BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – A Fort Madison assisted living facility continues to get national recognition for care programs and staff achievements.
On July 31, Amanda Garcia, a registered nurse and the wellness coordinator at The Kensington in Fort Madison was named the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) Nurse of the Year. Garcia will be recognized at the 69th Annual American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living Convention & Expo in San Diego, CA, held October 7-10.
Garcia has been The Kensington’s wellness coordinator for the past eight years.
“Although I have only had the pleasure of working with Mrs Garcia for a short period of time, her high energy and passion are evident. Amanda is a great representative of the values and culture that makes the Kensington a terrific place to work or live. Amanda is the kind of leader we all strive to be; one of a servant mindset. I am proud to be able to work alongside her,” said Leia Morrison, Executive Director of the Kensington.
“We keep up on all certifications and what’s current in dementia care and that says a lot about the Kensington that we trying to do all these things and be out in the community and do that kind of support,” Garcia said. “This isn’t just my award, but the Kensington’s award too.”
In 2017, The Kensington earned the Silver—Achievement in Quality award through the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program.
Garcia was nominated by former Kensington Director Rachel Benda and Linda Larkin, director of operations for AgeMark System, the corporate parent of the Kensington.
Garcia was nominated for several program she’s involved including being one of the first in the county to be a certified with the Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment.
“I can teach others how to fill orders out so they become facilitators and only facilitators can fill out those forms. Myself and Debbie Green at Fort Madison Community Hospital hold a couple sessions each year to help others with that process,” Garcia said.
Garcia is also a Virtual Dementia Tour® facilitator and certified dementia care practitioner and has helped train staff at the local hospital and Iowa State Penitentiary. She also offers training to community groups and Kensington residents’ family members.
“Obviously this has brought lots of attention to the Kensington,” she said. “People congratulated us on our silver award last year and people in the community have congratulated me. When I received the Distinguished Director of Nursing Award in September, I got a lot of congratulations on that and the residents are very proud and talk about it. And they want to know what these awards are, and I’m proud of that”.
Garcia said the Kensington is very generous with her time which allows her to share her knowledge with others and better serve more people and families
I’m also a certified dementia care practitioner, which means I know how to care for people with dementia. It’s a national certification that we try to get at least all of our people that have anything to do with our memory unit certified in.”
“Amanda’s continued hard work and dedication are an inspiration to her team and have helped them and the Kensington provide great service to our tenants. Amanda has strived for constant improvement throughout her career and is driven by her professionalism, compassion and commitment,” Larkin said.