Quality and Compassion Distinguish Good Shepherd Nursing Home

Tawnya Knierim, Good Shepherd’s director of social services and admissions, presents a gift to resident Angelo Jafrate in gratitude of his service to America, at Good Shepherd’s annual Veterans Day observance.

Good Shepherd Nursing Home of Wheeling is known throughout the area for the quality of its resident care. It consistently earns perfect five-star ratings from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service for quality. More importantly, it gets excellent reviews from residents, their families, and physicians who practice there.

Area resident Bob Schmitt is very familiar with Good Shepherd, which has taken care of his mother, mother-in-law, uncle, three aunts, six cousins, and his dear wife, Dorothy.  “The care they received was tremendous,” he said. “Everybody was very good, from dietary and the people cleaning the floor to the nurses and aides. I can’t say enough about them. I would certainly recommend Good Shepherd to anybody and everybody. There’s none like it in the world, in my judgment.”

Virginia Dulany, M.D., a family physician who practiced in West Virginia and other states, said she has cared for patients in nursing homes throughout most of her career. “I’ve seen some places that weren’t very good,” she said. “I can tell you with one hundred percent certainty that Good Shepherd Nursing Home is the best.” She offered special praise for Good Shepherd’s staff. “Everyone here is very kind. Residents can get excellent medical treatment in house. The place is always clean and residents are well cared for,” she said.

After working for 25 years in another state, Dr. Dulany recently retired and moved back to the area. “The primary reason for my coming back is Good Shepherd Nursing Home,” she said. “When my time comes, this is where I want to be.”

Administrator Donald R. Kirsch attributes Good Shepherd’s excellent reputation to staff that see the residents as unique individuals who still have a great deal to offer. “Every person who works here is sincerely interested in the comfort and well-being of our residents,” he said. “I see it dozens of times every day as our people from every department interact with residents. It’s touching to see their kindness and compassion.”

The Rev. John Beckley, S.M., chaplain of Good Shepherd, said staff understand the importance of focusing on the whole person. “We look beyond the nutrition, the medical treatment, and personal care each resident receives,” he said. “We also acknowledge the religious and spiritual needs as we welcome the people who become our residents,” he said.  Fr. Beckley celebrates Mass daily for Good Shepherd residents in the building’s beautiful chapel.

Residents also benefit from Good Shepherd’s efforts to include families in residents’ care. Tawnya Knierim, Good Shepherd’s director of social services and admissions, said family involvement is very important. “We work with families to help their loved ones make the transition to Good Shepherd,” she said. “We support the residents and families in their adjustment, and then keep families informed. We want to do whatever we can to support their role as advocates for their family members.”

Nurses, who provide much of the care that Good Shepherd residents receive, bring professional skill, education and empathy to their interactions with residents. Sue O’Connell, RN, Director of Nursing, said she feels fortunate to work at a place like Good Shepherd.  “Staff genuinely care about each resident, and treat them as if they were family,” she said. This attitude goes beyond the nursing department, she stressed. “It takes every person on staff to make this place what it is – a place that’s good enough for our own families.”

Randy Forzano, director of Human Resources, said Good Shepherd has been home to many parents, grandparents and other relatives of staff members. “When the time came, my siblings and I trusted Good Shepherd to care for our mother and our father,” he said. “We moved them from their hometown because the staff here are so good. It was a wonderful experience for both of them.”

Good Shepherd is part of a continuum of senior living options offered by the non-profit Welty Corporation to deliver the features that discerning seniors need and want. For more information visit www.weltyhome.org.