The Award-Winning Los Angeles Jewish Home Earns Accolades and Celebrates Success
In the best of times, providing world-class senior care and leading-edge health education is a tall order. During a global pandemic, the hurdles to success are even higher. Yet, the Los Angeles Jewish Home continues to rise to the challenge, gaining significant recognition for its outstanding work. Two of its most recent honors acknowledge the Jewish Home's dedication to excellence across multiple fields of endeavor.
This month, the California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) selected the Jewish Home's Brandman Centers for Senior Care (BCSC), a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), as its 2021 Organization of the Year. This prestigious award will be conferred at the NASW-CA's annual conference, to be held virtually in October.
"I could not be prouder of our social work team, who more than earned this great honor," says BCSC Executive Director Susie Fishenfeld. "It's a tremendous privilege to work with such dedicated and compassionate professionals. They do an outstanding job making a difference for our participants and their family members every single day."
"Our program is community-based, so our approach to COVID had to reflect that," says Carolyn Quinn, BCSC's social work lead. "We kept our doors open throughout the pandemic to ensure participants had access to our clinics and therapies. It required incredible dedication, and a lot of smart and creative thinking, to make it happen, and I feel very fortunate to be surrounded by such amazing colleagues. They're really just the best people."
That creative thinking required going above and beyond the normal role of a social worker. "At BCSC, we help make it safe for our seniors to remain in their homes," Susie notes. "During COVID, especially for the first several months, that meant working hard to meet participants' most basic needs—like, for those not able to travel into the center, bringing them food and basic items such as toilet paper so they wouldn't have to leave their homes."
The social workers' responsibilities also included initiating challenging conversations. "Fifty percent of our participants have dementia. We reached out to their families and put plans in place for what would happen if their loved ones ended up in the hospital. It broke my team members' hearts to have to have those calls, but people appreciated the frankness, and I was so proud of my team's attitude, which was, "This is hard, but we're going to do whatever it takes for our participants and their families to be well," Carolyn says.
The Brandman Centers for Senior Care is not the only Jewish Home organization earning accolades for high achievement. In July, the Annenberg School of Nursing made it onto the list of top three nursing schools in California, as ranked by practicalnursing.com. The ranking reflects data on first-time successful pass rates for the state licensing exam, overall student support services, and program elements more easily streamlining students toward achieving licensure.
"Words cannot express my pride and gratitude for having reached this milestone, which is the result of the collective efforts and the continued leadership, drive, and commitment of our entire staff," says Amandeep Kaur, director of the Annenberg School. "I wish all of my colleagues a hearty congratulations."
Over the past year, the need for qualified, expert nursing care has skyrocketed. Fortunately, Amandeep says, COVID-19 has not put a damper on the Annenberg School's meteoric rise. "Ensuring we are consistently following all public health guidelines, our LVN class remained full despite the pandemic, and we are thrilled to be in a position to be training new nurses during a time of such critical demand," she says. Among the factors driving such steady student enrollment: a focus on ongoing opportunities for real-world experience. "At this point, many nursing schools have turned to online clinical instruction, but we're still doing hands-on training to ensure our students are prepared for what's waiting out in the field," she says.
The Jewish Home salutes the Brandman Centers for Senior Care and the Annenberg School on their impressive accomplishments. May they go from strength to strength!