A Total Team Effort: Garden Place Earns Flawless Audit Report

IMG_5793Garden Place, which offers a home-like residential setting for 12 ShelterCare consumers with severe and persistent mental illness, has a lot to be proud of.

On June 12, Garden's biennial license review was conducted by the state of Oregon and Lane County. This 2.5-hour audit process is intense, and required a tremendous amount of preparation work and attention to detail.

Audits at Garden — a program that serves adults with a high level of psychiatric care in a secure setting — is state funded and state regulated. These audits are conducted to ensure compliance with state regulations in areas such as consumer safety, facility maintenance and healthcare delivery.

“The team at Garden worked so hard to get this right,” said Susan Ban, ShelterCare executive director. “They’ve been working for weeks to make sure they were meeting all points on the state’s checklist. This includes everything from facilities inspections to how we are doing with medications to how we are managing the clinical records to what the residents’ bedrooms look like to whether the backyard is secure.”

And get it right Garden did: The audit had no findings  — which means no areas of concern — and just a handful of suggested improvements. This “no findings” result doesn’t happen often.

“We did great. There were absolutely no findings, which is really, really rare to have that happen,” said Dana Millard, Garden program manager. “It was a really awesome team effort, and a great thing to see this group come together. Everyone did a little something above and beyond.”

Garden consumers even pitched in as well, Dana said.

“They were straightening up their rooms a little more often, and they were really open to letting (auditors) come in to check out their rooms,” said Dana. “They took pride in that as well. They were really open and patient.”

The audit’s significance was not lost on Craig Norton, ShelterCare’s director of programs.

Said Craig: “With recent events on our minds, getting ready for this review was nerve racking to say the least. Each and every one of the Garden staff rose to the occasion and did an exceptional job.”

Craig also thanked the maintenance team, electronic medical records personnel, human resources department and the clinical department for their support.

Lane County reviewers (on behalf of Housing and Urban Development) also recently gave the agency’s Family Housing Program and Homelessness Prevention Program excellent audit scores. Susan said these findings simply validated what ShelterCare has always known.

“Our staff has always been impressive, but it’s really nice to have a score from the state that says, “Yes, you are as impressive as we’ve always thought you to be,’” she said

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