Frank Bingham in front of Valley View

People Mover driver Frank Bingham jokes with a Valley View resident in 2020 while waiting to take another resident to an appointment at Blue Mountain Hospital.

Valley View Assisted Living is under new management and got a slight name change.

Now known as Sapphire at Valley View after being acquired by Portland-based Sapphire Health Services, Valley View is one of almost 20 assisted living facilities the company manages across Oregon and Washington.

Lisa Hilty, vice president of operations for community-based care, said Sapphire put the staff through training and implemented new day-to-day operations in a “shift” from how Valley View operated in the past.

She said all assisted living facilities operate under the same administrative rules in Oregon, but how they get to that goal is slightly different.

Hilty said the Valley View staff has been “open and eager” with the new direction.

“The team has just been a true joy and are incredible,” she said. “They’ve been really excited with the level of involvement and support.”

She said she or a regional director have been in John Day “multiple times a month” since becoming involved with Valley View.

Hilty said Stephanie Rodriquez, longtime Valley View executive director is “incredible,” and the staff is “passion-driven.”

Hilty, who began her career in senior housing and health care in the early 1990s, said she noticed right away the Valley View residents were happy and “well cared for” when Sapphire first toured the facility.

“We knew that (Valley View) could get to the next level with the right kind of support,” she said.

In getting to the next level, she said a goal is to implement a memory care program over the next six months.

Hilty said the Sapphire-branded program, dubbed “Sapphire Radiant,” is about ensuring residents have a purpose in their lives. She said, whether gardening or having a role within the community, such as delivering the mail, it is about the resident feeling purposeful and helpful.

Hilty said there is another program around sights and smells that has been successful. Another goal, she said, is to paint and add new carpet to the apartments within the next six months.

“That’ll be an exciting refresh for each of these units,” she said.

She said it will be about supporting the staff with the tools to do an incredible job to where residents “feel like there’s no place better for them to live.” Hilty said this includes menu planning and activities.

Hilty said Sapphire, with just under 20 locations, is “fairly small” for their industry. Many companies, she said, get very large, and that is not their goal. She said the company is very “intentional” and “purposeful” about their growth and the locations of the communities they acquire.

“Part of our due diligence process,” she said, “is where’s it located, and how long will it take for me to drive.”

As Grant County health officials continue to try and get in front of a surge of 29 positive COVID-19 cases this month, with infections at a nursing home 30 miles away in Prairie City, Valley View as of Tuesday has managed to prevent the virus from spreading to residents.

Hilty praised Rodriguez and the rest of the staff for their diligence in ensuring that Valley View continues to prevent the virus from spreading to the care center.

Locations

Reporter

Steven Mitchell is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. Contact him at steven@bmeagle.com or 541-575-0710.

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