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Skilled-nursing center celebrates 50th anniversary

WEARING WELL — This original section of what is now Parkside Health and Rehabilitation Center stretches alongside South Amelia Avenue in DeLand. This first part of the facility had a larger companion building added in 1984.

WEARING WELL — This original section of what is now Parkside Health and Rehabilitation Center stretches alongside South Amelia Avenue in DeLand. This first part of the facility had a larger companion building added in 1984.

Heather Jackson

Heather Jackson

Parkside Health and Rehabilitation Center in DeLand has hit the half-century milestone.

Parkside offers an array of services for both short-term and long-term stays, said Heather Jackson, who has been its administrator for almost six years.

Residents can be admitted for short stays for rehabilitation after surgeries or other procedures, or receive long-term skilled nursing care. Parkside also offers specialized wound care, infectious-disease management and control, and hospice and palliative care, Jackson said.

“We accept Medicare, Medicaid and most managed-care insurance,” she said. “We’re licensed for 122 beds, and we average 95 percent occupancy.”

The facility first opened as DeLand Convalescent Center in 1967 in a 13,902-square-foot building facing Amelia Avenue on a nearly 5-acre parcel, according to Volusia County property records. In 1984, a 20,204-square-foot addition was built perpendicular to the original structure.

Immediately to the north is the Garden House, a nearly 1,700-square-foot, two-story building. It’s a former home that dates back to 1913 that now houses a conference room, a classroom for in-services, and offices.

Every day of the week, residents can take part in activities or excursions, many of which are “not typical nursing home” activities, Jackson said.

“There’s always something  going on in DeLand, and we don’t want our residents to miss out,” she said. “Whatever activities they enjoyed before, they can still enjoy.”

After all, Parkside bills itself as “A change of address, not a change of lifestyle.”

The facility was operating under the name Oakwood Garden when Pensacola-based Gulf Coast Health Care bought it in 2004. Oakwood Garden had deteriorated over the years and had a relatively poor reputation in the community.

But about five years ago, Jackson said, Gulf Coast Health Care decided to resurrect the property.

“We decided to rebrand with a new name, to let the public know we had new ownership and a new way of doing things,” she said. “We now have a Five-Star Quality Rating from CMS.”

That is the highest rating issued by the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS officials issue ratings after assessing such things as staffing levels, clinical outcomes and state inspection scores, Jackson said.

Since Gulf Coast bought the facility, it also has been participating in the National Quality Award Program through the American Health Care Association. That program awards facilities Bronze, Silver and Gold ratings, Jackson said.

A Bronze rating means the facility is making a commitment to provide quality care.

A Silver rating — which Parkside has held since 2013 — means a facility has achieved some goals but continues to develop effective approaches to improve outcomes.

Parkside will soon submit an application for a Gold rating, which would indicate it has achieved excellence in quality and proven superior performance, Jackson said.

Parkside is one of several skilled-nursing facilities in Volusia and Flagler counties that fall under Gulf Coast Health Care parentage, including DeBary Health and Rehabilitation Center, two more in Daytona Beach and one in Bunnell.

In all, Gulf Coast owns 44 skilled-nursing facilities: 35 in Florida, one in Alabama, and eight in Mississippi.

Parkside Health and Rehab is at 451 S. South Amelia Ave. Contact the facility at 386-734-8614, or on the Web at gchc.com or Facebook.com/parksidehealthandrehab.

— Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

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