Dr. Nora O'Brien executive director Willow Towers Assisted Living

Willow Towers Receives National Quality Award

March 29

Big news! Willow Towers was just recognized among America’s best assisted living facilities. Our community was among just 66 centers nationwide — and, the only facility in New York State — to receive a Commitment to Quality Award at the American Health Care Association (ACHA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL)’s annual Quality Summit, held March 13 in New Orleans, LA.

Willow Towers received the honor through the National Quality Award Program, organized by the AHCA/NCAL, a leading industry association for long-term and post-acute care.

 “This recognition demonstrates our unstinting commitment to quality improvement,” says Nora O’Brien, PT, DPT, executive director, Willow Towers Assisted Living and Willow Gardens Memory Care. Dr. O’Brien points out that searching for an assisted living residence for a loved one is often challenging especially when such facilities are not nationally regulated.

“What’s more, not all obtain the same state licensures,” she says.”This program is the standard of excellence in our industry.”

The award affirms what we have always felt—that we are providing superior care at Willow Towers. But outside recognition counts big time. “This recognition signifies that we are also performing well against national quality standards. Of course, achieving quality is about more than meeting requirements; the real reward is knowing that we are providing the very best possible experience for our residents.”

This was the first year that we applied to be a part of the voluntary national program. Absent a federal mandate, the ACHA/NCAL program aims to set national benchmarks for quality and provide a pathway for providers of long term and post-acute care services to journey towards performance excellence. Trained examiners evaluated the applications to ensure that facilities have implemented a performance improvement system; developed an organizational profile with a vision, mission, strengths and challenges, and key factors for success; and demonstrated the attainment of two or more of the four Quality Initiative goals: 

  1. Increase staff stability by maintaining a turnover rate below 40%
  2. Increase customer satisfaction to 90%
  3. Safely reduce hospital readmissions by 15% or achieve a low readmission rate of 5% or less
  4. Safely reduce the off-label use of antipsychotic drugs by 15% or achieve a low off-label useage rate of 5% or less

“We’ve laid the groundwork to continue our quality improvement journey in this program which is the standard of excellence in our industry,” says Dr. O’Brien. “We are building upon the strong foundation we have new tools to track and measure our progress. The recognition affirms our approach to providing great care and quality of life for our residents.” 

The honor is the latest earned by United Hebrew’s campus community. Recent accolades include receiving the American College of Healthcare Administrators (ACHCA) Eli Pick Facility Leadership award (for the third year in a row); the America’s Best for Extended Care Women’s Choice Award, and making the list of U.S. News & World Report Best Nursing Homes (for the seventh consecutive year).  

“We’re so proud of our staff for embarking on this journey and for serving as a model assisted living facility in New York State and across the nation,” said Rita Mabli, president and CEO of United Hebrew. “The program helps us remain competitive as an organization, and helps provide the outstanding and compassionate care our residents and their families deserve.”