Jennifer Terman

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March 25, 2013
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Spring Hill Convalescent receives five-star rating

Local rehabilitation care facility Spring Hill Manor Convalescent Hospital was recently awarded five stars by Medicare for outstanding service, much to the delight of the friendly and welcoming administration and staff.

“It’s because of the education, intervention and awesome nursing staff,” said Brian Collier, administrator.

The facility had four stars since its first rating when it opened in 1965 by Clifford, who has since passed away, and Patricia Vixie, a local couple who started Vixie Family Dentistry, now owned by their son, Gregory. Spring Hill Manor offers rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy and short-term and long-term care services, with three therapy rooms and a newly-designed gym and patio area.

““Before it was mostly all group therapy,” said Peter Lynch, physical therapist, who helped design the gym area. “Just being able to get around people here to go outside and get fresh air is great. Our goal is to get people to be able to go back to their homes.”

The facility is one of 317 locations in California to receive a five-star rating, Collier said, out of the approximately 12,000 in California. Many of the 115-person staff have worked in the facility for several years, 20 of whom have been with Spring Hill for 10 years or more.

“The fact that the employees have been here so long shows how we develop relationships and have a commitment to excellence,” Collier said.

Lori Fuller, admissions coordinator, agreed. “50 percent have been here five year or more,” she said. “That’s huge in this industry.”

Dorothy Kishiwama, RN, director of nursing services, has worked with Spring Hill since 1979 and has had experience with other places, but prefers what Spring Hill has to offer.

“I felt like I can make a difference based on the support I get from the owners and administrators, because if there’s a need, they’re always supportive,” Kishiwama said. “They allow us to be creative and flexible with how we could better or jobs and making sure everybody has the same goal to provide the best care.”

Tina Defevere, an occupational therapy assistant, commutes to work from her residence in Lincoln.

“In my line of work, there’s tons of jobs,” Defevere said. “I wouldn’t drive an hour if it wasn’t worth it.”

Some of the key attributes that set Spring Hill apart from other nursing homes is that the facility is independently-owned, so decisions can be made from an accessible and local standpoint, Collier said.

“Nothing has to be filtered through a layer of bureaucracy and the money is kept within the community,” said Collier. “We do over $4 million a year in payroll wages and the money we have with our vendors stays right here locally and just enriches and enhances our community.”

Collier began his career as a nursing assistant in 1994 at a convalescent home where his sister was director of nursing. He worked in Chico and Red Bluff until he was hired at Spring Hill in 1999, where he has worked ever since.

“I’ve had a grandfather in a nursing home and I’m aware of expectations,” Collier said. “We live by those expectations as though our own family member was here.”

Fuller has worked at Spring Hill for 13 years and said the success of the facility is attributed to the strong team work of everyone who works at Spring Hill. Fuller worked for the Department of Agriculture for 11 years, having grown up with an agricultural background in Loomis, she said, and realized that eventually the farmers would get old and she wanted to help provide care.

After realizing the facility received five stars, Fuller was in excited disbelief, she said.

“I checked (the website) and I thought, ‘Wow we’ve got five stars!,’” Fuller said. “I texted Brian and said ‘Can you believe it?’ So it was great.”

The facility has three therapy rooms and 86 beds, 80 of which were occupied as of last Wednesday. Fuller said she really tries to find compatible roommates for people by asking many questions about preferences.

“I ask what time people go to bed, if they watch TV a lot,” Fuller said. “I ask a lot of questions.”

For information about Spring Hill Manor, call the facility at 530-273-7247.

To review the medicare rating, visit, where you can search results by zip code or city for evaluations of facilities across the nation.

Robert Coburn recently underwent knee replacement surgery and has been staying at Spring Hill Manor to recover.

“It’s a very good place,” Coburn said. “There’s a lot of people who go way beyond their work. If I had to have rehab, I’d like to come here.”

To contact Staff Writer Jennifer Terman, email or call 530-477-4230.

The facility is one of 317 locations in California to receive a five-star rating.

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The Union Updated Mar 25, 2013 01:39AM Published Mar 25, 2013 12:34AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.