By Becca Parish, LNHA, MBA, Executive Director of Health Care Services

For the past 15 years, Dr. Fred Thanel has served our licensed care areas as Medical Director. Our clinical teams have looked to him for medical guidance on so many things. From flu vaccines, infection control practices, to reviewing policies and procedures, Dr. Thanel has been in the thick of things. Dr. Thanel is set to retire the end of June and we must give him an abundance of thanks for helping to shape resident care.

What most residents don’t realize is that our clinical team is consistently reviewing resident clinical information for quality of life indicators like weight loss, pressure ulcers, dietary needs, medication needs, significant medical changes, etc. This happens during two monthly meetings, Quality of Life (QOL) and Quality Assessment Performance Improvement (QAPI), of which Dr. Thanel attends and guides the clinical team in decision making and goal setting. Additionally, the nurses in each licensed area are routinely contacting our medical director for orders and medical direction.

Dr. Thanel probably thought he could coast into retirement these last 6 months, but no… we kept him pretty busy with COVID19 related items such as Mass Testing orders, resident and staff monitoring, and infection control practices.

We celebrated with Dr. Thanel this last week with his last QOL and QAPI meetings. Here is a picture of most of the clinical team alongside Dr. Thanel with his farewell present of a fishing pole, tackle bag (The Director of Nursing, Jason Johns, wasn’t sure about getting Dr. Thanel this tackle bag because he said it can be compared to a women’s purse – a personalized decision.), and some gift cards from the team.

Thank you to Dr. Thanel for everything you have done for Dow Rummel over the last 15 years. You will be missed, but we are happy for you in your retirement.

As we move forward into July, we will welcome Dr. Joseph Rees from Avera eCare as our new Medical Director. Stay tuned for more about him in coming blogs.

Thank you,
Becca Parish, LNHA, MBA
Executive Director of Health Care Services