2019 Alabama’s Best Practices

Click here for the Call for Nominations Form for Alabama’s Best Practices 2019. Alabama’s Best Practices will be held December 9 in Birmingham.


2017 Alabama’s Best Practices


2017 Alabama’s Best Practices Manual

Presenters: click on the link for detailed information about each Best Practice

Thirteen skilled nursing care centers have been nominated for an opportunity to participate in Alabama’s Best Practices 2017.

The nominees for Alabama’s Best Practices 2017 are:

Honorable Mention Award Recipients

Photo Gallery – 2017

Presenters Announced – 2017

Nominees Announced – 2017

2015 Alabama’s Best Practices


2015 Alabama’s Best Practices Manual

Presenters: click on the link for detailed information about each Best Practice

Honorable Mention Award Recipients

Presenters Announced

Nominees Announced

Photo Gallery

2014 Alabama’s Best Practices


2014 Alabama’s Best Practices Manual

Presenters: click on the link for detailed information about each Best Practice

Honorable Mention Award Recipients

Presenters Announced

Nominees Announced

Photo Gallery

Alabama’s Best Practices Director

  • Pam Penland, 205-594-5148

What is the Alabama’s Best Practices Program?

The Alabama’s Best Practices Conference is a one-day event filled with opportunities for nursing homes to learn from one another. It allows nursing homes throughout the state of Alabama, to not only come up with new ideas to improve their facilities, but to share what works and what doesn’t with other facilities in the state.

To be selected as one of the presenters in this innovative long-term care program is a great honor. Winners are chosen by individuals of our 14 member Professional Review Panel. Eight finalists give their presentations and share information on what has worked for them, through experience.

There is something to be learned at this conference, for all homes. Improving the quality of care given to our residents and making our communities great places to live and work, are both ongoing processes. Our abilities to learn and our desires to be the best should never stop.

Alabama’s Best Practice Conference is designed to be a way to share ideas and information in the minds of people with different interests, educational backgrounds, ages, and cultures. From the nursing assistant to the administrator, from review panelists to potential sponsors, Best Practices communicates concepts that have already been proven to be effective. By attending this event, CEU credits can be earned.

How Did Alabama’s Best Practices Begin?

During 1993, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) explored the concept of best practices as developed in New York in 1989. A proposal for Alabama’s Best Practices (BP) was completed in November 1993, and after preliminary discussion, the proposal was presented to the Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA). A consensus was reached on program design and functions and implementation began in March 1994 with the ADPH’s designation of a program Director and ANHA’s designation of a chairperson for the BP Steering Committee. The BP Director and Steering Committee Chairperson and two other representatives observed a New York Best Practice Conference in May 1994. With the benefit of these observations and the advice shared by New York, operational plans for Alabama’s Best Practices were laid. Alabama became the third state in the nation behind New York and California, to begin a Best Practices Program. The first Best Practice nomination was received on September 29, 1994.

What is a Best Practice?

A best practice is any intervention a nursing home has developed which improves residents’ lives or living conditions. It can be drawn from any care area of residents’ lives, and is directed toward quality of life. Best Practices (BP) fosters cooperative efforts that enhance excellence and innovation in resident care, as well as single facility or multi-facility initiatives that may involve residents and staff as well as the civic, religious and regulatory communities. A BP may involve residents’ rights, provision of care, or administrative practices which result in improved care. The BP concept is to explore alternative care models which have proven effective for residents in Alabama nursing homes.

The Alabama’s Best Practices Program Judging Process

Each year beginning in the fall the Best Practices Steering Committee meets to determine the conference date and location, establish a time line for planning/coordinating the Best Practice Conference and approve the nomination packet. The Best Practices Steering Committee is made up of appointed members from each of the nine regions of the Alabama Nursing Home Association and appointments from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The Best Practices (BP) Director is selected by the Best Practices Steering Committee. From the direction of the Steering Committee, the BP Director solicits and begins to promote the Best Practices Program. The Best Practices Director meets with all the regions and contacts as many facilities as possible soliciting them to enter nominations for innovative programs that their facility uses to promote excellence in the care and life of our Alabama nursing home residents.

Nominations are officially solicited between fall and late winter with the deadline for nomination set in early Spring. The Best Practices Steering Committee chooses a Professional Panel (usually 5 – 9) to review the nominations. Blind nominations are submitted to the Professional Review Panel.

Nominations are judged on eleven criteria:

  1. The Best Practice addresses a clearly defined need, problem or situation
  2. Goals and objectives of the Best Practice correspond with the identified need, problem or situation
  3. Intervention/activities to achieve stated goals and objectives are clearly described
  4. The need, problem, or situation identified involves residents and a variety of staff disciplines
  5. A mechanism is in place for evaluating attainment of program goals and objectives
  6. The Best Practice promotes teamwork and collaboration
  7. The Best Practice promotes organizational effectiveness (attainment of goals and objectives)
  8. The Best Practice can be applied in other facilities feasibly and effectively
  9. The Best Practice is clearly presented as benefiting residents
  10. The activity protocols, therapies, systems, interventions and programs described are not common practice
  11. The Best Practice involves a multi-disciplinary approach that has proven effective in integrating quality of care with quality of life.

Each of these criteria are judged on a scale of 1 – 4. The highest possible being 4. Once these criteria are judged the scores are added together. The judge then adds up to 4 points based on the innovation of the best practice. The total becomes the score from the judge on that Best Practice. This procedure is followed for every nomination.

The entire book of blind nominations is mailed to the Association office by the judge. The Association office tallies all of the scores by the judges. The Association then matches the blind nominations with the facility information. The top eight nominations with the highest scores are determined the presenters.

2013 Alabama’s Best Practices Presenters Announced

2013 Alabama’s Best Practices Manual

Photo Gallery

Nine Facilities Have Developed Innovative Approaches to Resident Care and Quality of Life

MONTGOMERY – Eight Alabama nursing homes were honored for developing creative techniques and implementing innovative practices to improve resident care. Those facilities presented their initiatives at the 20th annual Alabama’s Best Practices Program on August 29 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham.

The Alabama nursing homes chosen to present their “Best Practice” are:

“DARE to Care” – South Haven Health & Rehab, Hoover: DARE (Dementia Activities Resources and Enrichment) to Care is a program which reduces behaviors, increase safety and keeps residents active

“Off the Chain” – Coosa Valley Nursing Home, Sylacauga: Innovative activities have been designed to increase resident quality of life and provide support for young adults living in nursing homes by incorporating culture change

“Serenity Suite” – Oak Park Nursing Home, Auburn: Nursing home staff developed a room that provides privacy for the family and for the resident who is nearing the end of life

“Caring Paws” – Arbor Springs Health & Rehab Center, Opelika: By partnering with Auburn University’s School of Nursing, this facility developed ways to enrich the lives of people diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s using pet therapy

“Hicks and Giggles” – Haleyville Health & Rehab, Haleyville: By incorporating laughter into care, the facility increased the participation in events by male residents and boosted staff morale

“Weight Watchers Happy Hour” – River City Center, Decatur: This program combines personal attention, high calorie foods and daily encouragement to stabilize the weight of long term care resident

“Young Bloods” – Athens Rehab Center & Senior Care, Athens: Consisting of residents 59 years of age and younger, The Young Bloods Club recognizes the different needs of younger residents and increases quality of life for this age group

“Five Alive” – Hanceville Nursing & Rehab Center, Hanceville: This program uses a specially prepared sensory room to properly stimulate resident with dementia and has been shown to decrease agitation and restlessness

The Best Practices program is chaired by Pam Penland, a nursing home owner from Ashville, Alabama. According to Penland, “While each idea addresses very different needs, they share a common goal of improving the lives of nursing home residents. These innovative programs and ideas can be emulated in nursing homes across Alabama.”

Alabama’s Best Practices was created by the Alabama Nursing Home Association in 1994 with cooperation from the Alabama Department of Public Health. The program recognizes nursing homes for innovative ways of improving residents’ quality of life and/or quality of care. The concepts shared have touched and improved the lives of countless hundreds of Alabama’s nursing home residents.

In addition to the facility presentations, the event honored over 60 nursing home employees for their exceptional contributions to long term care.