Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

(From our most recent 2009 Annual Report to the Community)
(View printable brochure about Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center.)

Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

“ Paddle for Porter”

On August 13th, nearly 70 HPHRC residents, 90 family members and more than 50 staff members boarded six handicapped buses and one van and set off for their ferry boat ride on Lake Champlain. Three pick-up trucks and one cargo van (filled with wheelchairs, stretchers, three handicapped toilets and walkers) followed behind. Prior to departure, the dietary staff filled 40 portable coolers with 220 lunches and lots of beverages for the warm summer day.

The majority of the expenses for the day ($8,000) was covered by the fund-raising efforts of HPHRC administrator Neil Gruber and his paddling partner Mike Cameron— who began their 110 mile “Paddle for Porter” on Lake Champlain at Whitehall, New York on Memorial Day and completed their journey in November.

In addition to celebrating the 400th anniversary of Champlain’s discovery of the lake, the participants enjoyed an incredible day that rekindled memories and provided new experiences to share for years to come.

We have shared these photographs from that memorable day, along with other photographs you’ll see in this Annual Report, to illustrate the diversity of programs and the degree of creativity and commitment demonstrated by our Helen Porter staff to provide compassionate and quality care to our residents all year long.

Implementation of Electronic Health Record System

Very few nursing homes in Vermont have a fully integrated electronic health record system, which makes the successful implementation of an EHRS at Helen Porter all that more remarkable.

With limited financial resources, but a significant commitment of time and energy, a team of HPHRC employees provided leadership to their colleagues to implement new computer technology that has already resulted in more efficient and effective care, as well as enhanced reimbursement and a high level of employee pride.

Part of that pride stemmed from an invitation from the American Health Care Association to Helen Porter to make a presentation about how they successfully implemented their electronic medical record system to the AHCA national conference in Chicago. This was the first time in the history of Helen Porter to be invited to present at a national long-term care conference.

National Quality Award and Recognition

During their trip to the AHCA conference in Chicago, Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center was also recognized as one of the 2009 recipients of the Step I National Quality Award presented by the AHCA and the National Center for Assisted Living. Last year 664 nursing and assisted living facilities from across the nation applied for the quality award at this level. “We applaud Helen Porter for having passed this first step that demonstrates their intention to begin a rigorous quality improvement program, and look forward to their moving forward to pursue the requirements for the Steps II and III awards in the coming years,” stated Bernie Dana, Chair, AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Board of Overseers, one of the nine members that oversee the program.

Applicants for the Step I level award have a clear vision and mission for their facility and acknowledge key challenges that are embodied in the organizational profile section of the Malcolm Baldrige criteria. The Step I award recognizes providers that have developed a foundation to begin a journey of continuous quality improvement, and that they have taken the first step in corresponding with any public measures of performance.


Eastview Retirement Community

The proposed "Eastview Retirement Community" is a separate organization outside of the corporate structure of Porter Medical Center-but the positive implications to our organization are so significant that we have chosen to include this project within the context of this report.

A marketing survey conducted by the Eastview project developers very early in the process of investigation indicated a strong interest among Addison County residents for a high quality retirement community with connections to Porter Medical Center.  More important, early marketing activity during the summer and fall of 2005 resulted in well over 100 "priority list" deposits of $1,000 each-80% coming from current Addison County residents-demonstrating that there is in fact a need and desire among local people to remain in our community as they age.

The still evolving relationship between Eastview (which is now governed by a local and separate not-for-profit board of directors) and PMC will be both "tangible" in terms of annual lease payments for the property adjacent to our campus that will be the home of this new community.and "symbiotic" as it relates to the addition of a new form of retirement housing and elder care services that expand the existing long-term care continuum.

Through the generosity of Middlebury College, the land adjacent to our Helen Porter Rehabilitation & Nursing Center was added to the existing land lease between the College and Porter Medical Center at no cost to Porter.  This has facilitated the creation of a sublease between PMC and Eastview that will produce significant revenue in support of the community mission, services and programs offered by our organization to the people of Addison County via Porter Hospital and Helen Porter. Given the chronic and very real financial challenges facing HPHRC as outlined earlier in this report, it is not difficult to understand the potential importance of these funds in supporting the operations of Helen Porter and providing a more dependable source of funds.

In addition to the potential financial benefit in support of our mission, aging members of our community will have an option to remain in Addison County, among their friends, family and neighbors-and continue to be active members of our community while enjoying the benefits of a community designed to meet their needs.

The PMC and HPHRC boards recognized the many benefits to our local community and to our mission; and have been supportive of developing this relationship and ensuring that this is a project that will enhance the quality of life for our citizens.