Michael Smith named administrator of the year

Wednesday, March 5, 2003
Lakeside staff congratulated Michael Smith on being named Administrator of the Year. Pictured are, from left: seated -- Kathy Ward, DON; Paulette Smith, Director of Clinical Education; Shirley Thompson, social director and activities. Back -- Beth Stayton and Debbie Rigsby, charge nurses; Linda Brewer, dietary manager; Michael Smith, administrator; Diane McClung, assistant administrator and medical records; Judy Edgin, housekeeping/laundry supervisor; Becky Fisher, assistant DON; Ed Wheeler, maintenance/engineer supervisor. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Michael Smith, administrator at Lakeside Nursing Center in Lake City, was surprised Friday when dietary manager Linda Brewer and staff honored him with a party in recognition of being named Northeast District Administrator of the Year.

Brewer, Lakeside's certified dietary manager (CDM) and certified food protection professional (CFPP), said about 65 dietary managers and administrators attended a meeting in Walnut Ridge recently and voted for administrator of the year, member of the year and president elect.

Smith was elected administrator of the year and dietary consultant Helen McFadden of Cotton Plant was selected president elect of the group.

"I was very proud that Michael was named Administrator of the Year. He is very good to the staff and residents at Lakeside and we are proud that he was selected. I came to Lakeside from Caraway Nursing Center and he helped make the transition good for all of us," Brewer said.

During the in-service meeting on Friday morning, the staff enjoyed coffee, tea, cookies and hot chocolate as they congratulated Smith for being selected Administrator of the year.

There will be a meeting held in November and Smith, along with the other winners, will receive a plaque.

Smith has served as administrator at Lakeside for eight years. He did his internship at Lakeside in the fall of 1993 and began his career there in June of 1994. He is a graduate of Arkansas State University with a BS in Health Service Administration.

He has been part of two major expansions at Lakeside and played a role in its Medicare Certification. The facility now as a capacity for 105 and is currently licensed for 90.

When he first went to work at Lakeside, it was owned by Extendicare. It is presently part of the Reliance Healthcare Inc.

"Both groups have been good to work with and for," Smith said. "Our goal is to offer the best services available for our residents. First and foremost, we try to be a rehabilitation center. Word of mouth gets around and when the success stories of our rehab gets told, it relieves some of the uncertainty the people have."

Smith has served on numerous committees that serve in the health care industry. He was appointed to the Bed Need Methodology committee, the Arkansas Health Care Educational Committee and presently serves on the Arkansas Blue Cross/Blue Shield Advisory Board. He was appointed to this position by past president of Arkansas Health Care Association Jim Cooper.

"It is good experience to serve on these boards," Smith said. "It helps us stay on the front end of new issues we are being faced with. It gives me the opportunity to meet with management people in all aspects of the health care industry such as quality, reviews, and billing."

The Lakeside Nursing Center has an 80 member staff that Smith said makes his job rewarding.

"Even with the inclement weather we had last week, our people showed up for work. Many of them had to come from out of town. They stepped up and put their own comfort and safety behind the needs of our residents. That is special. I preach team work and it takes everyone working together to be successful. I've been very blessed with the people I've worked with and for," Smith said. "I have a great support staff and that makes my job what it is."

Smith is excited about the latest project going on at Lakeside. The south wing of rooms will be converted to suites.

Work will be done on the 15 south wing rooms creating a studio apartment look. Interior decorators have the plans ready. There will be two styles of rooms. The private suites will offer a separate sitting area and a sleeping area. The rooms will have carpeting, a sitting area with a loveseat, chair, television, and more.

"We want to offer what will appeal to families that prefer a private room. We want them to be comfortable in a home setting," Smith said. "It will get away from the institutional look."

Lakeside will be one of the first nursing home facilities in the area to offer the private suites. Smith said plans are also to do all of the rooms with wallpaper in a more decorative atmosphere making all the residents feel more comfortable.

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