Friday, October 25, 2013, Vera French Pine Knoll, a residential facility serving adults with chronic mental illness received a visit from Governor Terry Branstad and a special award.
Branstad gave the Davenport facility The Governor’s Award for its long-standing provision of high quality services and support to residents.
“This is different for us to be more in the spotlight, certainly very gratifying, after all these years, to be able to enjoy this award and to have this kind of recognition,” said Rosemary Washburn.
Washburn is the Director of Nursing at Vera French Pine Knoll. She has worked at the facility for almost 35 years and says mental health is still a very touchy subject.
“People are very anti-institution and they see a place like this as an institution, I see it as a home and a safety net,” said Washburn.
Governor Branstad says the the facility has gone 3 years with no deficiencies and he believes it’s because of their high standards and dedication to residents.
“I think it’s the personalization of the care and how people are treated with such respect and dignity, they really get to know the residents personally, their habits, moods, their needs and they really want to serve their needs,” said Branstad.
Staff say, although they appreciate the award, it’s not about housing residents beyond their needed stay.
“We don’t keep people forever, we keep them as long as they need this level of support,” said Washburn.
The facility opened in 1914, originally established as the Scott County Tuberculosis Sanitarium, for over forty-five years it has served the mental health needs of the Quad City area.