CONWAY — The residents and staff at Merriman House at Memorial Hospital are celebrating a deficiency-free survey from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

The unannounced survey of the nursing home, which is attached to Memorial Hospital, took place early in March, though Merriman leadership only received the official letter late last week.

Over the course of three days, the survey team from DHHS reviewed Merriman House operations and procedures for clinical care, infection control, emergency preparedness, and life safety regulations.

Results are used by DHHS to determine eligibility to accept and care for Medicare and Medicaid residents.

“I have a great team,” said Merriman House Administrator Kim Demers, RN, BSN, NHA. “They are the best ever. They are hardworking, caring, and focused on our residents.”

Her team includes staff from nursing, facilities, environmental services and nutrition services.

Demers has been administrator of the 45-bed facility since 2019.

Prior to this, she had been the administrative nurse since 2013. Due to COVID-19, only an inspection of infection control procedures was performed in 2020, resulting in full compliance of regulations. This was her first time leading her team through the full recertification survey.

“Kim and her team have done an incredible job throughout the pandemic,” said Memorial Chief Nursing Officer Kris Dascoulias, RN. “She has led her team through these very challenging times and helped them all stay safe. I am incredibly proud of her and everyone at the Merriman House. The zero deficiency survey results are another example of the tremendous teamwork and leadership at Merriman.”

Among the activities by the DHHS survey team was interviewing Merriman residents, interviewing some family members, inspection of infection control policies and procedures, observing meals, and observing the distribution of medication. “There are standards for most every activity to help ensure resident safety and comfort,” Demers added. “I was a bit nervous but confident we would do well in the survey. Having no deficiencies noted says a lot about our Merriman team.”

Demers also noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Merriman was one of the few long-term care facilities that did not record a positive COVID-19 case among residents or staff.

“These results are great news in a challenging year,” she said.

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