Collaborative approach helps long-term care provider retain staff

By Medline Newsroom Staff | August 17, 2022

Caregiver Readiness

Collaborative approach helps long-term care provider retain staff

Windsor Healthcare chief clinical officer shares strategies for staff success

Windsor Healthcare

The U.S. nursing shortage, a critical issue for more than 10 years, accelerated during the pandemic. One of the most severe shortages is in New Jersey, where long-term care provider Windsor Healthcare is based. The state is expected to face a shortage of more than 11,000 nurses by 2030.   

Unlike many care organizations that have relied on staffing agencies to help fill nursing positions during the pandemic, Windsor Healthcare has been able to manage their staffing levels to continue providing quality care to residents. The Medline Newsroom recently spoke with Afrika Parks, RN, MSN, LNHA, chief clinical officer at Windsor Healthcare, to learn more about the organization’s approach to maintaining a strong company culture at its eight skilled nursing facilities and three assisted living communities. 

  • Newsroom: Many organizations have to rely on staffing agencies during a pandemic. To what do you attribute Windsor’s success in managing staff levels during COVID-19?
  • Afrika Parks: To help provide high-quality resident care, it is important that our leaders and their team members view their work as a collaborative effort. Windsor Healthcare is not a top-heavy organization, and every person on our executive team has been a front-line healthcare worker. We truly understand the valuable work our front-line workers do on a daily basis. We worked hard to ensure that staff felt like leadership stood by their side and supported them during such a trying time. It was our goal to make sure they were aware of and comfortable with everything we were doing to protect them and their residents. We made it our mission to go above and beyond to figure out supplies, ensure they could take breaks, maintain open communication by sharing real-time updates, and be transparent with every team leader and their front-line workers. This helped to build a sense of trust.   
  • Newsroom: As the pandemic evolved, what types of strategies did Windsor Healthcare implement to protect the mental well-being of its staff? 
  • Afrika Parks: At first, our clinical teams didn’t quite understand the magnitude of the virus, and the fear of the unknown set in as cases picked up near us. We knew addressing the mental health of our staff was critical to their well-being and we wanted to help them feel empowered. We provided resources like virtual therapy sessions to help them talk through and manage their feelings in a safe space. Some staff were fearful of coming to work and we talked through it with them on a case-by-case basis. 
  • Newsroom: Tell us about leadership’s approach to securing essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff during the pandemic to keep them safe 
  • Afrika Parks: Everything we do centers on what is best for the community, patients and staff. Early into the pandemic, we realized we needed supplies for today but also needed to plan for tomorrow. Our partnership with Medline was essential in getting the supplies we needed so our staff felt safe caring for residents. My office even became an additional warehouse to stockpile supplies so our teams could easily pull what they needed. When we initially started seeing supply shortages, Medline worked hard to get us supplies, whether it was the exact ones we were used to or substitutions so we avoided going without. What has made the partnership successful, especially during the pandemic, is the level of transparency between Medline and Windsor and the support to figure out solutions to our challenges. 

Learn more about how Medline is partnering with long-term care providers to help their organizations run better 

Categories: Caregiver Readiness, Healthcare Segment News

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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