Mill Valley

MILL VALLEY Director of Nursing Kim Ernst and Mill Valley Administrator Jim Harkness are pictured with the national certificate of acheivement earned by the facility.

Mill Valley Care Center and Sunrise Assisted Living of Bellevue recently received word of a prestigious honor from the National Centers for Assisted Living and the American Health Care Association.  

The local nursing home and assisted living facility, which has been in operation for over four decades, met all the criteria for the AHCA/NCAL Customer Satisfaction Award, with a near 98 percent of families served agreeing that the facility offers high-quality care and are satisfied with their experience.

The national recognition is based on standardized criteria developed by AHCA/NCAL.

“This is a great honor for our facility and not something that is easily attainable,” said Administrator Jim Harkness, who noted the Bellevue facility has been invited to Texas in March 2020 to attend the Quality Initiative Recognition Program Ceremony to officially receive the honor.    

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recognized more than 9,800 skilled nursing care centers and assisted living communities nationwide for their work to improve the quality of care they provide.

“The long term and post-acute care profession has been at the forefront of quality improvement efforts, and the results speak for themselves,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “It’s obvious that providers have put effort into quality improvement this past year, and I'm confident we'll continue to make progress in the years to come.”

Eligibility for skilled nursing centers was determined by data pulled from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Minimum Data Set and Nursing Home Compare, as well as customer satisfaction scores submitted by member facilities via AHCA/NCAL’s data tracking tool LTC Trend Tracker. Assisted living communities submitted their data on all Quality Initiative goals to LTC Trend Tracker in order to demonstrate achievement.

AHCA/NCAL created the Quality Initiative Recognition Program to honor member facilities for their individual work in achieving AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative goals.

Program achievers will be recognized at the AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit in Grapevine, Texas, on March 10, 2020.

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represents more than 13,700 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities.

By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day.

As well as receiving national recognition, Mill Valley Care Center and  Sunrise Villa noted a milestone this fall, as the facility is marking 45 years as a part of the Bellevue community.

The 68-bed facility serves a wide area, with many residents from the Bellevue, Preston and St. Donatus areas living here.

While Mill Valley officially opened its doors on November of 1974, it all actually started back in 1969 when a group of local leaders formed an investment group to create the care facility.

Delbert Jackson, who was a member of the Mill Valley Board for over four decades, was among those who helped establish the facility.

A tax assessor during the 1960s, Jackson said he saw a real need in the community as the Bellevue Hospital was about to close and the nearest nursing home was in Dubuque. The last resort for many was a bed in the county home.

Along with Jackson on the Mill Valley Board at the time were George Donavon, Superintendent of Schools; Leo Rubel, Springbrook Insurance; Del Pooler of Bellevue State Bank and Willie Felderman.

Through grants and fundraising efforts, the group raised approximately $275,000 to begin building Mill Valley. Initial plans were to build a three-story structure on Riverview just north of Subway, but federal regulations mandated that it be a one-story facility.

The facility instead was constructed at 1201 Park Street at a cost of over $400,000. The funding was facilitated through the Riverview Development Corporation, consisting of 87 members and headed up by president Tom Bates.

In 1974, officers and board members in the corporation included Greg Welsh as Secretary; Del Jackson, Treasurer; Tom Daugherty and Dr. R.D Dempewolf.

When Mill Valley opened in 1974, it had 50 beds, which increased to 68 in the years following. The general contractor for the project was Witt and Junkette Construction Company of Des Moines.

A public open house which was well-attended was held at Mill Valley on Sunday, Nov. 10, 1974.