CLINTON — This year brings opportunities, renovations and a new patient outlook for the staff at the Eagle Point Health Care Center.

The center, which has around 70 residents, is now focusing on providing new opportunities for patients as well as bringing them out into the community. This all comes just months after new ownership.

IDE Management Group (IMG) purchased the Eagle Point Health Care Center in January, and as of April, new changes arrived. One of the major changes would be the focus on enriching patient's lives. Julie Sanders, Community Liaison director, said it has been a joy to embrace the new changes. She said her role before as the center director, was to focus on driving the census; with her role to bring in new patients. Now she can focus her time on creating new projects or activities for the patients as well as actually spending time in the center with her staff.

IMG has a motto that reads: “Residents First — It's Our Way of Life.”

The company wants to focus on eliminating the stigma of living in a nursing home. Instead they hope patients will still be members of the community while they live in the center.

“We are always looking for an opportunity for our residents to try something they didn’t get to do before they came here,” Sanders said.

One of the new perks of the new initiative is that if a resident wants to try something, they have that opportunity as Sanders said she and the staff don’t want the center to feel like a typical nursing home. Sanders said an example is if a resident wanted to be a teacher, she is able to partner with a school in the community and give that resident a chance to student teach, as age doesn’t define your ability to try something new. This initiative also gave the center the opportunity to adopt two new cats: Cody and Karli.

“Moving forward, you are going to see more of Eagle Point out in the community,” Sanders said.

Together the residents took on a bake sale while they raised money to donate to Hurricane Harvey victims. Sanders said together the residents raised just over $525.

Aside from changes in initiatives, the center is also seeing cosmetic improvements. The old Schick Hospital has recently gained all new windows and a new roof. Sanders said her team is in the process of repairing the inside of the building as well. In the main rooms, you can see new flooring and paint with new tables and chairs on the way. Patient rooms are also getting a facelift.

“Although everyone likes wallpaper from the '80s, that was the first to go,” Sanders said.

Repairs and upgrades will continue to the exterior of the building as long as the weather permits. Sanders said they will even be upgrading the gazebo.

Sanders said another perk of a new company is a better work atmosphere. She said IDM may focus a lot of patients but also wants employees to feel important and valued, creating a “great place to work.” Once a month, staff will be recognized for going the extra mile, as part of the super star program.

These changes have all come within the last few months. But the center was already making technology advances before the new owner stepped in. Sanders said the center already has all of its charting online.

The Eagle Point Health Care Center also has tele-health services located on site now. Sanders said this is something that may be required for those with a mental health disorder. She said this allows them to speak with a psychiatrist on site. In addition to taking on long-term care residents, Eagle Point Health Care Center also takes on short term patients who may need care recovering after a surgery or injury. Many of these patients take advantage of on-site rehabilitation.

Sanders is looking forward to the future. She said the center has competition in town and is hoping that with a few updates and the new focus on residents, they will stand out from the crowd.