Charleston, W.Va. – Patty Lucas’ calling to care for others has come full circle. She began her career at McDowell Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (N&RC) more than 30 years ago. Now, Lucas been named the 2018 Administrator of the Year by the West Virginia Health Care Association (WVHCA) while serving as the Executive Director of the center where it all began.
The award was presented to Lucas at the annual WVHCA Awards Banquet hosted at the Marriott Hotel in Charleston, W.Va. The convention and awards banquet recognizes the best in skilled nursing and assisted living centers in W.Va.
Lucas began as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) while attending school and became even more determined after seeing what her high school counselor wrote on her college transcripts. In bold, black letters “not college material, coal miner’s daughter” was written across the top.
This slight motivated Lucas to continue her education and she earned her degree and became a social worker for McDowell N&RC. After being in this role for several years, Lucas tested for her nursing home administrator’s license. She started as the Administrator for McDowell N&RC shortly after earning her license.
From there her career took her to another AMFM center. While at Wyoming Nursing & Rehabilitation Center (N&RC), she led the center to a Best Practice award from WVHCA for their innovative buffet lunch program. In 2011, Lucas was named the AMFM President’s Choice Award winner by owner John Elliot.
In 2012, Lucas returned to McDowell N&RC to “come home” in a sense. Since then McDowell N&RC’s reputation for caring and compassionate care has flourished under her leadership style.
Lucas’s approach to treating her patients and team members is a simple one. She is kind. Often, she asks patients “what can I do to make your stay here better?” Or, she may call a family with empathy and say, “I know you are having a hard time so tell me something I can do to ease your mind.”
McDowell County is steeped in the history of coal in W.Va. Many of the patients at McDowell N&RC are former coal miners who worked in the mines from their youth until retirement. To help bridge the gap for former coal miners at the center, Lucas implemented the “Coal Country” program.
She provides these residents with mining hats, replica equipment, photo albums of mines and work boards to give some the patients with coal mining “work” to do.
Under Lucas’ leadership McDowell N&RC earned the 2015 Bronze National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association/National Centers for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). From 2014 through 2017, McDowell N&RC has won the customer service “Embracing Quality Award” from Providigm.
My InnerView research services has consistently found high satisfaction ratings from residents, families and employees. In the most recent survey period 100% of residents and families rated their overall satisfaction with services as “excellent or good.”
AMFM operates 18 skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers throughout West Virginia. They operate in Braxton, Boone, Clay, Cabell, Summers, Fayette, Hardy, Greenbrier, Webster, Wayne, McDowell, Lincoln, Wyoming, Harrison (Clarksburg & Bridgeport), Marshall, Taylor and Mercer counties.
AMFM’s mission is “to exemplify excellence in quality care to our customers by providing an environment that enhances personal growth, individuality, dignity and respect.”