Waterview Villa’s Administrator Comes With Decades Long Experience Leading Centers
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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Administrator Brian Brown at Waterview Villa Rehabilitation and Health Care Center knew of the East Providence center long before joining the team. In fact, Brown used to be the administrator at a competitor facility years ago.
He joined in January after spending nearly a year at another center. His experience in administrative work began in 1983 when he got his first administrator in training program out of college. For 30 days, he was paid to visit and listen to staff, residents, and loved ones.
“I probably learned the most about what to do in those 30 days. You got everybody else’s perspective on things: what was important to the residents, what was important to the family member, what was important to the employees,” Brown said.
During his first six months of that program, he developed relationships and later switched to a leadership role for the following six months. The half-year of building relationships helped develop a sense of team, not hierarchy, Brown said. 40 years later, Brown was attracted to Waterview Villa because of its good reputation. He knew it had long-term employees and, while interviewing, ran into many familiar faces from his time in healthcare.
“It’s ironic because, when they toured me through the building, I knew several employees because I had worked with them in other buildings before,” he said. “Immediately I had cheerleaders on staff here to let others know that it’s going to be okay.”
He says the ability to have a positive influence on others has kept him in the industry for four decades. It’s his motivation.
What he likes to do at his center is create a home and a connection between the residents and staff. He said you can see that there is a sense of family inside Waterview Villa. Part of that includes making sure Portuguese-speaking residents are catered to as well. The city of East Providence serves a diverse group and has a rich, Portuguese heritage. Waterview Villa reflects that.
“You certainly want to exceed the residents’ expectations, but you want them to feel like they’re a part of the family… like you treat them that way with respect and dignity and friendly,” he said.
In order to build those connections, he said the staff has to know they’re important, residents have to feel comfortable, and loved ones have to feel confident in their care. The center spotlights employees and displays some fun facts about them around the facility for everyone to read up on. He’ll also hold one-on-one confidential meetings with them to ask what’s working and what’s not.
His relationship with the residents has to do with their satisfaction level.
“I think it’s a matter of asking them if there’s any way we can make their day better,” he said.
As for family and friends, he says communication is key. They aren’t in the center every day so it’s important for them to be in the know. He said it’s “important to think like a family member.” Part of that is knowing who is taking care of your loved one. When residents are first admitted, Brown introduces himself to the family and shares his goals as Administrator. He wants them to know their loved ones are going to be taken care of.
Taking care of residents continues to be educational for Brown, even with 40 years of experience. He said he continues to learn and calls himself a “human sponge.”
“When you have that experience in the career as long as I have, when things come at you, you know what to do and you know how to do it and you certainly can get input from others but you have that confidence from that knowledge,” he said.
Being new to the center, he said it’s about adapting to his new home. Brown has been able to absorb all the positive experiences he’s had over the years and make the right choice when it’s decision-making time.
Brown has three degrees from Bentley University in Waltham: a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing/Management and two Associate’s degrees in Management and in Accountancy, respectively.
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