In good hands: 3 local nursing homes get five-star rating

Photo by Tori Boone

Photo by Tori Boone

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Adam Pomeranz was out of the state at a conference when he got a voice mail from the chairman of Annandale Village's Board of Directors asking him to return the call.

"I couldn't tell by the tone of his voice what (the call was about) so I was a little apprehensive," remembered Pomeranz, who serves as executive director of Annandale.

But the news turned out to be good.

Charles Lotz had just picked up a copy of U.S. News & World Report and read about the overall five-star rating D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing had received for the current quarter. The center was one of three in Gwinnett that received the rating.

"He's been on the board 35 years," Pomeranz said of Lotz. "He's watched Annandale grow from serving eight people to now 130. He was just thrilled. He was ecstatic when I called him."

The Suwanee nursing home is owned and operated by Annandale Village of Suwanee, a community that serves adults with developmental disabilities. The D. Scott Hudgens Center for Skilled Nursing provides all of the services of a traditional nursing home while specializing filling the needs of individuals with a primary diagnosis of mental retardation or other developmental disabilities.

It was the only nursing home in Georgia with a five-star rating mentioned in the print edition of U.S. News & World Report.

"That rating in a national publication like that validates and reinforces our approach and everything we do," Pomeranz said. "We get a lot of that from our villagers themselves, but it's nice to see it from an outside source."

Two other Gwinnett County nursing homes -- Gwinnett Extended Care at Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville and Parkwood Living Center of Snellville -- also received five stars overall in U.S. News & World Report's quarterly ratings of most the nation's 16,000-plus nursing homes. The ratings are based on a program run by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which analyzes information on all homes enrolled in those governmental programs.

"It means that we're on target in providing excellence in care to our residents," said Tamey Stith, administrator for Gwinnett Extended Care. "They're satisfied, as evidenced by our rating."

The overall ratings are based on three areas of evaluation: health inspections conducted at each nursing home, the average time nurses spend with each patient and measures of quality of care.

The three Gwinnett facilities join only 1,855 other five-star nursing homes in the nation for the current quarter.

"It validates everything that we do and everything that we stand for," Pomeranz said. "We believe in the highest quality of care and doing whatever we have to do that ensures that every villager gets the highest quality."