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Highlands Lake Center Earns Gold – Excellence in Quality Award

Lakeland Skilled Nursing Center Earns National Quality Care Distinction

August 17, 2015
Contact: Kristen Knapp, APR

TALLAHASSEE, FL – Highlands Lake Center, a 179-bed skilled nursing center in Lakeland, has been recognized as a 2015 recipient of the Gold – Excellence in Quality National Quality Award for superior performance in the long term and post-acute care profession. Representing the best of the best, the award is the final step in three progressive levels of awards through the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Award Program. The program recognizes organizations that meet rigorous standards and serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality long term and post-acute care.

Earning the Gold - Excellence in Quality Award requires a skilled nursing center or assisted living community to achieve both the Bronze - Commitment to Quality and Silver - Achievement in Quality awards prior to moving to the Gold level—an accomplishment that takes several years. Applicants adhere to the core values and criteria of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, an organization management improvement tool that focuses on key areas, including leadership, customer and staff satisfaction, strategic planning and more.

Opis Senior Services Group Highlands Lake Center was one of just four providers nationwide to receive the prestigious Gold – Excellence in Quality Award this year. Since the program’s inception in 1996, AHCA/NCAL has issued only 28 organizations with awards at the Gold level, the final and most rigorous level of the National Quality Award Program.

"Highlands Lake Center has always had a strong commitment to achieving and advancing quality care excellence. I'm proud of our team for embracing this journey. It has enhanced our processes and we have seen tremendous positive outcomes for our customers and their families, our staff and the stakeholders we work with every day,” said Everton Spencer, administrator of Highlands Lake Center.

Florida leads the nation with the highest number of Quality Award recipients for a single state. Along with Highland Lake Center's achievement of the Gold-Excellence in Quality Award, 29 Florida centers have earned the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award and 51 centers have earned the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award.

“Highlands Lake Center reflects the best in long term care, and we are proud to honor them for the positive difference they are making in the lives of Florida’s elderly and persons with disabilities,” said Emmett Reed, Executive Director of FHCA, Florida’s first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the residents under their care.

The award will be presented to Highlands Lake Center during AHCA/NCAL’s 66th Annual Convention and Exposition, October 4-7, 2015, in San Antonio, Texas.

The Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) is a federation which serves nearly 1,000 members and represents over 500 long term care facilities that provide skilled nursing, post-acute and sub-acute care, short-term rehab, assisted living and other services to the frail elderly and individuals with disabilities in Florida. The mission of FHCA is to advance the quality of services, image, professional development and financial stability of its members. As Florida's first and largest advocacy organization for long term care providers and the elderly they serve, the Association has worked diligently since 1954 to assist its members with continuously improving quality of care and quality of life for the state’s growing elder care population. For more information about the Florida Health Care Association, visit http://www.fhca.org.

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