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Offering better quality of life, Chabrier turns around struggling care facility

Senior Care Honoree

By 2015, Hill Haven Nursing Home & Rehabilitation had been struggling for some time. It had endured multiple leadership transitions and was in need of a strong leader who was able to provide a steady hand, vision, and support. That is exactly what Hill Haven got that same year when it hired Catherine Chabrier as its administrator.

Catherine Chabrier

Catherine Chabrier

Hill Haven exists to support patients who need to be discharged from the hospital, yet also require additional care. For some patients, Hill Haven is a temporary stop that assists them as they rehabilitate and get ready to move back home. For others, it becomes home, the place where they receive the complicated care they need. For Rochester Regional Health, Hill Haven has become its primary skilled nursing facility for patients with complex care needs, challenging social situations and financial challenges that would create barriers to admission to other facilities.

Upon her hire, Chabrier, 53, embraced the challenges facing Hill Haven head on, and in less than three years, patients and residents are enjoying a better quality of life, smoother transitions from the hospital to home, and a level of care that may not be available for them elsewhere. In addition, since Chabrier joined the organization, Hill Haven employees have stayed with the organization longer, performed better, and pursued career advancement opportunities that she has spearheaded.

“Cathie has created a unique culture in which her team takes pride in saying yes in these unique and often difficult situations, often resorting to creative problem solving and other clinical and educational resources available throughout Rochester Regional Health,” says Mark Klyczek, vice president of the long-term care division for Rochester Regional Health. “Because of Cathie’s work, Hill Haven now accepts more than 40 percent of our hospital’s complex care patients. While the patients were not accepted by other facilities in the community, through the great teamwork at Hill Haven, many of the patients have returned home.”

Under Chabrier’s leadership, Hill Haven also has expanded and modernized its on-site hemodialysis services. Now, the Webster-based facility has twice as much hemodialysis capacity, allowing more patients to receive treatment right in the facility without having to be transported to an outpatient center multiple times each week.

Chabrier remembers what it was like in her early days on the job. “It was daunting to learn about the number of vacancies during my interview process,” the Palmyra, Wayne County resident, says. “Leaders were feeling that they couldn’t take on any new projects because of the limited resources available. This has really become the norm in health care right now. It has been exciting, tiring, worrisome, and joyous to work with the team to reorganize and expand our services to people in our care and to our staff.”

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