Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland receives five-star rating

photo Facility administrator and CEO Tiffany Sawyer, right, and Director of Plant Operations Ed Hammons of Signature HealthCARE of Cleveland, Tenn., unfurl a banner commemorating the 100-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center's recent five-star designation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. - Signature HealthCARE's 100-bed skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Cleveland has been recognized as a five-star facility by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the federal agency responsible for oversight of nursing home quality.

On Friday, Tiffany Sawyer, the facility's CEO and administrator, recognized the hard work of the center's staff and presented a banner commemorating the facility's achievement.

"It means that each and every one of you truly care about what's going on with your patients," Sawyer told an audience of nurses, who were joined by a number of residents and local officials.

Patient survey results figure importantly into the rating formula, which is driven by health inspections, quality measures and staffing, Sawyer said.

A five-star rating is the highest rating that a nursing home facility can receive, she said. SHC of Cleveland, which previously had a four-start rating, is the only nursing home facility in the surrounding nine counties that has a five-star rating, she said.

That distinction, Sawyer said, is shared among only 10 percent of the nursing home facilities in the nation.

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The nursing staff was quick to point out that their achievement was made possible by teamwork, and they applauded Sawyer's level of commitment and leadership.

During the late January snowstorm that hit Cleveland, Sawyer spent the night with several of the facility's nurses and picked up and took home employees who could not make it to work on their own, said Monica Brock, assistant director of nursing.

"She goes above and beyond for our residents, staff and their families," said LPN Kristi Johnson. "It doesn't matter who you are, she does whatever she has to do to take care of you."

Johnson was one of the nurses who worked extra shifts to ensure residents were taken care of during the storm, said Jessica Lamb, the facility's social worker.

"It's all about teamwork," Johnson said. "It's not about one person here."

Several residents and members of their families said the nurses and staff served them well.

They "definitely deserve" the five-star rating, said Linda Bass, who had come to the facility to visit her husband.

"It's the next best thing when you can't be at home," resident Yvonne Olsson said.

Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at