AHCA / NCAL Gold Quality Award logo

Maine Veterans Home – Machias in Machias, ME, and Sunrise of Gurnee, a Sunrise Senior Living community in Gurnee, IL, have  become the first free-standing assisted living communities ever to attain the Gold – Excellence in Quality Award in the history of the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living National Quality Award program, AHCA/NCAL announced Thursday.

The Gold Award is the highest of three distinct levels possible through the program, which recognizes organizations nationally that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality care. Gold-level honorees, according to AHCA/NCAL, have invested multiple years in mastering and applying Baldrige Criteria quality improvement standards in the areas of leadership, strategic planning, customer and workforce focus, and operations and knowledge management.

“Achieving this award is no small feat for any provider, as it requires patience, perseverance and purpose,” NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle said. “Hopefully, these award recipients will inspire more assisted living communities to ‘go for gold’ and help move the profession forward.”

Two skilled nursing care centers — Comer Health and Rehabilitation in Comer, GA, and Holly Heights Nursing Center in Denver — also reached Gold status this year, something only 34 other long-term and post-acute care providers have done since the program’s inception in 1996, according to AHCA/NCAL.

This year’s Bronze-level winners and Silver-level winners previously were announced. Recipient organizations will be honored during AHCA/NCAL’s 69th Annual Convention and Exposition Oct. 7 to 10 in San Diego.