Accepting Responsibility – #259a (2000)

The X-shaped Colony Park

Gary reviewing his staff of 13,  the housekeeping department always responsive, never a problem,  Mary Speiss,  Kamla Prasad and Suarjeni Prasad always fulfilling responsibilities with an outstanding work ethic.   The custodial crew responding applicable,  not always the case in the laundry, discovering without a doubt the laundry was by far the most demanding and the worst assignment not only in his department but in the facility.  The starting wage paying the least and the performance level very demanding with two shifts,  the first starting at 5:00 a.m. and ending at 1:30 p.m., the second beginning at 3:30, ending at midnight, a turnover of personnel was inevitable.   The two-hour pause between the two shifts causing an interruption with the necessary output flow and  service.   Gary remedying this by fulfilling the two-hour laundry needs himself, sorting the barrels of residents clothes,  sheets,  towel and incontinent pads,  keeping the washers and dryers fulfilling their purpose.   On occasion members of the housekeeping staff would help during their break time,  including the Administrator Brad kikuta stopping by to fold sheets, towels and pads from the four dryers that continued  their never-ending cycles.  The only bright note in laundry Services was Louise Bruns, able to gathered unmarked residences personal apparel, placing items on hangers and delivering them to the correct dresser drawer and closets in each room.  Louise a wondrous person,  the only person able to fulfill this position without difficulty,  her memory of the residence personal clothing was beyond expectation.  Gary recognizing her as a major asset, especially when he wasn’t available for the two-hour pause, she somehow kept the laundry running  and still maintain her designated assignment.

Unimac 60lb extractor washer

Unimax 60lb.  extractor washer


Commercial Dryer capability

Gary having never experienced a utility co-generation system.  Mounted in a covered mechanical systems area at the rear of the facility was a  Chevrolet natural gas-powered 350 hp. V8  engine that operated 24 hours a day.  It was coupled to a generator that provided 110 volt AC electricity to the building grid, the heat generated  from the engine supplied heated water for the fan coil units that heated the facility rooms in the winter and alternately in the summer  supplied the heated water to four heat absorption air conditioning units that cooled the building.  The hot water absorption air conditioning system was new to Gary as was the 16 ft. high four motor cooling tower.  Completing the Physical Plant equipment was a 50 KW Onan diesel unit required to be test run 30 minute and documented once per week.  Some things remained the same,  Gary discovering  the fire-alarm,  smoke detectors and sprinkler system a mirror of his past experience

Facilities HVAC cooling tower

Nick Barton, the corporation’s computer consultant approached Gary about Dietary Supervisors Sashi Singh’s stand-alone computer being in need of a cabled online presence with the main server in the conference room.   Gary after surveying the situation realizing the difficulty in entering an extremely narrow crawl space that traversed above the kitchen, break room, business office plus having to drill thru two fire walls before entering the conference room.  After some thought deciding to be innovative, an alternative solution was plain and simple, run the cable thru the outside kitchen wall,  down the outside of the building and back thru the conference room wall able to place and seal the cable in the brick mortar joint indentation with silicon.  Gary realizing that this was unorthodox,  but the finished results of his ambition being proclaimed, it worked.

Dietary Supervisor Sashi Singh


Healthcare Management and Colony Parks goal was now focused on receiving a (Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization)  JCAHO certification.   Gary being introduced to Susan,  a consultant hired by the Healthcare Management Corporation,  Susan a previous employee of the Joint Commission.   The consultant ceding Gary a six-inch binder containing the JCAHO seven directories for safety management,  each directory requiring written policies and procedural protocol.   The thick binder contained stipulated programs for safety management of  Safety, Medical Equipment,  Emergency Preparedness,  Utilities,  Security,  Fire Safety and Hazardous Material,  Gary’s responsibility being to address each individual program with written management policies and procedures.   The bulk of a six-inch tabbed binder alone made for apprehension, one could foresee it unmanageable with the addition of policy and procedural documentation.  Gary having a simple but innovating  remedy,  separating the directories into seven individual smaller binders,  addressing each management plan separately.  Spending hours everyday on the computer and many evening hours at home addressing  JCAHO requirements.

The time of reckoning finally arriving,  the elderly JCAHO surveyor meeting with all the department supervisors at the morning department head meeting,  giving notice that if all went well he should conclude his survey in three days. Environmental Services was last to meet with the JCAHO representative, Gary entering the conference room discovering that Brad was in attendance.   Gary no longer having a single six-inch bulk binder of the JCAHO seven management plans, spreading his seven individual binders on the table, each binder addressing one of the seven management plans.  The representative taken aback asking for an explanation,  Gary explaining the seven management plans would be better be addressed individually than as group, each individually would provide a more focused complaisant presentation.   The JCAHO representative seemed impressed  giving Gary an assurance that he had done well.

  The final meeting,  the JCAHO representative announcing to all the department supervisors that Colony Park had qualified for JCAHO certification.  Then something unexpected, the surveyor giving a special recognition to Gary,  asking the department supervisors to applaud him, that in his twenty years of certifying facilities,  Gary was the first to pass the seven  management plans without a deficiency.  Gary acknowledging his recognition from his professional co-workers and the cultural diversity of its makeup was an existence he had never experienced before.

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