altNazareth Home is holding a celebration on March 8 in recognition of the KAHCF honor, which comes with a winner’s cup and a large traveling trophy that the nursing home keeps until the next year’s winner claims it. Facility of the Year winners are not allowed to enter the contest again for five years. In addition to the KAHCF honor, Nazareth Home, which has just under 250 employees, was selected as the Best Place to work among mid-sized businesses in the Workplace Dynamics’s Top Workplaces program.

Mary Haynes, the CEO and administrator at Nazareth Home, says all the accolades are recognition of the successful transition the facility has made over the last decade she’s been at the helm. “I think it’s because of the stability of the relationships of the people that work here and the ways they have found to partner and care with the families that we serve,” Haynes says. “Both the staff and the families have found a way to put the residents in the driver’s seat. What we try to do is look at the reason that people do not want to come to the nursing home and we remove them. Most people think when they come to a nursing home they are not heard or seen. We show them the opposite is true.”

altNazareth Home is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1976 by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. The nuns opened the home originally as a long-term care facility for the sisters. Though the home is a member of the Catholic Health Association, it is open to patients of all faiths. Director of Development Michael Buckman says due to the shrinking numbers of retiring priests and nuns, Nazareth Home began marketing to patients from non-Catholic backgrounds. Only 18 percent of the home’s 168 current residents are nuns, and Father Martin is one of just four priests at the facility.

Nazareth Home serves two types of patients: personal-care patients, who are mostly independent, and skilled-care patients, those that require staff assistance throughout the day. The home has 118 skilled-care patients. Those residents are further divided into long-term and short-term care categories. Short-term care patients might be people that need help after recovering from surgery but will not be at the facility on a long-term basis.