The extraordinary therapy team at Atlantic Memorial Healthcare Center in Long Beach allowed me to spend the day with them yesterday, and it was a pleasure and an honor. My goal was to capture on video the culture and spirit of this team to use as a therapy recruiting tool on the web. While we certainly have showier, newer and bigger well-equipped facilities, I have watched something magical happen with the team at Atlantic Memorial over the past three years – something that I believe defines and demonstrates Ensign culture at its best. An added bonus was getting to leave 110 degree Phoenix and hang out in So. Cal for the day!

I am hoping that the video we produce is able to impart at least a fraction of the truly cool things about this group. Atlantic Memorial’s rehab director is a perfect example of a level 5 leader. In response to any compliment about her terrific program, she pointed right back to her team, sharing their individual strengths and how lucky she feels that they chose to join her. She has empowered each therapist to use their personal talents and passions to enhance the care they provide to their residents and they all demonstrate intense accountability for and ownership of their therapy program.

Among other things that I am probably missing, the Atlantic team is comprised of a semi-professional dancer, a hugely talented photographer, several staff who have a passion and special ability for nurturing students and new graduate therapists, individuals with incredible organizational skills, an adaptive specialist who can create therapy tools out of almost nothing, a pediatric specialist who also loves geriatric patients and brings a sense of fun and play to this busy gym, and several therapists who are driven to build a great outpatient program. Add to this a facility administrator who lives and breathes Ensign culture and loves and supports his therapy team all day, every day – and viola – a superstar therapy program has evolved.

Our videographer for this project was a twenty-something hipster skateboard guy whose other film gigs include chronicling the X-games and working with some pretty well known musicians, rappers and skateboarders. I had the impression that ours was probably the first nursing home shoot he had been involved in, and I felt like he was a little bit out of his element. One of the many highlights of my day was watching him watch these therapists and listen to their stories about what they are most proud of and what they love about the work they do. At the end of the day, he sincerely thanked everyone for the time he was able to spend at Atlantic and kept saying what a “rad” place this was – that he had no idea that this is what a nursing home was like. I was just so proud of the gang at Atlantic Memorial and wonder if they know how much they impact the people they touch every day – even the ones who aren’t their patients!

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