Laurel Park among nation's top nursing homes

By Jason A. Smith


The head of the Laurel Park nursing home is crediting the dedication of her staff and the "quality of care" they provide, as the reasons for the facility recently achieving national recognition.

A "Top Nursing Home in America" award was given to the Stockbridge facility by the Consumers' Research Council of America, a research organization based in Washington, D.C.

Laurel Park is a rehabilitation facility and nursing home, with a capacity of 89 residents, and has been open since 2001. Staff members are trained to meet the physical needs of a wide variety of patients, said Carol Wellman, a licensed administrator at Laurel Park.

"They have made a commitment to provide quality care to residents of Henry County, and I'm proud to be associated with them," said Wellman. The facility, which is on the campus of Henry Medical Center (HMC), received a plaque in February commemorating its inclusion as a "Top Nursing Home in America."

"We specialize in the rehabilitation of residents who have had orthopedic surgery, knee replacements, hip surgeries or a stroke, and require physical, occupational or speech therapy," continued Wellman. "We also have a long-term care side, for residents needing 24-hour care."

The research council reviewed a number of quality measures at more than 17,000 facilities in the country -- including the occurrence of pressure sores and falls among residents, and the use of restraints by staff members -- in evaluating their list, said Wellman. Laurel Park, she added, was notified of its inclusion on the list in October.

Laurel Park has won other awards in recent years, from local and state outlets. The facility, according to Wellman, was recognized as a deficiency-free nursing home in 2006 and 2008 by the Georgia Department of Community Health, and was named one of Atlanta's 40 best places to work in 2008, by Atlanta Magazine.

Michelle Nunnally, public relations specialist for Henry Medical Center, commended Wellman and her staff for their most recent achievement. "The staff and physicians work hard to provide quality care to the residents at Laurel Park, and their dedication continues to be recognized with national awards," Nunnally said.