The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) announced Maryruth Butler, MBA, NHA, RCA, as the 2017 recipient of the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award for her national impact on quality in long term and post-acute care. Since 2001, Butler has served as the Executive Director of Kindred Nursing and Rehabilitation- Mountain Valley in Kellogg, Idaho, which provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation care for patients and residents.
Under Butler’s direction, Mountain Valley has been recognized with numerous achievements. Through AHCA/NCAL’s National Quality Award Program, the center achieved three progressive levels of awards Bronze, Silver, and Gold in 2005, 2007, and 2011 respectively.
In 2016, Mountain Valley was the first nursing center to receive the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest Presidential honor for sustainable excellence.
For eight consecutive years, the center has also achieved an overall five-star rating, the highest possible rating through CMS’ Five-Star Quality Rating System.
“Maryruth’s unwavering commitment to quality is unparalleled,” said Mary Ousley, AHCA/NCAL Quality Cabinet Co-Chair and namesake of the award. “Her sustained efforts have consistently resulted in delivery of outstanding care for those in her center and surrounding community. I am proud to recognize her this year as a trailblazer and champion of quality.”
Butler was also recognized by members of the AHCA’s leadership.
“Now more than ever we need leaders who are as innovative and visionary as Maryruth,” said Dr. David Gifford, AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality & Regulatory Affairs. “The results she has achieved over the years are examples of what can be possible for everyone inside and outside of our profession nationwide.”
As a licensed Residential Care Administrator, Butler currently teaches a Residential Care/Assisted Living Administrator course through the Idaho Health Care Association, and conducts presentations across the country on topics such as the Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework and quality improvement.
On the homefront, Butler has the support and respect of her hometown colleagues too.
“Maryruth really does encompass the qualities of a great leader,” Mountain Health activities director Emilee Kulin said. “We are lucky to have her compassionate skill at a facility level, and even more so as such a pillar in our community. What she (Mountain Valley) does to support the individuals and families of the Silver Valley is above and beyond. Receiving this award is just icing on the cake! We are so happy for her to receive this recognition at a National level- we have known it here locally for the 16 years she has served as our Executive Director.”
AHCA/NCAL presents the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award to an individual or organization that has made a significant national contribution to advancing quality performance in the long term care field.
Recipients must consistently advocate for quality approaches and demonstrate the ability to educate and advocate for a system’s approach to quality improvement.
Recipients also display leadership in the development, promotion, and implementation of quality improvement initiatives that have resulted in measurable improvements in the quality of care and quality of life for individuals in long term care.
In 2011, the Friend of Quality Award was renamed the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award to honor the ongoing legacy and commitment to quality care demonstrated by its namesake, Mary Ousley, a licensed nursing center administrator and nurse who has dedicated her life to quality improvement programs in long term care.
Butler will be presented with the award at AHCA/NCAL’s 68th Annual Convention and Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 15-18.