Black Mountain nursing home named among best long-term care centers

Ezra Maille
Black Mountain News
The North Carolina State Veterans Home in Black Mountain achieved a status of Best Nursing Home 2021-22 by the U.S. News & World Report.

The North Carolina State Veterans Home in Black Mountain was named among the 13% of centers nationwide to be recognized as a best nursing home by U.S. News & World Report. 

The report states the Black Mountain nursing home earned the award after achieving the highest possible rating of "High Performing" for long-term care. U.S. News gives the Best Nursing Home designation only to centers satisfying its assessment of services offered and consistently provided. 

Out of 13,175 homes receiving a high long-term care rating, 1,063 were found to be "High Performing," according to the U.S. News & World Report. This achievement marks the third year in a row the Veterans Home in Black Mountain has attained similar recognition. 

"We are thrilled," said Steve Sheets, the administrator at the nursing home. "We're particularly proud of the recognition relating to staff COVID-19 vaccination rates."

The North Carolina State Veterans Home in Black Mountain was among the top 13% of homes to achieve such a high rating.

The Black Mountain nursing home reported its resident staff to be 90.3% vaccinated with local employee partners at a rate of 97.6%. Companywide, PruittHealth, which operates the nursing home, reported a vaccination rate of 94%. 

Returning for its 12th year, this year's award centers around safety and COVID-19. Standards include a minimum staff vaccination rate, use of antipsychotic drugs and overall trips to the emergency room. U.S. News stated homes with a below 75% staff COVID-19 vaccination rate could not be considered leading facilities. 

"This award demonstrates our long-standing commitment to elevating the level of care provided in communities we serve,” said Neil Pruitt Jr., chairman and CEO of PruittHealth. 

Using the criteria outlined by the report, Sheets said the nursing home followed its own policies and procedures as relating to infection control "really well." Additionally, Sheets said the 111,000 square foot facility allows all residents to have their own private rooms, ensuring more minimized risks due to the pandemic. 

Staff also adhere to guidelines by wearing proper PPE (personal protective equipment). Visitors are screened "everyday," according to Sheets.