WOW! It’s Great to be Superior

Lately, Superior Care Home has a lot to celebrate.
The family-owned business entered its 35th year by claiming the most prestigious award in its industry: the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities’ (KAHCF) 2006 Facility of the Year. This is the second time Superior Care Home has been crowned Kentucky’s top skilled nursing facility. The company received the award for the first time in 1982.

greatToBeSuperiorAdministrator and owner Helen Sims beams with pride as she gestures to the trophy towering in the middle of the facility’s lobby. The icon is a powerful visual reminder of the business’ relentless commitment to excellence.

“When my mother, Mary Ellen Thompson, opened this nursing community 35 years ago, she gave considerable thought to the name, wanting it to reflect the quality of care to be provided: Superior. “She was truly ahead of her time. At a time when few women did such things, she bought the property at 3100 Clay Street and oversaw the construction of Superior Care Home herself.”

Always striving to meet changing needs, a rehabilitation center was added in 1994 to restore the health and independence of individuals needing short term therapy. “Perhaps one of Paducah’s best kept secrets, Superior Care Home is Medicare and Medicaid certified and has a full spectrum of rehabilitation services second to none. In fact, over one-half of our admissions are with us on a short-term basis,” says Mike Sims.

Mary Ellen Thompson’s entrepreneurial spirit and legacy of excellence continues today under the second and third generation leadership of Helen Sims and her son, Mike. Superior Care Home remains the only locally owned and operated nursing and rehabilitation center in the Paducah area, with Helen Sims and brother George Thompson and his wife Judy as sole stockholders.

Everything about Superior Care evokes feelings of home, a direct influence of Mary Ellen Thompson. “We began an expansive remodeling project about 20 years ago inspired by my mother when she herself became a resident,” recalls Sims. “Until then, the facility looked like a ‘typical’ nursing home. But my mother wasn’t comfortable living in that setting, so we began to create a more inviting, home-like atmosphere for all our residents.”

A cozy fire crackles in the beautiful mahogany fireplace, warming visitors as they enter the doors of Superior Care. This year’s Christmas present to the residents, its warmth has provided a perfect sitting area for cold, winter days. Couches and chairs upholstered in soothing tones of blue and cream create an ambience that’s warm and inviting. Colorful prints adorn the hallways. And the air is permeated with the aroma of a delectable lunch that’s nearly ready to be savored by hungry residents. Approximately half of the rooms in the facility are spacious semi-private suites, featuring a sitting room and bedroom—a unique offering among nursing care facilities.

What’s the key to being superior? Sims is quick to credit her staff of 110 plus employees. “When we hire individuals, we are careful to explain how important it is for them not only to understand, but to embrace our philosophy of quality care,” Sims remarks. “As a result, we’ve enjoyed the luxury of having a number of long-term employees. Our Director of Nursing, Doralyn Warren, has been with us for more than 29 years.” Forty percent of the employees choose to remain long-term, ranging anywhere from three years all the way up to 30 years.

“We expect our employees to provide the highest level of service possible to our residents,” Sims says. “It takes everyone giving their best, working together as an integrated team where each individual’s role is equally critical to our success.”

In turn, Sims receives many compliments on her exceptional staff. “They are passionate about what they do, which is exemplified in their attitudes and approach to our residents and families. Cultivating meaningful relationships with employees and my involvement in the day-to day operation of the community are also vital components of our success.”

Superior Care Home has enjoyed great success since its opening 35 years ago. But both Helen and Mike Sims feel strongly that they should give back to the community that has been so instrumental in their success. Thanks to their generous donation, West Kentucky Community and Technical College’s Health Education Center at Elmwood Court was named in honor of Mary Ellen Thompson. A state-of-the-art training facility for nursing assistants, the center also offers CPR and first aid classes and serves as the region’s only testing center for the state nurse aide registry.greatToBeSuperior_group

“My grandmother always wanted to be a nurse,” recalls Mike Sims. “In fact, her own mother, my great-grandmother, was a nurse and so my grandmother grew up with an appreciation for the nursing profession. Her dedication to quality nursing care lives on through the center that now bears her name.”

Just as Helen Sims is quick to acknowledge the contributions of her staff, Mike also acknowledges the importance of the Paducah community to Superior Care Home’s success. “We feel as though the many Paducah businesses we work with are just an extended part of the Superior Care Home family,” says Sims appreciatively. “We are proud to be partnering with businesses like Paducah Bank who share the same customer-oriented vision and commitment to excellence that we do.”

In addition to being named 2006 Facility of the Year by the KAHCF, Superior Care Home and its staff have received numerous other awards:

  • The facility was named 2007 Business of the Year by the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Helen Sims was awarded the Nelda Barton Collings Community Service Award in recognition of her passion for long-term care, her commitment to providing quality nursing care and for her active involvement in educating government officials about the needs of nursing facilities.
  • Doralyn Warren, Superior Care Home’s Director of Nursing and 29-year employee, was named KAHCF Western District Nursing Director of the Year for her dedication, leadership, and passion for providing quality nursing care.

Superior Care Home also received two KAHCF Western
District Awards:

  • Community Outreach, given to facilities that provide total quality of life experiences for their residents and demonstrate extensive community involvement.
  • Innovative Program Award, recognizing Superior Care Home’s Going the Extra Mile Program as a creative resident centered program designed to promote resident and staff relationships and enhance quality of life.

How do you top a banner year of accolades? The answer is simple for the Sims family. It’s continuing Mary Ellen Thompson’s vision. “My mother was never satisfied. She always wanted to go another step or make the extra effort to improve and to give of herself in whatever way she could,” says Helen Sims.

“We see excellence as a continuous journey. We are already preparing for the next phase of meeting the needs and expectations of the baby boomer generation,” comments Mike Sims. The future is bright and grandmother’s entrepreneurial spirit and vision will continue to lead us down new paths of excellence.”