are so very proud of their facility. They have worked very hard to get us here and the team work they exhibit during the survey and all year long make us a great nursing home.”

Thomasville Health Care & Rehab Center resident Thelma Patrick, left, with Business Office Manager Janet Smith.

Thomasville Health Care & Rehab Center resident Thelma Patrick, left, with Business Office Manager Janet Smith.

Over the course of three days, a team of four inspectors and one trainee from the Alabama Department of Public Health reviewed every part of the skilled nursing care center’s operation. Inspectors found that the facility met all of the federal government’s inspection criteria and declared it to be “deficiency free.” According to Gatlin, nothing is too big or too small for the team to inspect because the goal is to ensure nursing home residents receive the best care possible.

“The team looks at weight loss, changes in a resident’s skin and nutritional status,” Gatlin explained. “There are 522 tags spread across 140 plus areas so they’re looking at something that relates to everyone of those. One year, we were cited for a stained ceiling tile which was easily and quickly fixed. That just goes to show you they look at everything from the large to small.”

Nursing homes are the only Alabama health care providers that are inspected annually. That high level of oversight is why it’s important for all of Thomasville’s 110 employees to work toward the same goal of delivering high quality medical care.

“On a wagon wheel, a missing spoke makes the whole wheel weak,” Gatlin said. “Each department represents a spoke in wheel and every spoke is very important. So, without each one doing their part, our facility would not be the facility it is. Every department is excellent at what they do.”

There’s also a strong connection between the community and the nursing home because it’s owned by the City of Thomasville.

“Because we are owned by the City of Thomasville, everyone in town is my boss,” jokes Gatlin. “We’re so involved with the people we care for because many of our residents are former school teachers and principals, friends from church and even our own family members. I would like the citizens of Thomasville to know plenty of people are making sure their loved one is getting the care they need all the way from state agencies to community leaders and we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

About Thomasville Health Care & Rehab Center:

Thomasville Health Care & Rehab Center is an 80-bed skilled nursing care center offering speech, physical and occupational therapy along with long-term health care services. Diane Gatlin is the Administrator and Gala Carpenter is the Director of Nursing.