Hometown Hero--Carol Russell - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/23/05

Hometown Hero--Carol Russell

Carol Russell Carol Russell

For the first time ever, Savannah's Riverview Health and Rehabilitation Center received a deficiency-free rating from the state. This outstanding achievement is largely due to the leadership of retiring director Carol Russell. 

Twenty years ago, Russell began working at Chatham Nursing Home, what we now know as Riverview. Back then, it was some place you did not want any member of your family living. Ten years later, Russell took over as administrator.

A few days ago, the State of Georgia passed the center with flying colors, giving it no deficiencies in any area for the first time ever. "That was always my goal, that the residents be treated as family members and that the employees also be treated as extended family," Russell said. "Because we have to work as a team in order to be able to provide for our residents."

Over the years, Riverview has gone through a multitude of changes as a result of Russell's passionate respect for the dignity of the people who live there.

"And then we take it a step further to find out what's in the minds and hearts of the residents," she said. "After all, this is their home and they have opinions. This is not a warehouse for elderly. They come here to live and live a full life."

The sad news is that Russell is retiring at the end of the year. "Carol's been out here a long time," said longtime board member Herbie Griffin. "She's been a wonderful leader. She's our team captain and we are certainly sorry to see her go. But there comes a time for retirement for everyone."

"Carol has been like a rock," said Rick Gnann, chairman of the board. "She has absolutely done a fantastic job here over the years. A deficiency-free survey is unheard of and she's been a person the board could rely on. If Carol tells you something, that's the way it was."

Riverview is the only facility in the state to receive a deficiency-free survey in recent years. Congratulations to Carol Russell for a remarkable achievement and for being this week's WTOC Hometown Hero.

If you'd like to nominate a Hometown Hero, you can drop us a line at the station: PO Box 8086, Savannah, GA 31412, or email  rwallace@wtoc.com.

Reported by: Ron Wallace, rwallace@wtoc.com

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