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Chipley, Fla. – Washington Rehabilitation & Nursing Center has been named to U.S. News & World Report’s Best Nursing Homes 2014 list.

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Everyone dreams of a couple of days on the beach.  The sunshine, sand, waves, and laid back atmosphere creating an environment of relaxation and peace.  Well, elders from five Florida Hometown Region 3 homes spent two days on the beautiful beaches of Cape San Blas, Florida and they burst that environment of relaxation and peace wide open with the first Amazing Race Retreat.

Elders from The Bridge at Bay St Joe, Signature HealthCARE of North Florida, Signature HealthCARE of Courtyard, Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, and Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center came together at William Rish Park on Cape San Blas and played a two day game of Amazing Race. They created team flags with points awarded for time completed and bonus points for creativity, they built sandcastles for points, they had to hunt down puzzle pieces and put their puzzle together for timed points, and their last event was creating a platform only out of provided materials to transport their team mascot to the water’s edge and back. During the two day event each team had their created flag and a mascot to protect. If either the flag or their mascot were left unattended another team could kidnap them for ransom points. The team whose flag or mascot was kidnapped had to draw a ransom note and pay the required points to the kidnapping team.

Everyone had so much fun completing the challenges and keeping an eye out for an unattended flag or mascot.  Mr. Willie from Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and Mr. John from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center took this job seriously and scouted the lodge on a regular basis to snatch the first flag or mascot they could. They said they wanted the most ransom points for their team and everyone was on their toes with these eagle eyed guys around.

To make the event even more wonderful, some amazing volunteers came and provided meals for everyone.  Lunch the first day was a tasty cookout hosted by Gentiva Home Care and Emerald Coast Hospice. Tommy Portas grilled some great burgers and hot dogs while battling some heavy winds. However, the winds didn’t stop him from grilling and they didn’t stop everyone from eating the meal.  Marsha Dickey RN, SDC from The Bridge at Bay St Joe made homemade “cathead” biscuits and grilled some delicious pancakes for everyone for breakfast.  Then for their lunch on the second day Gina Ferland RN, the Administrator of NHC HomeCare, brought ham and turkey sub sandwiches with homemade cheesy, broccoli soup. Gina also created some wonderful snack bags for everyone to take with them on their trip home. The thoughtfulness and friendliness of these kind individuals made this event even more enjoyable.

The award ceremony took place the second day just before lunch. The winning team was from Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. They amassed a total of 32 points that included a 5 point ransom penalty Mr. Willie was able to extract from the team from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. The other awards that were presented that day were Most Spirited to the team from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Most Competitive went to Signature HealthCARE of Courtyard, Most Resourceful went to The Bridge at Bay St Joe and Best Teamwork was awarded to Signature HealthCARE of North Florida.

As the last day drew to a close and the buses were being loaded, elders from different homes were shaking hands, hugging necks and asking when they could come back. For Mr. John from Chautauqua Rehabilitation and Nursing Center it was the first time he had ever been to the beach and he said he loved it! Their smiles were big and their faces were aglow with excitement from all of the fun they had. Everyone waved goodbye as they pulled out of the parking lot, but I know many of them were thinking of different strategies for the next Amazing Race.

– Angela Conley, Regional Quality of Life Coordinator

 Easter 2014 was a blast a Washington Rehab and Nursing Center.  Children, eggs and sidewalk chalk were the ingredients to a fun-filled day to remember.  The Quality of Life Department was responsible for all of the fun and laughter for our elders and stakeholders on this Good Friday as children participated in easter egg hunts, drawing/coloring contest and watching a movie with popcorn.  Elders enjoyed judging the contest and watching the children play.  So despite the rain outside, the children of all ages had a great time in the building.


Walk, Run, Glow 5k: Lighting the way for a cure was a huge success for Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (WRNC) as well as Chipley, Fl.  WRNC partnered with NorthFlorida Community Hospital to sponsor this years 5k to benefit the American Cancer Society/Washington and Holmes Relay for Life.  With 260 pre-registered participants, the race was set to begin at the hospital.  There were also over 20 children set to participate in the 1 mile race, just for kids.  This partnership was a huge success and so many have benefitted from the effort.  We look forward to next year.


Germs, beware!  Fannie Mathis, Healthy Hands Coordinator at Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, is on a mission to kill germs.  Ms. Fannie usually sits near the hand sanitizer unit near the Therapy Gym to offer visitors and staff the opportunity to clean their hands.  According to the CDC, Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.

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Northwest Florida Community Hospital and Washington Rehab and Nursing Center will sponsor “Walk, Run, Glow 5K: Lighting the way for a Cure” at 6 p.m. March 15 at NFCH. The participation fee is $20 for early registration by Feb. 14 or $25 after. Registration by Feb. 14 will guarantee the participant a T-shirt. There will also be a 1-mile fun run, walk, or bike ride for children ages 10 and under.  Packets can be picked up from 1-4 p.m. March 10 at WRNC or 3-5 p.m. March 14 at NFCH. Packets also will be available on the day of the race from 4-5:30 p.m.  For more information, call Christa at 326-0785 or Dena at 638-1610.

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This fall, about 170 Signature residents and caregivers traveled to Branson, Missouri for the annual resident vacation. For a glimpse of the action, check out the video below.

Mr. Donald Sellers came to Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center on October 7th, 2013, from Bay Medical Center in Panama City, Florida.  Mr. Sellers, only 56 years old, was admitted with multiple medical comorbidities including a PEG tube placement and a tracheostomy.  With diagnosis of congestive heart failure (CHF) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), his prognosis was looking dismal. With the help of our multi-disciplinary team, Mr. Sellers started on his road to healing. The Pulmonary Rehab team had his tracheostomy capped for 24 hours by October 19th, 2013 and removed by October 30th, 2013.  Upon admission, he was only able to walk 30 feet with an unsteady gait, he needed assistance with performing all activities of daily life, and was being tube feed.  With physical, occupational and speech therapy, Mr. Sellers made a quick recovery and has been discharged home to be with family.  He is now able to walk wherever he pleases and has had the tube removed to eat “like normal people,” he says.

Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center was recently awarded the “Best Hometown Chili” Winner in Chipley, Florida.  The Washington County Chamber of Commerce held its first annual Chili Cookoff on December 7th, 2013.  Bret Brown, Administrator, Ezell Johnson, elder at WRNC, along with Dan Runnels and Ricky “Bear” Erwin were the hailed cooks that brought home the prize.  Please check out the link below for pictures and more information.


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