Wit and Wisdom Blog for Atria Senior Living

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a new view on growing older
John Moore and resident

Making Good on Our Promises


Posted on August 25, 2014 by John Moore


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I stay busy as Atria’s Chairman of the Board and CEO, and finding time to visit our communities is sometimes harder to do than I’d like. So I really cherish the times when I do get to visit, because there’s no substitute for seeing a community in person and having face-to-face conversations with our customers and dedicated managers and staff. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some incredible caregivers, housekeepers, servers and other team members, and hear stories from our amazing residents and family members.
Keeping our promises to these individuals is at the core of what Atria is all about. My job is to make sure Atria is a company that supports our leaders and employees…and then, that they use that support to make good on our promises to our customers, to officials who oversee our industry and to the neighborhoods and the larger communities we serve.

Although visiting our communities gives me a feel for how well we’re doing and how we can continue to improve in terms of quality, I know that a visit from the CEO can be stressful. The team wants to put their best foot forward when I’m there, and so I understand and expect that I won’t always see the complete picture. We decided a long time ago that if we really wanted to get it right, day in and day out, we needed a program in place to help us drive quality in everything we do…a program that would give us a realistic understanding of how a community is operating and help ensure that we’re always putting quality first. That’s where our internal Quality Enhancement program (known as QE around Atria) comes into play.

What QE is really about

Our QE tool measures approximately 700 items of daily life and business in our communities, everything from the number of training hours employees have completed and our housekeeping systems to how nice our landscaping looks and the quality of the events we offer. The purpose of QE, however, goes way beyond a checklist…it’s all about creating the best possible experience for our customers and making sure they receive the high level of service they expect, deserve and pay for each month.

Take our culinary program for example, which is an important area of community life that QE evaluates on a regular basis. So what do we check? Just about everything. To share a few examples: We look at the quality of the meals we’re serving – does the food taste great, and is it also nutritious, fresh and delivered with a smile? What about the tables – is each one clean and perfectly set, and are the place settings spotless? We examine menus – do they offer plenty of choice, and are they neat and easy to read? What about our chefs, dishwashers and servers – do they have the right equipment and supplies to do their jobs? The details – big and small – matter, because they all contribute to the quality dining experience we strive to create. We want our residents to be excited to see what’s on the menu each day; to look forward to good food and good conversation every time they dine with us; to invite their friends and families to join them for Sunday brunch because it’s one of the best in town. In short, we want our culinary program to be one of many reasons why older adults choose to make Atria their home.

I’m extremely proud of what we’ve done and continue to do with our QE program – and I believe it’s something that makes us the right choice for our customers and their families, and also for the dedicated people who work in our communities and deliver on our commitment to quality each day.

You may not see it, but you can feel it 

We’ve spent a great deal of time making our QE program what it is today, but it’s not something you can see, at least not in the way you would think. It’s what you experience and feel when you walk through the door, when you start meeting our team and making your way through the community. Happy residents on their way to an exercise class, the smell of delicious food cooking, laughter coming from the next room, smiling faces and warm “hellos” everywhere you go – these are just a few of the ways that someone experiences our QE program. Whether it’s a potential customer visiting us for the first time, a resident who has lived with us for years or an employee showing up for their first day of work, we have the same goal – to make sure everyone who steps inside an Atria community feels welcome and at home, and thinks “I like it here.”

The bottom line

Fundamentally, our QE program is in place to help ensure that we’re doing our jobs in the right way. It’s here to make sure that our residents and families receive the quality service they pay for, that employees feel proud to grow their careers at Atria and that we’re building a strong company that’s ready to serve generations to come.


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10 Comments

  • Joseph S Triolo says:

    I have been a resident of the Atria Seville in Las Vegas for over a year, and you can be very proud of the fact that everyone of the staff here is doing everything to make your QE program a success. This past year has been on of the best I could ever hope for. I look forward to being a resident here for quite a while.

    • John Moore says:

      Thank you, Mr. Triolo. I’m happy to hear the last year has been a great one for you, and that the quality service you have received at Atria Seville played a role in making that happen. We want our residents to feel good about calling Atria home, and it makes my day to hear that things are going so well for you. We will also pass along your kind note to the team at Atria Seville. I know they will appreciate it as much as I do.

      • Gloria Thornton says:

        Thank you for Atria Evergreen Woods, Spring Hill, FL. I have been here Three Years, My Sister was here before me for Two years. I visited with her every day to be sure they were taking good care of her. I was impressed with her care and food. I had a very bad fall three years ago and decided I could no longer stay in my home. Therefore, I came here and expect to be here for a long time.
        Thank you.
        Gloria Thornton

  • Katy Schoenwolf says:

    Hi John, I’m writing you this way because I’m not sure of any other way to get a hold of someone at Atria’s head quarters. My mom (93), who lives at your Hudson Atria for the past 6 years. She is on her 3rd move within your facility and going into a one room home. She’s been on a fixed income since my dad has passed and receives a fixed income from the VA. Unfortunately Atria’s prices continue to go up more than $200.00 a year and most people’s income do NOT go up that much every year. There is not one to even talk to about the rent increase. Either you pay it or move out. My mother has been an Ambassador since she has lived there, and is very involved with many things at your facility. I would like to have someone call me so we can discuss this matter. Katy

    • John Moore says:

      Hi Katy,
      Your comments are very important to me and I want to thank you for taking the time to post this note. You should expect a call back by tomorrow so we can help you in this matter.

      Sincerely,
      John

      John Moore
      Chairman & CEO, Atria Senior Living

  • Eileen McMurrer says:

    Good Morning John,
    My parents moved into Atria Hamilton Heights in October and my mother is moving out very soon due to chronic errors in the billing, concerns about direct care staffing levels, building disrepair, unprofessional and humiliating treatment of a resident in my presence by the Wellness Center director, and a recent breach of confidentiality by the Director, who apparently told another resident about my Mom’s planned departure, though she never spoke with my mother about any of her expressed concerns that drove the decision to move out. I have not received a response from the Business office in more than two weeks, so would appreciate your intervention to address these issues constructively and bring closure to this unpleasant chapter.

    • John Moore says:

      Hi Eileen,

      I appreciate you reaching out. Your concerns are very important to me. I understand you want to bring this situation to a close for you and your mother. You can expect the business office to get back to you promptly to address all of your questions and concerns directly.

      Sincerely,
      John

      • Eileen McMurrer says:

        My sincere thanks for your reply, John. The Regional Director reached out to me and offered both information and support. I requested an Exit meeting with the Director and she has accepted. Constructive communication is the first step, so thank you for your leadership.
        I wish all of you well in eliminating the most grievous problems and ameliorating the remainder. You and the Atria administration have a very important, very challenging job in caring for seniors. Thank you for trying to fulfill the Atria vision for every resident, every day.

  • Sonia Burnes says:

    Hi John. I am writing you because we have exhausted all options in improving my mother’s care and living conditions at Atria Manresa. First, let me say that my mother loves Manresa. It is a beautiful location on the scenic Severn River in Annapolis with views of the river and the Naval Academy. Everything was wonderful when my mom moved in three years ago. Then management changed and the great people that we worked with started leaving. There have been problems with theft and the service started falling off. Showing up unexpectedly we found they had only one aide on a weekend with my mother sitting in filth. We have seen staff partying in the parking lot in the evening rather than caring for the residents. After bringing our issues to the current Director and getting a pathetic response, we approached the regional manager to get leadership attention to the issues there. The situation temporarily improved. Then the threats started. The Director approached us suggesting that it was time for my mother to leave the facility for safety reasons. We were told that she was a fall risk and that she was getting into unsafe situations. The irony was that the only time she fell was when an Atria aide was present (four times). We were told by other employees that this was clearly a vindictive response because we approached the regional director and that we were not the only families targeted by the Director. In fact, shortly there after, my mother’s room number was placed on the white board in the wellness center for “special monitoring” along with about a dozen other residents who were also being forced out according to their families and other staff. Other staff members have privately told us that they were approached by the Director and asked to falsify their evaluations of my mom in order to help in her removal. In desperation, we agreed to provide an outside aide during the day two months ago as a corrective action to avoid eviction, but today we received another call notifying us that my mother was being evicted within thirty days for safety reasons. You see, they saw her coming down a stairwell and sitting in the parlor socializing with other residents after they put her in her room at 6:30 pm. More irony, my mother has never had a problem with stairs before and there has never been a time when she fell on the stairs while at Manresa. I guess you can’t move around at Manresa after 6:30 pm in the summer. John, please help. The regional director we contacted last time has been moved and the current regional director seems to be siding with the facility management. I guess that’s just easier.

    Respectfully,
    Sonia Burnes

    • John Moore says:

      Hi, Sonia. Our residents are my top priority so I appreciate you reaching out to share your concerns with me. To respect your family’s privacy, our divisional leader would like to meet with you directly. You can expect a call tomorrow so we can provide assistance. Again, thank you for reaching out about your mother.

      Sincerely,
      John

      John Moore
      Chairman & CEO, Atria Senior Living